As Cincinnati hip-hop duo Patterns of Chaos were walking out the door after recording a session with WCPO Lounge Acts, frontman Jay Hill proclaimed, "if I were an anime character, my weapon would be a microphone."
That's a pretty spot-on indicator for Patterns of Chaos' brand of music they call "grown kid rap." The duo consists of obvious best friends, rapper Jay Hill and producer Alex Stallings (AKA Stallitix).
Among the pop-culture innuendo heard in the group's Lounge Acts performance are references to '90s cartoons like Anamaniacs and Spongebob Squarepants. One fan went so far as to create Patterns of Chaos (or "P.O.C.") attire in the Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing.
While the group isn't shy about their nerdiness, Hill said he's been careful not to paint himself into a corner.
"You can be a nerd for so many things," he said. "We’re nerds about anime and certain aspects of gamer culture. But we’re also just absolute music nerds."
Still, the experience of growing up nerdy is on display in the song "Amorphous," where Jay Hill raps "everything I’m not is everything I’ll never get to be.”
"The entire song is from the perspective of a person who doesn’t fit any sort of archetype,” Hill explained during the band's interview on WCPO Lounge Acts.
Stallings said of his own amorphous experience growing up that "there’s times where I never got invited to the Dungeons and Dragons meeting, or never got invited to a party or a kegger because I go under radar."
The group came together as an accident back in 2018 when Stallings decided to go big after being given a shot to open for '90s hip-hop group The Pharcyde at the Mockbee.
"I was opening up for Pharcyde and I was like, ‘I want to have a rapper, I don’t just want to play beats," Stallings said. Adding, "so I asked Jay Hill."
“We thought it was just going to be a one-time thing," he said. "But then everyone was like, ‘y’all oughta be a group.’”
The set they put together for that night would later become the group's first EP, "Freedom."
On the fifth track, "MMM," Hill raps "it's 2018, I shouldn't be rapping about Nazis." Later adding, "in third grade they taught us our grandparents solved this."
When asked how politics influences the group, Stallings repeated his montra: "My name is Stallitix, I don't f*** with politics."
Hill explained further: “We don’t mess with the politics, but we do mess with humanity. I should not be talking about Nazis. There should be this base level of human respect and empathy and love that we’ve been taught to have.”
During their Lounge Acts taping, Patterns of Chaos performed two new songs from their next album, "Chaotic Good." The songs, "Fruenlaven" and "Spazzin,'" show off Jay Hill's dynamic to drop jokes and serious topics side-by-side.
The band has been working with Radio Artifact and have plans to release the album sometime before the end of the year.
The quarantine has had the duo working on some projects individually. Stallings recently released a mixtape on his Stallitix bandcamp page, while Jay Hill released a single called "A Song Called Sidechain."
Listening to Patterns of Chaos makes it clear that their penchant for the nerdier things in life is in fact advocacy for embracing and being yourself.
Hill described the group as "some pan-artistic liaisons using our medium to translate multiple ideas across different context."
Nowhere is this self-celebration more apparent then as Patterns of Chaos ends their Lounge Acts performance with a freestyle rap that slowly devolves into Hill cracking up over his own rhymes.
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