Spank Rock is driving the streets of Philadelphia with his friend, trying to find a decent place for lunch, when I ask him which rhymes he's proudest of having written. He mentions a few songs, then gets suddenly animated.
"You know which song I'm proud of? We made this song about those Lindsay Lohan pictures—the ones in the green dress with no underwear—called 'Babyrat.' We made a video and put it up on YouTube, but they took that shit down immediately. The rap goes: 'How you gonna show your coochie lips, getting up out your car?/Paparazzi hanging all around you bitch, you know you're a superstar.' Then the chorus is these girls singing, 'Put your panties on/ Put your pussy away.' And the dudes go, 'Take your panties off/Show your babyrat.'"
"Sounds good," I say, laughing.
"The paparazzi getting so good," Spank Rock says wistfully. "Britney Spears got her coochie lips out, too. The paparazzi is gangster, yo."
While it might not be Spank Rock's finest couplet to date, his ode to a beautiful-yet-sloppy celebrity's vagina encapsulates what makes his music so damn fun: a silly preoccupation with sex (who uses the word "coochie" anymore?), nods to the trashier side of glitz culture, and above all, a catchy, bouncy beat. When the song hit the internet a few days later, it all came full circle with delirious, glitchy beats and an enormous 808 bassline.
Spank Rock was born Naeem Juwan in Baltimore, where Miami- and Detroit-influenced club music was gestating into B-more's distinct style of dirty, bass-y club music.
"In Baltimore, you can't get away from it. It's like when you're born there, it's in your system. It's on the radio, every party you go to, they're playing it. I love that shit."
After moving to Philadelphia and honing his rap skills in the underground, Juwan started making music with Alex Epton, AKA Armani XXXchange, who was learning the fine art of production at DFA Studios. Later, DJs Devlin and Darko entered the fray, and Spank Rock was born (both the emcee and the crew use the S-Ro moniker).
This spring's YoYoYoYoYo, Spank Rock's first full-length, is an unbridled orgasm of genre-bending party rap, dirty rhymes, and huge dancefloor beats. From the early bleep-bloop notes of "Backyard Betty" to Amanda Blank's Twista-tempo verse on "Bump" to Spank's nasal staccato on "Coke & Wet," YoYoYoYoYo feels like a glorious hiphop album from the near future, when the stylistic glass ceiling of gangsta- and backpacking-styles hopefully crumbles to the earth. Emcees like Cee-Lo and André 3000 have been pushing the boundaries of hiphop for several years now, but their efforts don't allow much for people who still want hard, intoxicating beats and flow to go with their post-rap experimentation. For those hiphop fans who are looking for that next high—who want to feel what it was like to see OutKast perform live in 2000, or who want to re-experience that jaw-dropping awe of hearing Dr. Octagon for the first time—you've got your new fix here. Or if you just want tweaked-out, gut-rattling rhymes about celebrity coochie, you've got that, too. Either way, you win.