Meet Ho99o9, The Unpindownable Punk-Metal-Rap Duo

Eaddy (left) and theOGM (right) of Ho99o9.

Ascribing a genre to Ho99o9—whose name is leetspeak for “Horror”—is not an easy task. A Google search yields an equal number of results describing their sound as “experimental hip-hop” and “punk.” Even the band seems unsure. “We’re everything that you look up and see,” says Eaddy, one half of the Los Angeles–based duo. “All of it.” Raised in New Jersey on a diet of hip-hop and music of the African diaspora—jazz, doo-wop, cumbia—the band’s members weren’t always so genre agnostic. “Nobody was listening to rock back then,” says theOGM, Ho99o9’s other half. “It was strictly hardcore rap, and if you listened to anything else, they’d call it ‘white boy music.’” But rock was fed to them over the years on MTV, where they would catch System of a Down and Marilyn Manson videos while waiting for DMX. As the two friends grew older, they found themselves hopping the PATH train into Manhattan and seeing where the night took them. Their first forays were to pop-punk shows, then eventually into the hardcore scene, where getting hit by someone led to a mosh pit instead of a fight—and where the idea of “white boy music” lost its meaning entirely. In the years since, Ho99o9 has turned the spirit of being unsearchable into a mission. Their latest release, Cyber Cop [Unauthorized MP3.], takes the Internet as its primary inspiration and subject matter. The EP’s seven songs—and accompanying digital zine—chew on the dovetailing wonders and dangers of life online with tracks such as “Is It Safe to Internet? (unknown virus1.)” and “Delete My Browser History (unknown virus 6.).” But it is the snarling mantra of “Internet Thuggin’ (unknown virus 2.)” that best sums up their ethos: “There is no rules.”