Courtesy of Sarah Cass/ Atlantic Records
Most hip-hop hits are the pop-culture equivalent of Simon Says — and we’ve all played.
Admit it. At some point in time, you’ve walked it out, leaned back and/or Superman’d dat ho just because a song told you so.
Now, 3OH!3, a genre-bending hip-hop duo from Colorado, is putting its own spin on the game. In “Don’t Trust Me,” the first single off of its new album Want, the band commands, “Shush, girl / Shut your lips / Do the Helen Keller / And talk with your hips.”
3OH!3, named for the band’s hometown area code, formed after Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte discovered their mutual love of underground hip-hop while studying physics in college. That might not sound like a very gangster beginning, but 3OH!3 is straight crunk — and indie, electronic, punk and occasionally emo.
In fact, most of 3OH!3’s music doesn’t sound anything like their single. While “Don’t Trust Me” is an indie-electronica dance party with lyrics like “Tell your boyfriend / If he says he’s got beef / That I’m a vegetarian / And I ain’t f–king scared of him,” the majority of their songs resemble a delightfully sardonic version of what’s being played at every night club in town.
“PunkB—h,” which was featured on this year’s Warped Tour compilation, features grungy house beats and rapped lyrics about sipping gin. What makes “PunkB—h” unique, though, is the ease with which 3OH!3 integrates upbeat electronic elements. The band skillfully blends two seemingly incompatible styles of music to create a whole new indie-crunk sound.
Although the “Helen Keller” probably won’t catch on as quickly as the Cupid Shuffle, 3OH!3’s fresh and snarky sound will keep you dancing one way or another.
—By Asst Entertainment Editor Franchesca Winters