There’s a new rap duo hitting the streets of Tallahassee, THER.I.P.Y., or “The Radiance Is Purely Yours.”
Even though members of THER.I.P.Y. (pronounced therapy), FSU student Dorian Paul Rogers and FAMU student Kendall Ramon Johnson, aren’t ready to share the meaning behind the phrase, they are definitely ready to share their hard-hitting beats and lyrics.
The Albany, Ga. duo describes themselves as “Southern folks with a message” and their music as “Southern, hard-hitting soul.”
“Everything we do is straight from the soul,” said Rogers, aka Paul D, 19, a sophomore creative writing student. “We speak what people haven’t expressed yet.”
“We try to take a different approach [musically]. We try anything different, anything out of this world,” said Johnson, aka Ken Joe, 18, a freshman computer information systems student.
“We got a song for everybody. If you don’t like all of them one will be to your fancy.”
THER.I.P.Y. recorded their first album, “Off the Rip,” when they were about 17 or 18.
According to Paul D, off the rip is a common expression in the South. It means from the beginning.
“We’re letting folks know we’re coming with it from the get go,” said Paul D.
When asked what listeners could expect from their debut album the duo said, “Expect an experience of two country boys with a mic and a beat machine.”
Both rappers have a musical background.
Ken Joe started playing the drums for his church at the age of five. At the age of ten, Ken Joe said he taught himself how to play the piano. He has been making and selling beats to local artists since the age of 12.
Paul D started taking saxophone lessons when he was 13-years-old. During his senior year of high school he started writing poetry. Paul D still writes poetry and performs on poetry night at Mt. Zion’s Calypso CafÃ©.
Paul D and Ken Joe met in Albany before coming to college. Paul D knew he wanted to do something different with his rapping style and heard Ken Joe made beats, so he approached Ken Joe about collaboration.
“He tried to sell me some beats,” Paul D laughed.
In 2000, THER.I.P.Y. won the Albany Coca-Cola Summer Jam.
Since then, the duo has opened for rappers Field Mob, Duece Pop and Camouflage
Don’t be fooled by the title of their first single “Raw Booty Girl.” THER.I.P.Y. is about more than just booty music.
They picked the song for their first single because of its “controversy,” they said.
“The song is dedicated to the girls who club too much,” Paul D said.
When asked about the new trend of Southern rap emerging in the music industry Paul D said, “It’s beautiful to see the South shine. It’s cool to be country. But, you can tell when it’s genuine.”
“Anybody who knows us knows we’re country because it’s a lifestyle not a trend,” Ken Joe said.
The duo is about to work on their second album and has plans to take the THER.I.P.Y. experience nation-wide, but not without a little help from the community.
“We plan on working in the community and helping those who have talent,” Ken Joe said.
“We’d love to help out anyone who is dedicated and not just musically, but anyone in the community.”
THER.I.P.Y’s debut album “Off The Rip” will be in local record stores on Feb. 12.