Tomorrow night at the Gothic Theatre, 20:12 -- or 2MX2, as the group is now known -- is set to release its new album, Case Study 20:12, and premier its new video for track "The Beast is Out," directed by Emergency Room. We recently caught up with Role Pley and Juice El Tio Hugo to get the scoop on the name changes and to talk about their ambitious goals for the rest of the year.
Westword: You guys changed up your group name a bit, as well as altering your personal names, what prompted this change?
Role Pley: Three reasons: search engine visibility, trademark purposes and for easier pronunciation. We are now officially known as 2MX2, which is a cool way of spelling 20:12. Have you ever tried searching for 20:12? When you search for us, you get millions of results, and deep within 10k pages of results you might find us. Then the other problem was trademarking. Thanks to the lovely movie by Paramount, 2012, we don't want to risk a likelihood of confusion in brands and be sued by them when we break, so we were advised by our label to change our name.
They were adamant about changing our name, and so we compromised to 2MX2, which I actually really like -- plus it also stands for two Mexicans. As for the spelling of my name, I finally found one that I am sticking with. When I used to spell it Role Pl-A, my Spanish speaking audience would call me Role Playa, which is how its read in Spanish. So, I figured to sound it out with the spelling for them. Role Pley is easier to pronounce, and at the same time makes it easier to find me online
Juice El Tio Hugo: I altered my name from the Juice aka El Tio Hugo The Devoted Disciple to shorten it and make easier to remember. I now go by Juice El Tio Hugo or Juice E T Hugo.
You are dropping Case Study 20:12 on Saturday, tell us about the new album.
RP: The new album is pretty conceptual. The name kind of says it all. It's a study on our listeners to see what they enjoy best. The concept of the album is that we are literally in the lab searching for the perfect combination of the drug for our patients. Our graphic designer Joel Villareal of Empire GFX did a good job on giving you the visual for this on the album artwork.
Throughout the album, we have narrations of the doctor on his recorder talking about the different effects the drugs have on the patients. Following the narrations are songs that bring those feelings to life. This is why almost every song is almost completely different than the last one. We had a lot of fun on this album because we got to try things we hadn't tried before. We have a ton of features, such as Debajo Del Agua and Rebel Diaz, all the way to features from D Loc from Tech N9nes' Worldwide Choppers.
JETH: We have always taken pride in being versatile with our lyrics and our music. This album is no exception. Alongside our producer DMD, we wanted to put something together that shows what we can do. The album, Case Study 20:12, embodies our unique style of hip-hop combined with different genres of music, such as techno, dubstep and rock, in an effort to discover what we think the perfect blend of music is.
How do you think your audience will receive this album?
JETH: This album is definitely different from our previous work. We have both grown as artists, as well as personally and business wise. You will hear the growth in this new album as we touch on experiences and topics we have gone through over the last couple years. This album has something for everyone, from your ravers and techno fans to rock/pop listeners. So far, the feedback has been great for the singles that have already been released, and we look to have further success once the album releases this Saturday.
RP: They will definitely be shocked. It's not as much Spanish as in our previous stuff. So I think they'll trip out on what we have created. Ultimately, I'm sure they'll enjoy the new stuff and let us know what they like. At the same time, I know we'll gain new fans from new doors we will be entering.
You are premiering the video for the single "The Beast is Out" on Saturday, as well. What's the premise?
JETH: The premise of the video is a plague the breaks out and begins killing its victims, and 2MX2, with the help of DMD, begin desperately looking for a cure to save the world from this fatal virus.
RP: It's day three of an apocalyptic plague gone awry and the MCs are the team of scientists that are trying to find a cure. The video starts with one of our girlfriends contracting the virus and us getting dropped off in the hot zone to collect samples. When we get there, the craziness begins. It takes place over the course of one day, and throughout it, we are being chased by sick people, getting in brawls with cult members, people dying and all kinds of crazy stuff. I don't want to give it all away, but I'm sure you will enjoy it. If not I'm sure it will scare you.
What was it like working with Vince Lance and N8G Green of Emergency Room?
RP: Those vatos are crazy. Vince Lance [cinematographer] and N8G Green [director] are one unstoppable team. When we hooked up with Vince Lance to talk about the video, we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. It all started when we asked him what he thinks of when he hears the song "The Beast is Out," and he said, "hazmat suits." Then the madness began. Vince spoke with N8G, who was, at the time, taking a break from directing and told him his idea for his video with us, and he was in. When they got together to brainstorm, a monster was created.
Vince and N8g were probably the most professional video guys we've worked with. They pay so much attention to detail, with full treatments for the video and permits for the locations. They are definitely fully equipped with experience, education and creative minds. The Emergency Room are definitely the go to guys for videos.
JETH: It was an awesome experience working with Emergency room!
What else can we expect from 2MX2 in 2012?
RP: We have quite a bit in the works. Last month, we auditioned for a national talent show called Tengo Mucho Talento. The show is broadcast internationally on the Spanish channel Estrella TV. We were selected to go to Hollywood from the auditions, and on Valentine's Day, we went there and left the judges wanting to see more. We are now five rounds away from the grand prize of $100K. The show will be airing sometime at the end of March or beginning of April, when we are scheduled to return to Hollywood for the quarterfinals.
As far as new music, we have four mixtapes we will be releasing before the end of the year. On top of that, we are currently waiting for the promo material for our first seven city headlining tour all over Colorado and California, which is scheduled to begin at the end of March. It will be called the 2MX2our. We are hard workers. it's in our blood, ēse. You can expect us to continue to raise the bar in the hip-hop scene, not only in Colorado, but all over the world. Your friendly neighborhood vatos plan on keeping you entertained in 2012.
So, what do you think is going to happen in December of this year?
RP: I think all kinds of religious groups are going to get together and pray a little more than usual, some cults will drink the magic Koolaid, and we'll all wake up December 21 disappointed that the world didn't end again. No, but actually what I hope happens is that we all evolve spiritually and mentally -- whether it's brought forth by a prophecy, the fear of one -- and we just evolve as human beings.
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