Ty and Kory: Rugged and Raw

To put it bluntly, Ty &

Kory are exactly what’s lacking in R&B music today. With radio

stations across the country bogged down with studio-engineered vocals

and slapped-together dance routines, good soul music has become all

too rare. Label execs everywhere try and try to manufacture success,

but you’ve either got the instincts or you don’t. Luckily for lovers

of R&B everywhere, Ty & Kory have the instincts. Hailing from South Central,

LA and Queens, New York respectively, the duo of 23-year-olds are bringing

a much-needed change to the game with vocals reminiscent

of Stevie Wonder and Babyface poured over Hip-Hop beats. In 2005, the

first volume of their Raw & Bangin Mixtape

made the rounds and became an underground smash. Featuring tracks from

heavyweights J-Dilla and Madlib in addition to their own production

crew (Jack Sample Pros), the duo's work earned them appearances on

the soundtracks to The Cookout and Biker Boyz. Due to the mixtape’s success,

Ty & Kory linked up with Buddah Brown Entertainment, who has worked with top notch artists such as Timbaland and the Black Eyed

Peas. The two are poised to make a big splash with their first album Junior Radio - due in early '08 - and another mixtape this fall.

Ty & Kory aren’t content to just make R&B; they’re changing

the face of the genre from rhythm and blues to “Raw & Bangin."AllHipHop.com Alternatives:

How did Ty & Kory meet up and start working together? Ty: We met each other in New

York a few years back through a mutual acquaintance, and then again randomly

in Utah during the Sundance Film Festival. We recorded two joints while

we were out in Utah that came out crazy, and we met up again and recorded

the Raw & Bangin Vol. 1 mixtape. AHHA: Who were some of

your influences coming up on different coasts? Ty: I really felt DJ Quik,

Dr. Dre and Babyface’s production. Getting older in high school, I

got into the RZA and that whole Wu-Tang vibe, then I found out about

Dilla, because I used to like that Janet Jackson song with Q-Tip “Got

'til Its Gone.” After that, I became a Dilla-head and now, I’m getting

into other types of music. Kory: Michael Jackson, Sam

Cooke, R. Kelly, Stevie Wonder, Nas, all the QB artists from Cormega

to Mobb Deep. AHHA: Do you guys rhyme

also or just sing? Ty: We’ve always been singing,

but we rhyme a bit too. Hip-Hop is what we live, so we have to rhyme.

I was a straight Hip-Hop head when I met Kory and he was too, but we

both sung and liked other music. We were like, “Lets take these Hip-Hop

beats, sing over them and make a whole new genre of music,” and that’s

where we came up with Raw & Bangin.

AHHA: How did you first

meet up with Buddah Brown? 

Ty: Venus Brown [Head of Buddah Brown] found us. We just got a phone call one day from Venus & Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, so we went over to their office and

it was official. They flew Kory out from New York, and we just decided

to roll with Buddah. They had heard about us through the Raw &

Bangin mixtape, which really got around the globe.

AHHA: How do you feel about

the current state of music, and who are you checking for now? 

Ty: Basically f*ck R&B

and f*ck Hip-Hop; this is “Raw & Bangin!” Right now, I’m feelin’

the new Bone Thugs, Mos Def, Nas and that Amy Winehouse album is incredible.

Sa-Ra’s album, Hollywood Recordings; I’m on two joints on

there (“And If” and “Do Me Gurl”). 

AHHA: Being that it’s

summertime, give us your classic joint for the summer season.

Kory: Has to be “Banned from

TV,” that Noreaga record from his first album with Pun and Nature.

That’s the summer anthem. 

Ty: You know me; I’m rolling

with that “Players” from Slum Village.

AHHA: How do ya’ll kick

it during the sunny days in Cali and NY? 

Ty: You know… sit outside,

holler at the girls, blow some trees, play a little ball. 

AHHA: Do you think that

club music is taking over R&B and Hip-Hop? 

Ty: Good music is what makes

the majority of people move. Whoever has the masses moving is what’s

popping; you can’t down them. If everyone’s feelin’ that sh*t,

then that’s what good music is. The people who really love music,

people like us, they go out and look for it. Other people just hear

what they hear; they’re trained like clones. 

AHHA: Tell us about the

new album, Junior Radio… 

Ty: “Raw and Bangin” is

the answer. Ty & Kory’s new sh*t is incredible. We’ve got something

for the masses, but it’s still the same vibe with the vocals. Some

of the beats are a bit more poppy, but you’re still going to hear

all the chopped up samples and Hip-Hop sh*t; just with the drums of

today. We’ve done about 100 songs so far, and now we’re just trying

to get a hot 12. We want Junior Radio to be like Dr. Dre’s

2001 or Usher’s Confessions, where every joint was crazy. 

AHHA: Are there any artists

that you will be bringing up with you? 

Ty: Our production team, the

Jack Sample Pros. That’s Chordz, B Mo Jack, Snowman, and myself, Fly

Ty. That’s what it is. 

AHHA: Will

Junior Radio be similar to the style of the

Raw & Bangin Vol. 1 mixtape? 

Ty: We’re stepping it up

to a different level, but still keeping it gangsta. We’ve got Snoop

on the record, some crazy production from the Jack Sample Pros and plenty

more coming. There’s going to be crazy club joints, real soulful live

joints and worldly music. Junior Radio is about

everything that’s going on around the world. It’s for the people

from the streets all over. I’m from South Central, Kory’s from Queens;

it’s not just like we’re city boys, this is street sh*t. We’re

recording everywhere from Los Angeles to London and Jamaica. We just

want to get a feel for the streets everywhere and what’s happening

in every city.