“Black Magic” Ethelwulf & Yung Raw

Since “Nostalgia Rap Surrealism – Decoding the RVIDXR KLVN” was published here on hardwoodblacktop.com I’ve been working to put together an interview with all of the Raider Klan members.  Initially, I planned to interview every member individually, combine their answers, and create one collective interview for the entire Raider Klan.  While this is still the intention of the project, having finished about eleven of the interviews, with plenty still to go, I realized that there’s way too much material to publish in one interview without severely editing the material down.  It also became clear to me, that with the fast moving pace of music today, and the Klan’s development, that by the time I got around to interview each member, the earliest interviews would be extremely dated.  The Memphis interviews were three of the first ones I did on the project so I thought it made sense to share them now.  And then share each of the group’s regionally, as I found throughout the process that like their music, the attitudes of the Raider Klan members is often strongly influenced by their locality, despite the group’s geographic diversity and diversity of musical influence.  It is important to note chronologically that the interview with Chris Travis was done over two months ago, Yung Raw was interviewed in the middle of June, and Ethelwulf was interviewed in mid-July.  If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Chris Travis’s Codeine and Pizza, Yung Raw’s The Trill OG, and Ethelwulf’s The Wolf Gang’s Rodolphe as they undoubtedly represent three of the finest Raider Klan projects to date.

Link here to Part 2: NYC (Grandmilly, Matt Stoops, & Big Zeem) and Part 3: Southwest (Amber London, Eddy Baker, Sky Lex)

JB: What projects to you have coming up?

Ethelwulf:

Well actually, right now, I don’t really have anything coming up really.  Well, actually I might do this mixtape with this producer named DJ Manny Virgo.  I’ve been working with him so that’ll probably be the next thing popping up if I get to it real fast.  I don’t know what it’s going to be called yet.  I’m just waiting on him to send me the rest of the beats, it’s going to be a five track EP.  Once he sends me the rest of the beats I’ll be working on them and we can crank something out.

Chris Travis:

My next project is gonna be, I don’t know what I’m going to call it yet [editor’s note: it ended up being this past week’s Codeine and Pizza mixtape], but the theme is going to be underground horror.  I’m trying to find a producer.  I’d like one producer to producer the whole mixtape if possible.

Yung Raw:

My next project will probably drop in 2013.  I don’t know the exact time.  Most likely around Spring Break if not before Spring Break, because I want to make sure everything is down packed again, everything is perfect.  Because if your work is not perfect, if you got one bad song, and everybody can have one bad song, people can say you’re not a good rapper.  You want to make sure everything is at a good point, or your buzz can fall all the way down.  So I’m not going to rush it.  Also, you don’t want to give out too much free music, because you’ll be over and done with before it’s time to release your real album and people won’t have time to crave it and build that buzz.

JB: The release of BRK made me wonder if a Raider Klan tape for the whole Klan was in the works.  Anything moving on that front?

Ethelwulf:

Well yeah, I think a little bit later on, we’re going to do a whole Raider Klan tape or something like that.  I’m sure something like that will happen real soon.  Right now we’re just branching out and spreading our music individually.  Once we get a few more things cracking, like once we come back from California and all that’s over out there, and more stuff comes up, we’ll get it going, we’ll get that whole tape going.  I’m more than positive that Purrp is going to do a whole Raider Klan mixtape.

JB: What would you say are the common characteristics held by all Raider Klan members?  

Ethelwulf:

Basically, we all love the phonk man.  Straight like that.  Like the old school nineties stuff, like dudes you probably don’t even know from the nineties that we all listen to, people these days don’t listen to all that.  There’s plenty of teenagers out there our age and shit, that don’t know about none of the music that we know about.  I mean it’s old now, but it’s old stuff that’s still bumpin’, it’s still good music and shit.  We hate the way 2012 fools rap, like we hate the way these dudes rap these days.  So, we’re just a happy family rapping the way we want to rap all just listening to stuff from the nineties.  We don’t listen to none of these dudes today honestly.  We just listen to each other and old stuff, because that’s just what we like.  We’re cool with a few artists.  Like I like Danny Brown, Odd Future – Earl all them – and you know just a few more people after that.  I like a little bit of more people I would say, but other than that we don’t really like this era of music, so we’re just doing our thing bring the phonk back.  People just like hearing that shit.  Some people used to listen to old school stuff, they listen to the old rappers too, and when they hear us they just feel like they’re in fucking a time machine.  That’s just how we do man, we all just bringing the phonk.  That’s the one thing about the Klan, we’re all bringing the phonk.

