Call them drug-addict miscreants. Call them exuberant idiots. Call them offensive, often incomprehensible animals with a penchant for the ridiculous and a taste for filth.
There are a lot of hideous things that you could call Mogliarch the Travesty (government name Zac Negron) and the Weatherman (Sergio Mendez) of rap duo Ghetto Gestapo. But as foul as they may be from time to time, you'd be hard-pressed to call them unoriginal.
They rap about going to space, the dangers of consumerism, and the simple pleasures of being a caveman. And their beats sample everyone from Dusty Springfield to Michael Jackson to the Beach Boys.
Negron (@Zac_Negron) tweets YouTube links to new tracks with messages like, "IF THIS NEW BEAT IM BREWING DOESN'T MAKE YOU FLY. IM GOING TO RUN INTO SELECT FOLLOWERS HOME AND SHOOT MINESELF IN THE BATHROOM."
If this all adds up to what strikes you as a very strange rap group, then you've indeed been paying attention. Because Mendez and Negron are an unapologetic pair of weirdos working in a genre that they hope to rejuvenate and a music scene they hope to reinvent.
These two have been listening to rap for years. They've just released their second album, Mediocre as Fuck. And growing up in Miami, they've watched as their own hometown's hip-hop landscape has become inundated with half-cooked beats and generic lyrics about "your bitch" and "my stacks."
Mendez describes Ghetto Gestapo's music as "What it's like to just be a regular person in Miami. It's us trying to give a proper representation of a real Miami youth. The music is spontaneous and comes natural to us and what we make is influenced by our surroundings. So it's genuinely a sound of Miami."
He goes on to illustrate how their music stands apart from the throngs of hollow groups that produce song after song after song that seem like the same soundtrack for popping bottles at LIV. "So much of what's out there is mass produced, fast food rap. Ghetto Gestapo is a hearty dinner -- mashed potatoes and a chunky steak -- served at a homeless shelter."
Negron expresses an equally vivid view on the mainstream rap game. "People today are just admiring artists they think they're supposed to admire because they're portrayed as divine and they have status. Jay-Z could sit naked in a chair on stage with his dick hanging out and just play "Niggas in Paris" in the background on repeat and no one would boo him.
"Everyone would still just say, 'Oh my God! It's Jay-Z!' You're not enjoying yourself in the show, you're enjoying him. You're partaking in a massive praising of one man.
"We want to take rap back to being art, not just a business. We're making art that we feel is not just entertaining, but art that shows where we're coming from and how we feel about music. It's all about just having a good time without sacrificing substance for ignorance."
-- Travis Cohen