If you’ve tuned into Power 106 sometime in the last few months, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the breathy chant “Gas Pedal” more than a few times. That’s the voice of Bay Area artist Sage the Gemini. He and HBK label mate Iamsu! will be bringing a bit of Bay Area flavor to Los Angeles when they perform together at the Echoplex this Friday.
They both got a taste of that SoCal energy at Rock the Bells and at a show at Cal Poly Pomona earlier this year: “They’re a little bit more calmed down than in the Bay, but they’re still more attentive than anywhere else in the country.” For Sage the Gemini, “That was huge.” This show at the Echo alongside the Finatticz (of “Don’t Drop that Thun Thun Thun” fame) marks his third time playing in LA.
Checking out the numbers, it seems a lot of other people are feeling Sage’s music as of late. “Red Nose” has climbed to #12 on Billboard’s R&B and hip-hop charts, and his latest track, “Gas Pedal,” has propelled both Sage and Iamsu! into popularity and Top 40 success.
For Sage, though, that makes sense. He counts his influences more in line with the R&B world than he does rappers. He counts Iamsu! and HBK among his influences, but Robin Thicke, Marquees Houston, and JT are the voices that he looks up to, saying “I’m more of an R&B-influenced kind of guy.” The low frequency chorus of “Gas Pedal” isn’t really there to dazzle you with virtuosic lyricism — plenty of other rappers doing that right now anyway — even though it’s clear that Sage can flow. The goal is to make asses drop (proof).
Imasu! has some experience with that. He’s made a splash in popular music by collaborating on the popular track “Up” by LoveRance. You might know some of his friends and inspirations, too: “Snoop is my favorite rapper. You know Pharell, Wiz [Khalifa]…” He’s also worked with the legendary E40 on last year’s house-party anthem “Function.” He definitely has a knack for making music that people up north love and that is clearly appealing to the rest of the West Coast as well.
There was one thing more that I was desperately curious about: yiking. I asked them to PLEASE explain what the hell “yiking” is and why it’s so popular with their music.
According to Iamsu, “Yiking is basically a twerk style of dancing that is kinda like a more freaky salsa type of dance. (LAUGHS) Basically the guy grabs the girl by her hips and she does a hip gyrating motion. Then go down to the ground and come back up. You can just basically add your whole feeling to it.” I mean, one of the key lyrics is “shake it like a red nose.” He’s not talking about a Polaroid, if you catch my drift.
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