Chris Travis:

We’re all unique, we’re all different, and we have a different sound.  We’re original and we’re all unique and we have talent and we’re going to go places with this talent.  If you really listen to our stuff too you’ll see the Memphis chapter of Raider Klan have our own sound, the Miami Klan has their own sound with Purrp and Denzel and all them, California has it’s own sound with Eddy and them, and the Raiders of New York has it’s own sound.  But we’re just unique and original with the sound.  People compare us to Three 6, but we’re not copying Three 6 with everything that they do.  We’re taking elements of what they do and other artists like Tommy Wright and others, but we all came together and we all have our own unique individual talents and we’re not trying to sound like Three 6 and all them.  We’re just combining what’s all going on now with what was going on with the nineties.  It’s music that you can feel from your soul, music that’s up-to-date.  We’re just updating and bringing back this music from the south, and we’re hardcore with it.  This is what we was raised on, this is our heritage.  We not really with that mainstream music at all.

JB: How did you get involved in Raider Klan?

Ethelwulf:

2012, shortly after New Year’s like I got some studio equipment in the crib, and I started recording or whatever.  I was doing the old school stuff and I found this dude named Konflict OD and he had all them phonky beats.  And I was like damn, I could just snap so easily to all of them, like I didn’t even have try hard.  I did the Wolfgang Rodolphe and that was my first mixtape.  I did that in like two months.  To me that’s a classic tape right there, because all of the beats are produced by him and if you listen to it man that shit is just tight as fuck.  Before I dropped it, that “Trilla Nation,” song, I had a beat from Konflict and I did my verse on it, then I hit up Amber (London) on twitter, because she was the only Raider following me.  That was before Purrp was following me, before Key Nyata all them.  So me and Amber were actually the first to click.  She heard my verse on that beat and she liked it, so she hoped on it and did what she did.  That’s how “Trilla Nation” came.  That was the first song that I really did that I liked, and I wasn’t Klan yet, I wasn’t in the Raider Klan yet, I just had that one song with Amber.  She was in the Klan, but I wasn’t.  I was just doing my thing.  Soon after that Key Nyata caught on to me and all that, and he was following me on twitter.  He would DM with me on twitter, you know just letting me know he liked my music and respected me and shit.  So we just got cool.  He was just like you should get tight with the Klan.  But I wasn’t even forcing and I didn’t even ask.  Long story short he put Purrp onto me shit, him and Amber put Purrp onto my shit, and he was fucking with it off top.  And he followed me and was like, ‘man I fuck with your music,’ straight like that.  And like really after that he just invited me into the Klan.

Chris Travis: 

I got involved, because I heard about SGP a long time ago.  I always listened to underground Memphis music, and before everything, I heard Purrp back in like late 2010.  So I was into it, because his music was tight and he got the Memphis sound and he’s from Miami.  And I was already rapping like that in the first place.  Purrp reached out to me and Ethelwulf and he heard our music and he fucked with it.  On twitter I sent him a youtube video for “Children of the Blunts” and he was like damn this is hard as fuck.  He asked us to join.  So now we’re Raider Klan Memphis.

Yung Raw:

Me and Ethelwulf been making music together for a long time.  We been in the same school since Middle School.  We both listened to SpaceGhostPurrp probably a little bit over a year now.  We always not only liked his music, but appreciated how he was showing so much love and respect to Memphis, which was our town.  So we already had 90’s style music, a few songs that had that vibe, the Klan and everybody else was just backing up our music, so first they backed up Ethelwulf, and then they started checking out me and actually checking out Chris Travis’s music too, because we’re all from Memphis.  SpaceGhost got word and he was just down with what we were doing and asked us to join the Klan so we just got in that way.

