If you've been on TikTok recently, chances are that you've heard a track from Connecticut punk/hip-hop duo WHOKILLEDXIX (formerly XIX). The duo, made up of Yung Skayda and Karm The Tool, sit in the intersection between trap and punk, and their music will give you the energy to take on the world, or rage against it.
To get you up to speed with the duo behind tracks like Kismet and Spy?, we've put together a guide to WHOKILLEDXIX, and what makes their music so potent. One thing's for sure - there's no-one making music quite like WHOKILLEDXIX.
How did they start out?
The pair behind WHOKILLEDXIX have been making music together for a while now, and they've always had a strong interest in experimentation. However, their pivot towards hip-hop/rap was actually due to other circumstances.
Speaking to Rain Magazine, the pair says that they started out playing in bands, but it wasn't working for them. "We actually started in a band called PartyMouth. We were playing punk rock music for the longest time, but the problem was that we could never really click with any of the people who tried to play with us in the past.
"So, we gave up on trying to be a whole band and just started the duo WHOKILLEDXIX. The name itself is just something random. We were really into the underground dark trap scene at the time so we wanted a name that sounded sinister and trappy."
What do they sound like?
The duo's sound has been described as glitchcore, which is part hyperpop, part punk and very, very fast-paced. Given that WHOKILLEDXIX's music has taken off on TikTok, it's fair to say that the glitchcore genre on TikTok has helped their success.
Writing about glitchcore, Pitchfork says that, "The common denominator for glitchcore TikToks is overwhelming chaos, with colors so bright and cluttered that they’re flagged “eyestrain” or marked with flash warnings." It's an apt description, and WHOKILLEDXIX are wholeheartedly embracing the chaos.
Who are they influenced by?
Speaking to Rain Magazine, the pair make it clear that they've got very different influences. Skayda says he's influenced by the likes of "50 Cent, Trash Talk, Pull Out Quick, Metallica", while Karm says that "I actually listened to a lot of video game soundtracks and metal growing up".
These varying influences definitely contribute to the duo's ability to weave their way through genres, because they're always exposing themselves to different sounds. More recently, they've taken influence from the likes of 100 gecs, Bladee, Lil Uzi Vert and other boundary-pushing artists, and there's no doubt they're forging a lane of their own.
What are their biggest songs?
Kismet and spy? are two of their biggest tracks, with both songs featuring on their 2020 EP, 19. Both tracks evoke a sense of glitchy chaos, and above all else, they're tracks that are designed to be fun. It's hard not to get pumped up when you're listening to Yung Skaydra and Karm The Tool go nuts.
Earlier this year, they released their new EP FALL DAMAGE, which features collaborations with Death Tour and BENKRO. Speaking about the project, the pair says, "The last year for us, like the rest of the world, has been filled with big swings up and down.
The two of us have had some life-changing personal growth, but it hasn't come without pitfalls. We tried with this body of music to encapsulate those experiences in the best way we could."
Stay tuned for more from WHOKILLEDXIX - they're always cooking up something left-field.