Brown Bag Allstars - Ain't Hard To Find

These days, Brown Bag Allstars ain’t hard to find. Maybe you’ve seen their raucous live show at Southpaw, or Public Assembly, or Homegrown Project. Maybe you caught their towel-waving Mainstage performance at this year’s Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival. Or perhaps you ran into them on their day job - running the legendary Fat Beats record shop. Maybe you haven’t seen them at all - and this is your introduction. Either way, the name Brown Bag Allstars is gaining in notoriety like wine flavored Black-N-Milds and Bud Light Lime. chopped it up with BBAS right before their amplified BHF09 performance. Read on as we addressed Brown Bag Season, Sprite Zero, and the pros and cons of a Fat Beats cosign.

TCM:, chillin here with 5 members of Brown Bag Allstars, man. How do you guys feel? J57?

J57: We are feeling good, man. Ready to go out there and destroy the stage.

TCM: Thats whats up. Now, I’ve heard a lot of new tracks off of Brown Bag Season. Soundin’ pretty good. What can we expect from that project?

Soul Khan: Thank you.

Audible Doctor: More of the same stuff.

Soul Khan: Theres going to be some curve balls. Pause. Theres gonna be some curve balls.


Soul Khan: Theres gonna be some stuff that knocks people for a loop. I’m not gonna divulge anything but we’re definitely doing some different stuff coming up. And a lot of its coming from, like, one of our secret weapon - not so secret anymore - um, Marink who we’ve inducted as a crew producer. And he’s, if you follow the Brown Bag Season joints, he’s produced a number of them. And he’s got more dope ones coming up.

TCM: Whens the release date on that?

J57: On the...

TCM: On Brown Bag Season?

J57: Its gonna end in September. 2 tracks a week until September. Thats what we’ve been doing.

TCM: Are you going to release that as an actual album?

Koncept: Yeah, as a mixtape. We’ll probably put it out as a free download. Um, free CD.

Soul Khan: We’re actually giving some of the songs away today on CD. For the stuff thats already out, given that we have it on that one CD, we’ll probably put it on a Rare file or ZIP file and upload it for the people getting on Myspace. Put it up on blogs. Um, they should’ve got them all up anyway. But if they haven’t, its time to recap.

TCM: Thats whats up. I have a question for you Koncept and Soul Khan. I see you guys more often than I see everyone else. Is that just coincidence? Whats the reason why I see you more often?

J57: They have projects coming out.

Koncept: Yeah, we have projects coming out. [Soul Khan] has Wrath of Khan coming out, his solo mixtape. I’ve got my second solo mixtape as well as an EP coming out. So, uh, I guess thats really the main reason.

Soul Khan: I’m going to speak for Audible Doctor and J57 because I feel like doing that right now. Audible Doctor and J are both incredible producers so their working on a lot of production heavy projects right now. My homie J57 has 2 instrumental albums coming out in the future on Balance Records. And they’re very dope. AMD, has stuff I’m not going to mention because he may not actually live up to it and doing something else instead. Uh, but he has a surprise that I convinced him to do. So watch out, August or September he’s got a surprise. Classic surprise.

Koncept: And even though you see, like you said, ‘I see you and you the most’ its not like that because, regardless, J’s producing the track, or Audible Doctor’s producing the track. So, its not like you’re just seeing us. Like, they’re just as much in the spotlight as we are.

Soul Khan: Or I order the pizza over at J’s house. Or..

Koncept: And he has Sprite Zero or something...

Soul Khan: Exactly. I don’t wanna put him on blast for having Sprite Zero in his fridge. He lives with his fiance. Its a beautiful relationship...


TCM: On the production side, how does it actually work? I know you guys have a stable of producers...How do you guys go through your creative process?

Audible Doctor: For making the beats or picking the beats?

TCM: Both. Picking beats, making beats.

J57: Uh, I guess...with making the beats - whatever inspires me at the time. You know? A lot of incredible producers I’m happy to be friends with - like Marco Polo - cats like that. You know, they‘ll play us their new shit that nobody’s heard yet. And I go home and I’m like ‘Gotdamn, I’m making new beats.‘ Straight up. Shouts to the homie Marco. He should be here any second. Thats how I do it. But as far as picking the beats, me and Audible Doctor or Rink we’ll play our new beats for the whole crew at Fat Beats where we all work. And, if only Koncept’s there or Soul Khan’s there, they’ll hear our beats. Or if I’m there, I’ll hear it - Audible Doctor playing his new beat - we’ll hear that and run over to him and be like ‘don’t do anything with that beat. Don’t send that to any of the million artists you’re working with. We’re using that for Brown Bag. For Brown Bag Season or the album depending on how crazy it is.

Audible Doctor: Thats pretty much how it works. Whenever either one of us makes something new we play it for them, or send it out or whatever. And its pretty...its usually pretty unanimous. Like, everybody’s like ‘yes we’re going to use it‘ or everybody’s like ‘no, we’re not going to use it’. Its usually a pretty even vote, you know what I mean?

TCM: Absolutely. And my last question - given that your group is so large and that you guys work for Fat Beats, which is an institution - what access has that afforded to you? Has that been a benefit to you? Or have you guys been pigeon holed because you work for Fat Beats and people think that you get things handed to you?

Soul Khan: Let [Audible Doctor] speak on it.

Audible Doctor: I think. I mean, it goes both ways. I think it really goes both ways. Pause. Um, its definitely a benefit. Just being there you meet a lot of people. Its a great place. Like, we all met each other there. You know? Thats where we formed Brown Bag was Fat Beats. But I think it also hinders you because...its...some people tend to over look you because...they’re trying to get something out of it and they’re not necessarily looking at the artistry of it. You know? So it really goes both ways. Like, today for example, we had to literally close Fat Beats cause Brown Bag is here performing, you know? Like, Fats Beats the store is close right now because we’re here. This is the first time I think ever that they’ve closed because the staff is performing at an event.

TCM: Congratulations. You guys already made history today.

Audible Doctor: Thank you. [Laughs]

TCM: Anything you guys want to say to your fans? To Quotable Nation?

J57: Mighty Healthy. Shouts to Mighty Healthy Clothing Company for lacing us with all this nice gear for the show - sponsoring Brown Bag Allstars. Thank you guys.

Soul Khan: Shirts upon shirts upon shirts upon shirts!

J57: And also shouts to Brooklyn Bodega cause you guys put us on!

Soul Khan: Wes!

J57: Wes Jack!

TCM: I know you guys have your set coming up. What can we expect from you set?

J57: Energy! Energy! Energy! Oh my god, I’m gonna lose my mind on stage!

TCM: Ok! Energy and cart wheels.

Audible Doctor: I’m doing back flips!

J57: I don’t mean to cut you off. I‘m going crazy right now cause I know we’re up next. I’m gonna, like, do a headspin and like propeller kick. Kick these heads off their bodies. On some real ish, I’m not cause today I’m love and peaceful. Cause I’m on some Woodstock but for Hip Hop ish. But I’m sayin - Energy! Oh my god, we’re goin in! You have no idea. We’re going to show some people some ish.

TCM: Well, thats what you guys are known for. We appreciate it.


Homeboy Sandman said...

brown bag is an army. better yet a navy. better yet a splendid hip hop team.

Holla said...

Thanks for the interview TQ!!

BHF09 is something that I can never forget. Good times. We are not hard to find is correct lol

Thanks again!