The Wow, comprised of producer Balthazar Getty and rapper KO The Legend say Hip Hop never strays too far away from its roots.
“It always comes back. It’s just circular and it just keeps going… For me it’s an incredible environment,” Balthazar Getty explains during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “We live in a time and a space where two people can get together, record [and] engineer a song and share it with potentially millions of people and we feel competitive with everything that’s out there.”
Later in the interview, Balthazar Getty points to Busta Rhymes and Eminem’s recently released “Calm Down” as an example of a contemporary record that alludes to ‘90s Hip Hop by sampling the horns off House of Pain’s 1992 single, “Jump Around.”
“I was actually just driving in and there’s a song on the radio with Busta Rhymes [and] Eminem and they sample the old horns from “Jump Around.” [So] absolutely the ‘90s, we know they’re back,” Balthazar Getty says. “People are rhyming again. People are emceeing again. You’re hearing the return to loops, but we wanna play in both, you know? I don’t just wanna be in some throwback band that’s making shit from the ‘90s. We’re making 2014 shit and on.”
KO The Legend goes on to say that people only see the ‘90s as Hip Hop’s Golden Era because the industry was still “new” during that decade.
“People get so stuck in the fact saying that the ‘90s was the Golden Era of Hip Hop but there was a Golden Era because the industry was still new so there wasn’t a lot of vampires yet. The Internet has kind of brought that wave back so it’s not necessarily that the ‘90s are back it’s just that the artists can be creative and there’s no middleman and we can get directly to the people so our vision isn’t distorted by the time it gets to you guys. We’re just trying to ride that wave, that’s really what it is.”
Elsewhere, rapper KO The Legend says he’s focusing on “being an example” of what an artist should be through his lyrics and approach to music.
“For me, my foundation, my roots are in battle rapping,” he says. “I’m not a competitive person by nature and the only thing I’ve ever found myself being competitive at is emceeing. Fortunately for me I feel like that’s not necessarily the focus of the public and I feel like I got my bars down so packed that that’s not something I have to necessarily worry about because they’re looking at all these other things. So with me, the bars are built-in and now I get to focus on actually building and focusing on being an example for what an artist should be.”
Finally, KO The Legend reveals that Balthazar Getty, who has worked alongside Cypress Hill, among others during his tenure in Hip Hop, was one of the voices behind House of Pain’s “Jump Around.”
“[Laughs] The dopest one I will tell is that he’s actually one of the voices on House of Pain’s [‘Jump Around’].”
Balthazar Getty continues: “And people don’t know that. Erik [‘Everlast’ Schrody] was basically sleeping on my couch during that time.”
The Wow recently detailed the origins of their duo and explained why an artists’ voice is essential in Hip Hop.
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