After gracing stages in Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Denton, the Chicago mash-up kings known as The Hood Internet are poised to make their San Antonio debut with a proper album in hand. The duo of Aaron Brink (aka ABX) and Steve Reidell (aka STV SLV, pronounced "Steve Sleeve") bonded five years ago over a mutual admiration for indie rock and all things hip-hop. Infectious blends that combined seemingly disparate elements, like Lil Wayne and Modest Mouse or R. Kelly and Broken Social Scene, became their calling card and a flow of mix-tapes, along with internet acclaim, soon followed.
"It changed part of my musical perspective," said STV SLV with a laugh, reflecting on Juvenile's Dirty South landmark album 400 Degreez. "Growing up in the Midwest I wasn't really hip to a lot of Southern rap until I got to high school and college. I kind of worked my way into that via people turning me onto stuff like Hieroglyphics and Living Legends. For Aaron, I think it was a little different. He was really into rap from junior high school onwards, like having his parents buy him records with parental advisory stickers on them."
The Hood Internet arrive in the Alamo City on the same day that their latest effort at sonic alchemy, FEAT, hits the streets. Clocking in at 10 cuts, their studio debut is stacked with highlights including "More Fun" (featuring Psalm One and TOBAXXO), which comes across as equal parts Nicki Minaj and Santigold. "Nothing Should Be a Surprise" finds the duo reaching for the boom-bap with Isaiah Toothtaker and Show You Suck exhibiting rugged true school chops. The album's lead single, "Won't Fuck Us Over," crystallizes The Hood Internet's sound, utilizing a haunting Annie Hart hook paired with BBU's bubbling scholarly rap.
Despite their often cheeky titles, even the staunchest heads can appreciate The Hood Internet's reverence for the four elements and knack for producing natural, sometimes challenging blends … not to mention their love for R&B and tacos (by the way, check albumtacos.tumblr.com, their blog where they mix classic album covers with taco imagery).
"There's no one way that we go about picking stuff," said STV SLV. "It's generally the stuff that we like that's in our music collections and that you sort of hear a rhythmic cadence or a melodic phrase that you think might match something else. Or the case of kind of doing some trial and error with using some stuff and seeing what works and what doesn't, because you certainly can't force a mix that doesn't work."
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