I was blessed to sit down with Oktane and Price of Audio Push and chop it up about their ideology, past lessons, and musical ambitions.
When a non-fan hears the name Audio Push, they often associate it with the group’s past hit “Teach Me How To Jerk” and stop right there. It’s a shame really, because if Audio Push have proved anything it’s their essence and skill overshadow “Jerk” without question. On Come As You Are, the duo took major steps to separate themselves from public assumption. Oktane and Price buried prejudices, showing themselves to be wildly talented and creative emcees. We had a good conversation on what steps they’re taking into the future and what it means to push audio.
Arthur: With coming to the East and having this press run, are you advertising for Come As You Are 2?
Oktane: Come As You Are 2 has been the best kept secret for a minute now.
Price: We’re out here promoting The Stone Junction EP, which is our first body of work that we’re ever selling. Audio Push has always been putting out mixtapes. We put our singles for sale and we put out We The Plug, but we never really put together a real body of work. So this will be the first project for sale. It’s an EP. Servin is the first single, and then we’re gonna give you the album.
A: With ideide the Vibe, that sound was a lot different than the Good Vibe Tribe, how is Stone Junction looking in terms of sound?
P: You’ll experience a gang of different music from us that we’ll put out for free it’s the reason we do so many mixtapes because we make so many different things in different creative zones. Inside The Vibe was just one of those zones. We just wanted people to feel it, get more of a take on that vibe, and try to see exactly what our friends love us for. On Good Vibe Tribe, one of the songs that got the most plays was the joint with G-Eazy, Bonfire. The guy who produced that track, produced all of Inside The Vibe. We just tried to test the vibe and people loved it. So Audio Push? We push audio. It’s not just rap. It’s not just one set genre.
O: There’s so many sounds that you can rap on and make music to, why would we limit ourselves to only one thing.
A: Inside The Vibe had this Pharcyde type of feel to it, so I’m wondering if there’s another planned ‘vibe’ you want to go into next?
P: So The Stone Junction is the total opposite of what Inside The Vibe was, but at the end of the day it’s still Audio Push. We always keep it us no matter what. The Stone Junction is more like “Servin”, which is our single. It’s more hard hitting, 808 driven. We’re finding different pockets and flows, melodies and subjects on the same style beats that other dudes are rapping on, but they’re sounding the same. You’ll get on a hard hitting beat and you’re gonna rap like you’re Future.
O: There’s different things to talk about on those beats and that’s what the Stone Junction is.
A: That’s really dope. It’s sort of changing the way people look at Trap music.
O: It’s just doesn’t have to be one set thing.
A: Yeah, so do you think you guys are trying to break that stigma?
O: Not even necessarily a stigma to where you have to put conscious rap over a trap beat. Some of the stuff we’re saying isn’t even conscious it’s just anthems. It’s things that everybody needs.
P: Yeah, like we said, there are different pockets, there are different melodies. Literally hopping on a different pocket on the same beat will change the whole dynamic of the beat. But if you’re *triplet flow impression* no diss but it’s the same thing. It’s one thing when you do it because it’s your thing, but when everyone starts to chase your tail and copy it just gets boring. Music is supposed to be fun and have a variety to it.
A: Who are your guys’ biggest influences outside of Hip Hop.
O: Outside of Hip Hop? I’d probably have to say Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley…all the people who outside of music were just having a dope lifestyle.
A: Does how people live their lives also come in as an influence?
O: It definitely affects it because those people made lifestyle music. Jimi made lifestyle music about his life. Bob made lifestyle music about his life. They never sounded like anybody else’s music because it was their life.
P: You got people who live their life, then get in the studio and create another life. But then you got the Erykah Badu’s and the greats, the people who come and they tell their story. That’s why you gotta respect whoever whether it’s a Young Thug or whoever. They’re telling their story so I respect that.
A: I can understand that. Personally I don’t like YG but I appreciate it him as an artist because he’s telling his story and that makes him a real artist.
P: That’s what’s up. Actually we were popping’ on Myspace around the same time as YG. Back then we were called The Push and he had a clique called Pushas, so there was a little, not rivalry, but like inner city kid feud type of thing. But YG was someone we got to see grow as a lyricist. He didn’t come into it like “Oh I got them bars” but once his debut album came out there were some stories on there. He found him, and realized, “damn I do have a story to tell”. So it’s all about that. If you’re listening to it for bars, go turn on Mobb Deep and Rakim, but if you’re listening to it to feel something, get a picture painted for you, then those are the kids you listen to.
A: Do you guys wanna hit both of those aspects? Get bars and get feelings?
