Q&A With New York Hip Hop Group The Late ’80s

We want to thank you guys for dropping such a dope EP recently “The Hell Below: Part 1”, please tell us a little bit about the group? Where are you guys from? How did your Hip Hop brand come about?

Alain: We been a crew ever since I remember, met as teens at predominant underground hip hop spot Fatbeats NYC both as young mc producers with similar ambitions and taste. After many years of drunken debauchery we decided we should make something dope before we die. So we made this, like 10 years later. We got solo stuff, but when we come together, it’s potent as fuck.

Bred: We met working at Fat Beats, and music has always been the glue, but we wasn’t really taking it seriously as a duo until Sorry We’re Late! in 2014. We’ve always kinda done our own thing and then randomly linked up for projects over the years.

We notice you styles of lyrics and beat mesh extremely well! Tell how the chemistry got established on the level its on now!?

Bred: It was pretty organic. We were in two different mental places for a while. I had been heavily invested in music, but I was doing it all wrong—shopping beats to artists one at a time, just tryin’a stack placements. I know Alain was still recording here and there, but I’m not even sure what he was up to those days. We kinda reconnected when he did a bid, ironically. He wanted to take music more seriously, and was at a real pivotal, sort of reflective moment in his life, so we were always talking about some deep shit. I don’t even know if he knows this, but I was almost ready to take a break from music before that point. I was tired of placing beats on other people’s projects, without much creative control over the recording process, and wanted to do something more substantial—so I went into the Late ’80s with an experimental mentality and an attitude like “fuck it, let’s just dig deep, have fun with it and see what happens.” At the end of the the day, the Late ’80s is a true passion project, and I think it shows in the music—and that’s why it resonates with people.

Alain: We started talking about concepts and issues we felt were important over the phone when I was locked up. I saw the prison industrial complex first hand, and the slave labor being carried on till this day. We were no stranger to oppression or poverty either, yet the prison stay for me solidified my mission, which was always to make change. What better way to do that than music? I guess we were just talkin shit, and maybe Bred was trying to keep my head on a positive note while I was away. Either way we wanted to mix hard lyricism, social consciousness, and progressive boom bap beats. It is our attempt to take hip hop back to its essence, well at least to us. We wanted to sound like some of the great artist that came out of NYC during the Late ‘80s, but not be a carbon copy either. So we conspired to make something new. For our 2nd project, I think we have been growing pretty well.

Congrats on success of your latest EP, “The Hell Below: Part 1”. Feel free to breakdown the creative process of the project. Where can people find the project?

Bred: I make the beats, we discuss concepts, Alain writes his rhymes and we come together in the lab. We originally dropped it for free on Audiomack, but now Alain re-released it everywhere.

Alain: I usually write in a rush either on my way to the studio or the day before, because I kind of like to work under pressure for some reason, but some of the concepts might be things we were building on in conversations for months. Bred comes up with a lot of concepts just making the beat. So I just fill in in the blanks per say, of course with my sick demented twist. You can find us on all major streamin platforms, but if you don’t have spotify.Tidal. Applemusic you can catch us on Youtube, audiomack and soundcloud. All of our music is free, cuz all music should be.

Are you guys planning on releasing any videos to complement “The Hell Below: Part 1”. Or are you going to let the record gravitate as an exclusive listening experience?

Alain: We dropped a video for ‘Blood Roots” and it’s been getting a lot of love. So yea we def got sum more videos comin soon. Stay tuned

Bred: Alain made some trippy shit for Blood Roots. I’m sure he got some more tricks up his sleeve.

With this industry being so fast pace, being so busy promoting yourself, what advice do you have to those who are barely releasing their first record, and trying to break into the business?

Bred: First off, don’t get into music if your main goal is to get paid. There are tons of easier ways to make money. Leave it to those of us who put the art first. Just make the music you wanna make, and if it’s good or resonates with people for whatever reason, the rest will fall into place. Or it won’t. But I find that the less I worry about how my music is received, the better it is.

Alain: Don’t spam, and don’t count on the people you know to support you in the way you might want them to. It’s the people you don’t know, that will really bump your shit. So focus on getting your music to those you don’t know, and make your music available everywhere you can so they can find you.

How does social media playing a role in your success? How are fans / supporters helping your movement?

Alain: Social media makes it easier to promote to certain demographics, you can run a ad for pretty cheap on you specific market. You can start there and take over the world. As for fans, it makes us more approachable. We don’t have any mainstream support so this social media is the best way to go to set up a direct to consumer relationship. Yet I am more concerned with our supporters sharing our message rather than our music. This music is revolution of the mind.

Bred: My relationship with social media is complicated, but I guess it’s a necessary evil. Plus our shit made it on Instagram Stories somehow, so that’s cool.

With this being an underground hip hop site, we always ask this important question. What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?

Alain: Underground hip hop is the only hip hop that should be. If it’s not underground, its pop. Hip hop began as a counter culture. Some say hip hop is dead but it just went underground and its very much alive.

Bred: It used to mean something, but who knows anymore? The line between underground and mainstream is more blurred than ever, if you ask me.

Where can people find you on the Internet? Drop all the vital links.

Alain: @Late80sRep

Bred: @bredwondah

Lastly, and shout out?

Alain: Shout to Cus at Mercy Sound Studios, Skull N Tones, VJ, Sunez Allah, The Nation of Gods and Earths, and anyone who continues to strive to think differently in a world of drones.

Bred: Shout out to whoever makes it this far into the interview.

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