It’s no secret. The Rhythm Method is pregnant. Forget the gender-specific baby gifts, cigars and cooing. This time around, the stork is dropping Celebrities with Low Self Esteem, The Rhythm Method’s debut EP, at the Khyber ICA on December 6.
“We’re turning the ballroom into our 12-year-old dream bedroom with posters of hunks,” says Sascha “Snake Chains” Garrey, squeezing ketchup on her eggs. “We want to make the stage look like a bedroom. There’s going to be Baby Sitters Club novels on the table, pink balloons and streamers. We’re having a bake sale. The feature drink is spiked punch. It’s going to be jokes, whispers and secrets---a girlfriends-kind-of-thing.”
Aside from the lack of pink decor and washer and dryer, these visions aren’t a far cry from the conditions of the kitchen in Garrey’s apartment, shared with bandmate and occasional Coast freelancer Angelina “Hange” Chapin.
The Rhythm Method has invited me over for breakfast in bed. As Kristen “X-Teva” Finley pours the coffee, Chapin scrambles the eggs and Garrey fries the potatoes. Still clad in their pyjamas, save for Finley who informs me she’s still wearing last night’s outfit, the trio could be casted as Dawn, Kristy and Stacey in an edgier hip-hop version of Ann M. Martin’s classic Baby Sitters Club pulp novels.
Chapin offers Christmas oranges to everyone. Garrey passes the soy milk, which quickly curdles in my cup, and suggests we stay in the kitchen and later move to the bedroom for a record-listening party. “It’s easier, logistically,” she says, pulling a fresh carton of milk from the fridge. Chapin and Finley pop mandarin slices into their mouths simultaneously.
The Rhythm Method sounds like an all-female spin-off of The Beastie Boys: Exchange the ill communication for unplanned pregnancy, crushes on dads and team-sports raps. Throw references to Chaucer, small vaginas, wet t-shirt contests, Tonya Harding, economics, showerhead masturbation and the result is Celebrities with Low Self Esteem. The six-track EP includes “Introducing,” “Triple Trouble,” “Crush,” “What About Sports,” “VJ” and “Pregnant.”
“In a lot of our rhymes within one song we’ll cover a lot,” says Finley. “There will be a line and then next second we might contradict it. I think it gives us permission---if people want to take a social message out of it, go for it---we can have interesting things to say but we don’t have to be held to it.”
Originally, The Rhythm Method began as a living-room rap group over Garage Band beats. After a haphazard, one-song performance at the Wardroom in King’s College, the local music scene started to take notice. The trio has performed everywhere from the stage at the Marquee to on top of a washer and dryer at a house party.
“For me, I constantly want to be subversive. I believe the material that we’re bringing out is good,” says Garrey. “I think we’re really talented, and I believe in the music. I don’t think I am ever writing with a message so I don’t believe in that message.”
It’s hard not to draw feminist connotations when a trio of all-white female rappers take the stage, but The Rhythm Method hasn’t set out with any premeditated political agenda. In fact, it’s all about having a good time in whatever capacity---spandex, acid-washed denim, bling and business suits all included.
“I’ve shown our rhymes to a lot of kids. I worked at summer camp this past summer,” says Finley. “I would alter my lyrics to a PG version and I would rap with the kids. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a girl, but the boys were like ‘shut up.’ The girls were so into it. I was so shocked how these seven- or eight-year-old girls were writing about snacking and stuff. I think it’s cool for them to think being a girl can be edgy and rad.”
In the true spirit of Cindy Lauper, post-breakfast we break from the kitchen and head to Garrey’s bedroom. The four of us pile onto the bed. Instead of the anthemic “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun” streaming through the speakers, The Rhythm Method’s “Triple Trouble” from Celebrities with Low Self Esteem plays. These three bitches sure know how to spend a Sunday morning.