Codefendants drop a brand-new video for their song, “Suckers,” off their recently released and critically acclaimed debut album, This Is Crime Wave. This new video drops just a few days before the band head out on their This Is Crime Wave Tour, kicking off at Bottom of The Hill in San Francisco on April 14. (See full list of tour dates below)
Codefendants is a music collective made up of hip-hop and punk rock stalwarts Ceschi Ramos and Get Dead vocalist Sam King. The album is produced by NOFX frontman Michael “Fat Mike” Burkett and features legendary rapper The DOC, Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s Stacey Dee, and Onry Ozzborn of the band Dark Time Sunshine. Fat Mike also wrote, produced, and appears in the video series that accompanies the album.
A few years ago, Sam King from Get Dead and his graffiti crew were giving tattoos and making flash art to raise money to help rapper Ceschi Ramos while he was incarcerated. After his release, the two met at the Gilman Street Project in Berkeley, CA. They began recording songs together and soon after enlisted “Fat Mike” from NOFX as the group’s producer, and co-writer, as well as contributing his skillful musicianship to the tracks. Together, they formed the ground-breaking Codefendants. Their debut album This Is Crime Wave was recently released via Fat Wreck imprint Bottles to the Ground.
The ten-song set is a mix of punk and hip-hop, that also incorporates other sounds and influences. It’s a trip to the dark center of their lives, their worlds, and their pasts, both lyrically and musically, all broken homes and broken hearts within a broken system.
Ramos says, “This Is Crime Wave has a nostalgia about it that feels familiar to people our age but, in actuality, there is nothing quite like it. It’s the album I needed at 16 that nobody ever created for me. We’ve made a record that feels classic & important for the times but could have been felt 20 years ago and will continue to be relevant 20 years from now. It’s exciting to finally share this with the public & hope people feel the amount of experiences, friendship & caring that went into its creation.” Burkett adds, “In 40 years this is the most excited I’ve ever been about an album.”
The song “Abscessed,” which features three other members of Get Dead as well as Onry Ozzborn of Dark Time Sunshine, is haunted by personal trauma existing in the context of the current dystopia we find ourselves in. “Fast Ones” which features legendary rapper The DOC throws shade at “punk rock posers” while also detailing the brutal reality of the life that Ceschi and King have both experienced behind bars. Elsewhere, “Suckers” is a slow, groove-laden warning that serves as the kind of advice Ceschi says he wishes he’d had access to as a kid, while the cheery-sounding “Prison Camp” lays out the morality of prison code while also deriding the system that props it up.
Others include “Suicide By Pigs,” a track that’s both a commentary on police brutality and about the breakup of King’s marriage and “Disaster Scenes,” which features Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s Stacey Dee. It traces the direct relationship between systemic issues and personal trauma. diving deep into Dee’s harrowing past while simultaneously asserting the damaging, widespread consequences of the US government’s war on drugs. “Brutiful” is a self-aware examination of personal and universal accountability and the general horridness of human beings, while “Sell Me Youth” almost contains a sense of hope within urgent insistence to not conform to what the world expects from you. It all comes to a head with “Coda-fendants” a melancholy rumination on mortality set within the backdrop of the opiate crisis.
These songs don’t stop at personal experience, they tie everything together, drawing lines between the prison-industrial complex, systemic racism, and American capitalism, as well as the correlation between punk and hip-hop, two sounds that were created on the fringes by necessity and then co-opted by the mainstream. The Codefendents are both a breath of fresh air and a steel-toe kick in the nuts. Impossible to define by traditional standards, they were forged out of a desire to make an album that sounded like nothing else; a completely genre-fluid album.
This Is Crime Wave Tour
April 14 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill
April 16 – Los Angeles, CA – Knitting Factory
April 17 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction
April 18 – Mesa, AZ – The Underground
April 19 – Flagstaff, AZ -Yucca North
April 20 – El Paso, TX – Rockhouse Bar & Grill
April 22 – Austin, TX – Carson Creek Ranch (NOFX Final Tour)
April 23 – Houston, TX – The Secret Group
April 24 – Dallas, TX – Sundown at Granada
April 25 – Baton Rouge, LA – Chelsea’s Live
April 26 – Murfreesboro, TN – Hop Springs
April 27 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
April 29 – St. Petersburg, FL – Lost In St Pete Festival
May 13 – San Diego, CA – Waterfront Park (NOFX Final Tour)
May 19 – Barcelona, ES – Poble Espanyol (NOFX Final Tour)
May 23 – London, UK – Old Blue Last
May 24 – Southampton, UK – Joiners
May 25 – Bristol, UK – Exchange
May 26 – Leeds, UK Temple Newsman (NOFX Final Tour)
May 31 – Eindhoven, NL – Dynamo
June 1 – Köln, DE – Luxor
June 3 – Rimini, Italy – Bay Arena – (Slam Dunk Festival Italy)
June 24 – Columbus, OH – Legend Valley (NOFX Final Tour)
July 23 – Tacoma, WA – LeMay – America’s Car Museum (NOFX Final Tour)
September 16 – San Francisco, CA – Cow Palace (NOFX Final Tour)
September 30 – St. Petersburg, FL – Vinoy Park (NOFX Final Tour)