If you haven't yet heard about local rap duo Sex Party, it isn't because you aren't invited. With their shirtless performances and controversial videos (see "Tylenol Pm" or "Risen Up"), they are as provocative as they are alternative. Their underground status, while abuzz, has an illicit quality to it. For one, you can't even mention the band's name in certain settings. But beyond that is an enigmatic quality that keeps them elusive, niche. Although they're based in New Orleans, they've just wrapped up a second year of SXSW shows and are currently touring the northeast. Like many acts these days, especially ones more avante-hmm in nature, the internet is their true home (sexpartymusic.com for the curious).
Although notoriously averse to interviews, I was able to speak with #FFFFFF (one half of Sex Party, whose name is the HTML code for the color white) about their past, present and future.
WYAT: When and how did Sex Party begin? With such a title, I can't help but wonder, did the title give birth to the band? How conceptual were your origins?
#FFFFFF: Actually, it comes from a sample I pulled from some talk show back when I was exploring the sonic possibilities of musique concrete. The lady was describing "pharm parties," in which teens steal their parents' prescription drugs, pour them into a shared drugs-bowl and, you're not going to believe this, they eat them by the handful and have sex parties. And aren't we all horrified — aren't we?
All I could think of was how my teen years were pretty lame. All that time wasted learning teamwork and respect for authority via high school sports when I could have been eating drugs and banging teenagers.
WYAT: Are there any artists of the past or present whom you feel this band is in direct conversation with? Influences, naturally, but maybe even counter-influences? Folks you're acting in opposition to?
#FFFFFF: We are the intelligible GG Allin. We are the rap Bill Hicks. We are the white Kool Keiths. We are the new pornographers. We are the taller Prince. We are the anti-Macklemore.
WYAT: Who is invited to the party, and why should I come?
#FFFFFF: Everybody, and because ask Kinsey.
WYAT: Talk me through the Sex and the Party. Is there a conscious balance there, or do y'all lean towards one more than the other?
#FFFFFF: Actually it's one word now: Sexparty. Some Canadians beat us to the punch on iTunes, and even though they don't seem to exist as a band any longer, we had no choice but to disambiguate. But, you know, lemonade from lemons, babies from sex, Sexparty from Sex and Party.
WYAT: How do you handle reactions to your videos? Do you set out to evoke certain reactions with each project?
#FFFFFF: With grace! And we can't control how anyone reacts to our videos (we have tried, and it is quite labor-intensive). We can only shout our individual truths into the darkness and hope that they resonate somewhere.
Why does anyone listen to anyone, talking about anything? Usually because the speaker has symmetrical facial features and a strong jaw. My advice is to not listen to these people.
If they are symmetrical and have classical features and they are on TV or whatever, their life is not like ours; it is a chosen life, and what they were chosen to do is make sure things don't change: to preserve the spectacle, to continue routing praise and money to the people and institutions that encourage us to pursue vain and unattainable dreams of stardom, success, and eternal youth. These people are not people. They are organizations that work together to create a simulacrum of a person. Eminem is part Marshall Mathers, part his accountant, part his producers. Beyonce is a corporation. Jay-Z is a business, man. Be a person, and distrust anyone who represents themselves as anything but. Even me. Distrust me. I'm just another lost soul caught in this nightmarish hellscape of beautiful undulating bodies and unyielding hedonistic pleasure and life-changing synesthetic experiences, and I'm trying my best to reveal the truth to you, even though I know I can't, because my truth is not your truth, so even if I told you my truth I would be lying.
Oh, and limit your porn intake. That stuff can warp you something serious. Sex happens between the ears. And between the legs. LOL!
WYAT: What is next on Sex Party's horizon? How can we stay tuned in?
#FFFFFF: Our horizon is so far off that it feels like we'll never reach it! We're working on an LP/double EP called Cocaine and Murder which will explore dualities, dialectics, and the like. We're also working on a Favela Funk EP that we're calling Lorões, which literally means "big blonde men" in Portuguese. DJ Tuna Fist (Sex Party's other half) is going to compose a bunch of favela funk beats, and I'm going to swear in Portuguese the whole time. #art!