JB: Did you know any of the other Memphis Raiders before that?

Ethelwulf:

I went to school with Yung Raw.  I met him my senior year of high school.  Me and him was cool back then, he’s a year younger, but we took a computer class.  We chilled in class and rapped together.  Or he rapped, and I rapped too a little bit, but like he had his shit in class and he just let me hear his stuff, and I was like, “cool.”  So that’s how we got cool.  Then Chris Travis he went to another school in Memphis, but I known him since fuckin’ middle school.  I’ve known him for a long time.  What happened was I knew Chris, once I started rapping.  Chris used to do rapping, but I just did a song to him called “Black Smoke.”  It was a pretty good song, we made a video for it and everything.  We put it up, it did good and shit.  But long story short, Purrp ended up fuckin’ with him too, so he got into Raider Klan too.  After we did “Black Smoke,” he got his own studio equipment, well he had his own shit in the house before that, but he switched from Pro Tools to Cubase and then after that he started recording more stuff.  And then Purrp invited him into the Klan too.  And then Raw was fuckin’ with the Klan, you know, so I was first then Chris, then Raw.  So we all did songs together after I got into the Klan, we just stared doing more music together.


“Black Smoke” Ethelwulf & Chris Travis

JB: What do you see as the role of social media (twitter/facebook/tumblr/youtube) in Raider Klan?

Yung Raw:

To be honest, without social media, or before the internet Raider Klan wouldn’t be as big as it is right now if it were from another era, because of the internet.  The internet connects everybody. Everyone is all on the internet twenty-four hours a day now and we use everything from the internet.  So that’s how we got connected.  We got Key Nyata all the way from Seattle, SpaceGhost and Denzel all the way from Miami, MatT Stoops all the way in New York, Amber from Texas, and me, Chris Travis, and Ethelwulf all the way from Memphis.  So the internet is huge in terms of bringing us all together.

Chris Travis:

It probably wouldn’t be as spread out as it is, because really the internet is how the Raider Klan connects.  We connect and communicate with each other that way.  We’re connected to our fans and to people over the internet.  We reach out to people overseas and just stay humble doing what we do, and we make a lot of connections that way.  I’ve also linked up with some my my producers and other artists on youtube.  Like I hooked up with Lil’ Prod on youtube when I was really looking for Three 6 style beats, and he’s well known on youtube, but he’s from somewhere in Europe, so I never would’ve met him without youtube.

Ethelwulf:

First of all I think Purrp just deleted his damn twitter like an hour ago.  It’s the easiest way to promote I guess.  Twitter plays, not really a big role in Raider Klan.  Really it’s just for people to see us and to get to know us, whatever like that, you know they follow us and tweet our songs or whatever.  It’s just pretty much the main way we keep up with the supporters and shit.  Really the biggest website that we use is really youtube and soundcloud.  We’re just trying to get the music out there.  Really twitter that’s just so people can see us and stay connected.  The main thing is to put out that music, you know on youtube and soundcloud and a little bit of tumblr.  I kind of use tumblr, but not really, because people sleep on tumblr.  Twitter is just to tweet some links.  It plays a little small role to keep us connected with the people.  You know if we’re trying to get something out to the fans it just makes it a little easier, because I’ll tweet something and Amber tweets something, and we’ll just retweet it and spread it around or whatever.  That’s just really how that goes.

JB:  In terms of doing shows, have you done a lot of shows or do you tour or do shows locally?

