If you're not familiar, LNDN DRGS is a project from Compton MC Jay Worthy (the very talented older step-brother of Grimes) and producer Sean House. Their new video for "Is It Love" features Harlem rapper $ha Hef, and follows their previous single, "Uza Trikk," which featured the late A$AP Yams (as a rapper! Watch that video here). Worthy jumped on the phone to tell us about the video and why he's proud of it—the main reason being that, in his eyes, it brings both the East Coast and West Coast together. What we like about "Is It Love" is that it kind of screws with the norm of modern hip-hop, returning to the roots of funk, soul, and jazz. Or, as Worthy calls it, "porno-funk." Watch the video below and read what Worthy has to say about the project.
Noisey: Tell me about the video coming together and what it is.
Jay Worthy: The one thing we all have in common was Yams was a big believer in all of our music, whether is it was my own work or $ha Hef. He inspired both of us, was a mentor for us, helped guide us, he understood both of our sounds. I remember recording the song two years ago and meeting Yams here. He was like, “Yo that’s crazy! Y’all gotta shoot a video for it.” Unfortunately the week we shot it was the week of Yams’ funeral. I flown out from the West Coast to come pay respect to Yams, and stayed with Sha Hef. He’s from the Bronx, and I’m from Compton. It’s cool to see East Coast and West Coast MC’s collaborating because you don’t get to see that all the time. We was out there at the St. Nicholas housing project, his homies came out and showed mad love. We got the video shot and we gave a tribute to Yams at the end of it cause that was our boy, and he wanted to see this visual be made, and unfortunately he couldn’t be here to see it.
What was your relationship with Yams like? How long did you know him?
I met Yams in 2012, we were at the Fader Fort. It was the year that A$AP Mob fight happened at that Fader event at SXSW. I remember this lady was tripping like “yo you can’t come in here,” and Yams took off his wristband and gave it to me. He didn’t even know who I was but he gave me his wristband to come into the back. And I was like, “That was mad cool man, I’m Jay Worthy from Bompton.” He was like, “You from Bompton? Here take my number down.” We didn’t really holler like that right away, and then I put out this visual with Dash, who’s Yams’ real close friend, it was called “The Time Is Now.” And then he got at me, and after he got at me we was on the phone all the time. We became homies. I don’t know if people got to see what LNDN DRGS sound was about. If Yams was still here, I think it’d be a little bit different because he helped push things and he helped guide us.
What are you hoping with this video?
LND DRGS got so many different sounds. I call this one almost our “porno-funk” sound. And then we got straight dirty funk, and then just soulful, jazzy psychedelic sound. So on this one I’m giving you that porno-funk sound, just giving the listener something different to check out. Two great cities man: Compton and the Bronx. Bronx started this rap shit; Compton started this gangsta rap shit so both of us on a visual together and a record together, on a production that usually cats don’t rap over.
Eric Sundermann's "porno-sound" is on Twitter.