If left in the suburbs to its own devices, hip-hop can really turn into something pretty fucking hilarious. For proof, look no further than one of the punchline verses of headbanging, rhyme-spitting squad Terminally Ill. Trust us when we say the appeal of this band is their ability poke fun at themselves, their white-bred culture and any remotely serious genre with a beat. It's one of those groups that has gotten shit by so many different scenes that they in turn shit on everybody in their lyrics--bros, hardcore rappers, hip indie rockers, etc.
Started in 2010, founding members Ryan Risetter (aka Dank Nasty), Steffen Burati (aka Chill Nye) met as disgruntled Target employees and eventually got together with a few other friends (the roster is lengthy and interesting--Loren Mesick aka Princess Nasty, Chris Rock aka P-Town Skrillionaire, Anton Bartolic aka Twon Solo, Trent Northern aka Trizzent Reprizzent, John Doherty aka J. Diddy and Ashley Rakes aka Hashley) to form a group that could focus on shining a light on the humor and wackness of their upper crust existence. Add that to a fire-fed compulsion to create mosh pits with punk power chords and you've got a recipe for one of the most energized, uncensored, unaccepted acts we've encountered in a while. They also happen to have some pretty awesome music videos that illustrate what they're about pretty in pretty damn clear fashion. Before they play tonight at Malone's we grabbed three of their music videos along with commentary from the band about their crazy video shoots and about how their readiness to change the wise-cracking suburban rap game.
For people in cities likeHuntington Beach
where spoiled twentysomethings roam the skies above the highway in lifted trucks, a song like "Bro Anthem" is the first reason why this band should be on your radar. Not only are they able to introduce their sick (and we mean siiiiick) flows to the masses, but they also don't quit until they've thoroughly mocked every ounce of bro culture. What started out as a joke eventually started getting some serious praise on YouTube.
"When we did "Bro Anthem," but we didn't have an actually live band, we were just kinda fucking around and so we just decided to make a music video for the Bro Anthem and it turned out way better than anyone would've ever thought and people actually liked it," Burati says. That pretty much goes for the actual music they're making as well.
"We're trying to be the antithesis for that stupid movement of people coming out that say shit like "yeah, we're like progressive, post, chill wave," he says."We try not to take ourselves too seriously."
Ever wonder about the phrenology of a stoner white kid from the nice side of town? Look no further than this track, and it's video with some hilarious examples of why its a hard knock life for a white guy rap game. Especially for bunch of motherfuckers as live as these guys.
"We're too hip-hop for the punk scene and we're white. We're universally not accepted in any scene which is part of the reason why we're not arrogant yet," Burati says. "But give us a few albums we'll see."
In some cases, the white boy problems that happened during the video, inloved more the physical production than societal infrastructure. "Our friend Brandon works at Medieval Times, he's trying to become a stuntman and wanted to just be in our video," says Reisetter. "We hit him with a truck, that didn't make the final cut, and we also pushed him down a flight of stairs for the video."
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Box of Wine
Nothing says class like a colostomy bag of Merlot wrapped in cardboard. A staple of the low tier alcohol world will always be a box of wine, but believe it or not, this spirit is a bonafide symbol of white trash luxury, which Terminally Ill is always happy to celebrate. They did so with a video shoot that played out like a wild house party fueled by come cleverly masked two-buck chuck. When asked about their penchant for this dubious alcoholic invention, their love for it was palpable.
"This stuff is like 10 bucks and carries about six-and-a half bottles of wine. That gets four our five people drunk at 2 dollars a piece," Risetter says. "I mean you feel like shit, but I always feel like shit."
Terminally Ill plays at 11 p.m. at Malone's in Santa Ana. 21+. $5 cover.