The best DJs tell stories with their sets—so the cliché goes—but few try to do so as directly as the duo of Kid Masterpiece and G0homeroger. They’re both connoisseurs of windows-down R&B and spoken word samples culled from the emotional moments of cinematic classics, which has allowed them to develop a unique shared language over the course of their sets together, most visibly as recurring guests on the esteemed OVO Sound Radio, and in themed sets on their own platforms, like a swooning mixtape inspired by the sounds and feelings of Insecure. Together they favor airy synth sounds, and slow, sad bangers, stitching them together with small skits, handpicked for maximum emotional impact. Their mixes feel as much like scrapbooks, intimate stitched together collections of sounds and moments that really matter to them, rather than just songs strung together.
Like so many collaborations in the post-millennial age, for Kid Masterpiece and G0homeroger, the internet has basically been everything. Separated by an international border—Kid Masterpiece is from Montreal and Roger is from Philly—the pair met through SoundCloud notifications a few years ago when the former was obsessively commenting and liking the latter’s uploads. At the time G0homeroger had spent a few years making mixes to post to his following on Tumblr, creating sets inspired by the vibes of his immediate friend group—sometimes even using viral videos they shared online as skits to tie the vibe more directly to their personalities—which ultimately informed into the duo’s current style.
Fresh off their fourth mix for OVO last month, Kid Masterpiece nad G0homeroger put together a set for this week’s Noisey Mix, apparently inspired by the oeuvre of Martin Lawrence. Over the course of nearly an hour, they weave together dreamy deep cuts and otherworldly R&B from the likes of Jeremih, SWV, and the genre’s next wave of young stars. If you’ve already burned through Drake’s Scorpion this morning—which incidentally seems to use carefully placed samples from TV shows in a way that’s not entirely dissimilar from this duo—and you’re looking for even more bleary-eyed emotion, you can’t do much better than this set. Check it out in full below, alongside a conversation with Kid Masterpiece and G0homeroger about their internet meet-cute, their visual approach to music, and their affinity for the world OVO has built.
How are we meant to enjoy the mix? What’s the perfect setting?
Kid Masterpiece: I think 7-8pm, the sun is getting ready to set, the day is coming to an end, and you want to relax by yourself or ride out and play this in the car with someone special.
G0homeroger: Enjoy this mix while you’re going places. This mix and all mixes we create are supposed to take you on a journey sonically and through memorable skits and emotions. The perfect setting for this mix is you getting off of work for the day finding your way home listening and reminding yourself to appreciate what you love in that person waiting for you to arrive.
Is synesthesia a real thing and if so, what color is this mix?
Kid Masterpiece: Definitely a real thing and something I feel, I can say this mix goes through many colors, orange and pink in the beginning to some red in the midsection to some dark blue at the end, a lot of summer night colors.
G0homeroger: It might be a real thing, I think our mix and music selection this time is represented by a purple color.
Was there any specific concept to the mix?
G0homeroger: This mix was inspired by Martin Lawrence. We found that Martin throughout his TV, movie, and stand up career has been the perfect analyst of how men relate to women in relationships.
Kid Masterpiece: With what Roger said about using the Martin Lawrence clips, especially the movie of his, A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, it helped breathe more life to the music. We wanted to create the right balance of nostalgia and new energy.
Do you have a favorite moment on the mix?
G0homeroger: My favorite part is that blend through wavythecreator’s “H.I.G.H” and Kranium’s ”No Odda,” this part shows the depth we put into finding new sounds for our audience. We enjoy the search for new music, just as much as the “easy to find” mainstream artist.
Kid Masterpiece: Going from the end of the Jeremih track to the Syd track, we got the songs to beat-match, and then have a skit to sit on top and the way it matches up with the Syd song starting, I feel like that’s an also perfect sample of our world.
So I know you two have been making mixes together for a bit now, but I want to get the backstory. Can you detail the beginnings of Kid Masterpiece and G0homeroger?
G0homeroger: My introduction to music came from my dad’s cassette tape collection of older hip-hop from the 80s. I started to explore music on my own in the Limewire era. I was always into technology, and I’d like to apologize to my moms for all the viruses I got onto our old computer. I found my love for Djing/mixing actually though a friend of mine now DJ Sir Crks, He used to make these fantastic “friends” mixes and captured a mood for an individual off of Tumblr. I caught the concept immediately tried to create my own for myself and my immediate friends. I used the audio of viral videos my friends shared on social media I found a niche in DJing with skits and sound effects.
Kid Masterpiece: I grew up with my older brother who’s just a big overall music fan, he was always up or onto the next trend, so he always influenced my love for music. Around 10 or 11 was when I first started really getting into music I liked for myself, just making mix CDs than a few years later listening and find music off blogs and different forums. I saw this DJ documentary called Scratch, it blew my mind on what djing was and the art of it. I was like 13, it was something I wanted to do right away, when I turned 15 my brother bought me a turntable.
