We Locked Ourselves in a Sun-Baked Van With Audio Push for an Hour
On a scorching day in Portland, Oregon, I met up with Inland Empire natives and HS87 members Price and Oktane, otherwise known as Audio Push. For some reason we chose to do the interview in their Mercedes Sprinter Van which was parked on one of the busiest streets in town. The two were in the front seat bumping a new track from Chance The Rapper, commenting on how he’s switching his sound up. At this point, the air conditioning is blasting and the heat isn’t bothering us one bit. Once the interview starts, we roll the windows up and turn off the A/C so the recorder can pick up their voices (Oktane is soft-spoken). This was perhaps a bad idea.
The following interview reveals what we discussed on that hot day, in the hot van, while they were literally in hot seats. Read on to hear about Audio Push's upcoming album, their recent encounter with Macklemore, and to find out who was the first person to ever rap over a Hit-Boy beat.
The first time we met was at SXSW after a pool party. You were with the entire HS87 clique that day; y’all are all pretty good friends, correct?
Price: Yeah. The whole clique, we've been on Hit-Boy for our whole careers, we've been knowing him. Oktane was actually the first person to rap on Hit-Boy’s beats... when he was 13. Hit-Boy's the one who actually told us to be a group. So we've been knowing all of them forever, since MySpace days. Like no BS. So these niggas been on our Top 8s and shit.
Wait. Hit-Boy was on your top 8?
Price: Hell yeah! Oktane was on Hit-Boy’s, I wanted to be!! This is when he had like a Jennifer Lopez placement, and Pussycat Dolls, he'd been in the game. But he's been our homie so it's definitely like organic family shit.
This tour van is decked out. We've been in here for about 15 minutes and one thing I can tell about you guys is A, you're chill, and B, you're best friends. Would you say that's true?
Price: Definitely. Yeah, it's like on accident. I don't even feel he's my friend really.
Oktane: Yeah, it's almost like we're real brothers. How like, you know you're gonna be around that person.
So would you be each other's No. 1 on MySpace?
Price: We were each other's No. 1! We've been knowing each other since middle school, now it's like brothers. Like we don't have to be around each other.
Oktane: Yeah, we don't have to be around each other every day… nothin' will fall off. Even after a week, two weeks, doesn't matter how much time, we're right back to it.
So you guys get to put up with each other for a couple months, on the Paisley Summer Tour. You were in Seattle last night and ran into Macklemore. Did he get on stage?
Price: No, he just came out, kicked it. Which was ill, which was enough, just come out and show love. That was our first time really meeting him.
You think you'll cross paths again, like, musically?
Oktane: I’m sure.
Price: Yeah, I'm sure, because he's definitely on top of shit and we're on our way up there. But whatever happens, happens. I like that he just makes music that's about him, for him, like shit with a message, so I'm big on that. But you know, who knows? We're open.
The other day you dropped the video for "Parade." How are you feeling about the response?
Oktane: It's dope. People are seeing it, that's what we wanted. It's been MTV Jams a grip! That's probably the most stoked I've ever been about it 'cause I’m always getting hit up about it being on there. So that's dope, the reception about it is dope.
Where were you when you first saw the video up?
Price: I was in the studio. I still haven't seen it on TV. I see people talking about it, so that's the sick part. And it just premiered on 106 & Park. So that was beasty. But we were on this bus so we didn't even get to see it.
Oktane: It's hot as shit in this van.
Price: Yeah it’s hot as shit right now... But yo, the reception has been crazy because the song means a lot to us, it has a real message and shit, so the fact that people are even rockin with it, Chris Brown randomly just tweeted it on his own, shit like that. It's dope, it's fresh.
*The two yell “G-Eazy lookin ass!” as their tour photographer snaps a picture of them in the hot van.*
When can we expect the merch from the Parade video, the If You've Got the Heart For It, Come March For It… cuz we’re gunna need that.
Price: Ok so I was thinking of wearing the Come March For It shirt tonight. We're droppin that when we get off tour. We only made the ones for the video, and the ones we could wear on tour, but we got a snap for you! The merch is coming, we're actually putting the whole thing together.
*Price yells “Damn she’s wedgied out!!” as a female with underwear reaching up to the inner most crevices of her buttocks passes by.*
Price: Anyway, we're excited about it. All we wear is our clothes, so we want to get it out to the people so they can start rockin' it.
You guys are pretty motivational. You're kinda preachin' to the Twitter streets, you're really conscious of how you speak and what you put out there. What's the motivation behind that?
Price: Just the fact that I know that there is a few people who are watching what we say, cause we have thousands of followers, we don’t have the most, but we actually have people who watch so I'm like, there are 12-year-olds, there are 18-year-olds, there are 30-year-olds, and if I'm sayin' something I want it to stand for something, or just be something I genuinely feel. For me I just say what I really feel, whether that's conscious or if it's like “Hey, this song's shitty,” I mean whatever it is, it's something I genuinely feel and for the most part it just comes off positive.
Oktane: I'll say that a lot of people on the internet take way too much too serious, but for the stuff that I do give off, most of it comes from random thoughts I have or some stupid shit I'll see somebody do, and I'll just wonder like why they do that. Or just some shit that I am dealing with. Just whatever I'm thinking, whether that's conscious, smart, cool, funny, not funny, about a shitty song or something like, just whatever we're feeling. We just try to keep it as toned up as possible because we cuss a lot in real life.
Price: But I wanna not cuss so much in real life honestly, I hate it. I like to cuss when I wanna cuss, I wanna be able to turn it off and on better. But see on Twitter, and when you're typing, you can control more.
Oktane: A lot of people don't realize the influence they have as far as the internet. Like that number is people. So say something positive, at least, if you're going to say anything. If not, then just shut up.
I saw on Twitter that some girl was at work and some 30-year-old guy in the break room started blasting you guys. I thought that was sick.
Oktane: Yeah, that was pretty dope, that's crazy.
Price: That's stuff that like, we can't take for granted, you know? I mean because before, we were at a high. I mean everywhere we went, I feel like we didn't take it for granted, but we just didn't know how to...
Oktane: React to it and appreciate it, and to even like, turn that into a following.
Price: I feel like that we didn't capitalize on it. There were so many people that were in love with us at the time, we were young, we didn't know. We weren't listening to so many people tell us how to do this, or what to do with that. We just wanted to make music and we knew that we wanted to stand for something.
*Price abruptly ends what he’s saying to note, “That little chick has tattoos look at the lucky little old guy…she’s a lil hottie!” and Oktane yells, “You’re awesome!. YOU ARE AWESOME!”, while he’s yelling, Price notes “Ohhh yeah…I have a girlfriend actually, but I like when a guy has a good looking chick… I’ll tell him. I can appreciate that… hopefully I don’t get in trouble. Just… props to that dude.”*
Price: That was really what it was back then, so it was like, now we don't take that type of shit for granted, you know? We hella been getting older guys, it fucks with us, that shit's weird. But it's so sick, like 40-year-olds. It's real man, it just shows that our shit's touching.
Oktane: Adults, kids, all ages are really fuckin with it. It's cool to see.
We live in an ADD. culture, so what's after "Parade"?
Price: Yo, the culture is so ADD. Like it's never enough. Which we're perfectly fine with. We have this song called "Mary Jane," with our homie Mike L, that we're gonna just put out for our fans, it's about weed and it's pretty awesome.
Oktane: Anything about weed is awesome, so I think people are going to enjoy it.
Price: But it has a dope message, um, it's also about just life and women.
Oktane: Life, women, and weed. What else do you need?
*Skateboarders roll by and Oktane yells out the window. “WHERE'S THE SKATEBOARDS!? Man I wanna skateboard”*
Price: But yeah, we're actually working on our album. Before we came here, like literally, we left the studio to drive to meet up with the van. Soon as we get back we're going back into the studio to work on the album. And that's what our main focus is really.
Oktane: The album, man. That's what's next. More videos, more visuals from the We The Plug album from the homies. K. Roosevelt's album drops in three days, and our album is coming soon.
What'll it be called?
Oktane: We have not come up with a title yet.
Price: We have a few ideas, we have two or three good strong ideas. But we just haven't decided.
Are you going to share them, or nah?
Price: Sharing would give them away! We can’t do that. We’ll give you the exclusive when we want to tell people though.
So Oktane you were on Twitter the other day talking about how you gotta have a five-year plan, basically get up, get out, and get somethin'. What is your five-year plan?
Oktane: I'll be like 29. The plan is to be like, on top with all my homies, putting all my other homies on, and winning Grammys and taking care of my family and chillin'. Hopefully got a kid, married, and happy. That's the plan for the boy... and high.
Price: In five years I'll be 28, 29, somewhere around there. And pretty much the same thing but of course we'll have albums out by then, and hopefully some different business ventures. I have a restaurant with my family and by then we should have different chains of that shit.
Wait — your family has a restaurant?
Price: Yeah. It's called Carrie's BBQ & Soul Food. It's in San Bernardino. My stepdad's grandmother's name is Carrie. So it's like a real family thing. It was from my family, it was my mom and my stepdad's dream, and we just got behind it and made it happen. It's been open for like four months, still early, so it should be sick.
Are they gonna play your music while people eat?
Price: I don't want them to, I want it to be like —
Oktane: A more organic feel
Price: Yeah, I want it to be like '60s, Marvin Gaye and Al Green and Earth Wind & Fire playing and things like that. I have a son as well, he's three. He'll be eight and he'll be producing by then and playing the piano. By the time my son's eight he's not gonna be messin around, he's gonna be a prodigy.
*As a VW Bus cruises by and Oktane remarks, “I want one of those when I’m older”*
Price: I'm not five-year plan-y. I mean me and Oktane are best friends, we're a lot alike but we're so different.
Oktane: I'm the high introverted kid chillin'.
Price: Yeah, I don't like to think about five-year shit. I'm thinking like 24 hours. I'm here and now. I live in the moment.
What do you guys wanna add?
Price: As far as adding… I mean you snapped… you beasted it up and asked us questions people don’t ask. I mean…our album is definitely in the works. We're working incredibly in house with all our producers. We're putting our all into our album. From here on out, Audio Push, every project we do will be sold. We'll probably never put out another free project unless we want to, and that won't be no time soon. We've worked our way to where we wanna start branding everything that we're doing. Our brand needs to be taken to that level and be paid for.
When does the album drop?
Price: We don't have a set date yet but I'll give you timing, 'cause we’re not going to give you nothing. It'll be definitely from October to about...
Oktane: ...the top of next year. Maybe February, March.
Price: That's when shit's gonna start getting deep for the game. If the album isn't out, that's when we're gonna be gearing up. Singles are gonna be droppin'.
Who's producing on it?
Price: HS87 of course. S Dot's our producer for BOW ENT, Broadies Over Woadies, which is our label. Man… we’re cliqued up! Outside the clique we've been working with Boi-1da.
Oktane: We've been working with some dope people, and we're gonna keep working.
Price: Keep God first, stay positive, move through love, get to it. Audio Push is on the way, you guys cannot stop us. Period. No one can.
Oktane: Umm... change the world because you can... yeah… that’s actually a super bar!