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Best local hip-hop act that breaks all the rules: Hollyweerd

Staff Pick

Remember that scene from "Chappelle's Show" when Charlie Murphy recalls the time when the late Rick James came to his brother Eddie's pad and started jumping up and down all over the leather sofa with his muddy platform boots on, yelling "Fuck yo' couch, nigga!" Well, that's HOLLYWEERD to the nth degree. Take the lineup: a self-styled savant who goes by "the Dreamer," two full-time tat artists (Tuki Carter and Chris "the Love Crusader" McAdoo) from City of Ink, and a jazz-sax journeyman who calls himself the mythical Stagolee. That ain't no rap group, it's a band of gypsies. Since materializing out of thin air nearly two years ago, the four-man crew has busily crafted its own unruly narrative. The three mixtapes released in the past 12 months showcase the group's penchant for combining sweet indie-pop incarnations with self-indulgent fantasy funk. It's a nutty mix. Yet somehow they've managed to turn their wild inconsistencies — from constantly evolving musical influences including OutKast and the Doors to hit-or-miss live performances — into the main attraction. Like a traveling freak show, Hollyweerd piques our curiosity. No matter how odd, we can't turn away for fear of missing what might happen next.

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