Krispy Kream is obviously the older brother. One-half of L.A.-by-way-of-New Orleans sibling duo the Knux, it's not just his superior size and nonchalant attitude that instantly reveals his elder status over partner-in-rhyme-and-production Rah Al Millio (call him "Al"). Nope, like any alpha male across the human and animal kingdom, Krispy needs to test every new motherfucker on his territory.
"We got `fellow Angeleno rapper, labelmate and frequent industry punching bag` Mickey Avalon on, like, six or seven joints," he says proudly, quietly masking his sarcasm in a thick New Orleans accent that comes and goes as it (or he) pleases. "Shit's crazy."
Last month's Remind Me in 3 Days, the Knux's debut album on their very own Interscope imprint, Chic Freak, is entirely self-produced. Krispy likes the term "experimental" to describe the album and Al says it "bends genres," but they both roll their eyes at what those ideals have meant in hip-hop's past.
"The structure of hip-hop limits what we can do," says Al. "Hip-hop restricts. We're trying to eliminate all of those unwritten hip-hop rules `e.g., autobiographical lyrics`. Everything is not meant to be understood."
"Rappers write rap songs, they don't write songs," Krispy continues. "They don't write songs like Kurt Cobain wrote songs."
Unlike many rappers, the Knux's interest in non-rap isn't just for posterity. Al, still in a sleepy pair of red sweatpants upon my arrival at his apartment at 3 p.m. on a weekday, doesn't feel the need to apologize for the Depeche Mode that echoes onto his patio. They play the shit out of pretty much every instrument outside the brass family, as well as write harmonies, arrange and produce.
Later in the day, Al pauses Cappadonna's "Slang Editorial" and plugs in the guitar. His living room is dark, with a thick curtain blocking the indirect sunlight. He plucks some psychedelic chords. Outside, his older brother chops it up with an Interscope representative about the useless nature of A&R reps. He's a large man and speaks with passion, so it could easily be misconstrued as anger if these attentions were directed at someone in the room.
"Krispy is a hothead and, as his brother, I gotta deal with the brunt of that."
A version of this article originally appeared on Urb.firstname.lastname@example.org