Though they claim to be jet-setters whose schedule keeps them on the road 365 days a year, the mysterious hip-hop duo Cum & Go seem to find plenty of time to perform in Tucson.
Wheelchair-bound, potty-mouthed rapper/crooner Steven Dynasty--he claims the only reason he needs the chair is due to his unholy consumption of Jack Daniels--originally hails from Chatanooga, Tenn., while keyboardist Chuck Hollywood was born in Beverly Hills, Calif. ("representin' the 90212," he says), but fate brought them together during a stint in the Tijuana pokey, where Hollywood was serving time for diamond theft and Dynasty was in for smuggling illegal fireworks across the border. During break time in the yard each day ("they called it 'sunshine time,'" explains Hollywood), the pair would convene at a rickety old piano which Hollywood played, over which Dynasty "started bustin' some rhymes," and Cum & Go was born.
Released from jail a month apart, the two reconvened in Tennessee--at Dollywood, to be specific--and found that the magic was not only still there, but was so, uh, magical that it needed to be taken to the masses, stat.
They spent some time toying with the formula, performing as a guitar-and-drums duo, but soon discovered that a single electronic keyboard--first a Casio, currently a Yamaha, as discussed below--could capture virtually any sound they sought, while leaving a bit more room to stretch out on their massive tour bus.
Along the way they found time to record a pair of albums: 1999's In Your Face, which Hollywood says "went platinum in Iowa," and the sophomore release, Pay at the Pump, of which Dynasty remarks sadly, "Failure. A complete failure." Hollywood adds, "We thought we were through."
Remarkably, then, the pair seems to have hit their stride with the brand new third album, Straight Pumpin, set to drop this week. Co-produced by Tucson singer/songwriter Teddy Morgan and featuring background vocals by a Florida stripper named Candy Rivers, amazingly, the entire album was recorded and mixed in 4 ¼ hours.
And while the group's songs are entirely autobiographical, many of them seem to raise more questions than they answer. We sat down with Cum & Go earlier this week to dig a little deeper, to discuss the new album and see what makes these guys tick. In the end, we were even more confused than when we started: Are Steven Dynasty and Chuck Hollywood touched by genius? Or are they complete morons?
First off, let's discuss the change over to keyboard. Listening to the new album, I find it pretty amazing that the whole thing was done with just one keyboard and one microphone.
Chuck Hollywood: Yeah, it's like Motown in that little keyboard.
Steven Dynasty: It's fuckin' unbelievable. We used to use Casio, big fans of the Casio ...
CH: Casio shout-out!
SD: ... but this Yamaha just blows us away.
CH: You can't go wrong with Yamaha. They make keyboards, motorcycles, amplifiers, vibrators; they make it all.
SD: They're global. It's like some kinda world domination thing.
CH: Kawasaki. Harley-Davidson. If they made keyboards, I'd play their shit, too.
Put on that teddy.
I'll make you meatballs and spaghetti.
Girl, did you shave that poodle?
We're suckin' on the same noodle.
--from "Suckin (same noodle)"
Besides spaghetti, what else do you cook well?
SD: Eggs. I'm a fuckin' master chef, y'know? Love all eggs. Fuckin' sunny side up, scrambled, fuckin' Denver omelet and huevos Mexicana. Shit.
You guys sing about food a lot.
CH: Ya gotta eat.
SD: And ya gotta eat well. I mean, there's a sandwich in every beer, but sometimes ya just gotta eat the solids.
A lotta people think Cum & Go got paid to do this song, but it's not true. We did it out of love, love for our favorite cookie company. You know who I'm talkin' 'bout ... --from "Otis Spunkmeyer"
What makes Otis Spunkmeyer cookies the best?
CH: It's gotta be the spunk.
SD: It's just good shit. Lotta times you get cookies at the store and they're all fuckin' dried up and fuckin' hard. Fuck that.
CH: They're baked fresh every morning.
SD: Fuck. Forget about it, Chuck.
Steven D on the microphone,
After you leave I'm takin' your girlfriend home.
We're gettin' in the whirlpool, it's gettin' hot.
Do I got pants on? I think not.
--from "Freedom Kiss"
What exactly is a freedom kiss?
CH: It's like, I keep hearin' all these people lately talkin' about freedom fries, freedom toast ...
SD: Whatever, it's like, baby come on back to my crib and I'll give you a freedom kiss.
CH: It's a patriotic kiss, but with some irony and sarcasm.
SD: Yeah, it's a lot of complicated shit.
That girl, she had a penis hangin' there.
That girl, she had a penis with her long, luscious hair.
--from "The Sailor"
If a girl has a penis, is she still a girl?
CH: All depends on if she's got boobs.
SD: Yeah, big titties are a major factor in that. But think about it: woman. Wo-man.
CH: There's not that big a difference. And when you're dealing with as many women as we are, something's bound to pop up every now and then.
SD: We need to get someone to screen these ladies.
CH: Yeah, but sometimes you can just tell.
You thought your life was rough,
Try ridin' all day in the tour bus.
Fly in them private planes,
Wearin' heavy gold chains.
I had no idea it was so hard being a rock star until I heard "Superstar." Could you expound on that a little bit?
CH: Oh yeah, it can be downright brutal.
SD: I'll give you an example. Back in the day, I was friends with Mr. T, back before he started doin' them 1-800-Collect commercials. And like us, he was down with the bling-bling, you know, the gold chains. Well, let me tell you, those gold chains are heavy. And it would be like a competition between me and Mr. T to see who could wear the most gold chains. Fuckin' heavy.
CH: Seriously. One time I found Steven D unconscious on the floor, 'cause he had so many gold chains on that he couldn't breathe, you know. And he had some supermodel there that was still humpin' his leg. And I was like, damn, this shit's gone too far.