Photo Credit: Calmatic
Since their 2011 inception, hip-hop and R&B collective OverDoz. have been dropping land mines of bangers throughout the West Coast’s rap scene. From their devilishly smutty Live For, Die For mixtape to their collaboration with heavyweights like Kendrick Lamar, Juicy J, and Pharrell, OverDoz.’s skyrocketing success is either by way of a deal with the devil or a combination of frightening musical brilliance and hard work. With the release of their latest mixtape Boom, their upcoming show at the Middle East on Monday with A$AP Mob, and gradual infiltration of the entire East Coast, OverDoz. is about to force every rapper in the business to bring their A-game.
“We’re prepared to be the most creative and hard-working people in the entertainment industry,” says Kent Jamz, one-fourth of the outfit that also includes members Tube, Sleazy, and Cream.
“So I feel like the fact that we’ve been given an opportunity that we always knew we were gonna have, it’s like an early Christmas. That’s how we feel right now.”
“We’re doing something that everybody waits their whole life to do,” says Tube, a fan favorite no doubt thanks to his blue beard. “They try they whole life to get to the place that we have and we just starting. So I feel like it’s a blessing and an awesome experience. And we’re just having fun with it.”
And the rise of this dope foursome certainly doesn’t bode well for those in the hip-hop community who haven’t been showing up lately.
“There’s no more excuses for selling out a venue, but not knowing how to perform,” says Jamz. “Like, you pay $100 to see Kanye, he better be fucking out of breath, ‘cause I am! For $20! We’re just trying to get them to raise the bar creatively.”
While OverDoz. has received some requisite Odd Future comparisons, stylistically the foursome are in a league of their own. If OverDoz. and OF went to the same high school, the Odd Future gang would be spray-painting graffiti behind the dumpsters in the back, while OverDoz. would be the dudes reading profanity-laced, sexually explicit poetry during open mic night. Yeah, they’re probably getting suspended, but they’re also getting respect from their peers.
“We’re making sure the structure [of our music] is put so high on the level of creativeness that you forget who your favorite artist was,” says Jamz.
“We’re not saying it’s gonna be us, we just want to clear the field where everybody is open game, everybody is open season.”
Their fearlessness has more than paid off; they’re currently traveling with the A$AP Mob, Joey Fatts, and 100s on the Turnt x Burnt tour, their first major nationwide tour. As a huge act on the West Coast, the group has been adjusting to touring with larger acts and even larger fan bases.
“It feels like I’m at a party, but I’m like the new kid in town,” says Jamz.
“I know everybody knows me, but I don’t know if people want to talk to me or if they don’t know I’m the new kid. It’s weird. But the loyal fans are incredibly excited. We’re all the way in New Orleans and they’ll wear LA hats so we’ll notice them.”
And while those fans will do anything to get their attention, the group itself is strictly gimmick-free – you’re not going to see Kent passing a blunt to Kermit the Frog in an OverDoz. and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular.
“A lot of people are trying to do it on different aspects,” says Jamz. “Like Nipsey trying to sell $100 CD or Kanye wearing a kilt – we want to keep it to the music part.”
OverDoz’s latest mixtape, Boom, is a perfect example of the group’s constant experimentation. The 17-song project plays like Dante’s Paradiso, each track a smooth ascent into a synthy, bass-centric heaven via a purple kush cloud. “Killer Tofu” is a quick and hilariously obscene song – fast drums, fast rhymes – and it’s over before you can figure out exactly what Tube is talking about (“Ten bad hoes coulda been my gold with a stadium full of college kids”). The spacey, clicking drumbeat of “Hiroshima,” is the hacking cough that accompanies a good hit of that good shit. And OverDoz. is that good shit. Boom is that kind of listen that makes you crumple over, like when a friend slaps you hard between the shoulders and says, “Sorry, dude. Should’ve warned you.”
Though Boom was released in October of this year, the foursome is already in the studio working on their first full-length album. They expect to release it in 2014.
“We stay making music,” says Jamz. “So we’re never not gonna be working on an album. We just have so much music to choose from. It’s a little bit harder than we all expected because, you know, we’re selling this album, you know? So we’re trying to be as careful as we were with Boom.”
And with this nationwide tour under their belt and an upcoming album in the works, OverDoz. make it clear that they’re not in the business of sleeping on success.
“We’re moving, constantly moving,” says Jamz. “I feel like the more people we touch through our performances and our videos … a lot of people get to see our friendship and how genuine of a group we are. We’re not put together by labels and stuff like that. A lot of people don’t know that happens a lot in the industry.”
If OverDoz.’s next two years are anything like their last two, don’t be surprised if you see them on a Wheaties box in 2015. These guys are the American dream, not only winning the music game, but obliterating it. For fans, these four guys are the hip-hop superheroes come to rescue us from the mainstream dregs of looping hooks and confounding awards show performances. But for other artists looking to coast on mainstream predictability and cute gimmicks? OverDoz. might as well be the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse.
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