Q. Who are Smack Bros x Pearl Squad?
Well WE go by the name of ” Smack Bros x Pearl Squad” AKA SBPS or just SB and PS separately (We basically get ‘Smacked’ & make dope music, hence our name). We reside in NC & there’s a total of 6 of us, so its like groups within a group to make one big super group. Our first project was ” The Smacked Tape” we literally had no buzz (still currently don’t), no budget, no nothing. Just a mac book, a mic with some talent & dreams. I did the editing and engineering for just about everything myself. Hoping that someone would actually listen to us, realize our potential & help put us on the map. We are fully independent with everything. We’re just some young gods who’s waiting for departure, its not hard to make good music; just hard to get people to actually take you serious and listen to your message. We are probably one of the best, if not the most interesting unknown group to NOT be out haha. So please, let us know what you think & if you really enjoy what you hear; feel open to go through songs and videos at your own free will to get a better feel of who we are.
Q. What are the Names of all the members?
It would only be proper to start off with who really brought us together and got us into making music seriously, which was “Neko” AKA YBB (@DomWu_). He was the only one who had the mic (a guitar hero mic, lol) & always use to randomly freestyle during / after smoke sessions & in school. At this time there was no “Pearl $quad” & only consisted of 3 members, the original members of “Smack Bros”, which of course included Neko, Steel Matic / LBJ (@ExcaliburXV) & myself, TSA AKA Big Curly (@TSA_SBENT). “Pearl $quad” originated a few months later with the addition of OG Jibbly (@Blizzzy__) & Zaggy BadBrainz (@DelusionalZaggy) but we’ll get more in depth with that in the later questions. The last and final member to be brought into our SB family was Manny Loko (@EvilGeniusLoko), his story is funny because he’s been making beats and rapping before any of us even thought about picking up a pad but he never taken things serious until we came together. With this being besides the point, i feel like this is critical information for you to get a proper feel of how we came together.
Q. It must be hard maintaining motivation as independent artists who are not receiving any recognition. What continues to motivate you? What Advice would you give young up and coming artists like yourselves?
FACTS! It’s very easy to get discouraged and feel like you’re wasting your time, especially when your loved ones don’t even support what you’re doing & can feel the fake love & hate from peers around you. It’s sad no one will take you serious / support you because they know you in person so it’s like until they see other people taking you serious, they’re not going to take you serious if you know what I mean. What motivates us though? Easy, the fact alone that we’re so young, been only making music for about 3 years & have more potential/talent then most people who claim they been doing this for about 10+ years is enough. We know we’re going to make it, theres no question in that, we’re just waiting for people to actually start listening to the music and what we’re saying. There’s no denying our potential & we feel like that scares some people so they don’t want to let us shine. What advice would we give to artist thats sailing in the same boat? I’d say stay positive, because at the end of the day if you know and believe what you’re doing is right & get that little feeling in your stomach when you hear your own music, can’t nobody tell you ‘You’re not going to make it”. Everybody once started off a nobody and an amateur, all it takes is time and the right exposure.
Q. What got you guys into Hip-hop? Was there a defining moment?
Not sure if you mean, what got us into making hiphop or just hiphop itself so i’ll answer both. We each individually grew up from different states, TSA & Jibbly are from Jersey, Steel & Zaggy came from New York, Manny Loko came from Virginia & Neko was from North Carolina. So growing up as 90’s babies hiphop was always around & from us being from separate places, we all had different influences & favorite artist while growing up so that effected each of us differently. What got is into making music stemmed from the fact we loved listening to hiphop & felt like these so called artist now-a-days don’t realize how powerful of an influence their words have, so we wanted to create a dope & positive way to speak our minds. Plus how can you listen to music and NOT feel the urge to create your own? Our defining moment would most definitely be when we made our first couple of songs and we realized we were actually low key nice for beginners. I mean of course the quality was shitty but to us, to some teens who just started rapping and writing, we had potential to be something great. We all shared that same feeling and ran with what we had, we never gave up, just knew that people will eventually listen and perceive the mental pictures we were trying to create.
Q. Listening to your sound I can hear influences from Pro Era, what else influences you guys musically?
Everyone to be honest, because no matter how good or bad the artist is in your perspective you can ALWAYS learn something from them. Observing can teach you a lot about life, like think about it. When I turn on the radio & I hear something I think isn’t lyrical or isn’t radio worthy it influences me just as much as if it thought I was the best song ever because I know I can make a better and more meaningful song, you know? But in a straight forward perspective, the rappers we respect the most from today’s times are like Vince Staples, J.Cole, Mac Miller, Ab — Soul , FBZ, Da$h , Retch, Earl Sweatshirt (OF) , Mick Jenkins, Steez, Action Bronson, Chance & basically anyone who’s actually spitting that real & spreading the awareness to the masses really.
Q. Why did you guys decide to merge the two crews?
Haha because it’s all a collective, we are a one, a family, nothings is separate about it, just the date when they were created. We always have been friends/crew wayyyyy before this rap thing, connection runs deep with us, since middle school & elementary days. It’s not like we were just some 2 random crews that met each other and was like.… “Hey.…. wanna team up?” We all struggled, starved and ate with each other. Pearl $quad was also originated by Neko during a point in time when he was kicked out & staying with OG Jibbly, Neko was basically the glue that brought the groups together for the simple fact he got all of us to actually rap on a serious level.
Q. I understand that at the moment you guys are still on the come up, but who would you most like to collaborate with?
Good question because I’ve honestly been asking myself this same thing for a while now, like if I had to choose one person to get on a song who would it be? There’s 6 of us so i’ll individually tell you who we pick. Neko (@DomWu) said he’d love a Domo Genesis feature because he always felt like him and Domo always had the same relatable style. Zaggy (@DelusionalZaggy) chose OUTKAST for the simple fact he grew up listening to them & it was always his goal. OG Jibbly (@Blizzzy__) decided he’d either want a Ashton Matthews or a Joey Fatts feature. Manny Loko (@EvilGeniusLoko) said he’d love a MF Doom collab, beat & song for the reason that’s always been been his idol growing up. Steel Matic (@ExcaliburXV) would love a Vince Staples collab because he feels their sounds would mesh. As for me, TSA (@TSA_SBENT) i really don’t know for sure but i’d have to say probably a Jhene Aiko, Da$h, Mac Miller or Joey Bada$$. I feel like everyone we picked, our perspectives would resonate in harmony.
Q. What do you guys think is wrong with mainstream hip hop these days?
The fact that artist aren’t utilizing the power they actually have & are glorify the wrong things. Music is one the most powerful ways to influence and touch people, so why not use that power of the people to actually make a positive difference? The system got everyone so business minded that artist would rather use their fans as marketing tools for their music, clothes & products. They want to make money & take away from the people, playing the system of livings game instead of actually trying to build our people out of that. Spit with some purpose, we all know things are messed up, crooked & corrupt so speak your damn mind. Try to be the solution to the problem, not add oil to the flame. There’s 2947320129320 other things more important that needs to be said & touched on than the repetitive “i got bands, i been trapping, all i know is money stacking”. If you got so much damn money why don’t you use it to be impactful and change peoples lives? Open up a homeless shelter, feed the needy, something. If I had it like that i’d have no problem giving random people $1000 instead of going out my way to buy the same Bugatti in another color, music steaming websites or buy another 100 million dollar house just for the hell of it when just a fraction of that money can help so many more people than just myself. Where’s the perspective?
Check out music from Smack Bros x Pearl Squad here:
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