SMANGIN’ THE HUSTLE
“We was on stage last night and all of the sudden some crazy girl took my chain when I wasn’t looking. My chain, man. Ain’t that fucked up?” By now, Flynt Flossy is sort of used to dealing with crazy fans. As one of the leaders of Turquoise Jeep Music, a collective of artists and performers, Flossy has established himself and the Turquoise Jeep crew in the music world thanks to a steady flow of viral videos and smooth “” hot butter on a baby’s ass smooth “” lyricism.
And the funny thing is Turquoise Jeep came out of nowhere. They exist everywhere. And everyone knows them, but no one really knows them. Even within the time Flossy spoke with us he managed to reveal much without actually telling anything personal about himself.
He’s like a publicist’s dream client: he does all the work to continue garnering praise, avoids anything remotely drama-infested and is confident in his team.
“We are all over the place. I want everyone to feel like they belong. See, we don’t belong to a particular group or region,” Flossy said, dodging a question about where the crew hails from. “We are unicorns.”
Turquoise Jeep just exists. Rising from the depths of the Internet, the crew, which consists of Flossy, Yung Humma, Whatchyamacallit, Pretty Raheem, Slick Mahony, MoonRock and DJ Tummiscratch Beats, found fame with what some music critics and YouTube trollers would have relegated to the bottom of the pile. Instead, the music video for “Lemme Smang It,” arguably the group’s most successful single, racked up millions of views. A simple drum beat leads into Yung Humma talking about what he’s going to do with a girl, which is “Smang it.” Smanging, as defined in the song, is the double threat combination of “smash and bang,” which are two very obvious references to fornication.
Whereas some passed the video and song off as just another viral phenom, the group used the instant fame to turn themselves into stars, which is why they are on constant tour now and still cranking out music.
“We were all just doing our own thing, but when we came together it was just magic,” Flossy said over the phone while driving in a Chevy Suburban en route to a show in Columbus, Ohio. “We had everything to do it ourselves, and we just had to make it happen, so we said, ‘Let’s just fucking do it.'” Flossy went on to describe the advantages of being an independent artist and how it’s also helped them stay focused on their collective goals.
“For the most part we’ve been blessed, but we’re definitely in the position where it’s kind of surreal. We did it all ourselves off the strength of YouTube and other channels, especially the Internet. That doesn’t happen everyday.”
For many artists, at least within the scope of the corporate music machine that is major record labels, the dream is to get signed, go on tour, and then retire like a rock star. That dream has morphed over the years, with much credit due to the Internet’s ability to spread your message and vision.
“At the end of the day, when you have a passion and do what you love, a lot of things follow,” Flossy said. “Whether it’s monetary, whatever, it all follows. For us, people realized we were being genuine.”
At first glance, Turquoise Jeep Music is a parody “” an advertising agency’s way of tapping into the Internet to reach a broader demographic, at best “” but such is not the case. Flossy and Humma croon on tracks that have titles including “Treat Me Like a Pirate,” “Sweat On Me,” and “Fried or Fertilized,” the latter of which being the option as to how you prefer your eggs. (Get it?) But the best part of it all is that it’s not a joke, and if it is, it’s the longest running joke in Internet-trolling- YouTube history.
“I could say honestly at the beginning I just knew generally that we would get recognized for our talent and our work,” Flossy said. “When you believe in your people, you just look at them and you believe in your people. You know something is going to happen. You know something great is going to happen.”
Flossy attributes much of Turquoise Jeep’s success to their fan base, which he vehemently states is loyal.
“Once you down with Jeep you are down for life,” he added.
However, it would be impossible to not laugh at the ridiculousness of what they’ve managed to turn into a successful career, ripe with steady touring and consistent content creation to maintain relevance in the finite days of Internet stardom.
“Lemme Smang It,” for instance, is probably not ever going to be a contender for Best Music Video. The production is simple but to the point, and the imagery is just basic artist-on-white-background-grinding-while-rapping. Not exactly making Spielberg sweat. The production in the music, though, is crisp and clean, which immediately lets you know that though the words might cause you to laugh, the production is quite serious.
Perhaps this is why Turquoise Jeep has managed to defy the odds of pretentious music critics: they are serious about what they do. There is a deliberate simplicity to each and every video, whether its graphics, editing or simple transitions. To give credit to Turquoise Jeep is to give credit to continuity and hard work paying off.
“We are not boxed in as far as our ear, our creativity. Like, look at Chromeo. Chromeo is dope as hell. They have their own style, that’s why I relate to them. It’s different. We’re different. Different recognizes different. We’ll cross paths one day and work on something,” Flossy said.
But is Turquoise Jeep the next Chromeo? Probably not. They are Turquoise Jeep. They are a group of guys (and girl”¦ MoonRock, we see you) that do what they love and get paid for it. Let’s repeat that: they do what they love and get paid for it. They’ve already dealt with the hordes of people who have passed them off as merely another Internet sensation, and they’ve proved them all wrong. One quick glance at their touring schedule, and you’ll see that they might be working harder than your favorite band or DJ or rapper.
“Just know that we are always going to show up,” Flossy concludes. !
Turquoise Jeep Music plays The Garage on Sunday, Jan. 25 starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Must Be The Holy Ghost and Primovanhalen are scheduled to play, as well.