Last Wednesday, HipHopDX spoke with the Interscope Records-signed duo Audio Push, comprised of rappers Oktane and Pricetag. With the single “Teach Me How to Jerk,” the two musicians are the latest artists to bring jerk dancing to the media spotlight. Yet both emcees assert that Audio Push is much more than another dance group.
“Our name is Audio Push,” they said. “Originally, our name was the Push, but we switched our name…because everybody was trying to figure out…’What kind of music do you guys make? Is it rap? Is it this? Is it that?’ [With] our producers, [what] we came up with that our sound is audio because audio is sound, audio is music and we feel we are music. That’s our sound, so with our album, you’re going to get alternative, you’re going to get R&B…you’re going to get hard rap music, you’re going to get soul music. You’re going to get it all, but it’s still going to be us on every song…you’re going to be able to feel it.”
Oktane and Pricetag first connected over their mutual love of rapping and krump dancing at an early age. As the two young artists began to work together more and more, they eventually found strength in numbers and formed Audio Push.
“We’ve known each other since I was in sixth grade and Oktane was in seventh grade,” said Pricetag. “We were always around music and dancing. When I was in sixth grade, that’s when [krump dancing] was fresh. Everybody was doing the krump thing, and that’s how we really met…we became friends because we were partners in krumping…that’s how we connected. It was through the dancing and the music, because we both used to rap in middle school.”
Partner Oktane later added, “[Our connection] is actually kind of the way we ended up becoming a group. We were both solo artists when we first met each other…I was doing my thing, he was doing his. When we would do shows, he would be my hype-man to my songs, and when he would do his songs, I would be his hype-man...and it clicked so well on the stage…that everybody was like ‘Yo, you guys have really got something…are you guys a group?’ So I guess the chemistry [between us] is always there…we almost don’t even have to talk to each other about the song. The beat will come on, Price will know ‘Ok, I’m going to do this hook on this song.’ The only thing we ever even really talk about is ‘Which verse do you want to do, first or second?’”
The two California natives also explained the origins of jerk dancing. They said that younger generations appropriated the dance from gangbangers, giving it flashier and more youth-oriented spin. Nowadays, jerk dancing has proved to be a positive influence for kids looking for a creative outlet.
“Unlike a lot of other dances, there was no founder of jerking,” explained Pricetag. “It as actually a dance that gangbangers were doing. That was their little hood dance that they would do because they thought they were too cool to be doing the other dances. They didn’t do it like the new generation does it…the new generation took that [dance] and turned it into a positive thing to do at parties and just to do for fun.”
Oktane added, “A lot of people are seeing that this is just something that’s fun to do. It’s like when Soulja Boy dropped “Crank Dat.” Everybody was doing [the dance] because it was a dope dance to do with jumps [and] with music to do it to. That’s really what [jerk dancing] is and that’s what’s making it catch so much fire because young people are into it, like ‘Yo, this is on and let’s take advantage of it and make it huge.’”
As one of the groups spearheading an increased youth movement in Hip-Hop, Audio Push feel that the music industry is teetering on the edge of a youth-lead musical revolution.
“If it’s done the correct way, the people will have a very strong voice in music for the simple fact that no one understands us yet,” noted Pricetag. “If it’s quality music, people are going to respect it, and that’s it. That’s where we come into play…because us being young [allows us to] make the quality music that we make and that you’re going to hear on our album. The world and the industry is going to have to respect the youth movement and these new generations, period. [There’s] going to be great, great music coming from us…it’s just going to be a storm.”