The small army splayed around a table on the patio of Inglewood's Simply Wholesome is focused on the black Range Rover parked just outside the door. Stevie Wonder's in the passenger seat. The eight members of Los Angeles collective OverDoz, who open for Dom Kennedy tonight at the Glass House in Pomona, stare--"Go look! It's not like he can see you," they say--but suddenly a girl exits, and as producer Iman Omari hollers at her, they're distracted.
Of course they are. Their latest album, Live For Die For, teeters between sexy and (sexily) raunchy, the bedroom-eyed lyrics sprinkled with hash before being rolled in big, spacey blunts of beats. Oh, and it's funny: The chorus of "You're Blowin' It"? "The only time you please me is when you're on your knees."
Interviewing OverDoz has less to do with asking questions than with nudging a little here and there and listening as they gallop off. They only mention their show in order to offer an invitation. We don't tell them how we described them in our staff pick ("Freaky, tongue-in-cheek weed fiend Inglewood neighbors, the R(aw) & B(angin') duo OverDoz, just began to stir the pot this spring, with Pharrell recently Tweeting his approval. We say this with the utmost anticipation and admiration: These two are L.A.'s weirdest 'ones to watch.'"), mostly because we got it wrong. In the parking lot, people kept piling out of their car like circus clowns. Three tables pulled together can't fit us all, and between them, they seem to know everybody in the entire restaurant.
"L.A.'s a big orgy!" says Joon, his wild shock of hair springing up and down. But for those who haven't yet been to that party, we made a little cheat sheet. Now act like you know, 'cause soon, everybody will.
Representative quote: "I'm also a stand-up comedian."
What's he do? Sings, raps
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: He was All American in football.
You didn't know: He gets cold easily. "I'm 143!" (Weight, not age.)
Good Joon aka "Mac Horus"
Representative quote: "I got arrested for pills. I'm into experimentation."
What's he do? Raps, sings
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: He won a full scholarship to Arizona State University to play football, but he dropped out. "I'd rather make music than play sports, mostly because I hated waking up early to lift weights."
You didn't know: He was in Biv 10 Pee Wees, Bell Biv Devoe's Michael Bivins' group, from the ages of 9 to 12.
Kent Jamz aka "Birthday"
Representative quote: "I started smoking weed when I was twelve. My thoughts just come too fast."
What's he do? Raps, sings
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: He was All American in football with Creamie.
You didn't know: He moved to L.A. from Atlanta when he was 6 years old.
Sleezy aka "P"
Representative quote: "I don't say shit."
What's he do? Raps, sings, produces
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: Sports.
You didn't know: A lot. And you won't--he's the mysterious one.
Chuck aka "Calmatic"
Representative quote: "What's your email? You'll have the photos within an hour."
What's he do? Photographs, films videos
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: Look, all these dudes played a LOT of sports.
You didn't know: He's a closet freak. Or so the rest of them say.
Iman Omari aka "Emon"
Representative quote: "I got a half scholarship to Julliard, a full one to Howard. But I didn't go, and spent all that money on frivolous things like weed and girls."
What's he do? Produces, sings, plays piano
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: "We were all his fans in high school," Joon says.
You didn't know: He played the role of Judd in the musical Oklahoma!
Tyler Smith aka "Smoov"
Representative quote: He smiles.
What's he do? A&Rs the group
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: He just graduated from ASU with a degree in psychology.
You didn't know: His past is spotless (or so it seems).
Axel Morgan aka "Axel Folie"
Representative quote: He's the only one of us with the nerve to go shake Stevie Wonder's hand.
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What's he do? Produces
Life before he fulfilled his Destiny: Not sports.
You didn't know: His mother traveled with Stevie Wonder as his makeup artist.