Stress: Well, me and Strange are brothers and O-Doub and Raida are brothers. We actually all grew up in the same neighborhood in Queens but we didn’t meet each other until we all moved out to Long Island and we ended up in the same high school. A mutual friend introduced me and Raida. We were in the same grade and O-Doub and Strange were in the same grade. It’s actually weird how it worked out.
You guys have a very original style. How did you guys develop with that?
O-Doub: The style was actually cultivated because it’s really us. We don’t come around talking a bunch of crap. It wouldn’t be right for us to do so. We’re pretty much just talking about the situations that we go through.
Stress: We make songs like “Chug” because we drink a lot. And when we go to shows, we end up chugging beers anyway, so we may as well make a song about it.
On “Chug,” you talk about how you can’t buy out the bar because you can’t afford it. Just how tired is the cliché of buying out the bar?
Stress: Well, it’s not true. We go to bars all the time and people ask us to buy us a round because they’re fucking bullshitters. It’s doesn’t happen. People will spend $300 on a bottle but then they’ll take the train home.
What kind of response have you gotten to “Chug” so far?
Sean Strange: It’s been great. Basically you could say that that song took our career to the next level. We won the OurStage.com contest and we won $5 g’s. Everybody from every race can relate to that song because 90% of Americans are drunks. And we have a great stage show to go with it. We have a dancing chicken. So even if you don’t like the song, you’ll like the chicken.
“Runaway” is an interesting song. How did that come about?
Sean Strange: I produced that record. Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to flip that joint into a beat but I was always afraid of the sample. I didn’t want to flip it because I didn’t think I could come correct on it. I finally did and the hook gives you a topic that you have to write to. All of our verses are reasons on why we have to run away with things in life. My verse is about running from a stalking girlfriend and Raida and O-Doub go back and forth and they’re talking about fucking with the same girl and fucking with different girlfriends.
Raida: That song has also been covered a lot of times. A lot of people have done it, but we’ve never heard it the way Strange flipped it. It had a certain energy in it that was up-pace and it banged real hard. It was the first time I had ever heard the song done in that light. Pause.
Your production is definitely different from the norm. What do you guys want in your beats?
Stress: The thing is, somebody will come out with something new, whether it’s snap music or putting some effect on your voice. There’s all that different shit that people come out with and then everybody else wants to emulate that. We don’t want to be cool for the moment and then have nobody fuck with us. We’re not the typical rappers. We don’t rap like the typical rappers. We don’t look like typical rappers. So why should we make typical rap music?
Raida: Back when we first started, we were doing the basic underground style that everybody else was doing. It wasn’t really popping off. We realized that we had to be ourselves but we never really thought that it would be appealing to people. And then we started shining ten times more than we thought we possibly could. People were telling us to keep it real and that’s what we did.
Who is your ideal fan?
Stress: We’re trying to catch everything, because nowadays with the way record sales are, you can’t just put out the same record that everybody else is putting out and expect to sell. We figure that if we can make our music about who we are and act the way that we always act, people are going to better relate to that as opposed to doing what everybody else is doing. We may get play in the club a couple of times, but nobody is going to remember our name. We make fun music for the clubs but we also make music about the things that we’ve been through. We’re not making music for a particular person. We’re basically just making music that we think people are going to feel and we’re trying to get the people to come towards it.
Sean Strange: We make all music. We make club music. We make keg party music. We make music you can play at your Bar Mitzvah. We make music for everybody. Everybody sells crack and shoots people. You can go into any record store and buy that record. We have fun and people die during our records. It’s fun for everybody. Fun.
You’ve released a couple of projects, the latest one being the mixtape White People Can’t Dance. How’s that doing for you guys?
Stress: When we take that to showcases, you have to look at the title and pretty much listen to it just based off of that. We took some white rappers’ songs. We took Bubba Sparxxx’s song “Ugly” and flipped it about how many ugly bitches are walking around. You can go to the club and see some beasts walking around. Nobody’s ever done that, ever. You may have seen some ugly girls in videos, but never a whole song about it.
Sean Strange: I think what’s dope about White People Can’t Dance is that it’s us. When you go to a club and you see dudes in wife beaters with spiked hair where if you touch it you will cut your finger and they’re dancing to “Every Time We Touch” and they’re pumping fists with glow sticks, that’s who we’re talking for. The dope thing about them mixtape is that you can pick any song and you can get any type of vibe. We have a song titled “If I Was President” where we all have a debate about what we would all do if we were President. Then we have a record “Queens to L.I.” where my brother talks about growing up with roaches. We have song called “Groupies.” Nobody flipped it like we did. We talk about what real groupies do backstage. Then we have funny joints where we flipped “The Real Slim Shady.” And everybody has their own solo joints on there. Everything you want from us, you’re going to get. Pause.
Are people responding the way you want them to?
O-Doub: Of course. The sky’s the limit but you’re always shooting for higher. You shoot for the sky all the time and nothing is ever going to be good enough.
As a group, what are you guys gauging your success on?
O-Doub: I would say our response. The response we get from people is more important. We don’t really keep track of the amount of records that we’ve sold. It’s about getting our name out there. The people need to understand the music and the movement that we have going on right now.
Stress: Right now, we can’t really be concerned with the amount that we’re selling. We’ve been doing this for over 10 years as a group. I can’t really tell you what I’m trying to say because I’m a moron, but we’re just trying to grind. We have to make sure that every time we do a show, the people leave the show remembering who we are and they want to listen to our CD when they leave. And if you do a show with us, you’re in for big problems. You better come in with a circus act and trampolines because we’re going to shut shit down.
Sean Strange: When you go to our show, it’s not your typical hip-hop show. It’s not just kids on stage rapping and then you go home. It’s like a carnival but it’s not gay like a carnival. It’s not like there’s a kissing booth. We have girls walking around in tight t-shirts and a breakdancing chicken. It’s like the Rocksteady Crew but he’s a chicken. We have a show coming up in Long Island. I’m not going to give up too much, but let’s just say that we’re going to have a chicken jumping up in the air higher than you thought it could.
How’s the No Good People album coming?
O-Doub: We’ve been working on it. We’ve been in the studio working on it. We’re trying to get the buzz up. We’re letting the mixtape album rock for a little bit to increase the buzz. The album is definitely coming. The people should be prepared for that. The album is coming soon. It’s not like we just got started on it. It’s coming and the album is going to be a bundle of joy.
What’s the next move for No Good People?
Stress: We’re going to take over the world. We’re working hard and we’re grinding. Our last show we had people throwing toilet paper. Every show we do, we're just trying to get more people out there. We come out with the craziest energy. The last time we had a show, the bartender told us he loved our show but that we were assholes because the people made such a mess when we were performing. When we do shows we surprise the people because they think four white kids are going to be like New Kids on the Block. But we’re here to stay. And we’re just going to keep going with that.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Sean Strange: Honestly, to everybody that’s reading this interview, I want to say that if you listen to bad music every day of your life and you buy bad records, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Everything that you need is right here. It’s right in front of your face in this interview. You have fun, you get beat up, you get drunk, you get girls, you wake up with ugly women next to you and it’s okay. And I’m going to do a shameless plug right now. Anybody that needs beats, come to me, Sean Strange. I have cheap prices and I’ll bargain with you! (laughs)