Spank Rock Press Photo 2014

Spank Rock never wanted to be a rapper. All of his heroes are badass guitar-fondling queers who sing songs about incest, aliens, faith and love, but rap was his fate. Naeem Juwan came of age in West Baltimore during the Enlightenment of hip hop, and his bizarre hometown deranged his perception of life for good. It was the summer of 1993, and he was only twelve when Naeem first saw local superhero drag queen MC Miss Tony perform at his best friend’s Bat Mitzvah. She performed two of her Baltimore club hits, “Pull Ya Gunz Out” and “Whassup Whassup,” and the preteens freaked out and sang along. How could he have known that the memory of this performance would come to dominate his subconscious and reveal itself a decade later as one of his most predominant influences?

After permanently relocating to sister slum Philadelphia, Spank Rock released his debut album, YoYoYoYoYo (2006), on U.K. label Big Dada, and it became a cult classic. Produced by XXXChange, YoYoYoYoYo deconstructed the genre and created a new world of possibilities for hip hop. The duo became known as international indie rap trailblazers with a fearless drive for creative exploration and a diverse list of influences.

Spank Rock’s music reeks of freedom. His concept EP Bangers & Cash (2008), produced by fledgling pop producer Benny Blanco, paid homage to freedom fighter Uncle Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew. His self-released sophomore LP, Everything Is Boring And Everyone Is A Fucking Liar (2011), plays like Spank Rock’s initiation into superhero clan The Invisibles. Teleporting from Philly noise rock (“DTF DADT”), to German techno (“#1 Hit”), to New Orleans sissy bounce (“Nasty ft. Big Freedia”), swinging from the bawdy to the brazenly political, the album confirms Spank Rock’s commitment to creating music that is experimental, soulful and wild.