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de-VICE #2

SPANK ROCK rant a bit to our Tim

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de-VICE #1

spank_rock_3.jpg

interview by tim colman, esq.

Baltimore's Naween Juwan, or Spank Rock, may be the most refreshing act in hip hop at the moment, but it isn't helping him with British customer
service. In the UK while on a European tour, he's having trouble getting a
spoon for his asparagus soup...

"I don't know why she couldn't understand me? Can you understand me alright? I might mumble or something. She was like, 'What? What?' A spoon mother-fucker, I need a spoon. She just gave me a bowl of soup, how am I suppose to eat it?"

He might have trouble getting cutlery but he hasn't had any trouble scoring high-profile gigs. The latest was opening for hip hop's other eccentric group, Gnarls Barkley.

"It was an amazing time, Gnarls Barkley is so big right now, I had no idea," says Juwan. "We did the show and I'm walking in the VIP area and this old man walks by me and says, 'Good show'. I was fresh off stage and I kind of ignored him. My friend was like, 'Yo, he's trying to say you did a good show'. I turned around and I was bugged out. He said, 'My name is David'. I was like, 'I know who the fuck you are'. It was David Byrnes from Talking Heads. Then throughout the night you kept hearing, 'Yo Puffy just walked in, Jay-Z just walked in, Beyonce just walked in'. It was crazy and nice to be part of it."

Juwan will have to get used to these social circles. Recorded with fellow Baltimore native, Alex Epton aka XXXChange, the pair's debut album, YoYoYoYoYoYo, is already being compared to early Missy Elliott and Beastie Boys. Not intending to make an album and without a record label breathing down their neck the relaxed studio environment payed off.

"We were working on it for maybe a year and a half, it was real fun, the most fun of all time," says Juwan. "We didn't have any pressure on us, we made most of the songs not knowing we were going to have to put out an album. We just made most of the songs to impress each other. It's weird now sharing the album and having people say, 'I don't like it'. It's not fair, come on give us a chance."

By and large Spank Rock's corruption of old school hip hop with warped electronica, 80's pop, electro and even rave have met with critical acclaim. With lyrics celebrating the female posterior the energetic beats have inspired a dance craze. Created by a member of the Spank Rock live show the Air Cock Thrust makes for an interesting mosh pit. So popular it even has its own website, aircockthrust.com.

"It's not really a dance, but it turned into a dance," says Juwan. "My other DJ, Ronnie Darko, came up with the Air Cock Thrust a while back. He was getting pissed off with people when he was driving and instead of giving them the finger he would roll by them real slow and thrust his cock in their face. Then he started doing it outside of his car, then all of us started doing it and now it has it's own website. That's how powerful Ron Darko is, no-one knows it yet, but if we don't watch him he's going to take over the world."

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