Hip-Hop duo Audio Push has a lot on their minds, and even more in their musical arsenal. The pair from California, made up of Oktane and Pricetag, saw a great deal of success back in 2009, when they inked a deal with Interscope Records and released the single "Teach Me How to Jerk" which flooded airwaves across the country.
Fast forward a few years to 2012, and Audio Push have aligned themselves with close friend and chart-topping producer Hit-Boy and his Hits Since '87 imprint to deliver their brand of creative music and energy to fans worldwide. Following the release of their most recent mixtape, Truth Be Told, which dropped in March, Audio Push's efforts have been focused on regrouping and determining the right lane and path for their future musical endeavors.
AllHipHop.com spoke to Audio Push about this "regrouping," their deal and relationship with Hit-Boy, whether "Teach Me How To Jerk" was a gift or curse, and much more.
AllHipHop.com: Outside of both being from California, can you tell me how the two of you first linked up and started creating music together?
Pricetag: We’ve known each other since I was like 12 and Octane was like 13. We were in middle school, playing basketball and just hooping, and then we started chopping it up and realized that we both like to rap. It just kind of blasted off from there. We were rapping together in school, but then we got to like 16 or 17 - we started actually recording together and performing together, but we used to perform as two solo artists, and when we did shows, we would be each other’s hype man.
The chemistry was always crazy, and all the records and shows were good, and then people started saying we should be a group. And Hit-Boy was actually the first person that really took it serious and was like, “If you’re a group, then you need to be a group,” and it’s just kept going from there.
AllHipHop.com: And I know you guys are signed to Hit-Boy now, but how far back does that relationship go?
Oktane: We’ve known Hit-Boy forever. I was the first person to rap on a Hit-Boy beat when I was like 14 and he was like 16 and started making beats, so we’ve known him forever. This isn’t some recent thing that just happened.
AllHipHop.com: So, let’s get right into the music then. I know Truth Be Told dropped at the end of March, so let me ask you how the response from your core fans has been since they got to hear the project?
Oktane: The response from the fans has been crazy, but that’s not necessarily my biggest focus. The response from people who have never heard our music has been the craziest thing, like all of these blogs and sites have been posting it, and just knowing that people are out there downloading, hearing, and trying it out is what’s been the craziest thing for me. Everybody is just enjoying the music and really just accepting the fact that we can really make good music. That’s the dope thing to me.
AllHipHop.com: You guys had all different kinds of tracks on Truth Be Told, from the club and more upbeat stuff, as well as some of the more lyrical and gritty stuff. But what do you guys personally enjoy creating the most?
Pricetag: For me, and I think I can actually speak for both of us, it’s really about whatever just feels the most natural at the time. We’re really big on not forcing music; if it’s not fluent, then we just scratch it, ‘cause that’s how music is for us to create, because it’s our passion. It’s really whatever we’re feeling at the time, and we enjoy making music that feels good and I enjoy doing it all. Of course making the club records is easy for us you know what I mean?
AllHipHop.com: Well, that’s been proven.
Pricetag: But definitely making records where we can just snap and showcase our rapping ability. I like to do whatever is coming natural.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve both worked with an impressive amount of well-known artists and musicians, but there’s a specific collaboration from Truth Be Told that I specifically want to know about, and that is how you guys linked up with Casey Veggies.
Pricetag: I actually met Casey at the studio with Chase N. Cashe and the whole Surf Club team at Record Plant, and this was before he was even buzzing or anything, and he was just real cool. And from there, we just stayed in communication back and forth, and he wanted some beats for his mixtape ‘cause I produce, so we were just chopping it up.
I did this record, and I just knew he’d be dope on it, and when we were picking features for our mixtape, we were trying to do features that wouldn’t outshine us. I mean that in the sense that we weren’t trying to build our mixtape off of crazy features, so we were trying to get people who were popping - but not so popping that you’re only rocking with it because someone else is on it. But we love Casey, man, and the song came out crazy.
Oktane: We’ve been rocking with Ill Will for a minute, and the relationship is just organic. Price is just known for reaching out whenever he feels a connection needs to be made, and getting with Will was the perfect situation for the project.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me more about Hit-Boy and your situation at his label HS87 (Hits Since '87). Are you still signed to Interscope as well?
Pricetag: Well, we were on Interscope, but we got off of them like two years ago and just regrouped and started working on us, and reworking our music and our lane, and pleasing the fans. And now, we have the HS87 situation with Hit-Boy, but we have another major dealing the works that we can’t speak on just yet.
A lot of people are going to be surprised, and it’s an amazing deal. Things are about to be incredible, and that’s coming soon, but right now we’re pushing this HS87 situation, which is going to be our own YMCMB and MMG brand. We got the best producer in the world behind us, so we can’t lose.
AllHipHop.com: So Truth Be Told was you guys’ sixth mixtape, but there is yet to be an official album release from Audio Push. When do the fans get that in their hands?
Pricetag: Very, very soon. That’s what we’re doing now. We might have one EP that comes out before that, ‘cause I know we’re going to have a million new songs to choose from for this album, but yes, it’s definitely coming.
Oktane: I want to go out and say that I think it will be out by this time next year, as far as a real major release, but it’s not like we’re just going to drop an album on iTunes on our own. But for sure, the fans will be getting an album sometime soon, regardless of what label it comes out on, because they deserve it and we deserve it.
AllHipHop.com: What can you tell me about the EP that you just mentioned? I know there was no Hit-Boy production on the mixtape, but will he be actively producing on the EP?
Pricetag: Most definitely. From here on out, he’ll be on every project we put out. We just wanted to do us on the last one. Everyone was expecting that it would be fully Hit-Boy produced, but he just wanted us to do us. But everything that we’re doing right now involves going in with him. We’re all about to just build a really organic sound.
AllHipHop.com: Is there ever some friendly competition going on between you and Hit-Boy since you are an active producer as well?
Pricetag: [Laughs] To be honest, he’s the greatest producer ever, and I’ve been saying that forever. There is never even a competition. We’ll work with each other like on club records; I’ll ask him to add a snare on this or an 808 on that. But when he’s in there making a beat, I’m just a student taking notes like it’s college. There is no comparison or competition. That man has thousands and thousands of beats that all sound different. I don’t want to step on those shoes, and no producer in the game right now has more beats then that man.
AllHipHop.com: Let me just ask you guys one more thing as we wrap up, and you had to know it was coming whether you like it or not. Looking back, is “Teach Me How to Jerk” a blessing or a curse in your honest opinions, based on where you’re at now in your careers?
Pricetag: That’s a dope question, but for me I feel like it was a gift at the end of the day. There’s a lot of people who do outrageous records to try and get their foot in the door, and all we did was what we were generally doing as kids. We were just doing what we liked to do, and got recognition for it. It’s not a curse. It’s a gift to me because all we have to do now is just work harder.
It wasn’t handed to us, and it gave us time to come back and perfect our craft and our lane. There is just a chemistry with each other that we have now that we might not have had back then if it wasn’t for that record. We made a nice amount of money and toured the world off of it, so we feel like it’s definitely a gift and not a curse at all.
AllHipHop.com: Sounds like a gift to me. Thanks for your time, and I appreciate the honesty and openness. Is there anything else you want the fans and readers to be on the lookout for?
Audio Push: I just really want people to check the tape out. If you’re reading this and wondering if you should check it out, definitely do it. We appreciate you, man, as well and thanks for taking the time to chop it up with us.
AllHipHop.com: Thanks again.
Audio Push: Peace.
Follow Audio Push On Twitter: (@AudioPush)