MTV News' New West Week coverage obviously entails focusing on the music coming out of the surging L.A. hip-hop scene, but the movement's fashion and dance culture also deserves special attention too. That's where Cali trio the Rej3ctz — Mowii (South Central), Pee Wee (Inglewood) and Bounce (Compton) — glide into the picture.
The trio already have a fan in Chris Brown, who appeared in their video for "Cat Daddy," also the name of their latest dance, which has been spreading like wildfire thanks to a viral video that has banked more than 21 million YouTube views.
The Rej3ctz aren't just dancers moonlighting as rappers though. They insist they have too many talents to limit themselves to just those titles. They're also prominent members of Cali's party scene. "We created something called 'renaissance artist,' " Mowii told MTV News. "So for all those who like to tell people [no] and destroy their dreams. Nah, we are the renaissance artists. It means you have the art, the life, the style of fashion, to do what you want, no matter what anybody says. That's why we're renaissance artists. That's why we're directing, that's why we're choreographing, that's why we're making up our own dances, our own lane, our own style."
Dances have always been a part of hip-hop culture — from the running man to the Soulja Boy dance — and the Rej3ctz are embracing their dance-floor talents. In recent years, dances with accompanying songs have become hugely popular, including Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How to Dougie" and the New Boyz's "You're a Jerk." (Cali natives Audio Push also dropped "Teach Me How to Jerk.")
Besides the cat daddy dance and its accompanying song, off their TheFUNKtion vs theKICKback mixtape, the Rej3ctz also claim to have created all the fancy moves coming out of the West Coast like jerkin' or whatever spastic motion kids in colorful gear are performing.
"Currently, all the dances that came from the West, the Rej3ctz have made them up. Period," Mowii said. "We were doing music and dancing at the time. And the New Boyz called us over and were like, 'Yo, bro, we realized we was using your dance and we respect y'all enough to invite you all out, so please show some support,' so I was like, 'Ben J and Legacy, man, you got it.' So, we hopped up that morning and went out to support their video."
For now, the Rej3ctz are continuing to spin their popularity into bigger opportunities. They're set to be featured in the forthcoming Mario Van Peebles-directed film "We the Party." The acclaimed director also helmed their video for "Cat Daddy 2.0," which is based on the group's audition for "We the Party." No matter how busy their schedules get, the always dazzlingly dressed Rej3ctz plan on having a good time. "I think people are at a point where they're like, 'Let's have fun,' " Mowii said.
"Let's have fun, let's stop doing too much, man. There's too many killings going on right now, too much violence around the world," he added. "It's too serious right now. People aren't talking about something real. Let's have fun ... thank you."
Stick with us all week as MTV News turns the spotlight on the New West, including a special edition of "RapFix Live" with Cali's own Tyga on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on MTV.com. We're bringing you the next wave of hip-hop acts helping restore faith in the L.A. rap scene. From groups like Odd Future to rising MCs like Dom Kennedy, we'll bring you up close and personal to these artists as they carve their own lanes in the post-gangsta rap era. Keep it locked here for the next week for more on the West Coast up-and-comers!