Artist Profile: Koxmoz
Koxmoz has been the first Argentine hip hop group to crossover to the non-Spanish speaking worldwide audience thanks to their recent collaboration on Gotan Project* (see below) latest album, Lunático. Even though the group’s name sounds new to most, their members have been involved in the Buenos Aires’s hip hop scene for many years and are very well known and respected within that circle.
Koxmoz was born from the ashes of La Organización, a dream-team of hardcore b-boys, graff writers and freestylers that, back in the late nineties, tried to bring true hip hop back to Buenos Aires, when the established scene was about to die for their lack of creativity and credibility. La Organización (also known as La Oz) was also a rap group and their new school style, mostly influenced by the underground New York sound and some French and Spanish rap, sounded nothing like the rest of the scene back then, where west coast gangsta rap was the dominating trend. La Oz, as a rap group, changed the way rap music was understood in Argentina and generated a whole new breed of followers that despised the old mid-nineties scene.
Unfortunately, La Oz never got to release their first album. One of their members, Mustafa Yoda, decided to break up and pursue a solo career before finishing the recording of their debut. La Diferencia, La Oz’s debut, was only released as a bootleg and it’s a collector’s item for many nowadays.
The remaining two MC’s of La Oz were Apolo Novax (known also as one of the best b-boys in the country) and Chili Parker (a mysterious character who’s been involved in the scene since the mid nineties but always preferred to stay away from the spotlight, thus his alter-ego’s name: The Secret Agent). Both reunited in 2002 with DJ Tortuga, also known as Kox-T, who was a long time guest collaborator of La Oz as a scratch DJ for their live shows, but now he decided to take more responsibilities in the project and be their main beat producer. Koxmoz was born.
Kox-T is a legitimate pioneer in the Buenos Aires hip-hop scene, having performed back in ’92 as an MC for the founding fathers of the genre in this country, Los Adolfos. He was also part of several other projects like Tumbas, before dropping the microphone to focus his skills on the turntables and the mixing board. One year prior to the foundation of Koxmoz he released an instrumental hip hop/electronica album under the name Deep Taboo thanks to which the local press named him the Argentine DJ Shadow.
Tarde O Temprano is Koxmoz official debut album. Three years in the making, includes collaborations by Tigre Blanko (a new MC in the Buenos Aires underground), Dante Spinetta (singer and guitar player of the 90’s funk-rap duo Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas) and andean folk musician El Pacha. Trini 7osh is in charge of most of the music and mixing, together with Kox-T and plays bass in their live shows. DJ Rollex also shares the turntables on some tracks.
The official record, to be released in their hometown by EMI, is a double album with 27 tracks. The comprised version for the foreign market includes the 16 best songs, selected by the members of the band themselves on one CD.
Tarde O Temprano breaks with the cliché of all Latin rappers being thugs and gangstas selling dope in lowriders. Koxmoz’s MC’s drop verses full of knowledge, with intricate rhyme structures, ironic quotes to pop culture, politically charged messages and most importantly, poetry that shamelessly shows their sensitivity and vulnerability, something that the average macho-rapper generally keeps away from their misogynist lyrics.
That’s what makes Koxmoz a rap group that will appeal for a wider and more sophisticated audience, without losing their street cred, while their amazing electronic music production will make the music attractive to even those who don’t understand a word of English.
* Gotan Project is a world famous French group that five years ago or so started the trend of mixing electronica down-tempo beats with tango. Now everybody is doing it, but they are still the best. Their first album sold over a million copies and its music was featured in movies, tv shows and tv comercials all over the world. Now they released their second studio album, Lunático, and they have the two MC’s from Koxmoz featured on one song, so that gave the group a lot of international exposure beyond the average hip hop listeners.
2006 – Tarde O Temprano
late 90s – La Diferencia (bootleg only)
Artist and Label Web Sites:
Koxmoz on MySpace – http://www.myspace.com/koxmoz