By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
"The Dirt Nasty character is really cool, goofy and offensive at the same time, which is a tough thing to pull off," says Goossen, who has directed most of Nasty's videos. "It's the same thing that Danny McBride does with Kenny Powers."
Call it the Entourage effect. The HBO mainstay has sustained interest over seven years because it cellophane-wrapped the Schwab's Pharmacy dream for the 21st century. Like Turtle, Johnny Drama and E, viewers live vicariously through Vincent Chase, inducing 100,000 transplants to swallow the myth. Nor can you fault them.
Any would-be arriviste with a shred of realism doesn't actually believe that he's going to star in Aquaman. They see Simon Rex — who is handsome but no Brad Pitt, funny but no Sacha Baron Cohen, musically proficient but no Beastie Boy — and they think overdosing on antioxidants while surrounded by model chicks is no poor consolation prize.
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To underscore the point, the Kombucha Kardashians depart the WeHo juice emporium and are replaced by a girl who looks like a Victoria's Secret model impersonating a librarian. Fronting demure in a tartan red skirt and tan leather boots, she greets Rex with a hug and huge, pleading eyes and, because juice is in this year, she orders a concoction. The blenders whirl, and Rex or Nasty or whoever whispers that he can't remember her name. "You look like an angel," he offers.
But that's all it takes. "So do you," she blows a kiss, and walks out the door into a 2004 Honda Accord, dissolving into casting call anonymity.
The Roxy, West Hollywood. Night.
Scalpers stalk the turf outside the sold-out house that Lou Adler built: $80 for two tickets. Inside, Dirt Nasty tells the largely teenage crowd about getting caught fucking a kangaroo, an incident that caused his zoo privileges to be revoked. This crowd is Jackass 3-D inclined toward absurdity and life-size cartoons.
"People understand that it's a joke. No one actually thinks I fuck falcons," Rex insists. But the joke works because it's almost believable. After all, a pair of overheating blondes of indiscriminate Slavic extraction linger in the back — one hour before the show, they busted an illegal U-turn in their late-model Scion to intercept Rex exiting the Hustler store (he went in for coffee).
When he asked how he knew them, one replied: "We met 10 years ago in Miami when I was 16. You bought me a pineapple juice and tried to fuck me." This is to be expected from an artist whose set list includes "My Dick," "Suck My Dick" and "Baby Dick."
Meanwhile, the VIP room is so packed it might just burst into a hailstorm of hair gel, Louis Vuitton–branded shades and Barney's-bought stilettos. The execs from Comedy Central are here. So are Milonakis, Ke$ha and professional party animals LMFAO, who make onstage cameos. So does infamous party photographer Mark "the Cobrasnake," who pulls down his marijuana-leaf boxers to moon the crowd.
No one will ever mistake "Cougars" for "Cocktails," but Rex has recorded with and received co-signs from both 2 Live Crew and Too Short. They share a common ethos: an examination of the many permutations of pimping, and DIY roots forged by selling records out of car trunks. Alleged cred-building story: Interscope once offered a deal, but Rex turned it down "to stay independent."
"It was a terrible contract," says Kevin Wolff, Dirt Nasty's manager and the boss of Shoot to Kill Records. "It wouldn't have taken care of him for very long, and his record may never have been released. Right now, we can book Simon one gig in Florida and pay his mortgage for a month.
"It's a great time to be independent. You can own your own masters, release and promote your music online and be as self-sufficient as possible. But you need good product."
Which again raises the question of how, in an indie-rap basin both diluted and flooded, a guy with little media coverage has more Twitter followers than the combined total of blog favorites Yelawolf and Odd Future. Obviously his Hollywood notoriety matters, but only so much. He takes the craft seriously (a copy of boom-bap classic Diamond D's Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop is in his Audi station wagon), but so do most underground rappers.
Rex can't really divine a pattern in his Forrest Gump–like adventures in escapism. As he retells his personal legend, they started with a chance encounter at a rave when he was 18, where a girl randomly sidled up to him, ran her hands through his hair and told him he was moving with her to Los Angeles.
"I was telemarketing and working at a potato sack factory," Rex says. "She was the hottest chick I'd ever seen, so I dropped everything. She told me that she was a model — turned out that it was for Penthouse and Hustler."
He was discovered at one of his ex's more legitimate casting calls. Within months, the former factory worker was modeling for Dolce & Gabbana in Milan and partying at Gianni Versace's house in Florence. "I was living Zoolander, firsthand." After moving to New York, he befriended Marcus Schenkenberg, and when Pamela Anderson's ex-beau was unavailable to tape an MTV segment on male modeling, Rex replaced him. The network liked his banter so much that they offered him a job.