Hug of War's Hip Hop Will Make You Warm and Fuzzy and Thoughtful

Categories: Show Preview

Hug of War sounds a lot like it looks.
When was the last time a rap record made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? When was the last time you bought a rap cassette? If the answer to these queries is "never" and also "never,'" you owe it to yourself to represent at Parliament in Tempe this Saturday as part of the Day 2 festivities of Rubber Brother records' Round Robin festival, where five bands set up in a circle and take turns playing song by song.

One of those bands happens to be Hug of War, the product of Jason Kron's fervent mind.

Kron is a glass-half-full kind of guy with an optimism that few people exhibit anymore, let alone try to put it in simple infectious rap songs that sound like what Mister Rogers might concoct if he felt he wasn't being well-understood. Saturday he premieres a new Rubber Brother Records cassette--really a six-song EP--entitled The Wrath of KRON in which the leader of Hug of War tackles tough subjects like getting custody of his child and the existence of God.

We caught up with Kron and talked about his musical alter-ego, Hug of War, which also features Quasimodo Dracula (Tristan Jemsek) and Ron de Vous (Tyler Broderick), who also participate in the Motown -inspired choreography. That's right, nobody does that anymore, either--not even One Direction, and it's part of a boy band's job description. There's got to be an easier way for a band like this to, as Kron puts it, "take back music," but that's the war part of the Hug of War equation at work.

A little back-history, when did Hug of War begin proper?
I started performing under the name Hug of War regularly in late 2011--I started by doing Mister Rogers influenced folky tunes, but I switched to rap in early 2012 because it was a lot more fun for me. I'm the father of a six-year-old girl and a Whole Foods cashier.

Which explains a song like "I Like Health Food."
It's never been seen as cool in any mainstream rock or hip hop culture to be healthy. Why is that? We have to take care of ourselves!

"They Won't Get Me"?
The people in power, who may or may not be from outer space, take down those who resist their evil ways and speak too much truth. I'm obviously one of the people on their bad list, but I'll keep fighting until the bitter end. I also name drop New Times in this song.

Your title suggests this album might be a few shades darker. So far it sounds like this is a pretty life-affirming cassette.
Well, my first two releases were very wholesome and life-affirming; the vibe of my new album is still playful, but it taps into some more serious material as well, such as mental illness, the darker side of relationships, and critiquing religion. I'm unintentionally an awkward and anxious grump in my day-to-day existence, and being Hug of War allows me to act out and express what I want to say a lot more easily than when I try to do so in real life.

Was Hug of War at all influenced by the show Glee? I like to think of the band as Glee if it weren't designed as a wet dream for baby boomers.
I've never seen actually watched Glee. The shows I watch are Nickelodeon shows on Hulu with my daughter.

That's too bad. I can envision you guys whupping William McKinley High's ass if push came to shove.
I've never fought, but I bet if I had to I could take Spencer from iCarly.

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