A tiny Toronto bar is crowded with dapper 20-somethings curious about the buzz surrounding Badbadnotgood ― hype fuelled by Odd Future front-man Tyler the Creator, and by fans of Waka Flocka Flame and Flying Lotus. Except this is a jazz show. Pianist Matthew Tavares, drummer/beatmaker Alex Sowinski and bassist Chester Hansen met in Humber College's music program, and bonded over a mutual love of new hip-hop. The trio first attracted attention in April, when they posted video to YouTube of them playing a jazz medley of Odd Future songs, with Sowinski in a pig mask.
Badbadnotgood's debut BBNG (available free on badbadnotgood.tumblr.com) mixes covers of Joy Division, Nas, and the Zelda soundtrack with sampler-fuelled originals. "Jazz is something that's already happened," Tavares offers. "The reason you play jazz standards is old people know the melodies. So if you play a hip-hop song that people know, they can hear your version and appreciate what's happening. A young person doesn't give a fuck how you play 'Stella By Starlight.'"