Ethelwulf:

Well actually, I haven’t done a show yet, but we’re all going out to California to do a Raider Klan week from July 17th to the 21st.  We’re going their for Purrp’s show, because Purrp has a show on the 17th.  The 16th, we’re just chilling, vibing, because you know we got Eddy Baker, he’s with Raider Klan and he’s out in Cali.  We’re going to be kicking it with him and Key Nyata’s coming down to LA, Sky Lexington, he’s going to LA, Amber London’s going, Chris Travis is going, I’m going and Purrp’s gonna be there.  We got a Raider Klan show on the 20th with all of us.  That’s really going to be the first and the biggest show.  Because that’ll be the first time a lot of us meet in person.  I ain’t never seen Purrp, I ain’t never seen Amber in person… I ain’t never seen Key in person, I ain’t never seen nobody in the Klan except Chris Travis and Raw, because I already know them.  I ain’t never seen nobody else, so this is like the first time, and we all make music together, but via the internet and email, you know sending tracks back and forth and shit.  But other than that, we ain’t never met each other in the flesh, so that’s going to be one big thing, just for us really.  That’s going to be a good show, a real good show.  Because we’re all together, we’re just going to kill it.  That’s going to be a fire show.

JB Ware: Lo-fi.  Describe why you chose to go the lo-fi route and moreso how you did that given today’s technology?

Ethelwulf:

We do that on purpose.  We don’t care about being lyrical, that’s not what’s important.  You know how it is when that beat gets into your body bruh and you feel that shit in your bones?  That’s the thing about old school music, they didn’t care about being lyrical.  They either told a story on the track or kept the vibe and kept you into it.  But nowadays you know it’s just punchlines.  That shit’s lame as fuck, fuck that shit, fuck being lyrical.  We gonna get on the beat, we gonna ride the beats, we going to make your bob your head. It’s impossible not to bob your head to a Raider Klan song.  We do it like that on purpose.  It’s funky, it’s lo-fi.  We don’t give a fuck about crisp clean sounds, we don’t give a damn about the mainstream.  We’re anti-mainstream, fuck the mainstream, we don’t need a fuckin’ hardass engineer.  I engineer all my own music, first of all.  I record my shit, I mix my shit, and I put my shit out.  I don’t need nobody touching my shit straight up.  Me and Chris Travis are the only ones I know for sure got our own shit in the crib.  But as far as everybody else, we just keep it grimy, it don’t matter who’s studio they go to or whatever like that, it’s going to be how they want it.  And 99.9% of the time, it’s gonna be grimy, straight like that.  I mean it ain’t like we’re recording dirt quality, it’s still clean, but it’s a phonky clean.  It just feels good.  That lo-fi is just what’s up.  Because that’s how it was back in the day.  You listen to some old Bone Thugs, or Gangsta Pat, or Gangsta Boo all them folks bro.  You can hear the dubs on the track, listening to Gangsta Pat.  You can hear the Dubs.  He might record his voice three times on top of each other just to get it to sound the way he wants it to sound.  Just keep it grimy, just to keep that shit phonkey.


“The Reefer” Chris Travis

JB: Some Raider Klan artists seem to have beats that are more modern than others.  For instance there’s a couple projects out there from Yung Simmie and Young Renegade that have some Blueprint or Dipset Heatmakerz era type production on them or even some more modern Lex Lugar sounding beats.  What are your thoughts on different members using different periods of influence in their music?

Chris Travis: 

Every member has their own unique sound that they bring.  We bringing the nineties back, but we’re also bringing the eras back where the good hip hop came from.  Renegade probably sounds like 2000’s coming up, but you think Hot Boyz, and Cash Money were really coming up in the 2000’s and we love them.  We basically got different elements where we’re coming from.  We got the 90’s era which we’re bringing back, but there’s still other rappers that have their own unique sound.  Basically we’re just youth involved in trying to make good music.  Me, Ethelwulf, SGP, Denzel, Simmie – most of the south Raiders are bringing back 90’s.  But there’s other rappers in the Klan that just have their own unique sound too.

As time goes on I think people will look to different eras.  People will be stuck in the 90’s era for a long time though.  The early 90’s has Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and the whole West Coast sound. And we got so much love for Cali.  Eddy Baker he’s in Cali.  Then you got the south part which really has the late 90’s sound that a lot of do, and there’s tons of stuff from that era.

