In roughly three years, OverDoz has gone from being four California kids who enjoy funk music to signing a recording contract with RCA/Polo Ground Records. The group is composed of four members—Kent, Joon, Sleezy and Creamie—all different personalities that mesh together for one singular mission: to provide fans with good music and to bring the funk back into hip-hop. This year they dropped their latest mixtape, BOOM, which turned the heads of music critics by mixing hip-hop with 1990s style R&B vocals. Next year the group plans to drop their debut album, 2008, When Everybody Loved Everybody, in the summer of 2014. XXL spoke to OverDoz to discuss their latest mixtape, funk music and the differences between them and fellow Californians Odd Future. —Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)

XXL: Who is OverDoz?
Kent: I’m the vocalist. I’m the rapper. That’s my role musically. Creamie is the comedian, Joon and Sleezy rap, too. People like to say we’re unorthodox as far as combination of our group. Technically this is how rap groups have always been, I feel like. It’s a little bit more old school. I think that’s why our fans are our fans, because they get the feeling from a lot of their favorite groups kind of meshed into one.

How did you guys meet?
Kent: I moved [to California] from Atlanta, Georgia when I was six. Joon and I met playing baseball at a recreation park. Him and Sleezy probably knew each other from playing travel ball. Sleezy and I met coincidentally—we played high school baseball against each other—but we met musically [when] he came to a studio session [and] gave his input to an engineer. And from then on we formed OverDoz.

The name came from the relationship we have with our friends and people back home. When we first did music we would meet people and play our stuff in our headphones while the music was still bumpin' in the party, and they would say, “Yo I will never hear that again, where can I get it?” And we'd just leave them at the party. [Laughs] And they would look us up and tell their friends. People just started overdosing on the little amount of product we would give out.


Fast forward to now with BOOM. How did that come together?
Joon: Most of our stuff was conceptual music so this was the first project where we actually just rap. And that shit was fun to us.

Kent: And it was old music. I feel like the quality is more thought out. I’m talking about a girl I dated two and a half years ago. And it still registers to people so that let me know that we on something timeless and that’s all that it's about. You can listen to your favorite songs at anytime

Sleezy: Most of the songs that we made with intention to put on the album. We weren’t making concepts, we was just rapping and making good songs. I mean, all of our albums are quality in our eyes, it's just this is what we chose to give as a mixtape.

You've got some major names on the record.
OverDoz: Juicy J!

Creamie: I was trying to get him on it; he said he needed a comedian for a show or something. Everybody was hitting him up. He said some stuff about me, and he followed me [on Twitter] before I followed him. So I’m like, damn, okay, Juicy hit me. One night we [were] all turnt and I’m like, fuck this, I'ma hit Juicy, he needs to jump on this album. So we just emailed him this track, then couple months later we was in the studio. Then a song just popped up. And he [Kent] saw it first and played it, crazy.

Kent: I didn’t tell them Juicy was on there, I just saw the email, plugged up my ear phones and Creamie said, "Why we listening to 'Lapdance'?" then Juicy just came on.

Creamie: I remember three years ago we were at Paid Dues [Festival] and we performed there. And we walked up stage and he was there, he was cool as fuck.

Kent: Cool as fuck, and besides us, he has the best performance. I went to two or three shows in a week and they all hype. I’m talking about he’s jumping for an hour. This dude is damn near 40 if not already.

That Nipsey Hu$$le track ["These Niggas"] was bananas.
Kent: That was the last track and we were trying to get him for years. Coming from L.A. we grew up around where he grew up. That record solidifies us in our own city as far as the streets. A lot of people fuck with Nipsey on the streets. He just dropped a $100 [mixtape]. That may not mean something to a lot of people but coming from the West Coast and him still being an independent artist, we need him. It was exactly what we wanted for OverDoz, the next move for OverDoz. After he did that record, that’s why we put it out so fast. Soon as he did the verse, we got it out.

You got major looks too, from Pharrell, Dom Kennedy. How do y’all feel about all the love?
Sleezy: Blessing, really.

Kent: That was a dream, man. I tell my mom, too, it's like I was sleep walking. We did a song with Pharrell, too, we did two songs. It was just a blessing. Everything now is just a blessing for us. You can get that shit taking away from you any second.

