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While Denver's Flobots were crafting organic, conscious hip-hop, their state-mates in the duo 3OH!3 had a different inspiration in mind: crunk. You might never have suspected that the style reached all the way to Colorado, but the dudes in 3OH!3 -- Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte -- clearly have established a Dirty South outpost up in the Rockies. 3OH!3's name reps their 303 area code, but it might also reference the famous Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer. Overdriven analog gear abounds in their music, which folds together electro, emo and hip-hop to create a high-intensity fusion that, in retrospect, was almost inevitable.

3OH!3's big break came at the Denver stop of 2007's Warped Tour; their strong showing got them booked to play the entire nationwide tour in 2008. The same year, they signed to the Atlantic subsidiary Photo Finish and released their debut album, Want. For all the aggression in their songs, there's a wink and a smile behind the sneer, which makes sense given their punk roots: punks don't take anything too seriously, after all. Not even crunk.

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