Main Attrakionz
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Main Attrakionz

Oakland, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF

Oakland, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Hip Hop Alternative




"Main Attrakionz Bossalinis & Fooliyones"

Gearing up for the release of Bossalinis & Fooliyones, rapper MondreM.A.N. (one half of the Main Attrakionz, along with partner Squadda B) told FACT, "We don't feel like dancing, we don't go to parties, and we don't make no party music." Following the trajectory of Main Attrakionz's career, which has produced a multitude of free solo and collaborative mixtapes hinged on celestial samples and irreverent rhymes, it's not a terribly surprising statement. Wedged somewhere between Bay Area peer Lil B's prolific and ever-expanding thought balloons and the spacey introversion of chillwave, "cloud rap" was viewed as the antithesis of party rap, a music that made little sense outside of a weed-fogged, wi-fi enabled bubble built for one.
This was a big part of cloud rap's appeal, but any music built on the fickle whims of the web is vulnerable. But on releases like their 2011 breakthrough 808s & Dark Grapes II and Squadda B's I Smoke Because I Don't Care About Death, Main Attrakionz proved to be relatable and able to adapt to new sounds. Here on their proper full-length debut, a sound in danger of stagnation has been brightened and reconfigured in appealing ways.
While it's as smoked-out, hedonistic, and vaguely introspective as their previous efforts, Bossalinis & Fooliyones at times sounds downright bombastic thanks to its embrace of earthly influences. Taking it to the club might be taking it a little too far, but the springy opener "Green on Sight" and the addictive "La Piñata" bring to mind house parties, parking lots, and late-night convertible joyrides. Squadda and Mondre put a lot of work into getting their unconventional sound noticed, and it's obvious as to why they would want to hold onto their outsider status. But it's hard for them to mask just how much fun they're having, and the feeling is infectious.
Main Attrakionz have never been great rappers, and sometimes that's a problem: "I can't complain I'm doin' my thing, I mean I'm in my lane/ I can't complain I'm steady getting' paid, I'm sippin' the drank," seems to be the motto. But thanks to a crack team of mostly unknown producers, the recurring themes of money, smoke, girls, and hustle are cast in a flattering light. Despite there being 13 producers spread over 17 tracks (Chicago space cadets Supreme Cuts and the ubiquitous Harry Fraud get two at-bats), Bossalinis & Fooliyones sounds sonically cohesive and consistent. The duo's laconic flows feel tailor-made for off-the-cuff game spitting, and tracks like highlight "Cloud Life" get a boost from producer Joe Wax's amorous slow-burn. "LFK" (which stands for "Lo-fi Kings") finds the two riffing on UGK and providing their own take on all things Houston. And Fraud, as if trying to provide a minimalist companion piece to current hit "Function", helps assist the hometown anthem single "Do It For the Bay".
Too bad that what follows marks a significant drop-off in quality. The problems start with "Superstitious", which features a usually reliable Zaytoven on auto-pilot and a phoned-in Gucci Mane verse. Tracks like "Love Is Life" and "Cloud Body" are boilerplate cloud rap, feeling lifeless against the harder-hitting material. Other songs simply suffer from being too corny (the melodramatic "Wings"), or too leaden ("Bury Me a Millionaire", which features name-drop puns that even Game wouldn't go near). The real problem might just be that, having been so mixtape-oriented for so long, Main Attrakionz haven't developed the necessary editing skills. By the time you get to "Wings", you still have 20 minutes left in a nearly 70 minute album.
Still, there's something obviously charming about Main Attrakionz. They're transparent and often entertainingly aloof-- in the same FACT interview, Mondre admitted to not even knowing what chillwave was. So Bossalinis & Fooliyones is a testament to honesty and effort. Here are two guys who clearly love to rap and work hard at it, taking a style they can call their own, and presenting it in a more user-friendly way. More often than not, they make it work. - Pitchfork

"Main Attrakionz 808's & Dark Grapes II"