O: Yeah, I think there are so many people that expect this to be so one sided, but I want to touch on everything. I want to put out an album full of just rap. One full of just lifestyle music. I want to put out an album full of just turn up music, and sometimes it’s going to have all of that in one.
P: That’s the thing though. Our albums will have all of that. Kanye’s albums didn’t just have one sound to them. You didn’t have an album full of Drive Slow. It wasn’t just that single vibe. A lot of artists aren’t able to capture all those different vibes that go into those records and I believe we are, so you’ll get R&B driven records, Rock driven records, rap driven records, turn up driven records…
O: And all of them will sound dope.
A: That’s something that’s missing from Hip Hop, I don’t think people understand you can have that balance.
P: Exactly, and that’s what Audio Push is all about.
A: Yeah, I was going to say that your careers are a strong example of that balance. I could understand if you don’t want to talk about Jerk with the stigma some people might attach to it.
P: Nah it’s all good. Jerk was a really big part of our journey and finding ourselves. We were lucky enough to have a hit early on as teens and it didn’t break us. We got to learn the game for what it is. I just seen somebody tweet that they got into the music industry at 25 and there’s nothing you can teach him. I’m like I got into this when I was 17
O: And there’s still stuff you can teach us.
P: Yeah, we got a real head start on those 10,000 hours.
O: I forgot who told us that. They said, “you got that start on your 10,000 hours a log time ago” so our 10,000 hours have been up. Now it’s just us going crazy with the mastery we actually have.
A: Do you guys have any upcoming plans that are outside of music?
O: We want to impact culture in all kinds of ways, like he (price tag) already has a restaurant in our city. I’m about to go crazy with this clothing to give kids dope clothing that’s not Kanye levels of pricing. So every kid can be cool and not worry about breaking themselves to afford cool clothing. We’re just trying to impact the culture for all these young kids because we’ve been those young kids that had to make our own clothes because all that other sh** was too expensive. So I’m just trying to make it where the average kid can be as dope as the rapper they see on TV. We want to make the whole world feel good about themselves again because it sucks, the attitudes people have, they mad about nothing or some bulls**. We wanna give out that vibe on being yourself and loving what you do and instill that in the world.
P: That’s true though. The whole Good Vibe Tribe lifestyle is all real. It’s not fake. We really are standing by it and standing on it. So, like you said, we’re just pushing and standing by people loving themselves and being who they are. We’re taking that and going hard with it. Like if you want to be a janitor, own that! Like my little brother wants to go into construction and like if that’s what you wanna do, go and do it and be the best at it. Do your research and live it.
O: That’s what we represent you don’t have to be a rapper there’s kids that dont even love rapping, they just seen it and think it’s cool and they know girls like it so they try and do it.
P: Like if you just started rapping? I can’t f*** with you. I’m going to keep it real.
In talking about a dream collab with Chance The Rapper the duo also had this to say:
P: I think it’s just some of the youth are starting to grow up and see things for themselves.
O: Well you can be young forever but you can’t be young and dumb forever. Young and Dumb is what a lot of people are doing. They’re just like, ‘oh shit’s going on better turn up’ like no! There’s a lot of stuff that needs to be addressed and changed. I think a lot of young people are seeing that
P: Or because we’re going to be affected by that. So it’s like damn, it’s getting to the point now where this is starting to affect us too. You’re about to be involved too.
A: Especially with the country supporting Trump.
P: Precisely. That’s the prime example. I’m not the biggest fan of voting personally, but watching last night some of his rallies I was like, damn I might really need to go out and vote because this motherf***** is looking like he might actually win.
O: Like even seeing people with the same thought processes cheering this on…This is the state of America.
P: Yeah and when the other candidates were out there was like no one there. They maybe have 20 people rooting for them, I’m like Yo this is really scary. We’re in a place where we want to use our voices to impact what we can control. Are you the people that we can touch? Because at the end of the day no matter what president comes in there’s already a policy in place. You can have the personality in office, but the policy is already in order. So I’m just like…Don’t let Donald Trump win.
A: So you think you want to bring that into the mix musically?
P: Yeah I don’t think there will be a whole album about it but it will be there with all the other stuff.
A: Because it’s a part of your life.
P: Yeah exactly. I can talk about homies having shoot outs in the hood and turn around to talk about Trump because it’s all in the same world. If you listen to us deep enough you’ll hear all of that. It’s in the middle of other things. I’m not going to preach to you but I’m going to let you know that’s not what we support. It’s still fun and fresh, you don’t wanna lose your listener but at the same time I can’t care to lose you because if you get lost then you weren’t supposed to be here.
O: Straight Up.
Check out the video for Audio Push’s latest single “Servin”
art by your homie, Arthur Banach
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