San Diego Duo, Vokab Kompany, use their music as a source of healing for both themselves and all of their listeners. In celebration of the recent release of ‘Small Viktories’, I caught up with the guys for a fun chat about developing their skillsets throughout quarantine, the importance of being a good person, being on the right side of history and more.
Congrats on the release of your new LP, ‘Small Viktories’. Tell us about the creation process and what your intention was behind this release.
Robbie – Been a long time in the making for this one. Respectfully Burkey and I have been working on our side projects too, (check Red Giant Project & B3k). However, we’ve been at this for over a decade having put out a total of 6 albums in addition to the collaborations with so many of our favorite artists! Needless to say, we have been needing to put this out! Our last album, The Good Kompany Album, had a total of 15 songs on it. While this one only has 9, it feels full of story and substance. It’s definitely a viktory for us! Can’t wait to play this live. We will be streaming a show July 24th at 6:30 PM – – Tune in here.
I know that the Coronavirus has been really impactful on all, yet tell us the lowdown on how you have been utilizing all of your time in quarantine.
Both Burkey and I have been practicing our craft and developing more musical skills. I have been learning Logic Pro and he’s been learning guitar. We’ve also been getting that outdoor exercise building gardens, hanging with our families and trying to be better people and lead by example during all this crazy stuff.
Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you had recently and were able to overcome over time?
Robbie – With all wild shit that’s going on, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you are a good person to all! Whether that’s protesting for civil and human rights, or staying in your house wearing a bubble suit, do it and do it fucking right! Let’s set the new gold standard of being a quality human. No matter what race you are, don’t be a part of the divide. Be a part of the connect. Be a part of the change. And be a part of the support.
What is your perception of the digital world that we live in and social media culture?
Robbie – It’s a necessary evil! But for real if you’re not using it to learn, you’re lost. Granted there is a bunch of bullshit out there however, there’s also a bunch of great information and tools we can better ourselves with. Also, be nice to the computers. One day they’ll own us.
No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.
Burkey – Being a parent drives me in all aspects of my life, from how I perform, to how I create music. It becomes the driving force of how I navigate my relationships in the music industry, as well. Being an educator also impacts how I view myself and others. For example, I don’t like writing songs that I wouldn’t play in front of my children, students or parents. I’ve found that if I keep them in mind when responding to most situations in my life, I can be more accountable for my actions. At least this is the mantra I’m striving for.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone who has guided you through your journey as an artist, who would you choose and why?
Mrs. Keurac. She taught me how to play trumpet through middle school. But then I quit! I would tell her, don’t let me QUIT! Also, I would go back to my 20 year old self and say, don’t throw out all your hip hop tapes, dummy! I had such a nice collection.
Going back to when you were 12-years-old, if you were stuck at home then as we are now, what would your 12-year-old self be doing?
Burkey – I would be playing hoop all day errrrrday!
Robbie – I would be riding my bike as far as I could go without getting in trouble by my moms!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
WE FUCKING LOVE YOU! Thank you for hanging in there with us for so long. Stoked you guys are celebrating this record with us! #SmallViktories! Can’t wait to play for you again soon.
New Orleans Brass Ensemble, The Soul Rebels, have a musical synergy that takes listeners to a place of tranquility throughout their latest full-length release, ‘Poetry In Motion’. I caught up with the guys to discuss feeling limitless within their artistic endeavors, the power of discipline, how the digital world has awakened new territories for creation, equality for women, culture and more.
Congrats on the release of ‘Poetry In Motion’. Tell us about the message that you intended to portray throughout the album.
We intended for this album to portray limitlessness. As artists and based on our musical experiences, we truly feel limitless and freedom around our music. As a band, we’ve been through a lot of experiences, emotions and journeys throughout this musical life, and we feel our artistry is without boundary. This album represents a freedom of genre and style, a fusion of sounds, influences and cultures. We truly feel that this album transcends. We’re very proud of ‘Poetry In Motion’.
Though a broad question, what have you learned about yourself and what skills have you developed through working in the music industry.