How would you describe your music?
Joon: Our music is funk, we're a funk-based group.

Sleezy: This last one we [were] basically a funk band with no instruments, if you have to describe us. Some people are really not going to get it; it's sloppy, it's funk, but we're all rapping.

Joon: Our voices are the instruments. If you listen to how we rap you know what part of the beat we riding. Everybody goes at a different cadence.

What are some of your funk idols?
Kent: Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, Al Green.

Joon: James Brown, Ohio Players, Janelle Monae is even funk.

Kent: Shit, I call myself the new James Brown. Donald Byrd. D'Angelo, OutKast. I feel like people compare us to them a lot. I feel like no one owes nobody shit. If you make it, you make it. Some of it's luck, most of it's pray[ing] and the other is meeting the right person. Our style is definitely persuaded by OutKast’s lyrics or the way they cross over, N.E.R.D. crossover rap. That shit changed the game.

And we shout that out in our music. We're like the kings on the chessboard and OutKast in the chessboard. I’m not even putting myself in their category. So when people do that, it doesn’t even upset me. But at the same time I’m still afraid to meet André, I’m still afraid to meet Big Boi. That shit would affect me more than everybody. I just don’t want that to be the pillar of our shit: "Oh, they sound like OutKast, or Pharcyde." It’s because people haven’t seen a rap group in so long.

Tell me about your new deal with RCA/Polo Grounds.
Kent: We met [Polo Grounds founder] Bryan Leach at Coachella, not last year but the year before. And we met with Def Jam, we met with Epic, we met with Interscope, Pharrell wanted to sign us to his new label. I didn’t know Bryan Leach wanted to sign us. He had mentioned it, but he never said, "Come here, let's hang out, I’m trying hear y’all music.” He just said, “I want to sign y’all when the timing is right." We only played two records for every single label. RCA was the only record label we let hear all of Boom and most of 2008, our next album we got coming out.

Creamie: Date TBA, hopefully summer.

Sleezy: It’s done, but we're still working with it and making it better.

Who do y’all have already on the album?
Kent: Pharrell. THC has done most of it, of course. We didn’t want to change up the formula and the creative process.

Sleezy: You're going to get everything; you're going to get funk, you're going to get pop, some soul. But you're going to get some verses on there that’s coming at you.

His ideas are definitely simple, but are getting better.

I see y’all compared to Odd Future a lot.
Joon: Its 'cause they're from L.A.

Creamie: But we're from different parts of the city.

Kent: Them niggas went to my school, they were the little niggas that used to talk. Fuck that, they used to talk shit about us back in the day, now y’all want to be cool. The difference between Odd Future and us is who’s going to be the first to win a Grammy. That’s why we do it. I’m doing it to make a difference, to say, "He’s that nigga."

Joon: Frank Ocean's not really OF, too.

Kent: It's 360; if I go to your show you should sound like the record, if not better. I shouldn’t be hearing your voice crack, you don’t owe me that, don’t go on stage. You owe me my 50 dollars.

Joon: Frank is the only one doing this music shit, to me. Everybody likes them for their lifestyle. Niggas don’t like them for their music.

Sleezy: They talented, they can rap.

Joon: Tyler can rap, he’s a creator, though. For real though, he’s creative as fuck.

Sleezy: Yeah it's just a whole different lane, they're not us.

Kent: Yeah, they not us. We got along with our parents and went to church. [Laughs]

Sleezy: Niggas is not fighting at our shows.

Joon: That’s another thing, we been having bitches. I don’t know no other artist that’s out right now who had bitches they whole life but us.

Creamie: We can’t even stage dive at our shows, really, because there is hoes in the middle. It’s like a club. They ain’t going to catch me.

Sleezy: Once all the niggas find out that we ain’t got nothing but bitches at our shows they start coming even more.

Kent: No shade, this is the truth. Shit ain’t going to change, it just took us more time. We didn’t need anybody to do our videos, we got Calmatic. We didn’t need no one to do our beats, we got THC. We didn’t [need] anybody to write our raps. We don’t need a lifestyle, we don’t need a brand, we don’t have to all wear one color. It’s not fake with us. And people get that when they see us.