On an inconspicuous rooftop in the South End, onlookers from below might have believed it was just drunk college kids enjoying the summer night.
In reality, there was a much bigger bacchanal.
At the height of the MONEY$HOT release party for their new album The Bunk LP the glaring lights of cop cars disrupted the rampant beer funneling and before any more 40s could be chugged, the party was shut down.
Certainly a memorable start for a group just releasing its first album.
Bling, stacking papers, and an over consumption of both weed and women are prominent themes in the rap scene. Lil Wayne, Drake and 2 Chainz are all about the drugs and riding round and getting it. However, as of late, a new subgenre of young rappers is coming on the scene that is splitting from the stereotypical “thuglyfe’ persona. Instead, they’re embracing the educated college-boy rap character.
Mike Boone, an Emerson senior visual and media arts major, Crosby Lawerence, an Ithaca College student, and Gavin Payne (aka G Rex), a Frostburg State University English major make up MONEY$HOT. Originally meeting in high school, the trio quickly decided that they could create a much better sound than that of current musicians.
“We met high at school. I mean at high school, and then we were listening to Drake one day and we were like, ‘Damn, what’s good with the rap game right now?’ And then we started listening to Wolf Eyes and Lil B and decided that we were way triller than Pit Bull and then G Rex killed Sean Paul while he was a cop and things got real,” Boone explains.
Boone is referring to the “Rest in Peace Sean Paul” video that is currently at 12,324 views on YouTube. The song explains that G Rex, as a cop, killed musician Sean Paul.
“Rest in peace, Sean Paul/I am a cop and I killed Sean Paul” is the chorus repeated in the video as G Rex takes over the mic during work at Wendy’s—which quickly became his last day. The scene switches back to G Rex rapping in a field dressed as a police officer and straddling what appears to be a rifle.
Although the video has reached popularity online, “Rest in Peace Sean Paul” does not make an appearance in The Bunk LP.
Even though all three members are spread around the country, Boone ensures that the distance between them makes no difference.
“The group is never separated because the based energy is all around us. The Internet is a palpable form of this energy,” Boone said.
When the group is together, the creation of the rhymes is an interesting process.
“It all starts with a blunt, and then me and C-Law just lay down some beats that would make John Lennon roll over in his grave. By then, G Rex has usually funneled one too many beers and we gotta get him back in the game, but then he spits more fire than Jay Gatsby got diamonds.”
While other rap music relies on an audience that chooses to lay around, smoke some ganja, and lay back or roll down the street in their Honda Civic nodding to the beats, MONEY$HOT seems to seek an audience that wants to dance while doing keg stands.
“It’s definitely influenced by things you haven’t heard of before, so in that respect, I would describe our sound as ‘esoteric.’”
And indeed, the sound that MONEY$HOT has adopted for their album is not entirely common.
In “The Funnel Song,” an ode to funneling beer, MONEY$HOT creates a song that makes the listener have an overwhelming desire to grab a funnel and start chugging to win. If a rubber tube is out of reach, a head nod in time with the beats will just have to do.
In “Salted”, MONEY$HOT chimes in on the recent summer hype over the cannabaliism-causing bath salts.
“Feelin like a zombie cuz we just smoked bath salts/Pourin out a forty for my homie who died on bath salts.” Like any good hit these days the chorus in this song can grow tiresome in the constant repetition.
“MONEY$HOT is our life. MONEY$HOT’s plans for the future are to sell out at the first opportunity and use the money to get bigger and bigger in the experimental hip hop game until we are running everything. We plan on many more shows, both hip hop and DJ sets, and many more albums to come. We are the new lifeblood of experimental hip hop so don’t forget the name,” said Boone.