Having discipline and teamwork are qualities you learn quickly, and over time for a band comprised of eight band members like ours, we’ve learned how to have patience and support each other. Respecting every one’s voice and having a collaborative mind set has been powerful. We’ve grown to become very adaptable as people and as artists. We’ve learned that we’re most successful when we create music that’s true to our hearts and souls.
Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?
Musicians and artists go through stages of self doubt and suffer from that. But it’s part of the process, looking in the mirror and asking questions. It’s something you overcome and learn from. But it’s always something that lives with you. We’re always questioning, it can be challenging and trying.
What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?
The digital world has given us a lot of incredible and profound tools; to obtain information, access, knowledge and it has connected us all. It’s allowed us to connect with the world and have access to infinite information. At the same time, it’s disabled some people’s ability to be self reliant and in some sense, be original. Some times the least talented are the ones that surface. For artists, it’s important that WE always respect the process of becoming an artist, and we always start by looking within. It’s important that we don’t allow a digital mindset from overpowering and compromising our self pursuit of accessing our deepest artistic feelings and looking within. We hope the digital world doesn’t dilute and cloud our artistry. The digital world has provided a stage and opportunity for meritocracy. Anyone and everyone can become famous on Soundcloud, YouTube and Instagram. We hope these platforms and the infinite access don’t turn our society and culture into accepting and embracing meritocracy, and allowing it to be the standard. At the same time, the digital world has allowed us to share our message to the world, to everyone only a click away. Social media as been a primary driver for marketing the band and who we are, where we are and what we’re doing and when.
No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.
We take pride in being hard working, humble and honest people. We have self respect, and we work very hard and try to think creatively and as innovators. We realize that we’re role models and figures within our community and culture, people look up to us. We care greatly about issues that involve mental health, equality for women and freedom of expression for all people. Issues surrounding the extreme police brutality epidemic and the unnecessary and unjust killings of people of color are profoundly important to us. We’re all in this life together, and we should all try to love each other a bit more. Civil rights, the environment, access to health insurance for all, access to education for all children, music education, human rights and providing kids with better support in our school systems are important issues to all eight of us.
As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?
This is a great question. We try to stay healthy on the road. We are a group of eight musicians, we’re all close and we’re all here for each other. It can be hard to be away from home and our families while on tour. We try to take care of ourselves and make smart decisions, and have fun. The music lifts our souls and spirits. Music and performing for our fans all over the world is so healing. Performing gives us energy.
You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us some words of wisdom that you collected along the way.
We’ve performed all over the world with a wide range of artists in a wide range of countries. We work with artists spanning Katy Perry and Marilyn Manson, Nas to Metallica and everyone in between. We’ve toured and traveled through the slums of Brazil, villages in Haiti and in rural China, South Korea, Indonesia and all over Europe. A few of the most important pieces of wisdom we’ve collected, is to always be a good person and show respect, and to always let the soul lead. Having soul, passion, love and channeling it through our music has been a blessing. It’s shown us that we’re all connected because we can all feel music and share in having a soul. Soul transcends genre. Soul is more of a philosophy, mindset and approach than just a musical style, it’s an attitude and feeling. Soul is our mantra.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
Cleveland Hip Hop Legends, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, rolled through to Detroit for a show abounding with classics that have served to solidify their spot as the greatest Hip Hop group of all time. As a group of brothers who shine within beyond the glitz and the glam, the Cleveland hustlers have made an impact in the game over practically every single rhyme that they spit that will indefinitely stand the test of time. Dishin’ out 10 strong studio albums, Bone Thugs have impacted individuals throughout the world with the pure facts of life on the streets. Tracks such as “1st of tha Month” and “Mr. Bill Collector” showcase the real life scenarios that majority of society faces and the humble manner that Bone Thugs have always expressed the nitty gritty of life have kept them above par when it comes to raising the Hip-Hop bar.
