Dime Q&A: OCD: Moosh & Twist On Breaking Trends & Making Hip-Hop Hits

04.01.14 5 years ago
Lately, America’s rap scene hasn’t been the best nor the most creative form of expressionism the once proud culture has been known to produce. And within the last half decade, Philadelphia’s hip-hop scene has nearly fizzled in the eyes of America. The hard streets of Philly have produced no-name rappers or the similar breed of gritty, drug-rap spittas that have pushed an consistent, stereotypical negativity within rap.

But there is always the lone, homegrown heroes that occasionally pop up and find national spotlight. Consider OCD: Moosh & Twist, that brand of aboriginal lyricism.

The duo, composed of Oliver “Twist” Feighan and DeQuincy “Moosh” Coleman-McRae, are Philly’s newest sound, though they’ve been combining their talents since junior high and attracting an audience since high school.

Now 21 and on the cusp of a 21-city, country-wide tour (The Living Out Loud Tour), the combo has more than one million hits on almost every one of their singles on YouTube. Their fame has grown from a high school clique to a country-wide sound.

Dime sat down with Philly’s newest brand of rhymesters to understand more about their sound, what they like for footwear, how they’ve dealt with their new fame and some likes and dislikes around the current rap game.

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Dime: So how did this all happen? How did you guys meet and start making some dope tracks?
Moosh: We were boys in first grade when we were six and we’ve been best friends since, playing sports and everything. Around age 12-13 we started making music. In high school it started getting serious, [Twist] started spreading the word and so did I and it kind of worked out.

Dime: What’s the thought process for the videos that you guys do? You’ve worked with a big time videographer, Rex Arrow, that’s done videos for Kid Ink, Mac Miller and did YC‘s “Racks” video, how do you visualize the product from your tracks?
Twist: When we make our music we want to have a good time. When we decide on the singles it’s the songs that make us feel the best. You know how the east coast is: it’s cold as hell. Maybe we are waiting for the summer, we just want to make people happy with our music. It’s going to be the tracks that get more emotional than others but we just try to have a good time, man, that’s it, honestly.

Dime: Moosh, you’ve been seen wearing some iconic sneakers (specifically a crispy pair of Jordan 5s in your newest video) in a lot of the videos you’ve been in. Are you a big sneakerhead? Do you have a favorite pair of sneakers or do you just throw on what you feel like?
Moosh: I’m not a huge sneakerhead honestly, but what I do like is Janowskis and Vans honestly. I love the 5s, I love the classic 3s, they are my favorites. I have a lot of homies that are into it, but Vans and Janowskis are my go-to, something that can get dirty or could be my go-to.

Dime: Twist, on the song “Take Me Back,” what was the overall feeling around your verse on the song? What’s the connection between you and your father? And what was the general tone of the piece?
Twist: We made that song right around the time that we were graduating high school and we had internships and senior projects. It was a touchy time. Everyone we knew was graduating and reminiscing from when we were younger and everything, and I talk about my dad a little bit and when we are in the studio we try to get as real as possible. The hook is legit: “take me back to the days when the sun wouldn’t shine but the birds still fly like they use to/and the chick that I love is making me go nuts in my ear screaming ‘I don’t wanna lose you’/ I gotta get her to go, I gotta get her to go, I gotta get her to go, I gotta get her to go/C’mon take me back to the days I know, take me back to the days I know”

We never thought about it, but it’s not as upbeat as people would think and it was just a nostalgic time.

Dime: What was really the first song to get hype for you guys?
Moosh: I would think “City Kids.” It was three songs in my opinion, “Possibilities,” “City Kids” and “Live It Up.” And it separated us from the different sounds in Philly and it catapulted to all the opportunities we have now.

Dime: What high schools did you guys go to in the city? Was it the same school or no?
Moosh & Twist: Haverford & Friends Select.

Dime: This may sound really weird, but has it been hard–in the recent amount of success–to keep your genuine sound and to really just be yourselves as artists? A lot of rappers change their sound once they start receiving a big load of fame.
Twist: When we were starting out, we were rapping over classic hip-hop beats but the flow is the same, but we did get a lot of inspiration from Philly’s grimy, battle-rap flow. It hasn’t been hard keeping the same sound, but it has been hard with people accepting it. People want the Meek Mill sound or the boom-bap Rittenhouse sound. But we never did drugs when we were younger. We never had guns. We talk about what we know. People accept it but it’s going to take time.

Moosh: You always gonna win when you make stuff that sounds right to you. You have to be an innovator at the end of the day. I hear kids making songs like how we make songs and it’s dope. It’s like you’re making a mold for kids to stand by.

Dime: Moosh, we grew up in similar neighborhoods in Philly. And I could probably answer this myself, but you know how it goes, so what was it like growing up in a gritty part of Philly and then going to one of the better private high schools in the metropolitan area?
Moosh: It was no transition at all. All my life I’ve been in situations when I went to private school and it’s better in that benefit. I come from two different worlds. Being from “the bottom” (a predominant neighborhood in West Philly known to be where the “bottom of society lives”) and going to private school it’s about being diverse. You know how to hold yourself in both situations, and I use that to my benefit more than anything.

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