From interning at Rawkus Records in high school to signing to J Records as part of the Dirty Water Group and then to spending some time in the pen, Flatbush emcee Archie Bang has had an eventful life to say the least. But Archie is about to turn all of that around as a solo artist. He has since worked with DJ Whoo Kid and Nipsey Hu$$le, and received props from DJ Kay Slay. And now he’s premiering his album with us today.
Archie worked with producers who samples movies and PSA’s from the 80’s to share with you what he knows best-the gritty mentality he learned from that era. We had an opportunity to ask the emcee a few questions about the project as well as some advice for struggling rappers. You can also stream the album after the interview.
Purchase a digital copy HERE.
Why did you choose to go with the Goonies theme for this project?
It’s always been a favorite movie of mine as a kid and following my last release with DJ Whoo Kid [2010 Nothing To Lose], I fell into a slump. I was juggling a lot of issues both personal and legal, where I was pretty much entertaining the idea of leaving music alone all together, and then the Goonies movie came on one night and it hit me, Never Say Die. The meaning was universal regardless of what the obstacle is, you can’t give up, you can’t quit… and that’s the origin of the theme, title and sound that I brought into this project.
Do you think that there will ever be an era like the 80’s again?
Never. The 80’s was a rare era, especially for Hip-Hop. The 80’s laid the groundwork for the music, drugs and violence for the following decade. It’s a beautiful culture birthed by have-nots and dysfunction. You see it today how it’s reemerging in fashion and music. It’s good for the culture of Hip-Hop in its current state, but the 80’s will never be duplicated.
What are a few things you’ve learned from Rawkus Records and have applied to your career?
The first thing I learned from Rawkus was this is a business. Coming into Rawkus as a teen, I thought you just rap, smoke weed and got paid (laughs). I learned the difference between the major corporate machines behind these major labels and the power of the indie. Rawkus was a milestone for Hip-Hop. I also learned that good music is not based on what the radio shoves down your throat. Nothing wrong with radio, but we used to have options and a variety of sounds to choose from. It’s coming back around now because artists are thinking outside the box, but Rawkus was the pioneer for that. That was where I first heard Eminem. I’m part of history. I went to the Harvard of HipHop [laughs].
What’s some advice you can give younger people about overcoming obstacles and following your dreams?
You can’t let anyone tell you something can’t be done. We live in a matrix so to speak where very few people can see outside of what they’re told to do, and what everyone else is doing. You have to take risks, take chances. Your dreams are a reality that haven’t been materialized yet. Hard work makes dreams and ideas real. Trust yourself before anyone else, respect opinions and accept criticism, but always go with your gut first.
Why did you choose to end the album with an outro with that PSA in particular?
I chose that PSA because as a kid growing up in the 80’s, it was the last thing I heard before bed. My bedtime was 10 o’clock and as a kid I would always wonder why they’re asking this? Like I’m in bed, why wouldn’t these grown ups know where there children are? That childhood innocence. But it just goes back to the destructive era that defined the 80’s, where the crack epidemic left kids unattended due to the addiction of their parents. I felt it was the perfect way to close this LP. The tone, as well as the meaning worked well and brought a certain eerie vibe to close out the tape.
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Bryan Hahn (@notupstate)