Yet another phenom from the ubiquitous group out of NYC the Brown Bag Allstars (BBAS), J57 is one of the super producers behind many of the beats you’re hearing all over the Internet and across stages everywhere lately.
But don’t sleep, he’s not just working with the BBAS, as he’s also been blessing many others with some dope music as well. J57 just dropped his own projects in the last few weeks and sat down with AllHipHop.com to fill us in on his double duty:
AllHipHop.com: It’s good to talk to you finally, J! Tell us about what you have been working on.
J57: Hey, I want to start by saying thank you for the interview.
AllHipHop.com: Oh wow! Much appreciated.
J57: I just released 2 EPs exclusively on my website, www.J57music.com: one called 2057, and the other called The Ports EP.
AllHipHop.com: We understand the Ports EP title has a very special meaning for you. Do you care to share that story?
J57: It’s named after one of my best friends/rhyme-mentor, Bryan ”Ports” Coyle, that passed away in March.
AllHipHop.com: Thanks for sharing that with us, We know the tribute was something very close to you. Were both EPs about your personal relationships as well?
J57: Both projects feature a lot of well known upcoming MCs that I’m lucky enough to call family.
AllHipHop.com: What was your motivation behind the projects, and why did you release so much at one time?!
J57: With 2057, I wanted a real raw, Hip-Hop feel, but with a modern twist, of course. I’m blessed enough to get to hang out with DJ Premier (who’s studio I’m sitting in as I do this interview), and this project was really inspired by him and the sound that he created. He is definitely one of my main influences.
Plus with being a former Fat Beats employee, I can easily say that the sound of this project was also very much inspired by the six years I put in working there with my Brown Bag brethren.
With The Ports EP, like I said, the title was inspired by the passing of one of my best friends, but the vibe of the project was created beforehand. This EP has boom-bap elements, but it’s a little more left field than 2057 in a lot of ways. There’s a lot more live instrumentation on this one, and I brought in singers, etc. This EP’s a little closer to my new production sound that I’m working on with the homies Akie Bermiss, Mike13, and DeeJay Element.
AllHipHop.com: We already know that you guys are feature-heavy on any project, so who can we look forward to hearing from on the new music?
J57: You can look forward to hearing these incredibly talented artists on both EPs: Brown Bag AllStars, Homeboy Sandman, Sene, Nitty Scott MC, Rasheed Chappell, DJ Brace, Jefferson Price, Andrew Thomas from Recess, ScienZe, Von Pea from Tanya Morgan, Action Bronson, The Nezitiq Mute, Chuuwee, Chris Faust, Charlie Smarts from Kooley High, Maffew Ragazino, Juan Deuce, F.Virtue, Theory Hazit, Meyhem Lauren, Emilio Lopez, DJ Emoh Betta, Rob Kelly, Silent Knight, Julius Myth, Jon Hope, Dom O Briggs, and last, but certainly not least, Mike Maven.
AllHipHop.com: Wow! It might have been easier to ask you who will not be on the projects! That is a huge roster there. Very dope!
J57: [laughter] I refuse to leave anyone out because they all contributed so much.
AllHipHop.com: So we see! Now, will there be any new videos to accompany the projects?
J57: Yes! We’re about to shoot a video for “Like a Prayer” featuring Nitty Scott MC, and for “Elite Status” featuring Rasheed Chappell and DJ Brace. We already have videos for “Days Still Turn to Night” featuring Brown Bag AllStars and Andrew Thomas, as well as “Pulp Fiction” featuring Koncept that you should check out! I’m definitely going to shoot a few more, too. The gentlemen from “The Main Event” brought up the idea to shoot a video for that song, so that’s in the cards.
“Days Still Turn To Night”
AllHipHop.com: OK, so what has been your favorite part of putting together these projects so far? Any memories in the lab etc. you care to share with us?
J57: My favorite part of making music is putting everything together in Pro Tools. I make my beats in Reason, then import them into Pro Tools, then I play keys/synths over them, and bring in some musicians, DJs, backup vocalists over them. So, the most fun is putting everything together like a mad scientist with OCD for hours on end. That description may sound like I’m joking, but it’s pretty accurate, and for some reason, it’s my favorite part! I guess because anything can happen at that stage. I’m all about pushing boundaries and being as creative as possible with no limitation.
AllHipHop.com: That’s cool…we feel that! So what’s up next for J57 in the near future?
J57: We’re about to drop the next Brown Bag AllStars EP, titled Brown Label: Part 2, in late July. I’m just wrapping up my collabo album with the homie Blame One, and about to start cutting vocals for my album with Soul Khan (majority of the beats are picked out already, so it shouldn’t take too long).
Also, we’re finally wrapping up the debut Brown Bag AllStars album! I’m probably forgetting a project or two and I’m sure someone will be mad at me for doing so, but it’s 6:07AM, and I’ve been up since 6:15AM the day before, so I’ll use that as my excuse! [laughter] Thank you again, AllHipHop & Skyy for this great interview! I promise anyone reading this, that Brown Bag will never let you down. Ever.
Be sure to be on the lookout for J and his Brown Bag Allstars crew this summer coming to speakers and a stage near you!