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A/S/L: Exploring Web 1.0 With Leather Corduroys

The internet has been part of our lives for long enough that a generation of writers and artists has come of age with it, and used it as a tool to construct their creative and professional identities. But that also means that they grew up alongside an internet that today's teens would find foreign and scary, during the days when MySpace was the biggest social network, AIM buddy profiles were important social statements, and having your own GeoCities page was a big deal. Our column, A/S/L, asks the people who are best at the internet to tell us about their personal Web 1.0.

photo via ChicagoMade

This week, we talk to rising Chicago rap duo Leather Corduroys. Affiliates of the burgeoning and shockingly deep crew Save Money (including pals Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper), Joey Purp and Kami are some of the most talented -- and funniest -- rappers in the game. Comedy rap is notoriously difficult to pull off, but the sheer oddity of Leather Corduroys as a project makes it easier to take them on their own terms, and allow them to come through as individual personalities infecting all sorts of spaces. (They've opened for pal Hannibal Buress at comedy shows in Chicago, to the bewilderment of much of the audience.) Coming at the internet from an altogether different perspective, they add some fresh perspective to A/S/L. Let's take a look.

What was the first internet service you made an account for? Was there a specific reason you made it? (i.e. I made my first AOL account so I could sign up for Neopets) 

Kami: I definitely had an AOL account. 

Joey Purp: The first internet service I had was probably AOL. But it was only because I needed an email to use MySpace. And there were AOL games and stuff like that. I'm pretty sure that's what it was. 

What was your first screen name? Email address? What did they mean to you? 

Kami: Dasoulja@sbsglobal.net, 'cause I really fucked with Soulja Boy. 

Joey Purp: My first screen name was like JVD1993 or something. 

What was your most profound AIM away message (or rough equivalent)? 

Kami: I don't remember my away messages. But I used to be on AIM trying to talk to some bitches when I was in their chat rooms. 

Joey Purp: Damn, I don't think I ever used an AIM message. I remember one time I joined an AOL chat room about Korean punk rock music. 

What are all the services you've used to share your music over the years? 

Kami: Limewire, Bearshare all that.

Joey Purp: I think I've only used Twitter and SoundCloud.

What's the weirdest website you still consistently use? 

Kami: Weird websites are for weird people. 

Joey Purp:Worldstarhiphop.com is the weirdest site I still use. That or Twitter.
Who were the first people you thought were big deals on the internet, and did you ever interact with them IRL? 

Kami: I used to play games with my friends -- in particular, I remember something called Coke Music, and I thought the people on there with money were bosses IRL. 

coke music.jpg
Joey Purp: Lil Wayne and Curren$y were definitely the first contemporary people that were a big deal to me on the internet. Outside of, like, old rock musicians. 

Chart the history of your life in websites, by listing the most important site to you each year you've been online. 

Kami: Tagged, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter. 

Joey Purp: It went Myspace to Tagged to Facebook to Twitter and Instagram. 

What's the strongest relationship you've ever formed with someone you hadn't met IRL? Did it change if/when you met? 

Kami: After a certain age you weren't trying to meet up with no one offline unless you were a weirdo rapper. 

Joey Purp: One time I had sex with a girl I met through a friend on the internet. Nothing really changed, we were cool. 

What's the most important thing you've learned from the internet? The best opportunity you've gotten from it? 

Kami: That people are very strange and that's not a bad thing. Opportunities are born from strange situations. 

Joey Purp: Man, the most important thing I've learned from the internet is really that anything is possible. Anyone can accomplish and learn anything. And that Lil B is the Based God. 

Do you find the internet scary? Funny? Both? 

Kami: The internet is very scary bruh, very funny bruh. Def both, bruh. 

Joey Purp: Man the internet is funny and scary and amazing. 

Do you wish you had spent less time online when you were younger? Do you wish you spent less time on the internet now? 

Kami: Not really. A lot of the world progressed towards becoming digital -- I'm glad I got an understanding of that during an early age. 

Joey Purp: I don't really think about the time I've spent on the internet. I definitely utilized it well as far as attaining knowledge.

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