It's 10 days before Christmas when Hive calls two members of Three Loco -- the rap entertainment trio comprised of former MTV VJ Simon Rex (Dirt Nasty), comedian Andy Milonakis, and international playboy Riff Raff. They’ve called into a conference call for an interview. Well, two of the three members have. Speculating on the whereabouts of the absent Riff Raff, Milonakis and Dirt Nasty break into banter, with the latter quipping, "He's probably doing something with his hair, like curling his hair. Riff Raff probably thought this interview was on camera so he'll be taking a long time doing his hair." This is how Three Loco rolls for the rest of the session. It’s like calling in on an ongoing rap skit.
The eight-track Three Loco EP (out now via Mad Decent) follows a similar format, as the trio line up over production by Diplo and Sinden and kick raps that aim to entertain and raise a smirk with their absurdist streak: “Beer” has Andy dropping what’s likely the only ever reference to Old Speckled Hen ale in all of rap, while “Bong Hits” has Riff Raff deciding that instead of chasing platinum sales he wants to go “triple sterling.” So while Dirt pulled over by the side of a highway in his Prius and Milonakis remained at home in an apartment complex where someone's alarm is constantly ringing, they talked with Hive about dysfunctional fans, being appreciated by Dr. Dre, and the all-important underlying theme of sushi. (And yes, the well-coiffed Riff Raff eventually does make a grand guest entrance.)
Dirt Nasty: I think it's strange that people are like, "It's actually good!" I think peoples' preconceived notion is that it's going to be bad, but it's musically good. When you get beats from Diplo and Sinden, the music is already is pretty good even if we weren't on it. Then we just bring us and our personalities to it.
Andy Milonakis: They expect it to be bad, but meanwhile I expect every mainstream rap shit that comes on the radio to be bad. I like that type of music 'cause it has good production and catchy hooks and it's good stuff to listen to in the car, but it's the most generic, overused cookie-cutter shit ever. I think it's cool just to rap about different shit, weird stuff. We're not like the Money Cash Hoes Factory.
Dirt Nasty: We're like the anti-rappers! Me and Andy and Riff are from an older generation and grew up with different rap heroes. I'm not gonna say any names but to me mainstream rappers now aren't the same quality as what we grew up on. I grew up listening to Too $hort and N.W.A. and the Geto Boys and Slick Rick and Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep, so I know I'm not some ghetto dude but at least my frame of reference to good rap is some real hip hop.
Andy Milonakis: I know I am some ghetto dude.
Dirt Nasty: Riff Raff is the one out of the three of us that can get the ghetto pass. Me and Andy know our spot. I think Riff gets more of the ghetto hall pass.
Andy Milonakis: I think I have a good black fan base.
Dirt Nasty: You actually have a good ghetto pass too. But Riff being from Houston and his whole vibe, he gets it more.
What mark out of ten would you give Riff Raff's ghetto pass?
Dirt Nasty: Riff is like a ten. Andy's is like a nine and mine is like a six.
Andy Milonakis: I walked up to this guy and he was like, "Yo, what up n*gga, I'm from fuckin' Compton, I'll take a bullet for you, n*gga." And I'm like, "Alright!" So maybe I'm even a 10. I get a lot of love from black people. My 'hood pass was out of control.
Dirt Nasty: Dr. Dre came up and almost bowed down to you, like telling you how it was so great to meet you.
Andy Milonakis: I tell that story to everyone. We were at the steakhouse and Dr. Dre just arrived.
[With canny timing, Riff Raff calls into the conversation.]
Dirt Nasty: Oh, Riff Raff has arrived! It's Raff Reezy!
Riff Raff: AKA Snugglesworth.
Andy Milonakis: I was name-dropping Dr. Dre before you buzzed in. We were talking about ghetto passes.
Dirt Nasty: You and Andy got the ghetto pass more than I do. But it's cool, I got the suburb pass, I'll keep that.
Riff Raff: Yeah, we're on some V.I.P. Playboy bunny mansion passes.
Andy Milonakis: Dirt would get the ghetto pass if he stopped saying stuff like "Suck your mother's dick." A lot of his shit is very homophobic.
What sort of fans do you get coming to Three Loco shows?
Riff Raff: We don't do shows any more 'cause we're trying to do spring break only. We only tour during the spring break era. We go for suburbia.
Andy Milonakis: Our fans are like suburban white kids.
