Interview: Horseshoe Gang

Your new album “Anti-Trap Music” releases on Seven 13 Music.  Tell us, what are y’all’s relationship with Tony Bucher and Seven 13 like and how did that come together?

Tony works with a lot of people in our camp, like our bro KXNG Crooked, Royce Da 5’9″ and his younger bro Kid Vishis. We met Tony through KXNG Crooked about 6 years ago, which led to him releasing an album on us called Firing Squad. We kept in touch ever since. Tony is a very good dude and we’re excited to be working with him again.

I know you’ve had the rap battle with Funk Volume last year.  How do you view Hopsin’s subsequent fallout with them?

First off, that rap battle was some fun shit. We look at it kind of like some neighborhood kids wearing new Jordans challenging the kids wearing Chuck Taylors to a basketball game. then the Jordan-wearing kids get their asses whooped, take their ball and go home crying lol. To answer your question, we feel like there shouldn’t be a fallout among a team. They should stick together no matter what happens. And we hope they do. But most rap crews ain’t built like Shoe Gang cause they’re usually a label-assembled group. Even going back as far as The Sugar Hill Gang. With all due respect to the legends, they were put together by Sugar Hill Records. We’re a group like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. We will never be torn asunder.

Explain the typical process of the group in the studio, does it differ from track to track or do y’all have a routine?

Yeah, it differs depending on the song concept sometimes or it may depend on which of us happens to be quarterbacking a particular song. Sometimes one of us will feel a vibe and create the hook, concept and suggest the amount of bars others should spit. Other times we may hear a dope track, go home and write whatever we individually feel like the track inspired us to write. Come back the next day without knowing which of us wrote a hook or what direction the song is going. Which usually makes for a sick songs.

How would you say you have grown as a collective since the release of your debut album Gangsta MC?

We’ve grown tremendously! We feel we’re more creative and we’re more open and free as far as our subject matter goes. Simple put, we give less of a fuck about what people may say or think about what we spit.

What was the hardest lesson / bump in the road to get where you currently are?

There’s a harsh lesson that every artist will learn if he/she is paying close attention. It’s the realization that fame is uncertain. If you’re a college student, then you’ll probably know that how far you go depends heavily on your drive and work ethic and maybe only a few outside factors. But an artist who may be a talented workaholic, is still more likely to be an unsung artist than a household name. Luckily for us, we don’t measure our success by our level of fame.

Explain the thought process and concepts behind your upcoming album, Anti-Trap Music.  What are the key messages you’re putting across and how did you decide which producers to work with?

The concept is meant to shine light on the fact that there’s many topics that an artist could rap about other than Trap houses and drug dealing. We understand Hip-Hop is about freedom of speech, and we love that. But let’s not forget what the crack epidemic did to Americans in the ’80’s. Specifically Black Americans. So hey, Trap Rappers, go sit ya ass in the corner… your own on punishment lol. We kept our production in-house on this project.

I’ve heard the album & Falling is a serious, heart touching track. What was the mood like in the studio during the making of this song? It’s damn near tear worthy.

If “Falling” could give the listeners the same feelings you’re describing, job well done. The mood making these types of songs is usually minimal talking, and heads rocking. Every time we make a song that touches on personal matters, we know that the track has to speak to the listeners as well. So we’re glad we were able to jump on that beat.

Poor-Swagg comes off as a sarcastic track all the way from the beat, whose idea was this?

That was all Kenny.  We were finishing up a session then Ken says that he wants to try a hook idea he just wrote. our fam/engineer Iceman pulls up a track only Ken had heard before, then Ken walks in the booth and says “Yuuuuuuuup! they in love with my poor swagg” We just looked at each other like Oh! Shit!

What are you most excited about with the release of this album? I couldn’t wait for people to hear your most recent single Shoe-icide Squad and that classic west coast sound.

We appreciate that, fam. We feel the same way. Stand-out songs like “Poor Swagg” “Intro” “Crooked I Robot” and “Shoe-icide Squad” are the songs we’ve been anxiously waiting to release. So it’s dope to have people tell us they’re feeling them.

If listeners could take one thing away from your album, what would each of you like that to be?

We want the listeners to understand that substance is still important in Hip-Hop.   -Demetrius

We want listeners to get that same feeling N.W.A fans and 2Pac fans had.   -Kenny

We want the world to know we’re on some Anti shit just like Rihanna lol.   -Dice

If we could get a few people to follow the Gospel according to Dice, Demetrius, Julius, and Kenny, the Hip-Hop world would be a better place lol.   -Julius

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.  Anything else you’d like to say?

Go buy KXNG Crooked’s album Statik Kxng. and go follow Mad Man @ungradiostation on Twitter/IG. Go check out Karelezz album Space Time when it drops. Go to Seven13ent.com and click on seven 13 store to order our Anti Trap Music album. Shout out to REUPSpot for showing us much love. And God bless!

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Team NatStar & Curbside Jones.