Getting the V from E.O.D.
E.O.D. Squad East Side rappers Indecent and Arch are nothing if not honest. "Do you play into that whole 'gotta get shot to get street cred' 50 Cent school of thinking?" I ask them.
"No, not us. We just are ourselves and that's enough," says Indecent. "I'm just me, and I don't try to go for no image."
"We don't try to be fake or anything," echoes Arch.
"So, you're not hardcore, trying to be badass vatos?" I push them.
No, they both repeat.
"Of course, you can't be straight soft. I mean we're not like that. We are from the streets, we've had all those experiences, too. We've done our little things."
"Okay, then, who's been to jail? All rappers have been to jail; which one of you guys has called Harris County lockup home for the night?"
"None of us," says Arch. "Neither one."
Ah ha! Here it comes, Indecent has worn an orange jumpsuit, I knew it!
"Well...I've been in the back of a police car, getting ready to go to lockup, but..." Indecent stutters. (Arch looks at his friend with a look of total surprise on his face). "But they didn't arrest me," Indecent rushes to add. "They couldn't find no evidence. They had to let me go, 'cause there was no evidence. So technically, I didn't get all the way arrested.
"Of course, since we're in Jacinto City, we have a lot of trouble with the law because it's such a small town and [the police] already know us. Plus they know that we're rappers, so they think we're worse than what we are, they're always looking for us to be doing something illegal."
"But they don't ever find enough evidence on you to do anything," I say.
"No. I mean not yet they ain't found nothing," Indecent says.
The rest of the interview goes the same way, me trying to push them into admitting some big, bad, dark secret, them hedging, skirting away from any headline-worthy confessions. The truth is, the hour we spent talking was really kind of pleasant. (I know, pleasant rappers -- who knew?) They are equal parts businessmen and artists, as worried about getting their product out to the public as about having a good product.
"We're not doing this just for ourselves," Indecent tells me.
E.O.D. (it stands for "end of discussion") is warming up in the hot, hot Houston rap scene. Not headliners, but not invisible either. From Jacinto City, which isn't known as a music Mecca, Indecent is biracial Hispanic and white (hey, we can argue that whole "Hispanics are white" line of thinking later, we're talking rap music here) and Arch is a straight-out Mexican from Monterrey. Indecent raps in English, with a slightly Dirty South style, while Arch adds Spanish-language verses. Right now they only have an EP out, but they're working on mix-tapes with DJ Demo and other members of the Bum Squad group.
Indecent doesn't exactly agree with the "slightly Dirty South-style" tag on his music.
"I think we have our own sound, I mean, I wouldn't even call us Texas style or Southern or anything. We sound like us. E.O.D. is E.O.D.," he tells me.
"We're doing something that's more danceable than what other guys are doing," says Arch.
"We do something for everybody," adds Indecent. "We're not just picking out one kind of audience to play to. We can play for guys right off the streets, we can play for girls to dance."
"Hopefully one day we'll have our own label, we want to be known nationwide and heard all over the world, and we can't do that with just one kind of thing," says Indecent.
"I was already working in Monterrey, before I came here," says Arch. "At a lower level than what we're doing here, but I was already doing things down there. Right now we're trying to do this here in Houston, get a good base here and then move through Mexico. First Texas, then Mexico and Latin America.
"We're seeing that lots of the music on the radio, lots of what is selling isn't very good. Latinos seem to be just going for entertainment, with reggaeton and all of that. We aren't seeing anything that is really expressing our culture or our traditions. We want to do that." For more information on E.O.D. Squad, visit www.myspace.com/eodsquad.
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