Riff Raff: We're trying to get people to go home after the club, not get hurt.
Andy Milonakis: We do have a dysfunctional fan base though.
Dirt Nasty: There's a difference between getting carpet burns on your knees and getting hit over the back of your head with a bottle of whiskey. We're trying to stay away from that 'hood shit. It's Mad Decent and Diplo spring break party music.
Riff Raff: Yeah, we're gonna be in movies and parked up in jacuzzis. We're trying to be on TV and getting dicks sucked in a tee-pee. We're trying to chill with girls not get face down in the toilet.
Who's the weirdest fan you've come across?
Dirt Nasty: This one fan in Texas came to my show straight out of Iraq. He came back from the war and he brought a fully loaded rifle and he was shooting off rounds in the parking lot. I thought he was gonna hurt me. That was pretty fuckin' scary.
Riff Raff: I was at a show and I had this girl with tits -- she was just shaking the tits -- and I get to moving in on her and I realize she says, "There's my twin brother over there." I look over to the side and it's a birth certificate that says they're identical twins AKA they're both men. [Pauses.] Andy, your turn.
Andy Milonakis: I was in my hotel room after-party style, and everyone had left and I went in my bedroom and there was this one dude there on my bed and he looked exactly like me and he started talking about how we're related. Then I realized I was on ecstasy and I was looking in the mirror talking to myself.
Dirt Nasty: Fuckin' Andy.
So who has the best verse on the EP?
Riff Raff: Obviously me.
Andy Milonakis: My favorite part about the EP is the hooks actually. I think Riff Raff kills the hooks.
Riff Raff: I think the thing about this EP is if you listen to every song you're gonna be like everybody pretty much killed it. Each song it's different, 'cause we're just having fun. It's not in competition all the time.
Dirt Nasty: Riff definitely stepped it up with the hooks. No one knew Riff could sing and then all of a sudden he started singing these hooks like Nate Dogg or something. That's not even Auto-tune you hear -- it's Riff singing in to the mic singing hooks. All the comments on YouTube are like, "Riff Raff's singing hooks? I didn't know he could do that. Now it's game over."
Do any of you have any strange habits or routines when you're recording songs?
Dirt Nasty: No, we just hate having other people in the room 'cause everyone tells us what to write. There's always gonna be some dude saying, "You need to write this."
Riff Raff: [Adopts gruff voice.] "Hold on, hold on, let me get on the fourth verse! You know what this song needs? A fourth verse with me on it!"
Andy Milonakis: It's fun though. Riff Raff makes producers play like a hundred beats in a row; he's way more pickier than us in beats. We sit there, I write in Notepad on my phone. It's pretty natural. It's fun when we get a little saucy and drunk and shit.
Riff Raff: We like to get a couple of beers and get some snacks and then afterwards go and eat at a restaurant. We eat a lot of sushi.
Andy Milonakis: Gotta love that sushi!
Riff Raff: We're just in this to eat sushi.
Andy Milonakis: I actually have sushi references in two of the songs.
Riff Raff: You guys wanna go get some sushi?
Andy Milonakis: I gotta get a haircut. I look like Oliver.
Riff Raff: We should make a video of this interview and it's me cutting your hair.
Dirt Nasty: Can you cut his hair at the sushi spot?
Riff Raff: I can really cut hair though. But you don't have to cut it I like how long it is. You should get braids.
Andy Milonakis: I look hella homeless.
Riff Raff: Let me give you a surfer cut, like I'll shave it up under and then cut around. That would be sweet. Can I give you a surfer cut or is that not okay? Like over the ears, then it slopes down over the back but your bangs are gonna be long like hanging down over your eyes. I can really do a doozy on you -- and I mean in a good way.
Before you settled on the name Three Loco, did you consider any other names for the group?
Dirt Nasty: Yeah, Riff Raff wanted us to be called Thunder Spin. Riff Raff was pretty hell bent on that and me and Andy had to really fight for Three Loco. He was like, "Thunder Spin is perfect." But I knew Three Loco was better.
Andy Milonakis: Yeah, everyone was cracking up laughing at the name when it came up.
Riff Raff: I was looking at you like, "What the fuck?"
Dirt Nasty: Riff Raff was not into it.
Riff Raff: But in the end I was like, "Yeah, fine, okay, whatever."
Andy Milonakis: It took us longer to come up with the group name than to record the EP.