2 Hungry Bros
2 Hungry Bros, the duo of producers Deep and Ben Boogz appeared on my radar a few years ago and while I haven’t followed every single release or project they have been working on, I really appreciate what I hear from them and it’s always a great pleasure to interview Deep, who has very interesting things to say and a way with words, as well as a particular sense of humour I am quite fond of. I actually interviewed him on The Wonderful World of Carminelitta back in 2010 (in case you’re interested, have a look HERE) and I thought it would be a good idea to catch up and learn more about what he and his partner in culinary musical crime had been up to since then. In addition to becoming fathers, the two producers have kept themselves busy on the music front and are collaborating on several projects with different artists. I want to thank Deep for taking some time to answer my questions and I will now leave you to enjoy this very interesting interview, where he tells us about working with Homeboy Sandman, I Am Many or Likwuid, among others, shows, touring and more.
It’s been quite a while since I first interviewed you and many things have changed, either in the world or in your personal lives. My first question will therefore be: how have you been?
Oh Marion, it’s always a pleasure, like talking to an ex I never slept with and was forced to break up with due to long distance in high school. But my wife pointed out, I must be like the guy in the Adele song, “Someone like You”. Married with a super duper son.
The 2 Hungry Bros, almost simultaneously became the 2 Hungry Dads in 2011. Paternity just put a bigger fusion generator in our back though.
You have many projects in the works with different artists, some of which I’ll go into more details, but could you tell us what we can expect from 2 Hungry Bros in the coming weeks and months?
This year we were and will be fortunate enough to be featured on Stones Throw releases with our bro Homeboy Sandman. There’s even a video sans me in a diaper falling down a flight of concrete steps in reverse for MINE ALL MINE featuring our new manbeards. Sintex’s album is in the mix & master stage. So is everything else. I really want the world to embrace I Am Many because he’s taking it back to technique/ voice/ execution/ message/ rawness. He’s recorded his vocals but you already know we’ve been clogging engineering boards. Our Gaines “Rumspringa” album will speak volumes for itself and for a very ambitious artist who I think will be taken more seriously after it.
One of the albums you’re collaborating on is Sintex’ Black Tea and the first single Trickle Down is already out. How did you connect with Sintex and decide to work together? What’s the concept behind the single and album?
MySpace was Ohio based Mc’s initial means of inquiring production rates, then I was spinning at Nuyorican and he magically appeared as the feature of the night with a fresh set. Then I hear he’s working out of our home, Ampliphonic Studios. The rest was him apple picking.
And here’s the thing, even though it’s a commissioned endeavor, my duty as producer didn’t end at just laying beats down. We’ve been brainstorming about album title, song directions, album cover, and I’ve been pushing the product because I was so happy with his direction, voice, and drive. Black Tea ideally should appeal to the UK big time. This album has a unique sound not really heard on any other project of ours and a lot of songs are very bold. So there’s going to be those naysayers naying “oh that’s not my cup of tea”. Well it’s BLACK TEA, not camomile so your arse is not going to be sleeping on it, whether to love or hate it.
Something that we can find in some of the music you produce (as Sintex’ single exemplifies) is political and social undertones. Is that a way for you to help spread messages you believe in and express opinions you share with the artist?
A big part of my willingness to work with artists is – are they saying what I would say if I were an mcee. Whether it’s from a wild horn dog perspective to a rebel to a father or a hungry mofo, etc. The music takes time to make, develop, market, etc. That’s time away from our family so it has to be really worth it. So now we’re focusing a lot of time into I Am Many, Gaines, Homeboy Sandman for the most part. Sintex moved to Cali so it’s made life easier for me.
Another collaboration is with Likwuid, with her upcoming album entitled Grace. Her music is very original and she doesn’t hesitate to push limits and expose herself, as can be seen in her videos. Is it important for you to expand your horizons and work with artists who have a slightly different approach?
With Likwuid’s album the horizon’s been expanded because her band played all our beats. So it’s a different beast even in the lab and it’s going to take a minute just mixing each element the Gummy Bears put in, and we’re still not even up to Likwuid putting her vocals down, even though she’s written to it already. They’ve turned our beats into a funky Blacksploitation movie soundtrack. I’m anxious to hear where her vocals will take it. The labels need to get up on this sample-less artpiece.
As we have seen, you collaborate with many artists and your music is featured on different albums. Could you consider doing a 2 Hungry Bros instrumental album or are you only interested in having people from your extended musical family on your projects?
In 2004 a lot cats followed in Dj Shadow’s instrumental footsteps. I loved his 1st 3 albums very much. This Friday my boy Alan (big ups) showed me Sid Roam’s instrumental album and I thought it was nuts. He told me it felt like half an album. Ben Boogz got some Genetically Modified Island of Dr. Moreau joints that I challenge any great mcee to rip but they need to be heard regardless. And he keeps pushing me to do an instrumental 2HB joint. So we’ll see. I’m juggling perspectives.
You are quite present on social media, especially Twitter, which is the way for people to share their thoughts and opinions about anything and everything (for better or for worse). Do you feel it’s still a great way to connect with people and share your music, despite information overload?
In 2006, mcees hip to the universal unconscious or 50’s branding initiative were about BRANDING- so when Twitter came out it was about posting politically correct tweets, same for MySpace. I was building my team, empire, brand then. Now with corporate distrust of todays economy, I think cats need to come back down and get more personal with their customers. As artists we need to realize that Henessey isn’t for everyone because somebody like me thinks Jameson is the move. Then you can have the Jameson fans on your boat and maybe some of the Henny cats who’ll think to make the switch. Or even better, I like Mango juice over Jameson and tell cats maybe Henny or Jameson isn’t really a good look for you or your people. Taking a stand for what you believe is right may cost you a few “followers” but you will win over more PEOPLE looking for a voice, their voice. Plus, mixing Henny & Jameson with Mango Juice, is not my cup of BLACK TEA.
There’s a big event coming on March 10th, which is the Strength In Numbers Show. Could you tell us more about that?
I am Many is releasing an incredible album named Strength in Numbers and Homeboy Sandman and he are going to do 2 very incredible sets. Most importantly is that when I spin that night I will play my favorite HipHop song of all time- DUCK DOWN by KRSONE via BDP. So people come early for that. Nems will be condemning the breath you breathe on the mic and Sand is introducing me to the NRO, and the audience as well, multifaceted night of thrills and talent. Get your tickets and plane tickets. It will be momentous especially because I’m sure Many is planning quite a theatrical performance with props and costumes and 1 hand handstand stunts to go with his incredible word wizardry.
Last time I asked you about touring in Europe and you were more than ready for that. Did that happen, and if not, do you have another message for promoters out here?
Nope- no excuses. Right after our incredible release party for NO ROOM FOR DESSERT, in July, my son was conceived a week after and I believed keeping my wife super happy and supported during the pregnancy would really pay off and it did. Now I’d still love to tour Europe. I’m optimistic about it especially because I’ve got some funky plans with UK’s Dub Md. That dude has a great ear especially now that he’s pushing those C Rayz Walz and Area 51 projects. But I do want to visit even if it’s not on tour. But I do spin a mean set and roll with great mcees who perform incredibly so be sure to check us out at any social network /2hungrybros. Or click here for a simple EPK.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would love to thank all radio shows who play our tunes for their audiences. Thank you to the Hip Hop sites who post real art over trends. Feel free to follow my wild tweets at twitter.com/2hungrybros. Be sure to pick up Homeboy Sandman’s Subject Matter then Chimera in April. Please get hip to I Am Many as well.