By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
Together known as the experimental rap duo The Knux, they drew critical notice while touring with Common last summer, and Rolling Stone recently slapped four stars on The Knux's challenging, electronic-influenced debut, Remind Me In Three Days . . . Though their affinity for throwback '80s duds, big gold chains, and oversized spectacles has them tarred with the "hipster rap" label, The Knux cite their production skills and chops on live instruments (guitar, bass, synthesizers, and others) as proof of their ability to defy genres. With good reason, as Remind Me in Three Days . . . is as musically varied a hip-hop album as you'll hear this year, equally comfortable employing rock hooks ("Playboys"), techno-industrial beats ("Shine Again") and throwback-dance melodies ("Bang! Bang!"), which Krispy proudly notes get play in local electro clubs. Further, both brothers are excellent MCs who are quick with the double-entendres, such as on the stomping first single "Cappuccino." ("I need a fresh cappuccino with a mocha twist/ Hey, miss.")
After acquiring their musical talents in school marching band and jazz band, The Knux began recording rap songs with their uncle, a New Orleans producer. They say they developed an interest in electronica while hanging out at raves hawking Ecstasy and mushrooms. When Katrina hit, they were in Dallas, and the brothers returned to find their apartment building burned to the ground. "We heard that a bum was trying to seek refuge in our house, and used the fireplace to warm himself up," says Al. Having lost everything, they moved to Houston and continued sending out demos.
The charismatic pair was pursued by a handful of imprints, and was even managed for a time by Beyoncé's father, Matthew Knowles. Eventually, Eminem manager Paul Rosenberg took over as their manager and brought them to Interscope, where chairman Jimmy Iovine ceded to their demands of total creative control. "Basically, they trust us to make good music," says Krispy.
The real fun began upon their arrival in L.A. two years ago, when the guys moved into a "stupid huge-ass house" in the Hollywood Hills and began throwing "Mötley Crüe-style" parties. Al says their shindigs typically feature impromptu performances from The Knux and their musician friends, a vast array of controlled substances, and party-goers of all shapes and sizes. "Imagine everyone from socialite girls to muthafuckers we just scooped off the street, to hood-ass fuckin' New Orleans motherfuckers to straight wanna-be hipster motherfuckers."
Remind Me in Three Days . . .'s title comes from anti-virus warnings that kept popping up on their computer, but it also refers to The Knux's lifestyle, in general. "It's like, 'Whatever important you have to tell me, remind me in three days, because I'm about to get crazy this whole weekend," Al says. Tommy Lee can surely relate.