Seven years ago, BADBADNOTGOOD established themselves as a compelling new act by fusing hip-hop and jazz in bold new ways. The group subsequently expanded their fan base by playing raucous live shows that proved it’s possible to mosh to free jazz. As a result of their collaborations with esteemed artists such as Ghostface Killah, Kendrick Lamar and Odd Future, the band has created some the most compelling and unique songs in modern popular music. Here are 5 things you didn’t know about BADBADNOTGOOD.
The group was initially advised not to pursue a career in hip-hop
BADBADNOTGOOD got together when its three founders, Matthew Tavares, Alexander Sowinski and Chester Hansen, met while attending Humber College’s jazz program. Although the trio formed a bond over their collective love for hip hop, their teachers didn’t appreciate the group’s efforts to bring together their two favorite genres. As revealed in an interview with Now Toronto, after giving a performance where they cover some rap songs, the group received crushing feedback from their teachers including the scathing remark, “I didn't find anything of musical value in this performance.”
BBNG owes their early success to Tyler, the Creator
Before BBNG’s first album dropped, they received international attention thanks to Odd Future frontman Tyler, the Creator. In April 2011, the hip-hop impresario tweeted out a link to a YouTube video made by the group that featured a medley hip-hop songs, including a few OF tracks. The video quickly went viral and has since racked up nearly 1 million views.
The group’s name was originally intended for a TV show
BADBADNOTGOOD is one of modern music’s strangest band names, and it has an appropriately odd origin. According to an interview with Stussy, the name BBNG was created by a friend of the trio’s named Connor who intended it to be the title for an undeveloped TV project.
BBNG have some high profile friends in indie rock and electronica
Although the band is most closely associated with hip-hop, their recent work has seen them expand into other genres with the help of some big name collaborators. On BBNG’s fourth album, IV, the band debuted songs with saxophonist Colin Stetson, electronic music producer Kaytranada and Future Islands lead singer Sam Herring.
The iconic pig mask was originally part of a Halloween costume
One of BBNG’s aesthetic quirks is that drummer Alexander Sowinski often performs while wearing a garish pig mask. As told to an interviewer from Los Bangeles, this unusual bit of costuming came about because Sowinski, who had just finished a Halloween performance with another group, wore the mask to a BBNG rehearsal. He subsequently wore to a BBNG performance and decided to make it part of his regular on stage ensemble.