FUCK WACK MUSIC
Suburban homeboys: Weymouth rappers AWOL heat up Winter Hip-Hop Fest
By Chris Faraone
Saturday, December 9, 2006 - Updated: 12:04 PM EST
The guys in AWOL are not scared to take risks. Theyre not afraid to rap over live guitar licks, or walk around wearing T-shirts that say, (expletive) Wack Music.
Most importantly, theyre not afraid to represent their hometown.
We say that were from Weymouth, we talk like were from Weymouth and we act like were from Weymouth, group member Stress said. We have no reason to front like were from Boston.
AWOLs suburban pride, coupled with the groups relentless hustle and dramatic tracks, convinced Boston rap promoter Edu Leedz to feature it in tonights 2006 Boston Winter Hip-Hop Fest at the Middle East in Cambridge.
This fest is different because the artists involved really represent different parts of the scene, Leedz said. AWOL has potential to hit the next level because their music is extremely powerful and their business is straight. Drive is key in this game and theyre hungry as hell.
Thats putting it mildly. AWOL formed this past summer after producer/rapper Nox Beatz heard his new upstairs neighbor, Stress, rapping on his porch. Since then, the group has made a splash rocking dozens of live shows, recording with such Boston notables as Big Shug and Jake the Snake, and gaining significant college radio play.
We gave three tracks to the DJs at WERS, and we won the local battle three weeks in a row, Stress said.
Like most of the 30-plus songs AWOL has recorded, Nox produced the crews hit single, Deep End. The groups resident prodigy is only 18, but hes no rookie.
Ive been making beats since I was 12 and playing guitar since even before that, he said. I only listened to rock music until I was 14, and thats why my production sounds different. Most rap beats out there are basic - guys just tapping keyboards. I like to make my beats as complicated as possible.
AWOLs lyrics about the OxyContin-riddled South Shore landscape are another original trait. On Shot Heard Round the World, the upcoming follow-up to the Loadin tha Musket EP that dropped in August, Stress and Nox want to introduce rap fans to a new rhyme style: Co-fusion.
Co-fusion is when two people spit the same verse at the same time, Nox said. One starts slow and in the background, while the other starts loud and up front. Then we switch, but we finish each others lines through the whole verse.
And if being a genre-bending, Weymouth rap group isnt enough of a challenge, AWOL wants to reach deep into Bostons music community.
We want to work with every artist around here, Stress said. We dont care where youre from or what you do. Were looking for a harp player, a triangle player and maybe even someone who knows how to play some spoons. We dont give a (expletive).
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