It’s Brooklyn rap at its finest, sprinkled with philosophical musing and psychedelic influence.
Often mentioned with Joey Bada$$ and Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers are at the forefront of new-wave rap from the other side of the country — known as the “Beast Coast” movement. When Issa Gold and AK spoke with EW, they briefly forgot Oregon was in the U.S., but, more importantly, they remembered there is “good weed” in nearby Portland, which is enough for me.
Smoking pot is important to this rap duo — it’s what originally brought them together in high school. But years later, more than a shared interest in recreational substances has kept them together.
“The main reason we make music is to unite the people of Earth and create a better reality for everyone and sort of cleanse our karma with good intentions and actions,” rapper Gold says. “I rap about philosophy, enlightenment and karma because those are the things we live.”
Recent success on Brainfeeder, an L.A.-based record label founded by electronic musician and producer Flying Lotus, inspired international attention to the duo before the second album Evermore: The Art of Duality dropped Sept. 25.
Of course, the concept of duality is familiar territory in their songwriting. They sample “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones on “The Proclamation,” though Gold says he doesn’t listen to much classic rock.
“I listen to a lot of indie rock bands like Local Natives, Ruby Suns and My Morning Jacket,” Gold says. “I also listen to this London artist, Sampha, almost every day.”
Pouya and the Buffet Boys, Kirk Knight and Bodega Bamz join The Underachievers 8 pm Saturday, Oct. 3, at WOW Hall; $18 adv., $20 door.