You may have heard about Bo$$ $tatu$, self-styled “rap collective” of some thirteen 2015ers; they performed live for the first time at ADP’s coffehaus last weekend. $tylized $obriquet $upporter Conor Skelding made his way into a recording session.
Last Thursday night, at a quarter til’ eleven, I found myself walking the fluorescent halls of Furnald, on my way to interview Bo$$ $tatu$. When from behind one door I heard heavy bass and laughter, I knocked.
A minute later, I and ten other guys stood huddled in a 120 sq. ft single. On the desk, A MIDI sampler and keyboard sat next to a MacBook Pro. On one wall, Biggie smoked a blunt; on the Wu-Tang clan posed; on a third was a hand-drawn Bo$$ $tatu$ poster.
After shaking hands, they asked if I “wanted to hear their shit.” Assuring them that I did, they started to freestyle. The beat went around one way around the circle; a 40 the other. Ribbing one another, they rapped about Barnard, Kindles (“fuck Nooks”), dutchies, John Jay, race, and oral sex.
Soon after they’d warmed up, we got to chatting. “Bo$$ $tatu$” was conceived on November 10th, 2011, when,during a birthday party, they impressed themselves free-styling to beats from an iPhone. Their forthcoming album’s title, Bottles Bitch, was also a product of their boozy brainstorm. One had gotten into hip-hop in grade school and another in high school; a third counts Gandhi as one of his influences.
“We’re not trying to be the next Vampire Weekend,” one averred, “although the comparison has been made.”
I asked what had been on my mind at their ADP show, at which a video projector looped pretty graphic, uh, cumshots on the wall. “We’d found out there was a projector,” one offered. (Ejaculation is a theme.)
And how do they respond to assertions that their lyrics are sexist? (A tame example: “I like two things: girls and fried chicken, good thing, both can be found in the kitchen.”) “Fuck haters,” says one, “you see me in Ferris, say that shit to my face.” Another took issue with the idea that “making fun of real problems cheapens real sexism. We just don’t buy into that. You shouldn’t censor something that is humor.” A third: “[W]e don’t really buy that what people perceive as misogynistic tendencies in Hip-Hop produces sexism […] I think our offensive lyrics more utilize humour to make a comment on I guess the paranoia and self-righteousness some people approach sexism with.”
However, at the adjective “ironic,” they bristled. “Are we serious, are we ironic, are we not? I don’t think any of us can conclusively answer that. It’s part of what makes us interesting, blurring that line.”
In one track, following gunshots, broken glass, and heavy breathing, Bullhorn from Black Dynamite, exclaims, “Man, this time, these crackers have gone too far!” B$ intones, “Yeah, we have.”
They mentioned “the blogger incident,” when some Tumblr user called them “virgin, middle-class, white boys” who “fucked dreams.” They are accordingly considering naming their next album Dreamfuckers.
I had to ask what their parents think. Surprisingly, “they’re like really happy that I’m doing this.” Another: “My dad is a huge fan.” A third: “They’re just happy I’m like making friends.” Were they nerds in high school? “Fuck yeah.”
In another track, they brag, “Our brains are only reason bitches on our dicks, yeah, we pretty smart, we know our Rousseau from our Descartes, yeah, yeah, and we read the original French when we read our Sartre.”
So what were their favorite Lit Hum books? “Confessions, since the dude talks about trying to get a nut off. Only problem was, he didn’t finish. Those sexual urges, he should have celebrated that shit.”
They’re nerds no longer: “Seniors know who I am, because of Bo$$ $tatu$. A girl saw one of our posters, which said ‘We need asses,’ and literally offered me her ass.”
I asked if they cared that their band name abbreviated to “bullshit,” but was swiftly corrected. They told me: “Be the money you want to see in the world.”
Bo$$ $tatu$’s new music video, “Bottles Bitch,” is on Youtube. Listen to them on their Bandcamp. They might be at this year’s Fed Bash, which I guess could go either way. Bo$$ $tatu$ is made up of Michael Blair (Migraine), Torsten Odland (T-Bullet), Miguel Gallego (Pizza), Alex Curtis (Lexx), Kevin Roark (l8 bl00mer), Brian Thorn (Brain), Sam Stevens (Slambone), Dylan Kario (Dexter), Cooper Matthieson (Coop), Joe Bucciero (ASJ (Average Sized Joe)), Palmer Foote (Ray P), and David Silberthau (Silb).