For the ChalkBoyz fourth mixtape, which gets an official release tomorrow night at Off Broadway, 22-year-old Drake Maret (a.k.a. Dominant Force, the J. Crew Kid) and 23-year-old Dylan Cunningham (a.k.a. Dyl Staxx, Staxx Fifth Avenue) created summer songs that are as easy to laugh along with as they are hard to peg. Is it serious? Is it a joke? Is it both? Does it matter? The answers aren't necessarily to be found on the mixtape, Sorry For Partying, which finds the two doing everything from just shouting a succession of words that kind of rhyme ("Emeril Lagasse") to subtly dissing Ted Drewes ("NAC'em") to bravely taking on the most important social issues of our time ("Rebecca Blackout").
Sitting uncomfortably close in a Blueberry Hill booth meant for couples, the two mimed giving wet willies, sang along to Jimmy Eat World and touched on the sometimes strange, usually funny reality of being the hardest-hustling, hardest-partying white rap duo in suburban St. Louis.
Rebecca BlackOut by the ChalkBoyz
How did The ChalkBoyz begin?
Drake Maret: We were at a Young Jeezy concert two years ago, and there were like five other white people there. It was a fucking awesome show. We were already interested in hip-hop and rap, but that kind of did it. We decided we wanted to be the middle ground when we started out, almost for people who didn't understand what it's all about. I was grooving at that show [demonstrates]. I might as well have been at John Mellencamp or something.
How did the two of you meet?
Dylan Cunningham: Match.com.
Maret: Craigslist's missed connections.
How did you really meet?
Cunningham: Eighth grade. We went to middle school together and rode the same bus. We didn't really like each other. I liked him, and he didn't like me.
Maret: I was still feeling you out!
There's a pretty huge amount of disconnect between your public image and the amount of work you put into your music. Who are the ChalkBoyz, and how serious are you about the music?
Maret: It's young, fun music. We talk to some people and they say the Beastie Boys, and we talk to others and they say the Lonely Island. I don't even think we know yet.
Cunningham: We take it seriously, but everything at the end of the day has to be fun. I won't do something, even if we have to, if there's no fun in it.
Maret: What would be the point of that?
Cunningham: We try to have more fun than anybody else, basically. It's the summer of swag, and you've got to join in.
Maret: All you've got to do is send out an SOS [Summer of Swag]. This is ridiculous, but he has an actual swag switch in his room. It says "On" and "Off," so when he turns it on in the morning, he turns the swag on. It's awesome.
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