DC-area alternative hip-hop trio RDGLDGRN made their first splash in 2013 with the self-aware DIY Youtube video for their first song, “I Love Lamp.” Since that moment, they have continued to attract a faithful following all over the world through their openness, humor, and upbeat, genre-inclusive sound. Green’s technically impressive and culturally aware rap verses are matched by the skillful guitar and bass work of Red and Gold. But in addition to their innovative music, the group also excels at connecting with their fans. Their use of humor, positive messaging, and palpable friendship are especially clearly conveyed in their new weekly vlog series, which has so far featured them riffing at a German mall, hanging out on a boat, and having three-person “field days” full of sports challenges.
In October, RDGLDGRN released their music video for “Clapback,” the first single from the band’s newly announced new full-length album, LP3. As described on the band’s email list:
“Clapback” is a steady injection of sonic adrenaline that unfolds over Rage Against The Machine-inspired guitars and a driving combination of percussion and bass… The video finds our three favorite colors (Red, Gold and Green) in search of a new nemesis, the Blue Ninja. The narrative sets the tone for a new adventure that the band will undertake during the course of LP3’s release.
Following the release of the video for “Clapback,” and in anticipation of LP3, we asked the trio to tell us a little more about themselves and their music.
Y’all have such clear chemistry, and it comes through in the tightness of the music as well as the humor in the videos. Had you known each other for a long time before you made your first video in 2013? What’s the origin story of RDGLDGRN?
RDGLDGRN is three kids from Reston, Virginia – a DC Suburb – who went to the same high school. We actually linked up to create music together after we graduated and just cooked it up in the basement for fun. We didn’t even know we were forming a band.
Your music incorporates elements from a lot of different genres, including rock, hip-hop, and Go-Go. For those who are not yet familiar, how would you define Go-Go?
Go-Go is the sound of DC, that’s how we define it, and it influenced us greatly. It’s just in our heads anytime we write any type of song. It’s the same thing with any other genre of music – rock, hip hop, funk, jazz, world music. They’re all in our heads whenever we make something new. We draw from it all.
You put a lot of effects into your videos, and they often add to the humor, like in your video for “Clapback”. Who all is involved in the post-production?
We make most of our videos ourselves. We worked with Patrick Lincoln from Torch House Media on “Clapback” because we really connected and shared a vision for what we were doing. He’s also very talented.
I love the vlog too, because your personalities really come through. Where did you get the idea to do “field days”? What can we expect in future episodes?
The Vlog is really us turning on the camera when we’re together and just letting any ideas flow or chronicling the day. We are probably going to have more themed episodes in the future and formats like video podcasts, interviews and other things.
Tell me about the new album, LP3. What is it about, and what excites you most about it?
We wrote it all in Virginia and Miami. We did all of the post-production ourselves. It’s all of the different versions of RDGLDGRN combined. We jump from genre to genre and just try to always give positive vibes.
What else have you got planned for the next year?
We’re going to drop like 42 million projects next year, and also plan on officially joining the Wu Tang Clan.