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They Hate Change’s Guide to the Tampa Bay Scene

From Krank to Soul, the genre-bending Florida duo give us their picks from Tampa Bay's underground.

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Today, Tampa Bay hip-hop duo They Hate Change launch their latest single ‘Stunt Cams’, a hard-hitting and out of the box groove that sits somewhere between Outkast and JPEGMAFIA for us. Following a string of releases on cult label Deathbomb Arc, producer-rappers Andrè and Vonne have become known for combining old-school sampling and cypher-style rapping with the chaotic joy of booty bass, Chicago footwork, and experimental dance music.

‘Stunt Cams’ is the first taste of They Hate Change’s forthcoming EP 666 Central Ave., a collection of five tracks that underscore the duo’s genre-defying intricacies and forward-thinking production style. Since their last release, the pair have found fans in every corner of the globe and recently joined Godmode’s roster of influential breakout acts like Channel Tres, JPEGMAFIA and Yaeji, They Hate Change are setting the bar for unconventional next wave hip-hop.

To celebrate the release of ‘Stunt Cams’, we asked They Hate Change to give their picks from Tampa Bay’s culturally-rich music scene. It’s a solid mix of underground legends and upcoming artists that they have been feeling lately, check out the list below.

Follow They Hate Change here for more and watch the video for ‘Stunt Cams’ below.

01. Tom G

 Tom has been running the city pretty much as soon as he popped out, with “City Boy Wit It” in like 2002/2003. Thats a Tampa classic, but really a Florida classic overall. Tom has countless hits in a bunch of different styles, and can really rap his ass off. If you talk about Tampa music, you gotta say Tom’s name.

This track in particular definitely isn’t the most popular Tommy track, but influential for us in the way he shouts out all the hoods in the city.
Tom was always an example of how to really represent being from a small scene, he was always somebody that said “Fuck moving to Atlanta to blow up, we got something here”, and really used his platform to shout out every hood, every school, and every other Tampa legend / landmark anytime he could. Huge blueprint for how we move now.

02. Charles Irwin

Charles Irwin really changed the whole energy of the DIY scene. Before they popped in, the bands were more psychedelic or “arty”, and they brought through this really thrash-y energy to these sweet, straightforward songs that they were writing, not to mention a killer live show. It made a lot of people step their game up in DIY, you started to see more personality in bands that were playing the house shows and shit. We knew them before they were a band, just skating and stuff, hanging at the Skate shop. They all played instruments but couldn’t find people to be in a band with, they eventually cliqued up and took their hidden talents into the scene and created a cult-like following. They’ve seen some of our first shows, heard some of our first records, so to see them flourishing has been amazing.

03. Cuddie Breed

As far as regional Tampa styles, there’s Jook music (different from Chicago Juke and Miami Jook btw), and then there’s Krank music. Jook had the bouncy club elements with catchy lyrics (think Khia – “My Neck, My Back”, Tampa Tony – “Keep Jookin”, Rated R – “In Here Ta Nite”, and Tom G. – “City Boy Wit It”), but Krank was like the younger generation that grew up on Jook sounds stripping it down. It was for the teen night crowd, just pure energy, all about the dancing, which was called Kranking, of course. Cuddie is an innovator & a pioneer of the sound, and you hear the codes of it all through our shit, songs like “Sniper” from our EP “Juices Run Clear”. You put Herman Kelly – “Dance to the Drummer’s Beat” with some classic Miami Bass and Tampa Jook samples, you got the foundations of a Krank joint.

04. NDO

NDO’s presence was felt when her album IDC dropped. With the help of producer Rugawd on production, it really spoke to the R&B/Soul music in the scene, which hadn’t really popped out at the DIY shows, it was more in the small clubs and things. NDO & Rugawd are really the first ones to bring that kind of sound to the house shows in the scene and show love to the under-underground. It made us feel a lot less crazy for being the only rappers at those shows too.

05. Glove

Glove, from what I understand, is what happens when a bunch of people that were in a bunch of bands before, come together to make an even better band. Every piece of their outfit is on point, from out the gate. Good flyers + album covers, good photos + videos, and of course good music & live show (one of the best in town). I feel a crazy connection with them because the first time I saw them live they covered Suicide – Ghost Rider, which we’ve done before also. I was like “yeah, this us if we were a four piece”, and we started re-tooling our live show right after seeing them for the first time.