This new trio is dripping with 954 pride. They're even putting out their first release on Laser Wolf Records. That's right, the craft beer-centric watering hole isn't just a place to get silly on hops; the guys behind it, specifically Chris Bellus, are managing an imprint. "He helped us put the seven-inch out. He spent tens of thousands of dollars finding the right vinyl-pressing plant that would transfer our bass properly to record. After six months of searching the globe, he finally found one. And at last, 'Death Wolf' will be released," Da $wap $hop Kid says.
The Bellus brothers — Chris and Jordan — who are (literally) behind the bar, were raised on Miami bass, according to Da $wap $hop Kid. Death Jam appropriately penned and rapped the tune "Death Wolf," "in respect to their dope-ass bar," he informs. "It's about drinking and transforming into a wolf that's a party animal. We filmed the video at Laser Wolf one night. We pretty much just partied and had a camera." And they'll premiere both the vinyl and the video at, he says, "the exact same spot where the 'Death Wolf' was born." The party will take place this Saturday and come complete with a twerk contest. Only 100 copies of the pressed wax will be sold, and each contains a custom handmade package and "some other ultra-rare items."
As far as how Death Jam was formed, Da $wap $hop Kid says he met Young Lauderdale in 2002 while playing "CoCo 3s at the Oakland flea market," adding, "We been friends ever since."
A late night at the strip club Scarlett's led them to the man who rounds out their triad, Mister Belvedere. "Mr. Belvy was surrounded by beautiful women and the finest champagne. He knew us from around town and invited us over. We chilled hard and realized how much we all loved bass music and started laying some tracks," he explains. While Da $wap $hop Kid and Young Lauderdale handle the lyrics, Mister Belvedere crafts the beats. Also included in their posse is DJ Pompano Slim — "when he's not collecting money from deadbeat loan recipients" — and Red Velvet, who, he says, "blesses us with beats."
And though things seem to be going pretty smoothly artistically, there is one glitch in the system. Russell Simmons is threatening to sue them because their name sounds like "Def Jam." They're not backing down, though; they promise they'll take it to court. Their response to Simmons and his cease-and-desist letter? He and his cohorts can "go fuck themselves."
One possible reason they're standing up could be their dedication to the cause. "Booty music is immortal," Da $wap $hop Kid preaches. "People love to shake their ass. People love bass. Florida had a huge impact on booty music, and it seemed to vanish completely before the millennium. We think the Illuminati wanted to destroy booty music/Miami bass because it was becoming too large worldwide. They were threatened, not having any control over it. We are here to continue the momentum and carry on tradition."