People probably know you best at this point for your appearances on OVO Sound Radio. How did that first happen? What was your emotional response to hearing it play for the first time? The sounds you favor suggest that 40’s whole sonic universe is and was probably pretty important to you guys.
G0homeroger: Oliver El-Khatib DMed me in October of 2017. I didn’t notice the message until 5 days later, once I got back to him, he hit me up right away asking me if I wanted to submit something for OVO Sound Radio. I tried to make this mix unique, better than anything I’ve ever made. At the time I was taking like six classes and had projects and midterm test coming up. I felt all this pressure to create this perfect mix for this once in a lifetime opportunity. That same night I used my one lifeline and called Kid Masterpiece because I knew how big the OVO platform was. Based on previous work, we’d already created this would have to be our absolute best OVO mix possible.
I swear we didn’t sleep that whole week. Knowing that this was opportunity people would kill for, we humbly accepted that we would do whatever it takes to make this happen. The day it aired was a humbling experience. We started up a new mix that night and moved forward doing three more mixes for OVO Sound Radio in 2018 (*so far….) I’d say the way I prepared for each mix we did for OVO was trying to recreate and complement 40’s mix and style on 2nd episode of OVO Sound Radio. By far its highlight of the whole show’s existence. He created the standard in my eye of what we should be trying to achieve in any mix we do. OVO has a massive influence on what we’ve done and planned to do.
Kid Masterpiece: Roger hit me up, it was the first time we ever Facetimed each other, and he told me the situation, I told him I just wanted to help any way he needed but he really extended himself to have me on board, and I just got right away in a zone of we have to do the best we can. At the time I was also working at a job where I would work until late at night, but I’d still work on the mix all hours of the day and night. Roger and I would go back and forth through Twitter DMs and just Facetime trying to really just work and talk about how to get things perfect. I knew nothing was guaranteed, so we needed to show the best version of what we were going for, so we really questioned and analyzed everything we did.
When it comes to OVO, just the brand as a whole I’ve been a fan of for a long time. Drake has made timeless music and keeps creating new music at a high level. 40’s sound has also had a significant influence on me, and it can be heard in what I’ve done in the past and present. Then for someone like Oliver, who is someone I definitely look up, to seeing what he’s done with OVO Sound Radio, from the special moments that their show creates all the time to the big guests they have on it, I’m super appreciative that he gave us a chance to create and share on such a meaningful and major platform that they really worked hard to build.
Both in this mix and in others you’ve done, you tend to play a lot of airy R&B, what draws you to those sounds specifically?
G0homeroger: R&B help us hopeless romantics express our feelings. It is probably one of the rawest forms of an artist representing the way that we all share feelings about this world and the relationships we have around us. I connect to R&B because it expresses how you can feel joy and pain with your significant other. It sets the mood and lives for you.
Kid Masterpiece: R&B music is something I grew up on and just heard from different people around me. It’s a genre I think that’s always been super forward-thinking if you look at artists and producers from any era from like Teddy Riley to Timbaland to The-Dream, whatever year you can pick, R&B music creators made stuff that just felt so unique and new. I also have a love for a lot of other music, I love listening to like the hardest street hip-hop, but I think with mixing R&B music there are pockets and spaces we hear that allows us to do what we do on our mixes.
One of your past mixes was a tribute to the sound of Insecure and obviously one of your monikers is a reference to a classic sitcom—are you guys big TV watchers? Do you think about your sets visually in any way?
G0homeroger: I’m a vast watcher of TV. I agree it immediately intersects with the approach to the music. We have an agenda to take you on a journey sonically and through memory lane with your favorite lines and parts of the show. Our mission is for you to feel those emotional scenes and skit more with the music we surround it with. When you can find the emotion in the story, I think the visual is clear to see.
Kid Masterpiece: I grew up watching a lot of TV, now that I’m older I see how music really ties in with shows and how it can have a lasting effect on our memories. A song or even an instrumental can really help expand or magnify on whatever idea is being expressed. I’ve always had a visual experience in my head listening to music, so to now work on mixes I think it helps to translate on what songs fit in a mix and what doesn’t, almost like making a TV show, does this scene make sense for the show or no?
Shantel May – Back n Forth
Jeremih – Go To The Mo
Syd – Nothin to Somethin
Jhené Aiko – Never Call Me
Goldlink – Fall In Love (Pomo Remake)
James Fauntleroy – How You Feel
Daniel Caesar – Get You (Stripped Down Version)
Brent Faiyaz – Make Luv
Bosco – Mortal Kombat
DUVV – WATERS (BLUE SCREENS)
wavythecreator – H.I.G.H
Kranium – No Odda
Timbaland Feat. Playa – Birthday
Bryson Tiller – You Got It
Tink – Faded
Abra (feat. Da$h) – DEJA U
KyleDion – Brown
SWV – Use Your Heart (Kid Masterpiece Remix)
Blasko – Another Love
Jenniva – To The Moon