LMFAO are silly, and they know it. They're also smart and resourceful. In the past year, the Los Angeles electro-pop duo has catapulted from dance-club up-and-comers to colorful stars who boast two No. 1 smashes, a Super Bowl halftime performance with Madonna and an arena headline tour that comes to Target Center on Friday.
While their global smashes "Sexy and I Know It" and "Party Rock Anthem" sound flagrantly stupid, their success isn't dumb luck. That became clear during 40 minutes on the phone with Redfoo and SkyBlu -- America's biggest party-animal duo since "Wayne's World."
Let's start with their pedigree: Redfoo, born Stefan Gordy 36 years ago, is the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy, one of the most successful executives in the history of the recording industry. SkyBlu, born Skyler Gordy 26 years ago, is Gordy's grandson and Redfoo's nephew.
Growing up, they got music-biz lessons directly from the man they call "Papa Berry" and from his autobiography, "To Be Loved: The Music, the Magic, the Memories of Motown." The now-successful scions explained a few crucial pointers in language as simple and direct as their lyrics.
"Two plus two is four," SkyBlu said. "Logic is boss. If something don't make sense, no matter who's throwing down the orders, you know you shouldn't do it."
Redfoo recited Gordy's basic three-step philosophy: "Create, make and sell."
Simple, right? Redfoo and SkyBlu are masters of the lowest common denominator. Like Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO takes simple, chant-like phrases that resonate around the world and wed them to irresistible dance beats inspired by Chicago house and Detroit electro, proven dance-club favorites.
True students of the game, Redfoo and SkyBlu scrutinize the work of other hitmakers and often pick their brains.
"In the beginning, me and Foo were just listening to music and figuring things out," SkyBlu said. "Now we know [producers] David Guetta and Afrojack, so through conversation and all that, it stimulates maybe a new sound or a new concept."
Cartoonish but contagious, their lyrics read like Patron-fueled pickup lines:
"I got a passion in my pants/ And I ain't afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it."
If LMFAO walks the fine line between stupid and clever, remember it's all in the name of fun.
"I used to do stand-up comedy," said Redfoo, who, like SkyBlu, was a class clown growing up. "The thing we did with LMFAO, we wanted to be ourselves or exaggerations of ourselves. We might satire here or there, a couple of lines, but it's not like a joke band. Not like Spinal Tap."
The humor even extends to the duo's text-lingo moniker. But Redfoo and SkyBlu say it's short for "loving my friends and others." Yeah, fans laugh their butts off when they hear that one.