Third World: Never Making Music For Other People

Each Wednesday (or Thursday), Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to

Typically - typically - what a musician says has a fair impact on whether or not they are chosen as Artist of the Week. Though, in the case of Third World, a band that's really one man with songs that contain zero words, it's more about what he's not saying than what he is.

New(ish) to the music scene, Third World creates varying gradations of funkiness with little more than some drum loops, a few tinks and tonks and warbles and the occasional sample from obscure punk-rock bands. What's most meaningful about his music is that somehow, despite technically being an instrumental, it exists entirely on its own. There aren't voids or empty spaces where vocals should be, there is only more music.

So we reached across Twitter to set up an interview to talk about irony, time traveling robots, and whether or not one should love the hoes.

Rocks Off: Artist of the Week opener: Tell everyone everything they need to know about Third World in exactly six words.

Third World: Never making music for other people.

Third World, "Cold Tone"

RO: Do you find it very ironic that you make these rich, rich, rich sounds, yet your name is the one they give to countries where people die because they are too poor to eat?

TW: Well, the social dynamics of the third world ultimately made me into an artist. My uncle died in a robbery attempt in Colombia that made us move over there for a bit, and I picked the guitar up and started playing along to hip-hop music after I semi learned from a friend overseas, later using this same logic to write melodies and bass lines for my beats.

But I woulda never been a guitarist, beat maker, real ass nigga, etc., if I hadn't made it back to Colombia and developed my skill and viewed myself as an artist. I'd never be where/who I am, nor answering this email semi-drunk at 3 a.m. But the social conditions of the country created the poverty that killed my uncle and made us move back, thus leading me into my musician aura, a la Rick James.

RO: Is the above question the most assholey interview question you've ever been asked?

TW: It's the first. And I don't love these hoes.

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My Voice Nation Help
T. Piper
T. Piper

Dopetastic, I look forward to hearing more.

Lil B
Lil B

Fuck my bitch thirdgod


Third Worlds music is effortlessly enjoyable to me.

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