5 Lessons We Learned from Sitting with Audio Push
Now, if for any reason these words–which actually double as dance moves–seem unlikely grouped together, it might be because their aptly titled instructional video inconspicuously slid under your radar. Good thing is, it’s never too late to learn.
For those already familiar, it may seem like just yesterday when skinny jeans were all the rage, and when it was considered admissible to wear neon pink, yellow, orange, blue, and green all in the same ‘fit. But, over half a decade has passed since Jerkin’ music dominated the LA-party scene, and just like the dance crazes have evolved, so to have the artists who pioneered them.
Hard Knock TV met up with Audio Push’s Oktane and Pricetag during the LA leg of their nationwide tour with Wale to discuss the release of their forthcoming (and yet-to-be-titled) album to find that the past few years gifted the Inland Empire rap duo with growth and artistic clarity.
Price: We’ve been to South Africa. We’ve been all around the world, like traveled off of music and rap.
Oktane: We’ve seen life. We’ve seen the world. So we just know what we want to do and effect and change.
Price: We happened to make a song about jerking when we were younger, now we’re grown up and we’ve done got better and colder at music. I think people are just starting to see that it’s not just some “image” that we have. We’re real people, and they know it’s nothing fake ‘cause they’ve seen the progression. They know us as kids. That’s why you can go back and do your research and listen up to everything that we did and hear the progression.
While Audio Push has evolved, some things about them have remained constant–most notably, what seems to be a desire to “teach”….pun very much intended. So much so, in fact, that during our exclusive interview, we found that nearly all of their responses embedded some sort of life lesson. Whether intentional or not, the twosome continuously dropped advantageous knowledge on us like it was second nature and used their own experiences as vessels to shed light on these widely known proverbs:
Speak Things Into Existence.
Price and Oktane were just getting acquainted to their (at the time) new joint, “Quickfast,” when they began to brainstorm on who would be a good fit to do a feature. Considering that they had already worked with Wale on “Anything Goes” from their 2013 mixtape, Come As Your Are, and that Hitboy, a close friend to Audio Push, has a working relationship with the Washington D.C. rapper, Wale just seemed to be the obvious choice. Soon after the “Quickfast” collaboration dropped, so did the news of Wale’s tour. According to Oktane and Price, as soon as they got word of it, the pair agreed they had to get on the lineup, immediately starting to spew positive intent into the universe. And well, it seemed to work.
O: Like literally the night before he was like ‘Yo, we gotta go on tour with Wale! Llike that’s gotta happen somehow.’ And the next morning, Hit (Hitboy) hit him up.
P: Hitboy called me the next morning like, “Yo, Wale wants you guys to come on tour.”
Brodies Over Wodies.
Or “Brodies over the world,” as it later became. Oktane and Pricetag were in Middle School when they first established this movement, which is alliterated as “B.O.W..” What started as a unique spin on the ever-popular saying, “bros over hoes,” developed into a slogan for their impenetrable bond.
O: We just realized that it’s bigger than “bros over hoes.” Like we’re family. It’s over any bullshit, any negativity.
P: Yea, because it was initially just like, wodies was hoes. But then wodies became problems, hating-ass guys. A wodie can be anything that is bad.
O: It has several meanings, yea.
P: But, yea then, the world came. Because beyond that fact, it’s bigger than the wodies and shit like that. It’s also bigger than the I.E. (Inland Empire). It’s also bigger than Cali. It’s bigger than the United States. Like what we’re gonna do, and the message that we’re putting out, it’s gonna touch the world. And it’s like, our brothers over the world.
What Goes Around Comes Around.
In the aftermath of A$AP Yams’ unexpected passing, many took to social media to express their grief–some more viscous than others. For instance, the New Jersey-bred rapper, Retchy P, tweeted a list of other rappers that should have passed instead of Yams, Wale being one of them.
When we asked Audio Push about the debacle, they quickly came to their tour mate’s defense, using “karma” as their primary ammunition.
O: Here’s my thing with negativity–it’s like superman and bullets.
P: I’ma comment on it ‘cause I saw it and I think it’s so lame. I’m gonna come clean. Listen. Yo, that dude is corny though. Tell ‘em Price said it. Cause I’m not for that, straight up. I’m not for that like wishing death.
O: Hurt-people hurt people. That’s why I leave it alone…I think a lot of people on the internet say so much because they never really plan on seeing these people face-to-face.
P: But then on top of that, it’s like you don’t even know him. He don’t even know you. Like, mind you, this dude’s a rapper. God got him, and God got Wale. Cause the good comes to the good. And if the kid pushing all that, that’s probably the reason you have the amount of followers that you have on twitter, because you’re so concerned about wishing death on people instead of making music.
Believe In Your Cool.
Price and Oktane told Hard Knock that they met guarding each other during a Middle School pick-up game. And, well, seeing as how Junior High generally encompasses the most embarrassingly awkward moments of one’s life, we tried to get them to spill some dirt on one another. Not only did they decline to throw their homie under the bus, but they also replied with something to the degree of, “What is embarrassment?”
O: I don’t know if it was awkward for us.
P: We were awkward, but we were a little bit cool. I hate to say it, but we were cool.
O: Yea, I hate to say that! It’s not even about being cool, cool. But like we were never in the far awkward side of the fence, that was just never where we were at.
P: We always created our own world.
P: Even when we were at school, I remember there being a certain group of people that were “cool.” But we made our own world. We used to rap at lunch.
O: Not even too cool, we were just chillin! And even then it’s like, what really can embarrass you if you’re just so comfortable in your own skin.
Success is a Personal Standard.
To get the streets buzzin’ for their upcoming album, AP is pushin’ out some freebies; they recently announced that they will precede the project with a mixtape, entitled The Good Vibe Tribe, in addition to the already-released single, “Heavy.” Of course, as we recommend you do, we peeped “Heavy” on their Soundcloud and noticed that they accompanied the track with a rather bold caption: “The best thing since grits and eggs.” We questioned whether this was setting the bar a little high, because, come on…grits and eggs? But, Oktane and Pricetag quickly explained, and as expected, threw in some food for thought.
P: It might be a little better than grits & eggs.
O: Because when we say best thing, we mean our best. My best. His best. Our best at the fullest potential. You’re supposed to believe in yourself that much, man.
P: But then on top of believing in ourselves, we just really locked in to who we are and what our message is and what we’re trying to tell people and what we’re trying to get across in the music. And that’s why I feel like this album will just take us to another level.
O: It stands for something. There’s growth every day.
For more Audio Push truisms, look out for their album, set to drop this summer, or head here to buy tickets for their remaining shows with Wale.
By Shannon Weprin