The Knux, a pair of brothers from New Orleans' Ninth Ward who show their band geek chops on their debut Remind Me in Three Days.
With influences as far ranging as Led Zeppelin and the Cash Money crew, the Knux mix experimental Native Tongues rap with live instruments and the sample savviness of Portishead to form supercatchy tunes with densely referential lyrics. "I can't listen to new hip-hop — it's too fucking clean," Alvin "Rah Almillio" Lindsey says. "We want to be extra-grimy, extra-raw. That's why we compare ourselves to the Strokes."
The started in 1999 when they formed the Wu-Tang-style collective the Knuckleheads. The brothers persevered through losing members and their own legal problems: Kintrell "Krispy Kream" Lindsey was implicated in a car-theft ring in 2003 but got off with probation.
Following Hurricane Katrina, which battered their neighborhood ("Katrina actually made it look cleaner," Krispy Kreme jokes), the duo signed with Interscope Records and moved to the Hollywood Hills, where they promptly threw massive parties. "Everyone from executive to thugs to hipsters were there," Lindsey says.