Los Angeles is a vibrant city, brimming with all sorts of musical talent. From The Pharcyde to Black Hippy, the city has been known to churn out the best and brightest personalities in rap. The next generation’s dynamic group of rappers comes in the form of a quartet known as Overdoz. Consisting of some zany dudes named Joon, Kent Jamz, P, and Cream, the laidbackness and eccentricity in each of their personalities truly reflects the L.A. vibe—and their music is definitely no exception.
Their forthcoming album, titled 2008, features production from the likes of Pharrell Williams, T.H.C., and Terrace Martin, and is bound to make noise amongst feel-good rap fans, not only in the West Coast circuit, but all over the globe. A feature from Polo Grounds labelmate A$AP Ferg doesn’t do any harm in that regard either. Their singles so far, like the Ferg-assisted cut “F**k Yo’ DJ,” their Pharrell-produced “Last Kiss,” and “Rich White Friends” display a rare lightheartedness that falls somewhere in between fun, ignorant rap, and just pure funk. As they delve into their upbringing, it begins to make sense how they act in such a fashion. From adventures at Miami’s K.O.D. to studio sessions with Skateboard P, Overdoz certainly has some stories to back up their reputation as the wild bunch from the City of Angels.
Mass Appeal: How would you describe your lifestyle and the dynamic of the group?
Kent: We’re just some free spirited cool L.A. guys. We’re fun and like to have a good time. We like to go out, we like to chill. Most of the chicks we meet these days tell us, “Yo, you gave me my first blunt!”
Joon: They give us the whole hippy thing, but we kinda beatnicks, not hippies.
P: We just good, cool dudes, but if you piss us off or get on our bad side—
Cream: It’s not gon’ be nice for you. If one of us doesn’t mess with you, none of us do.
So, why choose the name 2008? What was so significant about that year to name an album after it?
P: That was the first year we decided to do music seriously and making it a career. It was just a crazy year for music. 2008 was a breakthrough year for us you could say.
Kent: That was the year we made our mind up. We knew it was going to be a big year for all of us. It was just a crazy year for music that really set the tone. We were listening to Erykah Badu’s album, N.E.R.D.’s Seeing Sounds, Lil Wayne, 808’s & Heartbreaks, etc.
What led to the actual naming of the album?
Joon: We came up with that name around 2012.
P: I think one day we were listening to our song, “2008,” and thought it would be tight.
Kent: It was a series of events. We were moving from house to house and going broke over studio time. Some days, all four of us were not eating but at the studio from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some people would identify it as grind mode, but that’s all we knew at the time, and all we cared to know. We were all going through rough times in our lives, but it never showed. The way that we dealt with those rough times was friendship. It’s what keeps us together as a group.
Is the brotherhood established within the group similar to that of a gang
P: We’re not exactly like a gang; we don’t go around just fucking people up, but we know the whole lifestyle and it’s a part of who we are. We believe in ourselves and believe in each other. It’s a part of who we are.
Kent: There’s not necessarily a gang to compare to, but we’re from a place home to over 400 gangs, so it’s easy for us to compare us to a gang, but we are more so like our fathers because we did all have our fathers in our lives.
Joon: We played sports, and most people in gangs didn’t play sports. We were just blessed to listen to music and play sports because we had our dads there.
You have a song called “Killer Tofu.” What about Doug do you guys like so much?
Kent: When I heard the beat, it was a slower record at first, then they turned the pitch up and I said, “Bro, I feel like I’m 13 years old watching Doug, and The Beets just came out with a new song.” Quail-Man was dope too. His best friend was black (technically turquoise) and his bitch was black! The Beets was the best part…maybe his agent persona—Jack Bandit!
Any other favorite cartoons?
[Everyone chaotically yells out] Ninja Turtles, Recess, Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, Digimon, Lloyd in Space, Angry Beavers, Catdog, Invader Zim, etc.
Kent: I didn’t like Ed, Edd, and Eddy, it was just too stupid. [The rest of the group yells at Kent in disagreement]
When working with Pharrell for this album, were there any expectations with him? Were they met?