The Oakland, California DIY hip-hop duo Main Attrakionz couldn't have come at a better time. It's no news that the indie rap spectrum is beginning to widen and mutate, allowing the agit-prop of Odd Future to beam into the eyeballs of 12.4 million viewers on VMA night, wiggling polarizing avant-weirdos like Danny Brown and (more notably) Lil B into the mainstream consciousness, ramping up demand for astrally fogged bedroom producer Clams Casino's beats and grabbing up page space for up-and-coming outsiders like Harlem's ASAP Rocky. It's no surprise then that Main Attrakionz are being lumped into the same discussions (after all, they've worked with the latter three aforementioned artists), and in turn are well on their way to gaining the similar levels of notoriety. At the end of last month-- hot off their new mixtape 808s & Dark Grapes II-- the pair headed East and rocked Manhattan's New Museum as part of its "Get Weird" series, a notable but fittingly offbeat inauguration.
"Weird," however, seems a tad ill-fitting when describing Main Attrakionz's music: While unconventional in the sense that if you stripped away those titular 808s, you'd be left with glassy synths and watery textures that one could easily classify as ambient, rappers Squadda B and MondreM.A.N. seem simply to be products of their environment. And we're not necessarily talking about Oakland. While as prolific, as unafraid to integrate leftfield influences into their music, and as happy to keep things subwoofer-friendly as their Bay Area peers, most of their success and musical inspirations call cyberspace home. And in the case of 808s-- the fourth freebie mixtape full-length that these barely 20-year-olds have released in the past year (not including their solo efforts)-- Main Attrakionz seem to be neither the rule nor the exception, but rather a well-meaning, well-balanced rap act that has a sound that's both very "now" yet convincingly true-to-self.
As rappers, Squadda and Mondre at first seem unremarkable. Thematically, it's weed, women, and ambition, mixed with some mild introspection and broad sloganeering ("Ain't shit gon' change, but yo' ass can," goes the hook on "Nothin' Gonna Change"). So while some might write the two off in the rhyme department, it's important to note that the rhymes aren't really the draw here. Instead, the simplistic approach reads like a mantra of self-disciplining restraint (or as Mondre explains on "Paperwork", "I keep the music simple so any nigga can see"). Though lacking Lil B's bizarro free-associative style, it becomes pretty clear that, if their work ethic and output wasn't evidence enough, these guys are just constantly rapping: You can almost imagine them rhyming their way out of a speeding ticket or through a city council meeting (see: "Rap Junkies"). Which is to say, it blends perfectly with the zoned-out production. And the fact that Squadda and Mondre aren't exactly foils-- I wouldn't have noticed that each rapper takes a solo cut here had I not had the tracklist glowing back at me-- everything on 808s seems to emulsify almost effortlessly.
As the title suggests, this is music that will have you scrolling through your contacts to see if anyone's holding. Tracks like the new age-y "Perfect Skies" and the excellent "Chuch" spread out with a Zen-like grace that, coupled with Squadda and Mondre's fluid back-and-forth, invites you to melt into it. So, no, Main Attrakionz won't be spared the ridicule of jockeying the hipster zeitgeist-- after all, opener "Bossalinis & Fooliyones Pt. 2" samples Glasser's "Treasury of We"-- but these idiosyncratic pairings offer insight into where these guys are coming from.
Main Attrakionz have often been described as "lo-fi rap," and while 808s & Dark Grapes II itself is sonically tight and clean, it reeks of homemade qualities. Just because you can't hear the vocals reverberating off the tacky wood paneling in some basement doesn't mean you don't get a feel for how it was made. These guys are very much of the digital age and clearly feel most comfortable between the hinges of their laptops-- never mind that when the two are backed by more traditional, blocky programmings, they come off as average at best. Thanks to having such a wealth of music at their fingertips, Main Attrakionz synthesize their influences and source material uniquely and offer an endearing voice where others simply troll. Or, to paraphrase another popular internet parlance: They're doing it right. - Pitchfork

"Above The Clouds - Main Attrakionz"

Back in the city for their second year at New York’s CMJ festival, Hollywood Squadda and Mondre MAN are spending this particular day with producers Supreme Cuts and Ryan Hemsworth, plus Bajan rapper, Haleek Maul. We meet high up in the clouds of a studio in Manhattan’s Chinatown on a particularly foggy day. As Mondre discusses the early days of making music in their home studio, he touches on his band mate’s culinary skills: “Squadda should be cooking up turkey burgers right now.”

But before he can get started in the kitchen, there’s a call from Kitty Pryde, who’s performing in Brooklyn, and the group stream back into the city streets, racing to the venue before the end of her set. They just miss it, arriving minutes after she steps off stage. Instead they watch Diiv’s show, with Mondre expressing his desire to find a live band for the rap duo to record with. It’s this experimental side that’s seen them team up with alternative producers like Supreme Cuts, Beautiful Lou, Friendzone and Ryan Hemsworth. Following a stream of mixtapes and independent albums since 2010, last October saw the release of ‘Bossalinis & Fooliyones’, the debut studio album from Main Attrakionz.

It’s been a long time since a musical sub-genre baffled music journalists and fans alike, but cloud rap is slippery. Not necessarily defined by sound patterns or drum style, it’s ethereal, celestial. Almost conceptual, it’s like the feeling of drifting above the clouds. Never before have MCs rapped over ambient instrumentals reminiscent of the soundtrack to childhood cartoons like ‘The Land Before Time’ and ‘My Little Pony’.

The term ‘cloud rap’ refers to the mellow, atmospheric melodies laced with manipulated samples and a heavy bass line. Originally linked to a sequence of rappers based in Oakland, the majority of early production is credited to Squadda and Clams Casino, a New Jersey producer with beat credits for Mac Miller and The Weeknd. His song ‘Take 1 (Leaf)’ is a stripped down-haunting instrumental featuring Main Attrakionz and A$AP Rocky, which appeared on both artist’s projects, ‘808s And Dark Grapes’ and ‘LiveLoveA$AP’.

The sound first appeared in 2010 and evolved into a minor phenomenon in the rap blogosphere with Lil B and Main Attrakionz producing the majority of music eligible for definition. Main Attrakionz moved past the initial hype of 2010 and continued to make music and release projects, including 2011’s ‘Blackberry Kush’ and ‘808s And Dark Grapes’. Mondre isn’t exactly sure why the name was given to their sound, but it stuck. “When cloud rap came, I don’t know if it’s because of the samples or that we sound like we rapping under water.”

While seeming to have died down, in 2012 it crept back into discussion thanks to the release of ‘Bossalinis & Fooliyones’. Music blog Southern Hospitality, who are credited with coining the term, observe that rappers working within the genre are not limited to it. They explain: “cloud rap’ is more of a thematic movement: not all rappers make rap, and not all rappers that make cloud rap make it exclusively.”

As one of the producers responsible for the sound, Squadda attempts to define it: “I don’t know what to call this - it’s like a lifestyle, it’s unexplainable. But once you look at Main Attrakionz, you’re gonna see cloud - it’s a way of life.” - Clash Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy