By Yensil Chung
Its jerkin’ days are over, but the IE’s very own Audio Push still gets down to serious business: making quality music. Despite its recent rise to fame, the group has stayed true to its roots—as shown with the recent release of new mixtape Inland Empire. Group members Oktane and Price Tag show off their versatility as artists with head-bopping beats and sick flows, a total 180 from Audio Push’s 2010 hit single, “Up N Down.” Not content to rest on two major hits, Inland Empire is the group’s second release this year.
In this first part of a two-part feature on Audio Push, group members Oktane and Price Tag give the Weekly the inside scoop behind Inland Empire and their relationship with royal hit-maker Hit-Boy—who the duo is performing with on Friday at The Glass House in Pomona.
Who is Audio Push?
Okatane: Audio Push is two kids who came out of the IE making amazing music. There’s no real image that we want to project except for fact that we have any lane of music that we choose to have. If we want to make any kind of music, we can make that music. How we dress—whatever it is—that doesn’t matter. We just want people to focus on our music.
You guys just dropped your new mixtape Inland Empire. What was the reaction to it?
Price Tag: It’s been crazy. So far we had the greatest response to this mixtape than any other mixtape we had before. Everyone is in love with it. Our fans are the growth of our music and our growth as artists.
What was the process of making the mixtape?
Oktane: We did the Inland Empire mixtape in about a month to a month and a half, two months max. If there was anything hard about it, as far as creatively, nothing was hard, it was all natural.
What is the sound of the mixtape?
Price Tag: We don’t have a set sound for the mixtape we were more focused on a lot of rapping and quality production. Nowadays people are rapping over any kind of beat, and since we’re signed with Hit-Boy and surrounded by amazing producers we’re capitalizing on the fact that we have dope production, we’re trying to incorporate a lot of amazing production in our projects. As far as a set sound, just quality music.
What is the significance of the title Inland Empire?
Oktane: This is the city where a lot of people are from, yet they won’t claim it. When they get on, they say they’re from LA. So just being from the IE is the significance of it.
Price Tag: It was just us wanting to tell a story on being from the IE. IE is the one of the largest counties, yet nobody who came out from here told a real story of how life is growing up out here so we might as well tell a story; that’s what the mixtape is.
What is your relationship with Hit-Boy and his beat-making enterprise, House of Hit?
We’re signed to his label HS87 (Hits Since ’87); we signed with him earlier this year. We’ve known him forever—that’s our brother, it’s the reason why we signed with him and the reason why we make music to that next level with him. We’ve known him for so long, and we watched him grow with his stuff. The relationship is there and is there outside of the music industry.