Kent: A hit! I know that if we do a Pharrell song, it’s gonna be tight! Once he started doing the basslines, we knew it was over. We wrote it within 20-30 minutes. The process was three different studios in the house, and this dude was working with three artists at a time. We knocked it out so fast, that we ended up making more records. We ended up keeping just one—not that we didn’t want to keep the other record, it’s just Pharrell records cost a little more than a Terrace Martin record. But as far as it being organic and quick—not a bad quick, it was just too easy. He was a real fan of our music, and he already knew what he wanted to do with us.
Cream: He really is that guy. He’s gonna talk for at least five hours.
Joon: He was really big on education—his mom is a teacher. Kent: He told us to pay attention to diction and punctuation, that the best records are normally able to be sung by children—not that it’s a child song, but it’s just so easy to relate to that even a child could sing to it.
You also worked with Terrace Martin, who is becoming a new go-to guy for this modern G-Funk sound. How is it working with him?
P: He came up under all of that. He’s the most reachable dude. He’s still young enough to reach out to cats like us. Almost every project we worked on, he’s reached out. We started working with him in 2010. Terrace is that kinda dude that likes to son niggas.
Cream: He let Joon use his car one night!
Joon: That’s true. That’s the time that Carl got mad. So I’m bigging up my man Carl to Terrace like, “The homie Carl always got some kush, he grows kush, blah, blah, blah.” He shows up, and we ‘bout to smoke some kush with Terrace, and Terrace was like, “That’s all you got? I though you was the kush nigga!” And he got so hot—he walked home! [Laughs]
Kent: That’s why I love Terrace. We can joke with Terrace all day.
There is clearly a funk influence present with you guys. Where does that come from?
Cream: That’s Terrace, man!
Kent: My dad booked Parliament Funkadelic for his 1977 homecoming dance at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia. He still has the newspaper at the house. I’m from Georgia, so James Brown is God out there, and that’s my favorite artist of all time.
Joon: I come from gangsta rap, and that’s all Parliament—all of those basslines. That’s all my dad plays: gangsta rap and funk. [The funk] is damn near lost now, but that’s where Terrace comes in. We just let the producers do what they do. They know the sound, they know the basslines. We pride ourselves on beat selection. We’ve always worked with the same producers.
It’s safe to say that you guys are all sports fans, since a lot of you played in high school and Joon played Division 1 college ball. What do you guys think was one of the greatest moments in sports history that you witnessed in your lifetime?
Kent: When Kobe and Jordan guarded each other in the all-star game. I remember the flu game, when Jordan crossed the fuck out of Byron Russell. When Reggie Bush was at USC, that was a good time in sports. Even though that technically never happened.
Joon: There was a period in football when the celebration dances was turnt! When Terrell Owens was on the ‘9ers and signed that football.
Cream: [Joe Horn of the Saints] was pullin’ out the phone at the end zone! I’m a Packers fan, Joon is Raiders, P is Saints, and Kent is Falcons.
A Saints fan and a Falcons fan in the same group? Wow, how does that even work?
P: I only text [Kent] when we win.
Kent: This last year, when we won at the last second, P never hit me back!
Describe your experience at the infamous King of Diamonds in Miami.
P: We weren’t gonna go at first, but our producer called saying, “I’ll give you guys a hundred dollars each—and I’m getting bottles…and if you don’t come, you a bitch!” I gave him $70 back. I only gave them hoes $30!
Kent: It was too lit. It must’ve been a Wednesday. I threw down all of the one hundred dollars. I paid a bitch to take a picture with me, and she told me she’d “be right back.” [Laughs] But foreal, we need to hit up Tootsie’s!
Cream: First of all, this was first time I got a dance from a midget stripper! A girl was dancing on stage with her tampon hangin’ out! We saw a boxing match in there too…in a big-ass ring…just throwing hands, boxing. No gelatin!
Photo courtesy of Polo Grounds Music/RCA Records