ISSUE 35 FALL/WINTER 2019/20 OUT NOW         ISSUE 35 FALL/WINTER 2019/20 OUT NOW    

HO99O9: No One Lives

Words by
Katja Horvat
31.07.2019

HO99O9 is an L.A.-based punk band founded in 2012 by theOGM and Eaddy in New Jersey. They are currently on their Summer 2019 North American tour, “Is It Safe To Internet?”

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.

Both members grew up inside of hip-hop communities, crediting Wu-Tang, André 3000, Theophilus London, Nas, DMX, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and  Ninjasonik among their early influences. Punk/hardcore exposure came later on, and with that came the impact from Black Flag, Big Black, Bad Brains, Hammerheads and Death Grips. Their background and interests overlap in most natural way, making them diverse enough to appeal to many genres and audiences. Casting agent Walter Pearce, who worked with them on the Telfar show, called them “Fucking Rock and Roll,” while London called their “wild and raw energy” inspiring.

To date, Ho99o9 have released three EPs (Mutant Freax EP (2014); Horrors of 1999 (2015); and Cyber Cop (2018). They were listed among Rolling Stone‘s “10 New Artists You Need to Know” in 2014, and were The Guardian‘s “New Band of the Week” in April 2015. Their video for “Casey Jones/Cum Rag” premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. They have opened for Marilyn Manson and The Prodigy, with whom they also collaborated on a song, “Fight Fire With Fire.” They performed with Total Freedom and Mid90s star and pro skater Na-Kel Smith at Telfar’s FW19 show at NYFW. But they say their most significant career moment thus far happened at a festival in Belgium, where they “walked past Young Thug, but were too scared to ask him for a picture.”

At the moment, Ho99o9 are in the midst of their S/S ‘19 touring schedule. First, you can see them perform on their “Is it safe to Internet?” European tour this spring (which they describe as if “Jesus Christ and Satan had a head-to-head collision crash with two cars going 100mph—no one lives!”), or you can catch them in the summer, when they will be supporting Korn, Alice in Chains & Underoath on their North American Tour.

HO99O9 is an L.A.-based punk band founded in 2012 by theOGM and Eaddy in New Jersey.
Image courtesy of the artists and Major Transmission.
Photo credit: Derek Perlman.

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