When did HS87 form?
Price: Officially, like two years go, and that was just a name for us hanging around each other. We always have been around each other; we’ve known him back since the MySpace days. He was the one who told us to be a group. We started out both rapping and we were just best friends and close and we were just each other’s hype man. We would perform and people used to say, man y’all chemistry crazy, y’all should just be a group.
Where did the Audio Push name come from?
Oktane: We were originally The P.U.S.H.—Praying Until Something Happens. And that’s what P.U.S.H. still stands for. Then when we got signed, everything was good until there was a foundation called The P.U.S.H., so we had to switch our names to get the deal. We had a song called “Audio Kiss,” which was about touching your girl musically—and Sean [of production duo Kadis And Sean] was like, y’all should be called Audio P.U.S.H., y’all really touch people with your music, and it’s a global name and it’s hard.
Price: I rocked with it early because, to me, it sounded like a rock band, like alternative music, and I’m into that type of music, too. So instantly, people don’t think of two young black kids from the IE when they hear the name. It takes us to a different place.
I know Hit-Boy did a lot of work with the tape. How did it come together?
Price: On Lil Wayne’s tour, we had a studio on our bus. We tapped into on our inner “us.” What we really grew up on, what we really listened to and what hip-hop means to us, and what it’s missing now. Hip-hop is sampling; sampling is a part of hip-hop. Old songs that used to make you feel good, hearing them over hip-hop beats. That’s why I started rapping. So we just tapped into that, making music with feeling and creating a cold body of work.
And we realized, since “Teach Me How To Jerk,” people been sleeping on us. We put out other tapes, but we wanted to put out a tape of cold work on all levels that we can give for free that you can press play and just coast. Just coast.
What do you think Hit brought to the table?
Price: His sonics; his ear is crazy. His post-production is crazy. We’ll start the beginning of the joints—even if he didn’t produce it—he just comes in and oversees it.
Why did you name the tape Come As You Are?
Price: I listen to mad music. I’m crazy about album titles before we even start.
Oktane: Yeah, like having a set plot before we even start.
Price: So I was just listening to music, and I was listening to Nirvana and listening to the lyrics and it founded our story. We told people, come as you are, because we are who we are. These people kept trying to change us. They tried to change us when we first got signed; a lot of stuff we were doing, we were young and doing it because the label would tell us to do it. But then we tapped into being just us.
Oktane: This album represents embracing yourself, coming as you are and being an individual. However we are, it’s just us.