Distorted noise, disobedience, chaos, yelling, mosh pits, flips on or from the stage, kicking people in the head, costumes, mystique: as you never really know what you’re going to get, these roughly describe the magic of Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror), the L.A.-based group founded by theOGM and Eaddy in 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. In short, Ho99o9 is an experimental rap/punk band, but the truth is, it is hard to describe and classify the duo, as there are no real genre values, “If I wanna make country music tomorrow, nigga, I’m doing it,” said theOGM.
Often associated with rage, their dark complexity demonstrates a model of rejection and refusal on one end, and acceptance on the other. Sublimated violence—at no point does their outrage surpass the quotidian violence we are exposed to at this day and age—threads itself throughout their structurally fostered lyrics addressing racism, classification, structures of society, sexuality and mortality.
“You pray to God / I pray for hell (pray for hell) / ‘Cause niggas like me go to hell (go to hell) / If I could rewind time / They’d probably lock me in the cage / For fuckin’ white bitches out in Columbine / Since this nigga’s off the leash (I’m off the leash) / It’s dinner time / Homies on this side / That’s homicide on any side / We livin’ on the edge / Of your government / Supreme schemes / I’ll beat and kill your bastard in wet dreams / This evil shit”
Their live performances utilize an entire room, creating dynamic tensions between the audience and the band. “When you get onstage, you gotta fuckin’ wig out like you just snorted a line of fuckin’ heroin. You gotta make people uncomfortable,” said theOGM, who regularly vomits as part of a pre-show ritual, and is often seen wearing helmets and a wedding dress à la Kill Bill. Eaddy, whose vocal venom and stage demeanor recalls H.R. from Bad Brains—he dives into the audience at every show, kicking and tackling everyone and everything in sight) has performed before with his penis out. Though knowingly extreme, the two somehow make these actions feel empowered, something more than just mindless rebellion.