The place was pervaded by a damp smell; a mustiness that lingered in my clothes for weeks afterwards.

I had been informed by Frankie 1212's record company that we would meet in a secret location, somewhere in New York City. Other journalists would be there too; this was no exclusive, but somehow they believed they could keep the whereabouts of the band secret. In the end it turned out to be an old packing house at the outskirts of town, its concrete walls punctuated by leaking pipes and steam creeping up from grates in the floor.

Frankie 1212 is a nu metal band, based on the success of such musical outfits as Korn and Limp Bizkit. Like similar groups that have sprung up in recent months, it had been reported that the lead singer had a history of recordings in popular music, but nothing could have prepared me for the man who was presented to me in that deserted warehouse. I was in the presence of a musical legend.

With the careful dignity characteristic of Rum and Monkey reporting, I began asking my questions.


R&M: Good evening Frank Sinatra. I suppose rumours of your demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Frank: For sure, yo. Word to your mutha.

So why did you pull the wool over our eyes?

I was rethinkin' my strategy, for sure. I wanna get my word out on the street, but I wanna keep it real.

What made you form a nu metal band?

It's not nu metal. I like to call it ghetto guitar. My posse an' I have created some phat sounds to rock your ghetto booty, y'all. I always had the street in me, for sure, for sure, you know what I'm sayin'? Like Strangers in the motherfucking Night. It was about hanging out with my homies, running the streets in Harlem, an' gettin' jiggy with some booty, for sure. What were the chances we'd be sharing love before the night was through? It's about gettin' it on, yo!

Why Frankie 1212?

My name is Frankie. An' I was born on December 12. I got respect for my mother for bringin' me onto the streets, an' I got word for yours.

You've got a nu metal goatee, I see.

No, baby. It's a ghetto guitar goatee. You not listening to me.

Sorry. I am, I promise.

You gotta promise not to call it nu metal again. I'm not Fred Durst, yo, I'm Frankie S, an' I'm a real goddamn gangsta motherfucker. My trademark ain't a motherfucking hat turned backwards like a goddamn teeny bitch, yo! I carry a tommy gun and I will blast yo' ass if you disrespect me.

I promise, I promise.

Word.

Are you planning on covering any of your previous hits?

Goddamn Sex Pistols did My Way already. We got a fuckin' kickass version of New York, New York though. It's specially for all my gangsta homies on the streets of Harlem, baby. An' I got a duet with Vanilla Ice on It Had To Be You. He's a motherfucking member of my posse now, baby! An' he got a ghetto guitar goatee just like mine. Respect. Cool as ice, for sure.

I wanna collect ice cool rappers; Vanilla Ice, Ice Cube. Are there more?

Ice T.

Yeah, baby! For sure! He looks a bit like Sammy, yo. But meaner and with a knife.

You might not be able to get him. He's formed a rap group called SMG (Sex Money and Guns), with his friends Smooth Da Hustler and Trigger Da Gambler.

No disrespect, yo, but Frankie S can get anybody. Word to your mutha.

Could you get Prince?

Yo yo yo yo yo. I draw the line there, man. I ain't getting no rollnecked eighties goddamn asshole to be in my band. He look like a pimp, but he say he a prince. Whaddup wit dat?

I think he's playing that lounge singer look. You might know something about that.

Hey! I was never a lounge singer, yo. I'm a bad boy singer, singin' for all the bad boys. They called us the rat pack. That's 'cause we're rats, for sure. Bad motherfuckers.

What ever happened to the rest of the rat pack? Are they still alive, too?

For sure. They got a hip hop thing goin' on, man. Freestylin'. It some badass shit, you know what I'm saying?


At this point, Frankie S's personal assistant Beyonda K walked up, tapping her clipboard furiously. My allotted five minutes was up; he had to go talk to Regis Philbin, and I had to leave before they got "heavy on my ass." Reluctantly, I left the warehouse and stepped out onto the bright lights of the street.

Frankie 1212's first single, Moon River (Ass Creek) is released on May 17th.