Known for their all-encompassing production and accompaniment of lyrical and metaphorical cliff diving off every track, The Brown Bag Allstars (BBAS) are back at it with their latest project, Brown Label. AllHipHop.com caught up with the Brooklyn Bunch and chopped it up about current projects, the group’s growth, and where they are going from here:
AllHipHop.com: Alright, let’s just jump straight in fellas! What was the concept (No pun intended) behind the EP? [laughter] And who all produced on it?
J57: This EP, Brown Label 2 is a bigger and better follow-up to the free project, The Brown Label EP Part 1 that we dropped back in February. It has production from me, Audible Doctor, Rhettmatic of the World Famous Beat Junkies, and our homie, EP of the Dopplegangaz. Plus, it includes remixes from me, Doc, and Deejay Element, all family, in the usual BBAS fashion.
AllHipHop.com: With the other BBAS projects, the listener was able to learn a little about each artist on the majority of the tracks. What can we expect to hear from you personally on the new joint? Are there any songs that you felt a serious personal connection with?
Koncept: There is a verse or two where I get personal or deep on them, but for the majority of this project I’m letting you know how much fun I’m having.
Audible Doctor: I think this is a perfect example of where we all are artistically at the moment. The new project shows how we’ve evolved as individual members as well as a group. But the song I probably have the most connection with is “406”. It’s a tribute to the Fat Beats NY store, the place we formed our group. Having worked at that store so long and having that environment as such a big part of my growth as an artist, it’s hard not to have a connection to that song.
Soul Khan: My most emotionally resonant moments on this EP would be like Audible Doctor’s on “406” due to our history at Fat Beats, as well as on the song, “Say It Now,” because I use the word ‘areolas’ really charmingly.
AllHipHop.com: With each project you put out, your collective team seems to be demonstrating a lot of growth from the previous effort, what would you say shows your growth as an artist/producer on this particular EP?
Audible Doctor: I think that would be the overall sound of the record. I feel like it’s a more eclectic sound than people are used to hearing from us. We’ll always have that ‘boom bap’ foundation, but we’ll never stop growing.
Soul Khan: I think I sound more comfortable with not trying to make every song a ‘rappity rap-off’ with ridiculously dense rhyme schemes. We’re all better team players now and have more chemistry than we ever had. Also, I lost like 20 pounds.
Koncept: I think with every release, we get better. We put a lot into our work and make the best music possible for our fans.
J57: Only speaking for myself, I have to say that I worked harder on the MC side of things on this project than I ever did for any projects in the past. I never half-assed any verses in the past, but this time I spent far more time on my technique than I ever have before, and I got pretty damn close to hitting my 10,000th hour as an MC.
DeeJay Element: I feel like this EP really made me step my game up as a DJ and a producer. I knew my scratches had to be perfect, because I did them over a beat by a legendary DJ like Rhettmatic. As far as production goes, J57 and Audible Doctor’s beats are crazy, so I knew I had to keep up with them.
DJ E Holla: If you listen to some of our older work, such as The Brown Tape and songs like “Boss Is Back”, then fast forward to joints like “Workhorse” and various tracks off Brown Bag Season Volume 1, you hear the results in the crew getting better sound-wise and knowing how to make better records. There is more instrumentation involved and lyrical improvement with every song. All this is before an official debut album, which is truly awesome.
AllHipHop.com: There’s a lot of buzz going on about all of the different projects that you guys are currently working on. Would you like to update the readers on what you all have been involved in?
Audible Doctor: Other than this EP and the debut Brown Bag album, I have a free EP titled I Think That, dropping September 25, an instrumental album titled Doctorin’, executive produced by Large Professor dropping later this year, and a few other singles and videos dropping as well.
Soul Khan: I have a solo album available for free called Soul Like Khan, along with three EPs, Acknowledgment, Resolution, and Pursuance, produced respectively by all released independently and for sale at soulkhan.com. Most recently, I dropped a free EP at DJBooth, Wellstone. I also am learning to cook something other than meth, while I work on my next EP and first full-length, commercially sold album. [laughter]
Koncept: I dropped my solo debut album titled, Awaken, on Soulspazm Records, as well as the Vinyl EP for that project titled, Watch The Sky Fall, on Nostomania Records. Both were distributed by Fat Beats Records. I’m currently working on two more EPs and a new album.
J57: We all tend to work on three or four projects at one time. I’m currently working on the production for LPs with Soul Khan, Koncept, Brown Bag, Blame One, Numonics, 6th Sense, Co$$, and Mr. Green. I’m also working on beats for EPs with Torae, Jefferson Price and Booda French, Tenacity, Mike Maven’s Young Pandas, which I recently joined, and DJ Brace.
DeeJay Element: I have an EP coming out soon with Koncept and a solo EP coming out hopefully early next year. Plus, I DJ for Brown Bag, Soul Khan, and Sene.
DJ E Holla: Even though I am not been in the public eye like the rest of the group, there is still a lot of work behind the scenes to be done to get the EP and album done. I will still DJ for the group and for Koncept at his shows. I am also Torae’s DJ and an artist on his label. Tor and I dropped his mixtape, Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself 2. I have a couple of mixtapes in the works, and an official mixtape entitled So It Begins.
AllHipHop.com: Will you be touring in support of this project?
Audible Doctor: We’re locking in our New York release show for the week after the EP drops, and we have a few other shows lined up that we’ll announce. But we’re still working out the logistics for a full tour. We will keep you and the fans posted.
AllHipHop.com: Should we be expecting to see any videos any time soon?
Soul Khan: We have two videos already filmed and primed for release from this upcoming EP. The first will be released on August 28, and the second is dropping after we release the project.
AllHipHop.com: What’s next for the BBAS?
Koncept: Right now, we are working on our debut album. We are in the process of branding the world with Brown Bag. Don’t believe the hype, believe the talent. But for now, our Brown Label 2 EP is dropping on September 4 exclusively at www.BrownBagAllStars.com.
Be sure to check out Brown Label 2 coming soon.