by Brittiany Adilas
Hip-hop, rap, rock, pop with Epidemic Outrage you just may get it all. The ability to navigate the musical waters or genres while staying true to who they are sets them apart from those that also fall under several genres of music. Some would say fluidity is the future and if that’s the case these musical mavens have already got it figured out.
With their latest release “Cry,” you get a glimpse into the musicians that have had time to cumulate a sound of their own and a way of providing a message for those of us who are in desperate need of a little hope. Available on all platforms for you to give those ears a chance to get the pick me up that’s too often needed in this world full of unknowns. Drawing inspiration from real life, family friends and the want to help those in need, they have a brighter message than one might think when hearing the name Epidemic Outrage.
The group is composed of three members, with Taylor Morris being Epidemic Outrage and Cameron White and Austin Brown. Austin Brown, simply known as A.B. is Taylor’s brother and Cameron is Taylor’s best friend. All coming together to offer a set of skills that allows them to showcase music they love to share. Taylor and Cameron sat down with Herbage Magazine to chat with us about music, military, cannabis and family.
Epidemic Outrage, how did you guys get started?
We have been friends since before we started doing music, he (Cameron) sang country and was in a rock band since he was younger, I (Taylor) started music in 2013 as more of a joke. I had a good friend that I served with in the military who had invited me out to Phoenix, Arizona to do a mixtape and he paid for it, I went out there and I did it. It was alright, it was a little rocky at first but I ended up sticking with it (music) after that.
I ended up coming back to Oklahoma after incidents in life happened, Then me and him (Cameron) got a job working just as some hand me down construction workers and we were fixing up houses and shit. We didn’t have no place to go, we were homeless, so our boss was getting us hotel rooms. All we had was his guitar, whiskey, weed and broken strings.
We started writing songs back then, taking old rock songs, like Seether songs and grabbing them on the chords and I just started rapping on them and basically that’s how it all got started and then we found out there were programs on the internet that we could actually take an instrumentals and record our vocals on them, and they didn’t sound that good at the time, but they did to us, which kept us motivated to keep writing hits, and hits.
What genre would you put yourselves in?
That’s hard to do that, we try to think about that all the time, but I (Cameron) play my music and then we play Epidemic Outrages music and then I’ll be like, if you blend the two, the closest thing you could get is someone said we sounded like Yellow Wolf, like southern hip hop.
(Taylor) We can do that southern hip-hop, we can also do pop, we can also do bars, just straight bars, and we don’t mix a lot of hip-hop and country it’s not our thing, that’s his lane and that’s my lane, we come up with other things like mixing pop and hip-hop.
(Cameron) That’s probably one of the hardest questions we get asked. It’s so hard to put us into a box.
(Taylor) We have grown into our own acoustic set, we have our own acoustic vibe. It’s one thing that we love to do. It keeps things popping since all we need is a guitar and vocals.
So when you are doing jam sessions is it all acoustic?
(Taylor) Oh yeah, we are acoustically type jamming, it’s rare we will ever put on a beat and just rap it.. you know he starts finding something on a guitar and then what’s incredible about him (Cameron) is he can write something on a guitar and write vocals, never have to write it down and then he will have it memorized for me, for us to work on whenever we want to.
That makes us be able to write songs way faster, he can also take a hip-hop instrumental and make it an acoustic song.
Since you (Taylor) are a poet first, what is the process, is it finding a beat or writing first?
(Taylor) The music comes first, it tells me the story, the strings tell me the story, the beat tells me the story.
When you’re going through that process, what inspires you since most of what you rap about is life experience, do you feel that this is the primary place you guys find inspiration from?
(Taylor) Yeah, real life. Most definitely, the biggest inspiration is just life.
(Cameron) I always say the hardest thing to write a song about is nothing.
Your (Taylor) time spent in the military is something that gets referenced a lot in your music, how do you feel about your time in the military?
(Taylor) A few of the songs we have released have got a lot of negative remarks about it, I think it was a very positive thing for me when I was 17 years old, but as being a kid in combat, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I didn’t even figure out how dangerous it was till I was in the midst of it. Then it didn’t affect me till I had got older, because I was still that tough kid. I couldn’t lose that persona.Then I had kids and that made me think “What the fuck?” I just let grown men tell me and push me into places that I never needed to be. But, not only that, it was my decision.
So the real issue with it all, was the fact that they didn’t really treat us like we served our country, know what I’m saying? The problem wasn’t that I had to go to combat. I signed up for that. The things that I saw and went through didn’t affect me as much as it had affected other soldiers.
So when I got out I grew my hair out and got bigger holes in my ears and said fuck America for a minute, but now I realized it’s not fuck America. We just have fucked up governments. Serving your country isn’t a bad thing.
Have you had vets, and enlisted military hear your music and relate to it?
(Taylor) Yeah, it’s happened many times. It happened to me in LA, which was crazy. I get a lot of respect from Veterans and people send my song Lightning Strikes to the 22 Club. Which is cool.
I (Taylor) don’t want to just be known for being a vet and rapping about that. I wanted to be respected for my craft and the stories help that.
What do you both do for work?
We actually work for Paragon Extracts. Jeremy Dedmon is our best friend. I (Cameron) started working for Jeremy like 5 years ago, and he (Taylor) started working for them not too long after. Jeremy ended up making him (Taylor) lead extractor, and he figured it out.
(Taylor) We had to learn quick coming from laying rubber and asphalt, to a clean room. Jeremy was the mastermind of it all really, he paid money to help us learn. So it wasn’t half ass country learning. So we knew how to make clean extracts.
What really made Paragon pop though was Operation Zero, it was the fact that we were able to get growers to donate the stuff they weren’t going to use for the program, all their trim and we use it to make cancer medication for people who need it. Really that’s what took off.
Tell me more about Operation Zero?
Operation Zero is tough, there are so many people that need FECO, that it’s like I (Taylor) wish we had 10 extraction machines running 24 hours for these people because they are in dire need of it. There isn’t anything we can do about that right now, we have to keep business running and we have to maintain Operation Zero. And it’s a have to! It’s not a put on the back burner type thing. We love our patients, it’s patients over profits. We barely make the margins as it is.
(Jeremy) got into this industry because his mother was an opioid addict and she healed with THC. She is proud of that cannabis avenue. Because of that there is a blood bond that makes this about more than money.
Do you feel that the legalization of cannabis in Oklahoma has helped or harmed the music industry here?
Oh it has most definitely helped, it has given artists platforms and events to come to for the cannabis industry with the opportunity to showcase themselves. It was so hard to get a show being a more pop artist here in Oklahoma before, not being in the industry, having this has been a blessing.
Where does Epidemic Outrage hope to go from here?
We are strongly against being famous, we don’t mind being known here in this state for what we do. But family is always number one. This has always been a hobby. Making money for them is really the deal. If we ain’t making money with it then it won’t be our life.
If I (Taylor) was making 4 grand a month with it though I would be happy. If it ever made that much money I could handle that and never have to be a millionaire. I can make money extracting cannabis for the people of Oklahoma. That platform for me to be heard on is still good.