Ho99o9 is the epitome of everything White Middle America hates. They're loud, rebellious black rappers who scream about injustice over hardcore punk and industrial beats, all while dressed in traditionally femme garb. And they're glad you're mad. Orlando Weekly caught up with the duo of Eaddy and theOGM to discover the origins of their musical insurgency.
Orlando Weekly: Let's begin with where it all started. What was it like growing up in New Jersey?
theOGM: It was a mixture of good and bad. Depending on what hood you're from, it could go either way.
I grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and I moved to Linden. The reason why I moved there was because Elizabeth was so bad, like it was so hood. We lived in a very bad neighborhood where people would break into our home and steal our shit.
We moved to Linden – that was more like suburbs – but there was still gangs and shit going on. Throughout the years, you find your lane. As a teenager, you never really know yourself.
What about you, Eaddy? When did the two of you meet?
Eaddy: I want to say ... you know how you have chapters in your life? I want to say that the second part of my life, we were together. We met at a time where I was going through changes with myself. When I met theOGM was when I was getting into everything in New York, opening my eyes to clothes, shows, people, whatever.
Eaddy, you were more into punk at first, and theOGM, you grew up on hip-hop, right?
theOGM: We both were in the hood so we both grew up on rap. He just got into punk rock before I did. He would go and see some dope shit and put me on game.
Did you get it right away?
theOGM: He put me on game, and when I started going to these shows, it was an eye-opener. We grew up on hood shit and Jersey club. We went to dance parties. Where we're from if you see someone bumping into someone, it means they're fighting. Ain't no pit. And you go to these punk shows, and the energy is fucking crazy and it's all love. People get bloody, all extra, it's all love. That shit took us a second to really, really appreciate.
Having played with both hip-hop and punk acts, what's the difference between the two crowds?
theOGM: You know, we went from playing with Denzel Curry and Ghostface to playing with Avenged Sevenfold. In 2018, having a tunnel vision on just one type of music is lame. But I just like a rowdy crowd.
How has life been since you've been in Los Angeles?
theOGM: We've been out here four years now. We moved because our management company was based in L.A. Nobody on the East Coast believed in us that hard. They were feeling it, but it wasn't until we moved to L.A. – that's when shit started cracking. That's the bugged-out thing. You can be somewhere all your life and it takes an outsider to believe in you more than your people. And that's the reason why we did it. Plus, fucking hate the winter, man.
Going off that, what was your hometown's initial reaction when you started to change the way you dressed?
Eaddy: Where we come from, you are judged by the way you dress. Before the band, we were dressing how we do ... When you're in the hood, you can't wear slim jeans. You can't paint your fingernails, that's "gay." We had to deal with that shit in our hood but we never really gave a fuck about that.
theOGM: I fuck with people who are brave. Who do what they want to do. Once you surround yourself with people like that, you open your mind to a whole new world. And once you step out of Jersey – into New York – there's like real style. Your whole perspective changes.
How did politics come into play?
theOGM: It's not necessarily politics. It's just the world that we live in. As soon as you wake up and look at your phone, it's about what the president is saying. It's only right to speak on what's happening. Just yesterday, you wake up and hear about a cop who shot a man in his own backyard. There's always something to talk about. firstname.lastname@example.org