Published on April 25th, 2022


If one were to peek at the work of lauded music photographer Glen E. Friedman – with zero knowledge of the world beyond the images – it wouldn’t be farfetched to think that punk rock and hip-hop were easy bedfellows. While both tribes charted futures in line with their aesthetically different agendas, they have always shared a volatile, rebellious creative spark.

So when an outfit like Ho99o9 makes it to the decade mark, hip-hoppers and punks alike can rejoice knowing that two kings from Newark, New Jersey heard the call and responded. Pronounced “horror,” in case the flipped 666 threw you off, the duo of Eaddy and theOGM have been rebranding youthful anger and positive release since discovering punk rock in their late teens.

It’s accurate enough to say Ho99o9 blend the DIY ethos and extremism of punk rock with hip-hop’s raw energy and production know-how. But the truth is more about taking it back in time to the early days Friedman catalogued, to the exact moment the tribes diverged, and forging an entwined path to now.

Their 2015 debut album, “Dead Bodies in the Lake,” was a concise, under-30-minute missile of pisstivity and laid the groundwork for a richly layered and abrasive follow-up, 2017’s “United States of Horror.” The latter recalls the visceral distrust of MDC, the psychedelics of the Butthole Surfers, the prescience of Dead Prez and Ministry’s anguish. Ho99o9’s latest, “Skin,“ is already revving the rage engines since it dropped in March.

Live, Ho99o9 have gone full nontraditional: redefining rules at the Afropunk Festival, popping the Faygo two-liters at the Gathering of the Juggalos, putting the hurt on British Papa Roach fans (who they were touring with). Shit, they’ve even been kicked off the Warped Tour. They are intense in the sweaty way a crowded punk show or a freestyling cypher with street cred on the line should be. They’re the reason you jumped into your first mosh pit or told a cop to fuck off.

Ho99o9 perform with N8NOFACE 8pm Friday, May 6 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. ho99o9.com ~ Abel Folgar