The whimsical and poignant group, Boom Bap Kids bring the golden age of Rap and Hip Hop to an alternative puppet universe to unpack it, celebrate it and of course, hype up current day DJs and artists. Last year when the pandemic first struck the United States, many people’s lives came to a hault. From personal pleasures to professional necessities, those whose living relied on collaborating and working with other individuals had to either take a break or pivot to find new means of sharing and cultivating ideas. But, for a dynamic group of multimedia creators, this cauterization was actually the spark for an innovative and out of the box idea aimed at showcasing all the fantastical and unique aspects of lifestyle and culture surrounding the golden age of hip hop and rap all through very peculiar receptacles; a group of party hyping, record spinning producer-host puppets.
Led by Aaron ‘Woes’ Martin (artist , creative, muralists, toy designer, puppeteer, emcee), and with Silent John (producer/certified audio engineer), Michael Steel (producer) and James Aquino — the Boom Bap Kids are a puppetized version of their human counterparts decked out in classic Hip Hop attire and punctuated with larger than life personalities. Together, the group created their own version of popular puppet worlds (Sesame Street, The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, etc.) with a super dope twist. And, with a whole cast of puppet characters who help host weekly DJ sessions, Boom Bap Kids attract world class DJs, including Z-Trip, Shortkut and The Beat Junkies, to appear on their weekly Twitch broadcast.
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Paying homage to rappers on the forefront of rap and hip hop, including Slick Rick, MF Doom and more, the group invites guest DJs and artists to spin music/showcase their talents while the puppet hosts dance and hype up the music.
The group was started by Martin who grew up watching Jim Henson’s creations on TV and imagined himself in the world of the zany, fearless Muppets. His hip hop-inspired characters are a culmination of this dream and Martin’s love of classic hip hop and rap music. From personal style, talk and ethos—all are distilled into the wardrobe, look and demeanor of the puppets, which are perfectly paired with guest artists who seem more than happy to spin for their felt fabric hosts.
Also creating some music of their own, the Boom Bap Kids even have a few singles out on Bandcamp, and a recently released limited edition 7” vinyl via Stay Free Recordings, featuring 4 original songs from the group (two instrumentals only), sold out just days after its June 6 drop. The group’s musical styling is highly influenced from the individual members’ personal music tastes and incorporate all the fun, carefree and clever wordplay classic Boom Bap rappers are known for.
The group has an entire full-blown production studio to make music, videos and record their weekly DJ sessions in Southern California, but with the success they’ve accumulated in a short time — garnering praise from critics and musicians alike including Lil’ Jon — the Boom Bap Kids plan to take their show on the road including hosting festivals, scheduling international collaborations, drafting a sketch show and of course dropping the EP featuring the group’s theme song.
By utilizing an unlikely medium, collaborating with artists and musicians who love and care for the music they’ve listened to and participated in for the last few decades — sharing with longtime music fans and their kids — the five elements of hip hop: emceeing, deejaying, breakin’, graff and beatboxing.
Words: Patti Sanchez
For more on the Boom Bap Kids, make sure to follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well as supporting them on their Twitch channel for new, weekly videos featuring authentic Hip Hop vibes and all the quicksilver licks we love from dope rap songs.