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Queens Chronicle

Queens rap group reps boro at MoMA PS 1

The misfits start fitting in

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Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:30 am

The rap group World’s Fair truly represents the borough.

Last year the musicians, who grew up in Corona, Cambria Heights, Jamaica and Forest Hills, released “Queens Revisited” under the name Children of the Night. Throughout their raps they named Queens Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue, side streets and hangout spots like taking a World’s Fair led tour east of the East River. Their album cover is a collage of all these things from the Queensboro Bridge to Citi Field and of course the Unisphere.

Their new album “Bastards of the Party,” with no set release date, does the same with songs such as “Company Fair” — “Big city of dreams, levitating Queens with me. On top of the Koch Bridge, point to where I live,” the lyrics say.

And on Aug. 17 the group will be representing Queens in Long Island City at MoMA PS 1, which throws weekly outdoor concerts-dance parties as part of its “Warm Up” series. In fact this year they will be the only Queens group performing at the venue that can pull up to 6,000 wiggling music seekers.

World’s Fair expects a “sexy and sophisticated” crowd, rapper Nasty Nigel said, and looks forward to the water misters and baby pools, DJ Thoth added.

The guys met in childhood and as they grew up kept pulling in those who share their love of music, spinning together the group of 10, including their manager, Affan Arif.

“We’re just friends,” rapper Prince SAMO said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Do you want to be in my group?’ We started riding our bikes together as grown men, passing bottles of liquor back and forth and showing up at parties all sweaty.”

“We drink a lot, party a lot, curse,” Remy Banks said.

“Laugh a lot and love a lot,”Lansky Jones said.

They do laugh a lot.

“He always gets lost,” they said of Jones, adding that they want to put a tracker on him like one for finding lost keys. They joke about Prince SAMO’s fear of roller coasters and the dark. “I sleep with white Christmas lights on in my room,” Prince admitted.

The group has grown a lot in the last few years.

They now practice a few times every week, brainstorming rhymes as well as practicing their stage presence to ensure the crowd is being revved up and planning who has the mikes so not all six voices have the lime light at the same time.

“We always felt like we didn’t fit in,” said Nigel Nasty, who describes their sound as alternative and as rebellious fun.

“We aren’t just rapty-rap,” he said. Judges in contests they were competing in weren’t handing them good marks. And a show on a frigid winter day two years ago in Flushing taught them the importance of sound checks, getting paid and reliable pants. (Nigel Nasty unfortunately had to deal with a weak seam.)

But in the last year they have gained some recognition. The Village Voice has blogged about them as up and comers a couple of times and Complex Music, a music news site, named World’s Fair as one of 10 new New York rap groups to watch out for.

The internet has allowed them to gather a bigger fan base, they said, which has pushed them lyrically.

In the soon to come “Bastards of the Party,” they delve into deep subjects like not knowing their fathers and being broke, which is the heart of the final track “Black Listed.”

“It’s hard to listen to it without crying,” Remy Banks said.

“It’s real-life stuff,” rapper Cody B Ware said.

They have also grown by locking down about two shows a month in New York as well as nationally and internationally.

But one stage that still tops their to-do list is the Queens Museum, a remnant of their namesake.

“It’s a dream to perform there,” Lanksy Jones said. “We’re from Queens performing in the heart of Queens.”

Warm Up series with World’s Fair

When: Saturday, Aug. 17, from 3 to 9 p.m.

Where: MoMA PS 1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., LIC

Tickets: $15 in advance / $18 day-of

momaps1.org/warmup

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