Rap-rockers The Knux know how to get raw like Little Richard
By Alex Distefano
Meet The Knux. Short for Knuckleheads, this alt hip-hop/rock duo from New Orleans was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and now calls L.A. home. Composed of twentysomething brothers Kentrell “Krispy” Lindsey and Alvin “Joey” Lindsey, the Knux have created their own form of hip-hop. With their 2008 debut album, Remind Me in 3 Days, The Knux introduced their musical MO; merging hip-hop-steeped lyrics, beats and samples with rock and synth elements. Think The White Stripes meet The Pharcyde—with plenty of marijuana.
The Knux recently spoke with us about their passion for performing live, their highly anticipated (and top secret) new album and their affinity for cannabis.
How does being from New Orleans influence your form of hip-hop?
Krispy: New Orleans was where we learned to play music, but we get influences from all over. I get my inspiration from the urban world around me. How do people from the suburbs come up with inspiration? When you live in an urban setting you can’t help but be influenced from the stuff around you. New Orleans is just so full of diversity.
We know that you are both musicians, but as hip-hop artists, what other types of music are you fans of?
Krispy: We both write and play music so, really, we listen to all kinds of different stuff. [Joey] likes punk, early punk bands especially. We both like roots rock, Southern rockabilly, rock ’n‘ roll, straight rock music, really. All kinds—and hip-hop, but every kind, man.
Joey: I do like the early punk scene—so many great bands. But I also listen to rock. I also like indie and experimental music as well. To call yourself a rock band you have to be raw like Little Richard or Elvis.
Tell us about your new album, the follow up to Remind Me in 3 Days. What can fans expect from this record?
Krispy: Well, this record is finished but the name is being kept secret for a little longer. This album is influenced by drugs, and—we’ll be honest—we use drugs. But it’s all about moderation. As for the album, we made it all for live shows since we love to play live.
Do you guys use cannabis?
Joey: Oh hell yes! Every day! Ha-ha! We love to smoke marijuana and believe in the beneficial effects it has.
Krispy: The way I view it is like this: smoking herb makes you more of an open-minded, peaceful person. If you are smoking good weed, it opens your mind up to a whole different way to seeing the world . . . In my experience, when I first smoked marijuana, it was the first time my mind was fully opened.
Joey: Yup, that’s right. And, the government will brainwash you and us all to eat here, buy this, watch this and listen to this. But then you smoke weed, it can rearrange the mind especially if you come from a culture where it’s nothing but rigid thinking. And you’ll find that people that smoke weed have diverse friends because they have opened their minds.
What’s the marijuana scene like in New Orleans and other places you’ve toured?
Krispy: We went to Amsterdam this summer; it’s nothing like California buds. Their mid grades are high grades to them. It’s really crazy, man.
Joey: Yeah, nothing really compares to the California strains. There are just so damn many now—but the kings are the Kushes.
What are your favorite strains?
Krispy: Well, you see, it all depends on the mood for me. At a party or with a woman, I smoke Kush. I want that intense crazy high . . . But at the crib to mellow me out, it’s the Blue Dream.
Joey: I like Blue Cheese. We’re smoking it right now. It’s a nice clean, mellow high. It makes it so I can get shit done, but we get the mad munchies— ridiculous munchies, man. I’m sitting here eating a whole pizza!
Easy Does It
In New Orleans, The Knux’s hometown, the District Attorney recently changed the way marijuana offenses were handled—by filing them in municipal court rather than the criminal district court. What’s the big deal? Essentially it made possession for first-time offenders a ticket-able offense. “It will literally be like a traffic ticket for speeding down the road,” said Scott Schneider, associate general counsel for Tulane University. “You get a ticket, you pay the fine.” Maybe that’s why it’s called The Big Easy.