Spank Rock’s Lazercrunk Debut
Rapper Naeem Juwan, aka Spank Rock, comes equipped with a versatile musical background. He grew up in Baltimore listening to “badass guitar-fondling queers who sang songs about incest, aliens, faith and love.” At age 12, Juwan saw drag queen MC Miss Tony perform two of her Baltimore club hits, “Pull Ya Gunz Out” and “Whassup Whassup”, at his best friend’s Bat Mitzvah in the summer of ’93. It rocked him to his core; so much so, that he would later site it as one of the most prominent influences for his music today.
Eventually, fate took its course, and Juwan felt a pull towards rap music. After starting to rap in middle school, he soon found that the previously vibrant underground hip hop scene in Baltimore grew too static. Juwan decided to start fresh in Philadelphia where he would then launch his career, releasing his debut album, YoYoYoYoYo on U.K. label Big Dada in 2006. Later, Juwan branched out on his own, regaining the rights to his music and releasing his sophomore album on his own label, Bad Blood Records. His self-released LP, titled Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar, debuted in 2011.
Citing Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Prince as his biggest role models, Juwan strongly believes in the power of music as an artform and societal influence. Topics of sex and politics can be found intermingling throughout his albums, with his tracks omitting a raunchy, in-your-face demeanor. He’s scored major attention from some big name producers and artists, teaming up with the likes of Boyz Noise, Santigold, Big Freedia, and Pharrell Williams for his second album.
Juwan continues to experiment with multiple genre styles and sounds, including bass, electronic, hip hop, and club music. On his latest album, you’ll hear everything from funky guitars, to crash and tap drums, to glitzy piano melodies and grimy bass backdrops. Check out a few of his tracks here.