There was once a time when it was cool to just be a hip-hop artist. Now, it’s all about the mystery, the fusion, and confusion of musical genres. Singer-rapper Keon B and musician-producer Blair Taylor—otherwise known as speakers (with a lowercase “s” because the music is more important than their name)—refuse to be defined. “We make all types of music. It’s a mix of hip-hop, R&B, dubstep, house, techno,” Taylor tells Rap-Up.com, “and the list goes on.”
The L.A.-based duo, both 22, hit the scene hard with their single, “Bass,” aptly named for its undeniable dance rhythm, playful lyrics, and hipster charm. Their sound on the single reflects New Orleans “bounce,” a distinctly regional sound that lays pop songs onto house-heavy hip-hop beats that mimic the reverberation of the second floor of a packed dance club at midnight.
If their goal is to create a cocktail of personalities in the music, it seems to be working. And they’ve got the look to match. “Blair’s pants are pretty tight,” Keon says, laughing when asked about their style. “Mine aren’t as tight, but I got the Steve Urkel glasses. We have a stylist, but we tell her what we want.” Fame hasn’t changed the guys too much though. They both insist they were fresh before the record deal.
While they don’t like labels, speakers does consider itself hip-hop and wants to see change in the culture. “I would like it to be more balanced and less restrictive. I hate how [a rapper] can’t be too animated. It’s too serious,” Keon admits. His energy and tone, along with Taylor’s trance-inducing beats, add to this sentiment.
While they don’t have a drop date for their Virgin Records debut yet, the guys excitedly promise big features and stellar production mostly done by Taylor himself. “We’ve got club tracks like ‘Bass,’ and then we’ve got more personal ones,” he shares. “It’s got everything. Hipsters can relate to it. My grandma can relate to it.”