Yung Raw:

I don’t even picture it as 90’s music, it’s just a certain way that good music sounds.  I call it just that style of music.  We all rep the music of the 90’s, we all have 90’s songs, but Yung Simmie’s XXL mixtape had some 90’s songs, but there’s also some of his own style.  Same thing with me on Trill OG, I have some 90’s songs, but I also have my own style on there.  We all have our own style individually, and that all makes up the Raider Klan, over time we’ll still have that same Raider Klan vibe, but we’re all going to incorporate our own music and our own sound.

JB: There’s a lot of Gods and Goddesses language in SpaceGhostPurrp’s music in particular, but it’s also picked up byother members as well.  Is that influenced by the 5%ers at all?  Do you feel like it’s important to present some positive images in rap or is there any feeling that you want to combat some of the negativity going on in the world in general or rap music specifically?

Chris Travis: 

We have like positive and evil ways, and we have stuff that goes on in our lives.  But we also have those songs where we talk about what’s going on in the world and just trying to wake people up in 2012.  So on the whole you could say Raider Klan is a positive movement, but we still speak on the negativity that goes on around us and that’s part of who we are.

JB:  Speak a little bit about the Trayvon Martin situation and why you all came out to support him and what that whole situation has meant for you all personally.

Chris Travis:

We supported Trayvon Martin, because he was a young black king of our generation.  We respect the black youth, the black youth coming up and being inspirational to the next generation that’s coming up after us.  He’s from Florida and they, Purrp and Denzel and all them, knew about him and he got killed for no reason.  So we had to stand up how we did, because we stand-up for the black youth. So if you kill one of our solders we’re going stand up and fight the fight.

Yung Raw:

Alright like, like I like to make a lot of cliché raps sometimes.  I have a friend who made a remix to “Mercy.”  I actually said to “Mercy,” “I’m not getting boo’ed up, shoot your hood up like I am Zimmerman.”  I know it will probably offend some people, but really I feel for that whole situation. It was made into a black and white thing, but Zimmerman wasn’t even white.  And again it all comes back to the internet.  The internet has to be the number one influence on the world today period.  If it was just on the news and not on the internet it wouldn’t have blown up like it did.  People were just blowing it up on twitter, made it a trend, and everybody was talking about it over and over again, and blowing it out of proportion.  But the Raider Klan really feels for Travyon, especially Denzel and Purrp and all them, because they’re from Miami so it hits close to home.  Really the internet is just again a really big influence in a positive way, but also in a negative way.

JB:  Who are your greatest musical influences and why?  

Yung Raw:

My number one influence is the producers who make the beats, because that’s where I get the vibe for what I’m rapping about honestly.  If I’m rapping to an old school song, it just gives me a certain vibe.  So the producers would be the biggest influence, but if not the producers, I would say Biggie, Kendrick Lamar, Tommy Wright, Schoolboy Q, and Jhene Aiko.

Chris Travis:

Biggest musical influences, let’s see.  Tommy Wright III, Three 6 Mafia, Lord Infamous, Evil Pimp definitely Evil Pimp, Skinny Pimp as well, there’s a few others, but Evil Pimp is probably my biggest influence.  In terms of other modern artists outside of the Raider Klan, I like Lil’ B, he’s a pretty big influence on today’s focus.  He’s smart, he has this talent, and he’s a big influence to up and coming artists.  He’s a big influence, he’s got today’s rap, but he also has the funk too, if you listen to some of his music.  I also fuck with Kendrick Lamar and all them, the whole Black Hippy group, and Danny Brown too.

Ethelwulf:

I have to start off with Bone Thugs, but deeper into that, really Bizzie Bone is like my favorite Bone Thug.  Bizzie was the one really killing that shit.  He was just the nigga to be bruh the way he flow.  I got onto the Bone Thugs when I was in 6th grade, my uncle he showed me that “Crossroads” music video.  I had heard the song on the radio, but he showed me the video.  I got addicted to Bone Thugs all through middle school I was just learning every song.  Just learning all the lyrics, just doing the flow.  I’ve had the flow mastered, I’ve just never used it until now pretty much.  People think it’s hard for me to rap the way I rap.  But it’s really not.  This shit is easy and natural to me.  I just used to do it so much just for fun. I used to do it over and over again as a kid.

