In a dorm on the third floor of Nics 7, Hayden Jones and Sam Dewees prepare for November 5th’s World Premiere.
Hayden leans back on his bed with a purple notebook. “Play that beat again. Play it again,” he says to Sam, who sits at a desk facing his computer. The loop starts over and Hayden begins a verse that is a combination of scrawled pencil lines and freestyle.
They take a break from mastering tracks and working on verses to sit down at a card table shoved in the middle of the room and discuss the past, new tracks, and their upcoming show in WestCo Café.
The rapper-producer duo, who go by Wasabi Bobby and Bold Ned, started making music together in their freshman year, after Sam met Hayden on Foss Hill while he was making beats. “I dug the steez, dude,” says Sam. “And now we’re world famous.”
They released a mixtape in the spring of that year. Sam worked on beats, and Hayden wrote raps. A majority of the work for what would become R.I.P Wasabi was done over spring break, at Hayden and Sam’s apartments in New York City. “We were getting real sick of it, and couldn’t finish it, and we just said 4/20, that’s our deadline. We dropped it the day of-- just listened to it on Foss,” explains Hayden.
“Super easy listen if you wanna check it out,” interjects Sam. He lights a cigarette, to which Hayden objects.
“This isn’t WestCo, dude, we’re actually gonna catch a case. Take that shit outside.”
Sam migrates to the balcony as Hayden talks about his creative process and how he got into rapping. “I started making beats in my junior year of high school and I produced under the name Mr. Clean, which I got from an old soap commercial.” He pauses to imitate the bald mascot of the Magic Eraser. “I wanted to be Jetpack Jones, but that already exists, so I switched to Jeremiah Jetpack. I don’t really know why. And then I changed to Wasabi Bobby, because I had used that name before Jetpack. I asked the people, and they voted.”
“I came up with the name Wasabi myself, actually,” says Sam through the screen of the window. “Hayden hated it at first. He made a poll on Facebook. He’s had a lot of names throughout his career, and Wasabi was the verdict.”
“I think I came up with it. I think it was my idea.” Hayden sits at the table, head resting on his hand. “I’ve always had a scatterbrained mind, and had fun freestyling, you know, in the car and what not. So my creative process is just--if I think of something catchy during the day, or something that sounds cool, I’ll put it into my phone and forget about it. But then sometimes I’ll sit down with a notebook and play a beat on a loop. It’s definitely a mixture of stuff that comes up on the spot and stuff you have to look for by sitting down.”
“Some of our best shit has come from freestyle,” says Sam. “When we’re just extra in our zone. A good example is ‘Anbu Black Ops Master’; unreleased so far, but I think at the World Premiere it’s gonna get debuted, and I think it’s gonna make a splash for sure.”
Wasabi and Bold Ned’s first performance, entitled World Premiere, will be on Saturday, November 5th in the WestCo Café. The show will feature other musicians from campus Opening the night is MEG, a garage rock group. Wasabi’s set will feature “in no particular order” DJ Doug, hype man Ellis, hype man Sung Joon, Hyunwoo on violin, a wild singing Babe, and guitar solos from Jake Rogers.
When asked what to expect from this debut performance, Hayden responds, “High-octane whimsical raps.”
“But also low octane chill-ass raps,” adds Sam.
“High-octane whimsical, laid-back raps.” Hayden pauses. “And heat.”
“I think we’re really good at covering the genre spectrum,” says Sam, who has returned to his seat at the table. “Very versatile flow, that Wasabi, dude. I make a lot of soft beats, sometimes overly soft, but he rides them no matter what. That’s why he’s a fantastic match for Bold Ned beats.”
What’s in the future for Wasabi Bobby and Bold Ned?
“I think something that’s gonna be in the near future for Wasabi Bobby is him rapping over his own beats,” says Sam. “I think that’s the next step after World Premiere. We’re going to try and record the set list over one big mixtape, and then the next project is probably a tape produced by Wasabi, which is gonna have a totally different feel. We might go acoustic for an album. Just drum machine, guitar, and bass. I feel like the best rap acts have live bands. I feel like we could do that. We know a lot of crazy musicians. That’d be dope.”