The historical past of Bay Area rap music has principally featured tales of underappreciated legends. E-40 and Too Short are nonetheless heroes on each side of the Golden Gate Bridge, however business attraction has, in recent times, given strategy to crucial clout. Andre Nickatina is an excellent starker instance, an MC beloved in sure communities however on no account the family identify his abilities on the mic warrant. When you dig even deeper into the underground, you get left-field aliens just like the Anticon crew which have impressed as many ant emblem tattoos as they’ve accrued report gross sales.
SOB X RBE, the group of late-teens and early-20s rappers freshly risen from Vallejo’s deep historical past, want to buck this development, already gathering a nationwide viewers off the success of their early breakout hit, “Anti.” Now, with unofficial squad chief Yhung T.O. inking an Interscope report deal — and as of Wednesday, thrusting the group into turmoil a now-deleted Instagram publish that states Gangin’ II will likely be his final album with the group — along with the four-piece incomes a spot on the Streets Talkin charts because of their Black Panther soundtrack spot, SOB x RBE is maybe already as widespread because the forefathers that pioneered the traditional Bay Area sound the group has based mostly their type on.
When we converse with the band, T.O. is nowhere to be discovered, apparently sleeping off a late evening with a mid-afternoon nap. What appeared all through our dialog as an innocent-enough absence now looms way more ominous within the wake of T.O.’s allegations of jealousy and backstabbing from his fellow bandmates (though he did point out within the publish that extra music with DaBoii is on the way in which). This absence, although, permits the opposite members to say personalities that may at occasions be swallowed by the presence of Vallejo’s hottest rapper underneath the age of 40 (though Nef the Pharaoh has an argument as properly).
Slimmy B, the opposite SOB x RBE member with a percolating solo profession (he was simply featured on Drakeo the Ruler’s “Touchin’”) takes cost through the course of our dialog, regaling each Streets Talkin and his fellow band members with tales of rising up in Vallejo, the group’s speedy rise, and the way his youngster has modified the way in which he approaches the world. DaBoii and Lul G spherical out the group, every often trying to at least one up Slimmy — a transparent instance of the group members’ inherent competitiveness, the signifier that implies how simply every of those rappers convey one of the best out of one another. It’s clear that SOB X RBE can’t work with none of the members, regardless of how widespread they get as people.
Bay Area rap has been clouded since Mac Dre’s tragic demise in 2004, however for the primary time since E-40 launched the world to ghost driving, Vallejo, California, is a rap haven solely rising stronger. SOB x RBE are doing the heavy lifting.
What’s it like preparing for Gangin’ II to return out? How are y’all making ready?
Slimmy B: Answer that, D-Boy!
DaBoii: [Laughing] I ain’t even know that motherfucker was popping out!
Slimmy B: We simply gonna stay our greatest lives till then. We simply gonna keep within the studio and preserve going.
Are you engaged on new stuff already?
Slimmy B: Yep, yep.
Lul G: Always. Group shit, solo shit.
What’s the distinction between recording group versus solo stuff?
Slimmy B: We simply all the time be out in our personal studio periods, actually. If we’re on some gang shit we’ll simply all the time be there or be sending verses between one another, that’s how that shit works. But solo shit we’re by ourselves.
Did y’all really feel any strain to make Gangin’ II a success contemplating how profitable the primary one ended up being?
DaBoii: Naw, we didn’t really feel no strain as a result of we was simply making music.
Slimmy B: We’re simply making genuine music that got here to us. It’s simply the identical factor with the second album.
Did you assume you achieved the identical heights with this one?
Slimmy B: If not we achieved extra, in all probability.
So y’all have excessive expectations for it?
Slimmy B: There are massive expectations for positive. Expectations actually be excessive within the first place for us. It ain’t about us exceeding our expectations, although, as a result of it’s nearly us versus them. We do what we do whether or not individuals prefer it or not, that gained’t change shit; however our individuals are probably gonna prefer it as a result of they like our music. We give ‘em what they need.
Lul G: We all the time be giving ‘em what they need.
Now that y’all journey across the nation, what’s your relationship together with your hometown, Vallejo? Has it modified in any respect?
DaBoii: It’s what you make of it.
