Now Here This: More from the Ten St. Louis Bands That Should Be Famous

Categories: Interviews

TEF POE

The beginning: My first time onstage was via a rap battle hosted by Big Tiger from BET's legendary show Rap City. I was only fifteen years old, and I lost terribly. From there I was a hype man for my mentor Kash and my older brother Black Spade.

Hidden talent: All of my friends know I am the master of impersonations. In the studio I impersonate famous rappers all the time. We all know I can freestyle with ease, so I'll change my voice and freestyle entire songs with multiple people cueing in. I'll start off rapping like Snoop Dogg, and then suddenly I'll change my voice and you'll get eight bars of Drake collaborating with Snoop. By the time we get to the hook, I'm barking like DMX. I do this damn near everyday of my life. I know it's stupid and pointless, but I basically learned how to rap by imitating rappers that didn't suck.

Classic MTV-era music video he'd redo: First choice is Nas and Lauryn Hill's "If I Ruled The World." I would feature my little sister Theresa Payne on the hook to make sure it's a certified banger. I've always liked this song because the lyrics were commercial but deep at the same time. My second choice would be Eminem's "My Name Is." He's one of my favorite rappers: he has the skill set, he speaks his mind to the fullest extent and, much like myself, he doesn't hold back when it comes to confronting touchy subjects or stirring up the pot socially. I also think I'd want to cover Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." I'm a huge Kurt Cobain fan; I'm very intrigued by his hatred for fame. This song vocalized the pain of a generation, the turmoil of this band and the irony of being a gifted individual yet also being misunderstood and not quite embraced for the reasons you originally intended to present to the world. The video was dark and edgy. I love this type of energy.

BRUISER QUEEN

The beginning: Bruiser Queen is a dare that went too far. Here we are, three years later.

Best part about being based in St. Louis: We're lucky to be part of such a thriving community of musicians in St. Louis that work together to put on the best shows possible. Additionally, we have so many venues! Way more than most places, so it becomes perfectly feasible to throw a blowout on a Tuesday night. It's amazing. -- Jason Potter

What everyone should know about music from St. Louis: Everything they thought they knew about St. Louis music is probably outdated and wrong. We're working really hard here, and people are noticing. All the bands we bring to town are so impressed with what we have going on -- whether it's how well the shows are organized and supported, all the great venues and bands, or by the fun spots to visit like the City Museum, Vintage Vinyl, and Cherokee Street with Melt, Mud House, Apop, Livery Co, Firecracker Press, etc.

All-time favorite local act: Bunnygrunt. Hands down. Best songs, best vocals, best people.

Hidden talents: Morgan [Nusbaum] can make dolphin noises, and I have a knack for giving inanimate objects or animals convincing human voices.

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