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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - 2 Hungry Brothers
Monday, June 30, 2008

I was originally introduced to 2 Hungry Brothers, the duo of Ben Boogie and Deep (pictured Left to Right), by my friend Substantial a little over a year ago. Ever since that first conversation with Deep I’ve noticed more and more emcees I know and respect in the New York City area have been working with them. When Deep hit me with Table Manners, which is 2 Hungry Brothers’ latest release, and I saw the lineup on it, I knew it was time to find out more about them. This week I sat down with Deep, who is the more vocal of the two, and learned all I could about this dynamic duo that has both Portishead and Homeboy Sandman in their CD changers, including what they look for in artists and how food brought them together.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with some background info. How did you two meet and when did you get so hungry?
Deep: The hunger in 2 Hungry Bros is actually just hunger for food and different types of it. Two lower east side kids, Ben and I met in kindergarten and started hanging out in first grade. My dad worked in D’Agostino's and they used to have a huge annual party for Christmas with all kinds of food and free arcade games and rides, so Ben and I would go every year, play a video game, then go for a hamburger, tag team on Gauntlet, go for a pizza, etc. Another tradition in the lower east side was the bingo hall's Halloween party. I would be Dracula and he would be the Wolfman and we would run around crazy, gettin that grub. At this party there were three DJs who would always rock, big ups to Aramus, Cello, and Carlton. It was during the freestyle, house, Hip-Hop era and everything was dope. Everything was together. That inspired us a lot. As we grew up, whenever we talked about our dates we'd end up talking about the restaurants we ate in or the different kinds of food. I went away for high school and when I came back I found out one of my neighbors, Jav The Rapmononov, had an SP1200. I had a lot of records, so we started making beats. Ben and I went around using other people’s machines for a while until we had enough money raised for our own MPC2000. We would always go digging for records, especially with our old crew, 3 Ninez, in DC. We are always hungry for something new, something fresh, something dope, something smart, something motivating.

Adam Bernard: As a production duo you’ve worked with a ton of great artists. When you meet an artist what qualities do you look for in them that you feel would make them someone you’d want to work with?
Deep: 1) That they can rap better than me. Which is not sooo hard, but you better be able to freestyle!!!! 2) A good business mentality. True artists are artists because they have issues. They have to be able to express their perspective in a relevant manner and not let personal issues destroy or hinder their career. 3) The people have got to be as hungry as we are because 2 Hungry Bros will move to the next table in the next restaurant if the menu ain't right. By “hungry” I mean motivated and not lazy. Some people think it's all talent. I wish it was, but sadly no. To sum it all up the three qualities we look for are wit, charisma and motivation.

Adam Bernard: Let’s flip that question now. What are the qualities in 2 Hungry Bros that make them someone an artist would want to work with?
Deep: The 2 Hungry Bros are true school heads and straight shooters. I am not going to let an artist put out a trashy rhyme over one of our beats. It's going to hurt both brands.

Adam Bernard: How did everything come together for your latest album, Table Manners?
Deep: Our first album, Frequent Flyers, took forever, almost three years because we were trying to establish ourselves. This album took a year. After the Flyers CD we built a lot of strong relationships. We were also resident DJs at Nuyorican for a while. That really helped, thanks to Rocky, Rugged N Raw, and Phoenix. Everyone was willing to go in.

Adam Bernard: Was there any last minute deadline craziness?
Deep: I wouldn't say last minute, but our studio had a glitch and our primary sessions with Reef The Lost Cauze, Loer Velocity, and Fresh Daily were erased. A large part of the year was getting those tracks back. Loer did a track over a beat that had the same sample Madlib used for that Percee P song with Vinnie Paz. I just kept hearing that sample popping up in the west so I pulled the song. There is a video for that first session we had masterfully created by The New Pop on our MySpace pages.

Adam Bernard: What was your strangest in-studio session?
Deep: For this album, maybe arguing with Homeboy Sandman about not allowing all the kids in the South Bronx to come into the studio while there were five artists already there. Homeboy Sandman is a hero, though! Don't get it twisted. Some of the funniest sessions we have ever had in our lives, though, were with Jak Progresso. Jak Progresso in the studio is like recording with The Mask.

Adam Bernard: It’s time to dispense some advice to the people. You’ve seen a lot of artists come and go; what do you feel is the best way for a producer or emcee to make their way in NYC?
Deep: Just be yourself and ignore the radio. That stuff was made at least six months ago in the studio before they released it. By the time you are hearing it they are already devising the next fad. You can be the next thing if you just listen to yourself. That's what everyone was doing when they made Hip-Hop. And yo, cut the damn coke talk already. Jesus. At least Jay-Z was subtle about it. With all the damn gentrification where the hell do you have space to be tough and kill your own kind?

Adam Bernard: Finally, are there any missteps you’ve made that you’d like to warn others about?
Deep: Make sure the art and credits are done concurrently with the album so as to avoid delay. Don't front on Homeboy Sandman, Fresh Daily, P.Casso or 8thw1. Don't spell 8thw1's name incorrectly.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/2hungrybros
The New Pop: thenewpop.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:54 AM  
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