Slimmy B: It modified a bit of bit. It’s kind of the identical, although. We nonetheless get love. The similar those that give us love nonetheless present love and the identical those that present hate nonetheless present hate, you understand? We’re just a bit extra within the public eye now.
Do you continue to stay in Vallejo?
DaBoii: We across the bay however we don’t stay in Vallejo no extra.
Have y’all interacted with the older rap legends within the Bay Area?
Slimmy B: E-40, that’s unc proper there. We speak to E-40 quite a bit. We been speaking to 40 quite a bit all through our careers. T.O. been featured on a monitor with Too Short. All the opposite OGs present love for actual. We ain’t carried out any music with any of the opposite OGs from the bay but however I’m fairly positive it’s gonna come.
Who’s the one emcee y’all would wanna collaborate with?
Slimmy B: Too Short and E-40.
How did rising up within the Bay Area encourage the type you guys are doing?
Slimmy B: Shit, rising up I used to be listening to Mac Dre. They had been so massive again within the day. Everyone desires to be on the wave, that hyphy wave. With us, now we have that related kind of wave.
DaBoii: That new wave.
Lul G: Everyone desires to be in our wave. We bought a brand new wave.
What is that wave?
Slimmy B: It’s actual road shit. We make actual road music, actual business music.
As the group has grown have you ever anxious about shedding some contact with the streets?
DaBoii: Hell naw, that’s simply pure.
As you get additional away from the place you grew up is it more durable to be part of the group that raised you stylistically?
DaBoii: We make music for everyone.
With Gangin’ II, are y’all re-visiting the primary album and utilizing it as a highway map of types?
Slimmy B: We’re simply current. With Gangin’ it was simply no matter got here out got here out. It’s simply good music and that’s what we do.
Do y’all compete with one another and one up one another when within the studio?
Slimmy B: It ain’t actually a contest. Well, it type of is, however we simply push one another more durable. Everyone wanna come laborious so if I spit a verse I do know D-Boy’s gonna wanna come more durable. If they go laborious, G will go laborious, after which T.O. will go laborious, so we’re simply out right here competing as a gaggle.
Lul G: We’re simply attempting to make one another do higher.
What are your favourite issues to do within the Bay Area outdoors of constructing music?
Lul G: Secure my bag, bruh. We simply do regardless of the day places in entrance of us.
DaBoii: Secure the bag any approach we are able to!
What’s your favourite half about touring outdoors of securing baggage?
Lul G: Different environments.
Slimmy B: [Laughs] Securing the bag for actual! Naw, I identical to seeing new locations. We’ve been on three or 4 excursions already so simply going again to those cities and seeing the brand new reactions you get each time is loopy.
DaBoii: Especially if we’re out of state, someplace we don’t actually know, and so they fuck with us, then that shit is wild.
Is it nonetheless thrilling when individuals know phrases to your songs at exhibits?
Slimmy B: Man, not even in the identical metropolis…In totally different states! New York, Philly, shit like that, it’s insane.
When did you first notice that SOBxRBE was blowing up?
Slimmy B: I didn’t even notice it, it simply occurred! It was identical to, growth! We dropped “Anti” and we had been rattling close to established now that we had that monitor. People began reaching out, labels and celebrities. We simply began getting massive.
Do you continue to think about your self a Bay Area rap group now that you’re getting widespread nationally?
Slimmy B: We positively nationwide, however the Bay will likely be ours without end. Even with that, although, we’re not tryna keep within the Bay as a result of these are individuals that may’t ever depart. With us, we might actually go wherever and promote out a present. We’re nationally and internationally identified. We’re not attempting to remain native. We’re greater than massive.
The group’s success has come so rapidly. Have y’all had any probability to mirror on the trail you’re on?
Slimmy B: Most positively. Sometimes I nonetheless assume, like, rattling, I can’t consider the place I’m at. Just two years in the past I used to be at work, ready to get off of my 9 to five so I might go house to my child mama and my son. Now it’s like, I don’t gotta work no extra. I do what I like as a job.
Has having a child modified the way in which you method music?
Slimmy B: It doesn’t change the way in which I method music however it adjustments the way in which I method life usually. Music’s one factor, I’m gonna do what I do with my music regardless. Ain’t nothing gonna change. But the way in which I transfer and care for my son, I don’t need him having to do something unhealthy. I don’t need him to see me fall.