If Horseshoe Gang were standing for election, their manifesto would be simple: make Hip Hop great again by keeping trap music out. Any floating voters would soon be won over after the gang play their trump card – new album Anti-Trap Music.
“You turn on the radio and almost every rap artist is talking about trap this and trap that. If you love Hip Hop, you will understand that it’s actually setting the culture back because it’s irresponsible music", says Demetrious, spokesman for the anti-trap music movement he and his brothers Dice, Kenny and Julius have started.
“If Tupac was alive this wouldn’t be going on", he continues, and maybe he is right. It is hard to picture the current trend of rappers in skin-tight jeans drawling lean-soaked lyrics about selling everything short of their grandma thriving under the watchful eye of the Hip Hop Messiah.
However, with trap music now being an uncontrollable beast snaking its way through record labels and radio stations before burrowing into the eardrums of millions of people around the globe, returning Hip Hop to a semblance of its former glory will require more than just a fancy campaign slogan.
Luckily the quartet from Long Beach, California, have credentials that could rival some of Hip Hop’s current front-runners. A decade strong in the industry, Horseshoe Gang have a hefty back catalogue that includes four albums and a mixtape series which saw them release a project a month for an entire year – each with a different theme.
Then in 2015 they found themselves basking in glory after an impressive showing on Sway in the Morning, which lead to a rap battle with Hopsin‘s Funk Volume. Not content with riding the giddy waves of fan adulation, the crew – who are also younger brothers of KXNG Crooked aka Crooked I of Slaughterhouse fame – decided that if they were to be propelled forward, they would bring the culture with them.
“We’re just trying to clean up the industry and kick this door in and bring other rappers with us who can change the complexion of the culture", explains Demetrious when asked about Horseshoe Gang’s master plan. That said if you are expecting a project bursting at the seams with bubble-gum tracks or something teetering on the brink of becoming a gospel rap offering you couldn’t be further from the truth.
Anti-Trap Music cleverly avoids coming across as preachy or sanctimonious while at the same time showcases lyrical prowess over production fit for shattering your speakers. Whether it is declaring they want their beats on slap via "I Want", raging at the police on "Shoe-icide Squad", more reflective moments courtesy of "Falling" or rapping double-time on "Crooked I Robot"; the guys manage to prove why fans of the art form deserve more than what the so-called trap acts are offering.
Putting together a cohesive project reflective of all four members’ personalities is no mean feat when you consider how different they appear to be. Kenny the laidback stoner; Julius the level-headed drinker and teetotallers Dice (the goon) and Demetrious (the spokesman) make an incredible team, which could be down to their superpower – telepathy. “The fact we are all brothers is almost an unfair advantage when you compare us to other rap groups. We almost don’t even have to talk or discuss things because we know each other so well", says Demetrious.
Still on the campaign trail for the album release on 29 April 2016, Horseshoe Gang make it clear: “If you’re tired of hearing your kids signing songs around the house that’s talking about pushing crack, get our new album!”
By: Taytula Burke
The Horseshoe Gang‘s album "Anti-Trap Music" is released on Friday 29th April through Seven 13 Music & Entertainment.
- iTunes for Anti-Trap Music: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/anti-trap-music/id1089677908
- Online theyre on Twitter & Instagram @HorseshoeGang and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/horseshoegangcob
- Website http://horseshoegang.net
Crooked I Robot