Audio Push have come a long way since their "Teach Me How to Jerk" days, and that's evident on their debut album 90951. The rap duo out of Inland Empire, Calif. showcase their versatility throughout the 12-song project with music that caters to the youth as well as the older heads.
Today, they share an early stream of 90951 ahead of its Sept. 23 release. Audio Push also stopped by the Complex offices this week to talk about their new album, receiving a shout-out from Kid Cudi, and how they feel about whether new school rappers need to be hip-hop scholars. Stream 90951 and check out their responses below. 90951 is available for pre-order on iTunes and will be released Sept. 23. If you're in the Pomona, Calif. area make sure to catch Audio Push at the Glass House tonight for their debut album concert.
You guys were signed to Interscope, now you guys are releasing 90951 independently. What did you learn from that process of being signed to a label?
Oktane: The good side of it is there’s an actual budget; it’s basically like a bank. Other than that the upside to being independent is now when we want to release music I don't have to get a phone call back like, “No, we have to wait for this date.” I can go, “You ready? I’m ready. Let’s go.”
Price: They can get your stuff on the Super Bowl or touch certain things you can't touch, certain radio plays or things that are extremely difficult to make happen; a label can do it with a button press. But a lot of why we were making music that wasn’t true to us I believe was us trying to cater to the label, and the label is trying to cater to hits, cater to trends. They’re trying to sell music; they are not trying to innovate. That’s what I love about being independent, ‘cause we’ve got full control on innovating.
On the album you have “Black Man,” which is you guys delivering socially conscious raps. What you guys were trying to accomplish with that record?
Price: Michael Jackson gave you “Thriller,” “Remember the Time,” and “Black or White.” Marvin Gaye gave you “What’s Going On” and “Sexual Healing.” So don’t look at Audio Push and think you’re finna just get bars or just get conscious spiritual music.
Oktane: Just respect the art.
Price: Just press play and only expect prestige.
Oktane: We treat audio art like visual art. You don’t go to Basquiat expecting any type of picture, you're just going to enjoy what Basquiat did. Just come and enjoy it, and if you don't enjoy it, skip it. But you are gonna find something you do love on this album.
Price: With “Black Man,” the purpose of it is us wanting to speak on that topic hands-on. On top of bringing awareness to everyone, more so bringing the awareness to other black men. Like wake up black man; wake up. We all gotta do it collectively. We can sit here and speak on the problems, but after we do all that, after all that is done, what are we going to do as a collective to make a change? Not a protesting change, not all that shit that we’ve been doing for years that hasn't done anything. What realistically are we going to come together to do to put our minds, money, and movements to make happen? Because without those three nothing is going to change. Keep your protests, keep all that shit, keep your shirts, keep your Black Lives Matter crap. Without movement, money, and minds there’s not going to be anything. So that’s what “Black Man” is about.
Let's cut the sh*t, there wouldn’t have been no 808s & Heartbreak without Cudi, period.
Kid Cudi recently shouted you guys out.
Price: Cudi is awesome; he just shows us mad love. That isn't even his first time shouting us out. He did a radio interview like a year ago and the person on the radio was like, if you could put a super group together of rappers, and he named us and Logic and that was just huge for us. To know how much of an innovator he is, to know he is that person who will put his album out and know he’s going against everything everyone else is doing but he loves it and owns that shit, that’s what I rock with.
Let's cut the shit, there wouldn’t have been no 808s & Heartbreak without Cudi, period. There was already a Kanye, no question, but what created Yeezy was 808s & Heartbreak. What created So Far Gone was 808s & Heartbreak. Wouldn’t have been none of that without Cudi, and that’s just fact. Price deals all with facts.
Oktane: A lot of OGs are getting to the point right now where they’re just forgetting a lot of shit. But that’s why I fuck with Cudi though because Cudi is not saying nothing that’s…
Oktane: Fake. Everything he’s saying is the truth. For Kanye to get mad Cudi said ‘you’re in the studio with 30 other people,’ that’s just the truth. What are you mad about?
Price: Yeah, you can't really get mad when people respond with facts.
One hot topic right now is this idea that new school rappers have to be knowledgeable about hip-hop; for example Lil Yachty not knowing Pac and Biggie songs. What’s your guy’s take on that?
Oktane: I don’t feel like you have to know shit like that, because we’re in a different era. If the kids don’t spit bars then you just gotta let them go live. Now, would Lil Yachty win in a battle? Lil Yachty obviously don't got no plans of battling niggas so what are we talking about that for? I feel like too many people compare apples to oranges instead of just accepting this kind of art for what it is and if you don't like it, just leave it the fuck alone. I think that would make a lot of things more simple. And you gotta understand we’re dealing with a youth that don’t care about what the big homies think; that’s just the rules now. There are no rules, and a lot of people don't like that.
Price: I totally get that, but another part of me want to slap these lil niggas too. Not saying slap Lil Yachty; they all cool we know them. But I’m saying as far as me I didn’t grow up on... like niggas weren't banging just Rakim and banging Eric B, but what I did was go back and researched it and went back and listened to all of it and sharpened my tools on the Jungle Brothers and different things like that. Why? Because I consider myself a rapper. I consider myself a hip-hop artist. I consider myself a great in this field I’m in.
Oktane: And then it’s also… Lil Yachty started rapping when?
Price: That’s something you hear from people who say they’ve only been rapping a year.
Oktane: “I’ve been rapping a year!” What do you expect?
Price: The people I’m more mad at—no disrespect to you—but it’s the news media, the people who are actually co-signing these people as greats and putting these people on the covers of magazines and shit, which is awesome. I’m not hating on nobody but don't get mad at these kids who are feeling themselves.
They’re not justing throwing anybody in the NBA. You can’t just get on the Lakers or on the Cavs. You can’t just make it to the NFL. You have to be of some type of prestige, you have to have some type of history and a level of skill. Period.
Oktane: This is the one game where you can hit a lucky shot or kick it off your knee, and now you’re known for that and get to wear a jersey. I’m not hating on any of that, but I’m just taking it for what it is.