Discovered by the late and great, Eazy-E, back in 1993 when they was first signed to Ruthless Records, Bone Thugs have created musical masterpieces that balances out lyricism which candidly faces the life backlash that stems from life in the penitentiary while influencing hope in listeners that desire to create the changes in their lives that will lead them toward peace. Collaborating with some of the greatest musicians of all-time such as Phil Collins, The Notorious B.I.G. and Mariah Carey, Bone Thugs consciously uplifting appeal continues to skyrocket and attract global listeners.
Long Beach Legend, Snoop Dogg, rolled into Detroit with his impassioned presence that carries out good vibes and positive energy to ring in a celebration at The Fillmore in Detroit. In honor of his latest full-length album release, ‘I Wanna Thank Me’, Snoop came through for a sold-out crowd that sang along to every note as he took hella tokes on stage. If you’re talking longevity in the game, one major part of Snoop’s claim to fame is his ability to dive into the past with diehard fans by playing tracks such as “Forgot About Dre”, “Lay Low” and “I Wanna Fuck You”.
As an entrepreneur and business mogul, Snoop Dogg has his hands in a variety of endeavors within the Cannabis world including his recent collaboration with Israel-based business, Seedo. Snoop has also ventured into the Vegan and plant-based world and has teamed up with Beyond Meat and Dunkin’ Donuts to roll-out his ‘Beyond D-O-Double G’ Sandwich. Grab tickets HERE to catch the Long Beach Legend, Snoop Dogg, along the remaining overseas dates on his ‘I Wanna Thank Me’ tour.
Atlanta Rapper, Jeezy, showed up big and gave back to the kids in Detroit at the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program ahead of his highly-anticipated Winter show at Little Caesar’s Arena. Right in the midst of celebrating Christmas, Jeezy rolled up with a ton of his local friends and fellow rappers including Brooklyn Queen and Nick LaVelle to hand out gifts and uplift the spirits of the kids in Detroit who left the building with nothing short of smiling hearts and faces. Spreading a positive message of hope, inclusivity and love, Jeezy showed his philanthropic roots and was nostalgic and candid about the pain that he faced on his rise to the top.
Hip-Hop Artist, Hope, empowers the masses through sticking to his gut bar after bar throughout the release of his most recent full-length album, ‘Red Man’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.
Kicking off with the first track, “Opening Ceremony”, Hope begins with the instrumental feel of a track by Method Man and Redman back in the early 2000’s as he welcomes listeners into his world that he was born to bring outward. The second track, “Never Fail”, blasts off to showcase Hope’s spiting skills over a minimal beat which highlights Hope’s ability that he has work toward diligently ever since he picked up the pen. “100 Million” is the third track that addresses the division of society that has come through racism and judgement which only serves to separate us further. “Generosity” feat. Mamarudegyal MTHC is the fourth track that puts the lyrical spotlight on starting from scratch and the life experiences that it has taken for Hope to develop a worldly perspective as feminine vocals uplift the chorus with ease, grace and balance. The fifth track, “Rage” feat. Alpha Omega, Doobie and Mamarudegyal MTHC lyrically addresses the traumas that cause bouts of rage inside as Hope brings his episodes forward with zero pity and full embodiment.
“I Scream” feat. Doobie and Mamarudegyal MTHC is the sixth track which is an album highlight that would appeal to the masses as Hope and Mamarudegyal MTHC’s synergy is hypotonic, sensual and pure. The seventh track, “Life Givers”, is an ode to Hope’s familial lineage as lyrics such as “Protect Your Women” stand out and are a beautiful ode to unity. “Fuck That” is the eighth track which is a lyrical message of assurance from Hope in which he stands tall in all of the highs and lows which have shaped him into the man that he is today. The ninth and title track, “Red Man”, begins with a historical speech speaking out the candid history of Hope’s lineage as he shares with the world his pride of being a part of Indian culture. “Think About It” is the tenth track that slows it down into a brutally honest and candid round of songwriting in which Hope reflects about all that he has gone through and how learning to think for yourself is one of the most important aspects of making it anywhere in life. The eleventh track, “IDPNG”, stands for ‘I Don’t Play No Games’ and addresses the hardening of Hope’s heart as he attempts to dial down to the basics and life, breathe and love for his family. Closing out with “Stand Up”, Hope empowers listeners with a message which reminds them to stand for what they believe in and feel no matter what opposition that they encounter.
