Exploring the sounds of the OSU alternative hip-hop group Booty&theKidd

Tyler Butts lounges on his green couch and makes mention of the looming homework he’s been putting off all weekend. His roommate, Nick Reinmann gets up and riffles through crate after crate of records. He selects one and drops the needle. Butts gets up and adjusts the player so the music plays back in slow motion. Neither one says anything but they look at one another and laugh.

The two members of the Columbus grown alternative rap duo, Booty&theKidd, go way back. They’ve been friends since grade school and after going separate ways for the first parts of their college careers, they’ve reconvened as students at Ohio State and under one roof on North campus, utilizing the space to write and record their brand of write alternative hip-hop.

“We’re mainly influenced by hip-hop music, but what we make isn’t entirely hip hop. We kind of switch it up and do something a little different,” Reinmann said while adjusting the baseball cap covering his long brown hair.

Imagine super groovy rap infused with pop caprice—like Outkast hanging out with Hall and Oates. They describe their music having a “midwest sound.” Booty&theKidd’s first album “The Heart of it All” was released in the middle of October.

“I’m happier alone/That’s why I’m stoned” is the type of lyrical content you might expect from a alternative hip-hop outfit, but they also explore more unconventional anecdotes. Between punchy shouts and samples from the likes of Paul Simon, Bon Iver and the Temptations, are all combatted with concepts like insomnia and the trials of coming of age.  “The Heart of it All” also has two tracks that aren’t rap songs at all—they’re more like ballads. These are sung by Rainmann, Reinmann’s alter ego.

“Rainmann sings and the Kidd raps,” Reinmann explained. “Rainmann is the mature side of me who takes time to make his music meaningful. The Kidd is the youthful side of me who is more chaotic and impulsive.”

Rainmann’s voice is smoothly sentimental, his gentle vibrato supported by unassuming piano chords and a light violin feature. “We talked about a lot of shit we were dealing with in hopes other people will find what we found when we wrote it,” Butts said with a modest shrug.

Both Butts and Reinmann talk about Booty&theKidd with all the confidence in the world. They believe their patience has equipped them to boldly enter the diverse music scene in Columbus.

“We didn’t show anybody any of the first music we wrote,” Reinmann said. “A lot of bands, as soon as they write stuff, they get really excited about it and go out and play it and that becomes their identity. For us, the beginning was just us growing. We’re coming out of the gate hot.” Their inexperience is sometimes revealed through

clumsy banter with the audience between songs, once the tracks are queued, their inhibited dance moves and thoughtful lyrical delivery certainly compensate.

Moving forward, Reinmann and Butts hope to bring in a consistent income from the rap duo and begin touring around Ohio by this time next year. They’re also looking forward to adding a drum and a bassist into their live music equation. Butts emphasizes the importance of keeping their goals in check as Booty&theKidd continues to gain popularity.

“We have to keep reminding ourselves of the real reason we’re writing this music,” Butts said. “We want to make music that matters.”

The Booty&theKidd will be performing at A&R Bar on November 11. Follow them on Soundcloud at soundcloud.com/bootyandthekidd and Instagram

@bootyandthekidd.

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