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Interview & Photos: Abstract Theory

Interview & Photos by Christian West

When did you meet?

Louie: 2015 we met, I went to Penn state and I was an RA there and one of the RAs I was RAing with her and I became friends and she introduced me to a friend Spin and my friend Spin knew that I rapped and knew that Troy was coming in. I went up and met him, that's it.

Troy: We had a really awkward interaction but it ended up being what it is now. I specifically remember as soon as I saw him I was like, “you rap right?”

When did you start playing shows together?

Troy: We were both rapping, but he was doing more than just writing. He actually invited me to my first show.

Louie: We did 2016 Nittany Block Party at Penn State which is a bunch of student performers opening up for the headliner. The first one I did was in 2015 for Chain Smokers and this one that I invited him to was to open up for Dej Loaf.

When did you start recording music?

Troy: I think it was around that same year.

Louie: I came to NY and we did that in Justin’s room.

Troy: We met through this mutual friend Mike that I went to high school with and one of my other good friends, Justin, multi talented guy musically, plays multiple instruments, messes around with production. I was recording in his closet in multiple different houses throughout his college career. Shout out Justin. I sent him this one beat for our first big song called “Acting Out”, he came to New York for that. But real recording was that same year. He told me to come out here to Pittsburgh and we went to ID Labs and I was like a kid in a candy store. I didn’t know what to do. Justin was there for that too. It was like a learning experience for all of us. Except for him, he already knew what he was doing.

What was the inspiration behind your last EP?

Troy: A bunch of different things. To me, this is the first time I’m saying this on record, and I’m not sure if he feels the same way, but at this point that record to me is like a demo. And when we look forward to what we are doing everything is more polished. That was kind of just a collection of different feelings we had at that time and over the years. Half that tape is actually kind of old. The song “wasted youth” the title song we started working on that like 2 years before we even finished writing it and of course its actual release. I think the concept has to do with people wasting away in different forms but we manifested those feelings in all different areas from a standing tough perspective to an actual wasted youth.

Louie: A lot of it was from past inspiration so it’s more youthful. It’s kind of why its in the name. It speaks volumes of youth. There is no swearing, it’s more a learning process.

You put out a single “Mint”, is that for a new project or album”

Louie: That's a new single it won’t be on the new album. It was a song that we wrote that came out really quick. We started performing it and adding it to our set list.

Troy: It bangs as they say.

Louie: We got a lot of positive feedback. When we were filming a couple scenes for the wasted youth video that never made it in there we went to the studio and did a scene. And to use the studio we thought we might as well record a song and we just went with that one. Because it was super quick. It spoke volumes to us at that time.

Troy: It came out really well. So why not release it.

You are working on a new project.

Louie: Yes

Troy: Yes

What are some of the differences and similarities between your first EP and this project that you are working on?

Troy: I think off top difference and something that even takes it to a new level is that project has a definitive direction. We are still figuring some things out like skits and placement and everything. But we sat down and talked about the idea of what this is about. As far as similarities we both have this call to jazz and I would say more soulful beats or just soulful music. So I think that is reflected a good amount in most of the tape but on the flip side we recognize what time it is. It’s about to be 2020 and culture, hip hop culture is shifting and the new 808s and the hi hats and just a different sound. He is definitely more of the majority of the beat man in the group. At times I’ve been a little bit reluctant bug mostly I’ve caught on to what he has put out. The elevated style.

Louie: The title is called “Crusty Vibes”. Which was the first beat that we listened to together that Justin made. While we were listening to that beat (this is within the first 10 or 15 minutes of meeting each other) I drew a face and that’s become one of the first copy written designs that we have and one of the new designs that we are going to use. The name kinda speaks for itself, its kind of a grimy yet here in the moment kind of thing.

Why should people listen to your music?

Troy: You shouldn’t unless you feel it.

Louie: You should listen to it just to experience something new. If you’ve never heard of us, just do it. Take a new approach to life today and just check it out. If not, be lame and go do your same routine.

Troy: I stand by my first statement, but I think one comment that we often receive is “I didn’t like Hip hop and then I heard you guys and I like it now”. We are trying to give you a new feeling that hip hop culture represents. Which is awareness movement. Hip is awareness. Hop is movement. Look more into that and if you want to know about yourself and relate, maybe cry, maybe laugh listen to us. And buy a t-shirt and bunch of other merch so we can eat.

Louie: We got lunch boxes coming

Troy: You can put the lunch that you can’t afford because you bought the lunch box in there and then we can buy lunch and that’s really what counts.


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