Ho99o9: “Nobody was booking us, so we booked our own shit”

Neu Ho99o9: “Nobody was booking us, so we booked our own shit”

These New Jersey rap-freaks didn’t just take over a scene, they founded one.

Newly decked out in a top hat covered in fake leopard print, The OGM has changed out of his flowing sapphire dress, and is reflecting on Ho99o9’s set an hour ago at Reading Festival. “We were rushed,” is the blunt and honest verdict. “Snap, snap, snap. I don’t like that kind of shit,” he finalises, with a tut. “It fucks with my energy.”

Energy, after all, is key. Back in May, Ho99o9 played the show that instantly yanked all spotlights firmly their way. Destroying the basement of Brighton Patterns at The Great Escape, Eaddy clung onto the low ceiling above a thrashing crowd, a wedding-dress clad The OGM hurling himself across the sweaty cavern, making synths pant for breath like the most brutal sound effects of a Slasher movie, hyper-magnified.

“You saw me in my beautiful gown!” exclaims a delighted OGM, adding “I’ve got a couple of different looks lined up.”

Despite the whirlwind of chaos that batters headlong into any stage Ho99o9 take to, the New Jersey duo are clearly perfectionists - that’s clear from their post-set ponderings today. It’s a clarity of vision that can only come from years of playing shows.. well, just about anywhere. Growing up in New Jersey, on the furthest fringes of New York, Eaddy and The OGM didn’t have any sort of music scene growing up. So naturally, they decided to make a scene, instead.

“We grew up in an urban community - drug dealers and gangs around - so we just didn’t have that atmosphere of going to shows,” Eaddy says of Ho99o9’s hometown. “We just ran in the neighbourhood listening to what the corner store had. We grew up on rap; DMX, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Eminem, all that kind of stuff. And then..” he grins, “we got the internet.” Soon enough, via a potent mix of Icecube, Minor Threat and Bad Brains, they met a bunch of likeminded friends, and formed arts collective NJstreetKLAN. Ho99o9 was the eventual outcome.

“Nobody was booking us,” says The OGM, “so we booked our own shit. We were throwing shows anywhere; rap shows, punk shows, fashion shows, art shows; mixing New York vibes and shit. That was the only platform that we had.“ Though the duo are based in L.A these days, their East Coast upbringing still forms the epicentre of Ho99o9’s aggressive musical defiance. “New Jersey is where the struggle was, playing people’s basements, and shit like that,” The OGM agrees. “Shows in people’s stores, backyards,” he chuckles, “and a few broken windows along the way.”

Other than a place to play, and ample time to prepare, Ho99o9 don’t need much to conjure mayhem. Writing material comes from anywhere - “this,” says The OGM, referring to the current conversation, “right now, is inspiration. Everything is.” - and besides that, they only insist on three other things. “Wifi, weed and water,” says Eaddy, form Ho99o9’s perfect triangle.

So far the duo have been releasing material in careful dribs and drabs, letting their live show pack majority of the onslaught. They’ve got two EPs - ‘Mutant Freax’ and ‘Horror of 1999’ - out, and the slow-burn, Eaddy says, is fully intentional. Ho99o9, as they say, are not fond of being rushed.

“It’s like eating soup,” announces Eaddy with an onomatopoeic slurp. “Just... spoon feeding. Once it cools down we’ll go for a nice big chunk.”

Taken from the October 2015 issue of DIY, out now.

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Tags: HO99O9, Features, Interviews, Neu

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