Buffalo rap group 14 trapdoors (Short Moscato, Bendyface and Wza) partners with Mass Appeal to exclusively premiere a vividly mind-altering experience entitled “Holy Water.” Directed by S’likedat, the psychedelic rollercoaster reflects of their hometown life in Buffalo, New York and symbolizes their cleansing relationship with music. The self-produced single unveils clever rhymes traded bar-for-bar atop of a minimalistic track highlighted with an echoing bass, ticking snares and haunting operatic rock backing ad-libs.
The group explains, “Holy Water supposed to cleanse the soul. We use music to cleanse our soul. The music is our holy water.”
Wza says, “We wanted to show the world how we get down here in Buffalo. The video is a tripped-out glimpse into how we’re living and the friends and fellow artists we surround ourselves with for motivation and inspiration.” Short Moscato calls Holy Water “a collage of our lives” while Bendyface adds, “This is either the cure or cause of epilepsy.”
“Holy Water” is the lead single off the 14 trapdoors’ self-titled debut album releasing later this year. Last week, Apple Music highlighted the track for their Beats1 “Discovered By Apple Music” program hosted by NY radio personality Ebro. Meanwhile, Spotify fans have racked up over 50k streams since its debut just a month ago.
About 14 trapdoors:
14 trapdoors have created their own subgenre of hip hop, one they’ve coined New Trap Boom Bap. The trio from Buffalo, New York featuring members Bendyface, Short Moscato and WZA cull from a wide range of influences that span Aseop Rock, Big L, El-P, Jay Z and fellow Buffalo artists Westside Gunn and Conway to Pink Floyd, Prince and Led Zeppelin. “People who gravitate toward the golden age of ‘90s boom bap will fuck with it because we focus on lyricism and new age youngins will fuck with it because we have songs with a more ‘trappy’ vibe,” Bendyface says.
The 14-song set that is mainly self-produced exhibits more alternative hip hop on the moody, atmospheric “Aurora Borealis” featuring Little Cake, the hypnotic, piano-driven “Ain’t Right” featuring J – Martin and the EDM-styled “Bags of December” produced by S’likedat. They flip samples and 16 pad beats on the punchy horn-sampled “Swerve Skrrrt,” the Lex Luger-helmed banger “Coridorz” featuring Dev11n and the jazzy, feel-good “Jabbawockee” produced by Goodman Brown.
Playing lots of shows, including opening for Freddie Gibbs, Raekwon, GZA, Lil Brother, Brother Ali and Blu helped shape their sound. “I want to have songs that are meant to chill in a room with some heads and smoke a blunt to,” WZA explains. “But when you start playing festivals, you’re like, ‘Oh shit, you need turn up songs for those festivals too.’” Their music videos for “Holy Water,” “14” and “Swerve Skrrt” capture the guys wilding out amid trippy, psychedelic graphics.
The rappers met on the Buffalo hip hop scene and decided to pool their assets during the summer of 2016 when they all happened to release projects at the same time. They are all solo artists and Bendyface is also a member of the duo Chronic Collective. WZA mixed and mastered their recordings, resulting in them spending a lot of time together at his studio.
The name 14 trapdoors pays homage to their hometown. The 14 represents the summation of the digits in their 716 area code and trapdoors is a reference to the city’s DIY scene. “Everybody you know is trapping something out their house, whether it deals with music, art or drugs, and when you are a rapper, you need all three of those things,” WZA says. “So you find yourself walking through many trapdoors.”
They attribute their sound to Buffalo, a city where one of hip hop’s most respected eras still gets its props. “Our whole stance on music is that It’s all about truly being yourself and being honest with yourself,” WZA says.