Who? This duo of crunchy vegan MCs met while traveling the Philadelphia and New Jersey hardcore scenes in the late-’90s. Bryan Poerner a.k.a. B Awesome and Rick Mitchell’s Distro took their shared love of indie rock and hip-hop beatmaking to the extreme, opting to mash samples from both genres together and rhyme over the pulverized tracks. After a MySpace related run-in with their namesake, they abbreviated the project’s original name, the Yah Mos Def, into just the YMD. Excuse Me, This is the Yah Mos Def?, the band’s debut long-player, drops Feb. 12 via My Pal God.
What’s the Deal? Since the release of their now out-of-print debut EP, 2005’s Plays for Ugly Suckers, the YMD have been uniting hardcore hipsters and B-Boys up and down the East Coast. Excuse Me, This is the Yah Mos Def features a laundry list of pop culture references (The Wonder Years’ Kevin Arnold, Dennis Hopper, Paris Hilton) and samples from the likes of Bikini Kill and Minor Threat. Whether they’re dropping hyper bass lines (“Jive Like Jehu”) or paying tribute to some of the NBA’s finest (“Stockton to Malone”), the YMD’s wildly awesome mashups are ready to rock you.
Fun Fact: Aside from dropping rhymes, B Awesome is quite the athlete. For three years, he trained for the Olympic Marathon, averaging 115 miles a week. Although he didn’t make the cut for the 2004 U.S. team, he resumed his work as a producer for his own Trackstar label. He also owns a bag design company, Track+Field.
Now Hear This:
The YMD – “New Direction” DOWNLOAD MP3
On the Web:
The YMD at MySpace