Tomorrow isn’t promised. That’s the ethos at the core of Ho99o9’s aggressive mashup of dark, experimental hip-hop and thrashing, hardcore punk. Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror and also known as TRIPLE 9 DEATH KULT), was founded by two rappers, theOGM and Eaddy, in New Jersey. They relocated to Los Angeles in 2014, where they slowly built of following of misfits, rebels, and punks looking for alternatives to the staid, disparate categorizations of seemingly opposed musical genres.
While this sort of sonic experimentation may seem to be unusual at first glance, as it turns out, they’re actually standing on a strong historical foundation. Hip-hop and punk may seem like opposites, but both grew out of the same counterculture scenes in 1970s New York — often sharing clubs and audiences as disaffected Gen-Xers sought alternatives to the glitzy, overproduced pop on tap at the local discotheques and nightclubs of the time. Rap has always had a proud tradition of borrowing aesthetic and sometimes musical cues from punk, which has only been too happy to return the favor.
Ho99o9 is the natural extent of this style-sharing, taken to its logical extreme. If Lil Uzi Vert can shop at Hot Topic and rock Rancid pins in his distressed jean vest, theOGM and Eaddy turn that aesthetic sampling all the way up — along with the amps, drums, and raucous energy at their rambunctious live shows. Rap and punk have always shared a similar proclivity for breaking all the rules. It only makes sense that a band born of both cultures would take it even further, breaking down the walls between the two genres to create something new.
In the latest episode of Uproxx’s original series, Freethinkers, Ho99o9’s thought process and fierce refusal to play by anyone else’s rules is on full display. It’s exactly what the series is about and just the sort of bold artistry we need more of.