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Stacking The Deck with Oogee Wawa
Friday, February 22, 2019

Stacking The Deck is a feature exclusive to Adam’s World where I bring packs of 1991 Pro Set Superstars MusiCards to artists, and we discuss who they find in each pack.

The sun drenched alt-reggae hip-hop vibes of Oogee Wawa make it easy to envision a tropical scene, but the island the band hails from isn’t quite so exotic. Long Island natives, the New York fivesome create their own paradise whenever they hit the stage, and over the years they’ve developed quite an impressive following.

Oogee Wawa – photographed above L to R: Back row – Chad (bass), Jesse Lee (emcee), Ryan (drums). Front row – Nick (keys/vocals), Lawrence (guitar) – have performed to packed houses all over the country, sharing stages with the likes of 311, Tropidelic, Bumpin Uglies, The Dirty Heads, and Sun-Dried Vibes, among others.

With a perfect mix of reggae, hip-hop, and rock, the band never fails to let the good times roll, and speaking of rolling, their crowds are very 420 friendly.


I caught up with Oogee Wawa before their recent show at The Acoustic to open up some packs of MusiCards, and the artists we found sparked conversations about early musical inspirations, posters on their childhood bedroom walls, and a short-lived portable musical player that even hardcore music trivia buffs may not remember.



D.A.D.

Jesse Lee: This guy’s got a sick Jheri curl, or a perm. That’s a perm. {points at middle two} This might be Hanson’s parents.

Everyone: {laughs}

Jesse Lee: Tell me these two did not birth Hanson.

Flip it over and see what D.A.D. stands for.

Jesse Lee: “Originally known as Disneyland After Dark" – they had a van with no windows – “D.A.D. is a quartet of hard rocking musicians from Copenhagen.”

I picked D.A.D. because I’m a dad, and all three of them just had birthdays in this past week. I don’t know who D.A.D. are, but this guy’s got great shoulder pads on, and an incredible perm.

Copenhagen, you’re in, you’re on the map!

I notice they cut the photo off at the chest, so we do not know if they have dad bods.

Lawrence: It’s a probably tell-tale sign that they have dad bods. The agent was like, “you’re gonna crop that here.” Under that you’d see flip-flops.



Twisted Sister

Jesse Lee: I picked Twisted Sister because God bless Dee (Snider). We’re from Long Island, Twister Sister’s from Long Island. They also have the best Christmas album ever.

Being from Long Island, with the style of music you perform, do you find the Island receptive, or do you find you have to travel a lot?

Jesse Lee: Great question. In the beginning we had to travel, definitely, but throughout the course of the years we’ve built up a solid scene, it’s really grown, so it’s super receptive now. We have people coming from all over to play on Long Island.



Nelson

Nick: Nelson. I remember their songs, some of them, but not all of them, but the reason I picked this is because it’s the exact same picture … there was this old cassette thing called Pocket Rockers that my sister had, it was like a Walkman but the tapes were really tiny. I’ve been looking for this thing, still, for years.

Like a precursor to HitClips?

Nick: I guess, yeah, but this was the exact same picture on their tape from Pocket Rockers, (in) ’88, or ’89.

Look at how beautiful their blonde hair is, you can’t go wrong with it, it’s stunning.

Lawrence: I’m just wondering, where’s the sick of gum (with these cards)?

Unfortunately, there is no stick of gum, just a contest you can longer win, but if you want a 30 year old stick of gum we can probably find one.

Lawrence: I’ve eaten weirder shit.



Led Zeppelin

Nick: I picked this card because that was my first Zeppelin poster. That was the exact pic.

How old were you when you put that poster up?

Nick: I was probably 13, or 14.

So you got into classic rock pretty early.

Nick: Yeah, I found Led Zeppelin III, I randomly listened to that, and I was like, “Oh, this is great,” and became a Zeppelin fan.

You said this was your first Zeppelin poster, was your whole bedroom Zeppelin?

Nick: No, but that was the beginning of getting posters and putting them in my room – puberty taking over. I also had (Black) Sabbath. I’m a big Sabbath fan.

Was there an outlier, one that didn’t make sense in the middle of all the others?

Nick: Many. I still have them! There wrapped up and ready to go. When I get to my own new house I’m gonna put ‘em all over the place. {laughs}

Is there a Christina Aguilera poster mixed in?

Nick: Possibly. C’mon, you always have one hot late ‘90s girl in there.

Chad: My neighbor still has Carmen Electra on his wall.

Whoa!



Law and Order

Nick: I grabbed this one because they’re a tough looking band, but they’re called Law and Order, and I have no idea who the hell they are.

Any help on the back of the card?

Nick: Nope. No help on the back. They’re from New York City. They’re a New York band. Law and Order.



Tom Petty / Carlos Santana

Chad: Tom Petty, rest in peace. We lost a great one.

Was he an inspiration to you in any way?

Chad: Yeah, for his whole career he was such a good songwriter, and he should still be here, still playing. I wish I would have gotten to see him live.

Jesse: You just got a harmonica, didn’t you?

Chad: I just got a harmonica last night, played it for the first time. I got a little neck thing on it, played Tom Petty last night.

While we’re in the classics I have to do Santana. You gotta throw him in there. I hear he’s playing the Woodstock 50th anniversary.

What is your relationship with Carlos Santana with Rob Thomas’ “Smooth.”

{general grumblings}

Lawrence: I like Rob Thomas as a human being.

Jesse: What are you guys talking about? That was a great album. That’s like sitting here saying you don’t like Nickelback.

Lawrence: {laughs} Get out of here!



The Scorpions / Jimmy Page

Lawrence: I picked The Scorpions because one of the first songs I learned on guitar was “Rock You Like A Hurricane.” I was 13.

I have mad respect for The Scorpions.

Then you got Jimmy Page here, I would ultimately go with the entire band Led Zeppelin, but Jimmy Page solely because in this picture he looks like a cross between Slash and Santana.

He’s playing the doubleneck Gibson right there. That’s a 12 (string) and a 6 (string). That thing screams. Just mad love for Jimmy Page.

Jesse Lee: Do you have anything you want to say about Santana?

Lawrence: Yeah, Santana plays the same riff over and over again … KIDDING. I love Santana. Santana is right up there with (David) Gilmour (of Pink Floyd), where his solos, you can almost whistle and hum (them). They’re very tasty. He’s not all about being flashy, he’s all about melody.

Jesse Lee: Aren’t you guys endorsed by the same company?

Lawrence: Yes, me and Santana are now endorsed by Paul Reed Smith (PRS Guitars). I just recently acquired that.

Congrats! That’s awesome!

Ryan: {looking at all the cards} I was born in ’94, so I don’t know who half these people are.

Everyone: {laughs}

Ryan: My whole life I was stuck listening to Zeppelin in the car when my dad drove me to school.

Stuck?

Ryan: I did grow to love them. I remember the first fill I ever learned was (John) Bonham’s traditional fill, and that’s what made me love playing drums.

Do you think listening to that much Zeppelin growing up turned you into a drummer?

Ryan: Oh, absolutely.



Madonna

In the ‘80s and early ‘90s Madonna was a sexual icon, so with that in mind, who were some of your early crushes?

Lawrence: Her video that she had where she was in the window, I remember watching that over and over and over …

Jesse Lee: I never had the hots for Madonna because I just associated her with my mom.

Because she listened to Madonna?

Jesse Lee: Yeah.

So instead of Madonna …

Lawrence: Tiffani Amber Thiessen.

Jesse Lee: Definitely! I mean, who didn’t? And Winnie Cooper was like my first.


For more Oogee Wawa, check out oogeewawa.net, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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