So Bone Thugs and then System of a Down, they just inspired my imagination a lot.  I like Serg a lot.  I like the way he changes his voice to go with the track, so he can go hard, he can go light at another point.  I love his voice.  Him and Bizzie Bone, their voices just make me feel good.  As a kid I didn’t understand what good would come of it, just listening to them over and over again.

Another one is Korn. I got into in 7th grade and I had a friend named Matt.  He was one of the only friends I had back in 7th grade, because  I went to pretty much like an all black school, but like I skateboarded and shit.  So I used to wear the fat ass skateboard shoes and shit.  People used to make fun of that shit or whatever.  But I was like whatever.  And he was a white dude and he skated too, so he was just my friend.  And ever since then, that’s just my friend, that’s my brother.  And he put on Korn.  He went to Texas or some shit, and he came back with two disc cd thing, it was a cd and dvd that was like a live in concert thing.  So we listened to the songs, but there was this one song I loved called, “Shoots & Ladders” that song played a big role in the musical influence department of my brain.  Like a lot of Korn songs, like “Freak on a Leash,” like a whole bunch.  Again the reason, the lead singer, Jonathan Davis, he could switch his voice and be high pitched, or he could just be hard as fuck and just go the fuck off.  That’s the thing about Jonathan, Serg, and Bizzie Bone, they can be light give you some peaceful shit and they can be hard as fuck.  I love that shit.  That’s the type of person I am.  I’m nice, but I get mean as fuck.  So I’ll leave it at them three right there.  There’s more, like so much rock music, not really that much rap, but more rock bands in my brain than anything else.


“B.R.K.” SpaceGhostPurrp featuring Ethelwulf & Chris Travis

JB: Why were Mike Dece and Ruben kicked out of Raider Klan and what happened to cause that rift?

Yung Raw:

I believe that Mike Dece and Ruben Slikk they always made music that was different from 90’s music so they always had music outside of Raider Klan anyway.  I know there were things that went down between him and the other Miami members of the Klan like Denzel and Purrp and them.  They were all friends before that shit, but I don’t really know what happened.  I’m actually friends with Mike, but I don’t really know much about the beef.  I just can say for me personally, I can’t really say for anybody else.

Chris Travis:

I don’t want to speak to much on that, because I don’t know too much about everything that really went down.  But there were things that went down between Dece and Purrp and Denzel and other members of the Klan.  I ain’t say nothing to Mike Dece, but I guess he and Ethelwulf were going back and forth on twitter.  I had said something, but I didn’t direct it at him, but he probably took it like I was saying something to him.  They had wanted to go to Brazil, but to make a whole diss song.  It’s kinda crazy.  They had personal things going on with Denzel Curry, Mike Dece and all that, but I wasn’t involved in that.  I was just going to leave it alone, but I guess he got offended by what I said.  But I ain’t even direct it to him.

Ethelwulf:

First of all, Mike is like fucking fifteen or sixteen, I think he’s fifteen.  I like Mike and them, and I liked Mike and Ruben’s music before I was even in Raider Klan.  I still fuck with Metro Zu, and Lofty.  Lofty’s my guy I’ve got a song with Lofty.  So like I fuck with Metro Zu, and I fucked with Mike Dece and Ruben back when they were in the Klan.  What happened was, those niggas be doing fucking cocaine and shit.  Long story short, Purrp was just like I can’t have a fifteen year old kid in the Raider Klan on twitter talking about doing cocaine and shit, because that’s kind of like a bad look for us.  He didn’t want niggas thinking Raider Klan niggas are doing cocaine and crack and shit, because I don’t do that shit.  All of us just smoke weed.  Him and Ruben the only niggas doing coke and shit, all that crazy shit.  And Mike, he’s fifteen, he’s a kid, so he doesn’t give a fuck.  He ain’t mature enough to see that shit from a grown person’s point of view and shit.  So like he took it however he took it.  But you know, you can’t be in the Klan doing that shit.  Ruben just left the klan, he just stopped fuckin’ with the Klan.  And they teamed up and became the Propr Boyz and now they’re in Brazil somewhere.

