Introducing The Dope Cats of NC… Smack Bros x Pearl Squad (@SmackedMovement)

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: 

https://soundcloud.com/stonertunes/steel-matic-soul-king-calibur-prod-excalibur

By Seth Pereira

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Seth Pereira

Seth Pereira

A bud­ding music Journ­al­ist spe­cial­iz­ing in all things hip hop. Who Occa­sion­ally dabbles in polit­ic­al ram­bling.

About Seth Pereira

Seth Pereira
A budding music Journalist specializing in all things hip hop. Who Occasionally dabbles in political rambling.

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