With the themes of political unrest becoming familiar backdrops in local and national news, Richmond artists False Prpht and Poozy (also known as Warren and Parker, respectively) take to the medium of music to respond in the only way they know how: “dystopian music.”
“[Our music is] music to beat the shit out of your oppressors. Music to beat the ALT right,” said producer and music engineer, Poozy.
“[Our] songs have gotten pretty political, even if we’re not out front being like ‘Fuck Trump’,” said False Prpht, the lyricist behind the sound.
“We don’t have to say were writing a political song- if you walk outside you’ll experience something. [We are] making sure that no one is forgetting about this shit. You won’t hear stuff like this on the radio,” said Poozy. False Prpht and Poozy, alongside artists Crimewave and Lil Percy, comprise the brain trust that that is People’s Religion. People’s Religion or PR for short, is definitely not a label but an environment.
“The full name would be Peoples Religion or Prison Relations. Any cool acronym using P and R. PR is basically our vibe,” said False Prpht. “We’re wanting [PR] to expand more. We want to be more positive, [think of] a wiki-leaks type aggression but still sharing positivity. Prison Religion is the diagnosis and now we have to heal,” said Poozy.
False Prhpt, from an aesthetic standpoint has clearly made a name for itself; his video BLACK STEVE NASH utilizes themes of sacrifice and the occult to create a solid visual.
“The whole idea was to make a short film, something that has some more dialogue to it without actual talking in it,” said False Prpht.
His focus has since shifted however, from creating the character that is False Prpht to responding to present day political turbulence. “With the reality we live in now, with Trump as president, liars [are] on the pedestal and liars [are] on the podium,” he said.
Technically speaking, PR’s music frequently treads in electronic or distorted hip hop genres whilst touting civic commentary. The juxtaposition is unique to these artists and they take solace in their novelty and independence.
“Fuck getting signed by a label,” they both said. “Labels are designed to whore you out and take your money. [We] have been doing this long enough to find out how to operate around that. [Signing to a label] is so against principles that I think PR is about.”
Going the DIY route, the two multi-media artists record everything with Poozy at his home. From mixing and mastering to designing PR gear, False Prpht and Poozy are deliberately hands-on.
People’s Religion as a collective not only relishes in their independence as cross-platform artists, but as a group in which each musician can organically collaborate. Rarely are Poozy or False Prpht working alongside artists that do not share their affinity for truth, knowledge or authenticity.
Mainstream radio gloss versus what you hear coming from People’s Religion are wildly different in a way alternative listeners can appreciate.
“Everything is just nasty right now. There is nothing really political that I’ve heard on the radio for a long time,” said False Prpht. “Unless you count Migos and Rae Sremmurd as political, and I do, they aren’t straight up saying that [everything is nasty right now],” said Poozy.
In tandem with making music that’s stirs minds, Poozy and False Prpht tour and travel as much as possible. The two have recently returned to Richmond from Washington state, where they performed despite heavy snowfall. Rarely are they both not creating or performing their music, often they dedicate their free time to personal research and painting.
“Music takes up a lot of my time… A lot of our off-time, we’re hustling [and] trying to make money,” said Poozy. This jump to doing their music full-time was inspired by artists right here in Richmond like Chino Amobi, NON Records co-founder.
False Prht commented on the grip that hardcore and punk music has on Richmond but “…meeting people like Chino, you find out about another side of music,” he said. This other side of music is diverse in and of itself, spawning groups like our friends at People’s Religion as well as Goth Money.
“We need to realize that not everyone needs to work together to make this great team- we just need to be [grateful] that we have so many groups and be as free as they want and do whatever they want,” said Poozy. “A group like Goth Money can exist alongside us and were booked at the same place, run to each other but we really don’t have to work each other to make a greater home- We just stay in our lane and make Richmond better,”.
You can catch more from PR in coming months as False Prpht and Poozy release a 4 song-EP, Nigga In Sheep’s Clothing. The two have also collaborated with Bonaventure on a song that will be distributed via PTP, Purple Tape Pedigree.
“[PTP] just really fuck with us. There was no sit-down business meeting,” said False Prpht and Poozy. “There was no ‘we have to do this because of our sound’. We have been following [PTP’s] music for a long time- There was mutual respect, not really like a bureaucratic sit-down.”
Audiophiles and fans alike will also be happy to learn PR has a vinyl album with crimewave being distributed by Blackhouse Records in the coming months.
“This is our job; we’ve definitely taken the step to work and support ourselves,” said Poozy.
Keep up with False Prpht and Poozy on soundcloud here.
Words by Tico Noise