If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Method Man, Hopsin and The Underachievers then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Hope on SoundCloud.
Migos Superstar, Quavo, came through Detroit with a profound message about his entrepreneurial journey at The Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit. Giving credit to his brothers who have come together to be the biggest and most sought-after Hip-Hop Group in the world, Migos, Quavo mentioned the importance of keeping both trust and equity in the family. Reminding all of the entrepreneurs in the crowd of the importance of staying true to themselves in the process, Quavo sat tall and delivered an honest review of his highs and lows which have led him to being one of the highest ticket-tag when it comes to branding, partnerships and more.
NOTE: Under no circumstance does any publication, Instagram Account, Fan account or Public Figure have permission to repost any photos by Jessica Golich unless credited. If reposted without permission, credit or fiscal compensation, legal ramifications will be immediately taken.
Atlanta Rapper, 21 Savage, let his uncanny talent shine through as he took the mic with pride at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit. Being announced by his experience with ISIS and showing what a comeback from a setback is all about, 21 Savage made it known that he has never taken a step back from his throne that he has built from the groundupwith a trusted team of hustlersthat will never let him go under.
LA Hip Hop Duo, Young Goats, mix together the classic flair of the old school with a modern-day dose of love and awareness throughout their latest full-length album, ‘Goat Life Vol. 1’. Here’s our track-by-track thoughts.
Kicking off with the first track, “Welcome to Goat Life”, the guys let the world know exactly who they are over a beat that sounds akin to Drake as lyrics that push boundaries and tell of the confidence that the guys have developed catch the ears of both young and seasoned listeners. The second track, “Only Need You”, lyrically speaks of the love of an individuals life that they can’t stray away from over a summer beat that is bound to bump in the club. “Beautiful” is the third track that begins with a worldly instrumental that brings in some Reggae flair over a fun track that lyrically dials down to the simplicity of recognizing the beauty deep within a one-of-a-kind woman. The fourth track, “Gaze On”, carries an Electronic feel over an infectious beat that showcases the guys spittin’ skills over lyrics that pour a cup of nothing short of romanticism. “Take You With Me” is the fifth track that lyrically speaks of committing to bring the love of the guys’ life to the sacred place that makes them feel at home when the time is right. The sixth track, “Got It All”, is a club banger that reminds the world that the guys of Young Goats have exactly what they need to succeed and can see the same within another.
“Whole Snack” is the seventh track that is catchy with the opening line that showcases the adoration that one of the guys feel for a lady that carries the essence of a Queen from head to toe. The eighth track, “LA Chick”, showcases the reality of a lot of the women in LA that are a genre of women that are hard to lock down as they are striving to get money on their own and live the best lives that they possibly can. “Advantage of You” is the ninth track in which the guys of Young Goats keep it as real as they can as they state with clarity that they aren’t the men that they want to be for their Queen. The tenth track, “Catch My Vibe”, begins by slowing it down as the guys lyrically speak of a lady that is having trouble understanding the men that they’ve grown to be as they try to move past enamoring women with money and nights out that leave you high and dry in the long run. “Don’t Know How To Act” is the eleventh track that showcases vulnerability as the guys tie in an Electronic twist that adds an element of surrender to the theme. The twelfth track, “Too Nervous”, is another one that is fun to dance to as the guys lyrically bring up how they are currently unable to approach the girl that shines in their eyes. “Dubai For The Weekend” is the thirteenth track that is bougie and full of positive energy as the guys charm the ladies with their interest to take ladies on lavish trips around the globe. The fourteenth track, “My Section”, is an album highlight that begins with an entrancing instrumental that leads into the guys spittin’ game about how only beautiful women are allowed in their section at the club. Closing out with “Better Than Them”, Young Suave and Goatey remind the ladies not to miss out on all they bring to the table before they reach their next level in life.
If you’re a fan of fellow musicians such as Drake, Jerimeh and Future then keep an eye on the ride ahead for Young Goats on Soundcloud.