Overdoz is an eclectic four piece group from Los Angeles who's music fits the scene for nearly any type of day, emotion or mood you might be in. Their approach to creating music has been compared to the likes of Outkast and the Pharcyde but the influence of smooth, classic west coast music can still be heard in most of their tracks. Throughout their career they've worked with artists like Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy, Pharrell and ASAP Rocky just to name a few. I met up with Joon and Cream two members of the group to catch up with what they've been up to. Aside from our conversation we spent the day playing Nintendo, debating the best food spots in LA and listening to their new music. Below is our full conversation from that day.
Ok, so before we get into it I know you're from LA but where exactly?
Joon: I'm from everywhere low-key, I lived on 106th & Normandie, in Watts, in Pasadena damn near everywhere.
When did you get into making music? Was it always rapping or did it evolve out of something else?
Joon: Always rapping. I started real young I used to be in a group when I was little Michael Bivins had a kid group so I did that for a while.
Oh shit yeah you were a Youtube start right?
Joon: (laughs) Yeah, so I've been rapping for a minute but after a while I just started playing sports in high school and I stopped doing music to focus on sports. I went to Arizona State for football but I started getting into trouble out there so I came back to LA and started doing music. So in 2007 I guess that's when I really locked in and was like I'm only doing music nothing else.
Who did you listen to when you were growing up?
Joon: I like every type of genre but I didn't get into more of the alternative rocker shit until later on in high school and college. When I was little my dad just listened to all gangster shit like Scarface, Spice-1, Jayo Felony so because of him that was the shit I was listening to. Then I started getting into other shit after I realized it was cool but when I was little I thought everybody else were weenies (laughs). But later on I fucked with Blink 182, Alien Ant Farm, shit like that but anything with funk really like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, anything that had baselines was my shit.
What're you listening to today?
Joon: I still listen to old stuff, I have Apple music so I go through everything on there. Whenever some new stuff drop even if I don't know who it is I'll listen to it. Bad Suns, The 1975 bands like that I fuck with hard. I listen to Cashmere Cat and Hiatus Kaiyote a lot too but I also listen to J. Stalin, Mozzy, Kodak and Black Youngsta. I fuck with him.
I know over the past years Overdoz has put out a range of music, from Live for, Die for to Bowties and Rosaries and Boom. How would you explain the evolution of Overdoz's sound throughout the years?
Joon: We just never want to sound the same low-key we listen to different shit so we want something that sounds like James Brown, but also something that sounds like Bad Suns. You feel me? We try to be as different as possible with every song but still keep the funk in there. And if you listen to the albums it's just what we're going through at the time.
So Cream you were still in high school when Overdoz first started right?
Cream: Yeah in the 12th grade is when it got crazy, Joon had just come back from ASU, Ken and P were in the studio a lot but I was still in high school. So then it was like we had to be out and we'd be at USC and LMU all the time playing them new music. We'd be at all the college dorms because we knew an athlete at every D1 school from playing sports growing up.
Joon: Yeah like Richard Sherman was on my pop-warner football team. Sports was serious then now a days kids want to do different shit.
Cream: Yeah it's tight to produce, do film, rap and make art but back then it was all about sports.
Did you guys know anyone that's making music in the industry now that you knew coming up?
Joon: Schoolboy Q, we played baseball together he was our 2nd baseman, Casey Veggies, DJ Mustard.
So what do you think about music right now because a lot of the leaders in the industry are from LA and are dominating the radio.
Cream: Yeah it's tight it's about time.
Joon: For a minute all we got accepted for was gangster music and now it's cool to do any type of music. So I think people realize more that LA has every type of genre.
Cream: Tyler the Creator is big too he put on for the skateboarders here and they're cool now. Back in the day in high school there weren't any cool skateboarders (laughs).
Where did you guys go to high school?
Joon: We went to Crenshaw and then I went to Pasadena too.
Before meeting up with you guys of course I watched a bunch of your interviews and videos but on almost every video or article I read there were comments that called you guys the Outkast of the west coast. What do you think about that? I know there's some people who dislike comparisons but it's natural in music.
Joon: Yeah that naturally happens we get compared to Pharcyde, Outkast, Tribe. It doesn't bother me though it's tight to be mentioned in something like that. I think that they all had their own thing going and that's sort of what we do so I think that's why. But our lane still hasn't even really been created yet.
So tell me what does Joon like to do when he's not doing music?
Cream: Eat polly seeds, talk shit, drink some beer, be ghetto and fuck with Cinco. That's pretty much all he does.
Joon: Yeah that's true if I'm not at the studio I'll be at the house. I'll go take Cinco to the batting cage, pick him up from school, make sure he reads, help him with homework teaching him stuff. I'm with my son usually if I'm not at the studio. I just try to make my son a solid dude he'll be up at the studio with us too, he has a little cameo in 2008.
But oh just to let you know I can cook too.
Ok, So if someone was coming over your house to eat what would you make?
Joon: I don't know probably tacos that's the number one it's my signature dish. They're honey chipotle tacos a little special sauce I created.
If you could work with anybody for a creative project that you haven't yet who would it be?
Joon: I can't pick one I'm really down to work with anybody but probably Sam Sparro or Hiatus Kaiyote. OK Go too it'd be crazy to do a video with them.
Cream: I'd want to work with Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn we could do a series or something. Chris Rock too, I love Chris Rock.
What your opinion on weed being legal now?
Joon: It doesn't make a difference to me but I guess it's good it's not as criminalized so you can't get arrested as easily for it so that's cool. I still don't go to shops though, I support my local drug dealer. I get weed from my boys so it still doesn't make a difference to me. They'd probably still try to take my ass to jail over some weed though.
Gentrification is a topic that's become a focus point more and more due to it's mass affects on urban cities and communities. I've noticed it's beginnings in LA specifically in Inglewood, what are your thoughts on what's going on here?
Yeah it's been happening everywhere all across the U.S. but we have to own houses here. They can try all they want but they'll never be able to get rid of all of us over here. That shit is crazy though when you see little families walking their dogs around here I'm like be careful. I've been robbed over here before so I know they better be careful.
What about our new President any thoughts on that?
Honestly I just hope he does good that's really the only thing we can say. Hopefully he does better than what we think he's going to do. Stock up and get ready for everything, prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
If you can go in time back to high school Joon what would you say to yourself?
Joon: Mmm I'd say fuck shit up nigga (laughs). No but actually I like the path my life has taken ups and downs I fuck with my life I wouldn't change anything.
Ok last question, someone who has never been to LA where should they eat?
Joon: Go to Worldwide Tacos get you some jerk lamb, fried chicken tacos, there's like sixty different flavors of tacos it's on King and 3rd ave. Oh also Phillips Bar-B-Que, Mike's Deli, Bayou Grille and the Caribbean spot Wi Jammin.