Wallpaper. is, in many ways, Ricky Reed. The indulgent and ever-stylish frontman is more than just a sweet pair of shades and a gold-plated microphone. He’s a bona fide viral hustler, a disco ball-busting showman and an extremely gifted producer expertly blurring glitzy pop and raunchy rap with anthemic rock and electronic funk. But Wallpaper. is other things too—a raging four-piece, for one, but most importantly, Wallpaper. is you. You and me and everyone we know on our best night ever, positively #STUPiDFACEDD, champagnin’ with no plans in the morning.
When first we met Ricky Reed, he was busy crushing Oakland house parties and selling CD-Rs out the trunk of his car. He’d called upon his earliest influences—P-Funk, Afrobeat, Bay Area rap, Prince—and come away with sweaty, swaggerful beats imbued with a real musicality. Meanwhile, his Lynchian video blogs (a little David and a lot of Liam) and inventive remixes and mashups earned him out-of-town props, particularly when his sax-blaring remake of Das Racist’s “Combination Pizza Hut & Taco Bell” went totally freaking atomic.
Wallpaper.’s debut LP, Doodoo Face, was a masterful collision of buoyant percussion, synth blurt, heavy bass and wild narcissism as strong for its legit songwriting chops as for its illicit party-wrangling. Naturally, the live show evolved in step with the music, into a truly visceral thing with double drummers pounding out a thunderous beat behind Ricky Reed and his partner, the charismatic and supremely sassy Novena Carmel. Witnessed in person, whether in a theater or a college quad, their sound is busting at its well-tailored seams, outsized and overpowering.
Ricky Reed initially self-released Wallpaper.’s breakout single, “#STUPiDFACEDD,” dubbed an “awesomely doltish ode to Saturday-night oblivion” by Entertainment Weekly. The subsequent video was hand-picked for MTV’s Indie Music Month coverage and has since racked up over a million views. The song infiltrated several episodes of Jersey Shore too, and inspired MTV and Extreme’s HYPE Music to team up with Evan Bogart’s freshly launched Boardwalk Records for an innovative release partnership. Enter the #STUPiDFACEDD EP, a genre-bending, thump-addled set featuring a guest turn from Bay Area rap legend Too $hort, serving to sate appetites until Wallpaper.'s Boardwalk LP arrives.
Now, as radio stations fight over which format has dibs on him—Top 40, Alternative, Rhythmic—Ricky Reed continues to do what he does best: put in work, create, tour, entertain. He’s currently co-writing music for Andrew W.K.’s next album, recently completed a song with funk godfather George Clinton, and covered Adele with a little help from raunchy rising Detroit emcee Danny Brown. He’s an in-demand remixer, working with artists as diverse as Britney Spears and Local Natives, and a beast on the road with a band that blares arena-sized energy. Ladies and gentlemen, look outside—if it’s the weekend, check the mirror—Wallpaper. has arrived.