JB: Yeah, how did they end up in Brazil?

Ethelwulf:

Mike Dece’s parents live in Brazil, that’s where he’s from.  His parents are like rich, well, they got money.  So like, he just went back to Brazil, that’s where he’s from, so he basically just went back home.  He got in the plane, because I remember they were putting the pictures on instragram and shit, like he was in the airport instagraming on his way to Brazil.  Because I was wondering the same thing.  I talked to one of my other Raider Klan brothers and he gave me the scoop on it, that’s how I found out.  That’s how I found out all that shit, because I was like “how the hell did they get to Brazil?” too. We just let them do what they do.  We don’t really say shit man.  I wasn’t even upset they left the Klan and I was still fuckin’ with them, but them fools just started talking down on the Klan on twitter and shit.  They just started saying reckless shit, and the first night I just let that shit slide.  Like Mike Dece was saying dumb shit and I just let that shit slide.  But then the next day he just kept going with the shit, so then eventually I was just like “Bruh, shut the fuck up.”  Because I like their music, you know I fuck with their music, but then they fucking went AWOL and shit.

JB: What are your five favorite Raider Klan tapes out there?

Chris Travis:

 SGP – God of Black EP

Ethewulf – The Wolf Gang’s Rodolphe

Amber London – 94 EP

Denzel Curry – Strictly 4 My Raiderz

Yung Simmie – XXL Freshman of 1993

I would include mine, but I won’t do that.

Yung Raw:

Yung Simmie – XXL Freshman of 1993

SGP – God of Black EP

Ethelwulf – The Wolf Gang’s Rodolphe

Chris Travis – Underground Series ’98

Yung Raw – The Trill OG

Ethelwulf:

SpaceGhostPurrp – Blackland Radio 66.6

Key Nyata – Two Phonkey, he just dropped that, that shit is hot as fuck.

Chris Travis – He had a first tape called Hell On Earth, I really liked that one, but he deleted it and I also like his new one (Underground Series ’98 EP)

Amber London – 94 EP

Yung Simmie – XXL Freshmen of ‘93

Yung Raw – The Trill OG


“Blackland Blackman” Ethelwulf (produced by Yung Raw)

JB: Talk a little bit about Hypebeasts and why they’re portrayed so negatively in Raider Klan music.

Chris Travis:

We’re real people we just do ourselves and do what we want.  They see what’s good for that time and then they wanna hop on the bandwagon and do whatever is cool at that time.  We’re just being ourselves and doing us.  People towards the mainstream are the ones that’s totally changing up to do whatever is good for the time.  A lot of people for instance have started making music like the Klan.  I don’t have a problem with it.  As long as everybody knows that we did it first.  People can try to do something similar or imitate it, but they will never be us.  I catch kids trying to sound like Raider Klan.  I don’t have no problem with it, I respect every young artist out there trying to do their thing.

Yung Raw:

I’m from Memphis, and there aren’t really many hypebeasts in Memphis, because everybody in Memphis really support Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, more of the hood street type rappers. So the internet is pretty much where all the hypebeasts live and people in Memphis don’t really use the internet like that. People in Memphis are more of a club going people and things like that.  So when I started rapping and started getting connected to Raider Klan and listening to Odd Future and things like that.  That’s when I learned that word hypebeasts like a year or two ago.  Raider Klan, our biggest challenge is getting everybody to understand that we aren’t hypebeasts, that we don’t make hypebeast music all we do is pay homage.  We don’t like hypebeasts and we’re just trying to separate ourselves from that whole crowd, because a hypebeast is nothing but a trend and that’s exactly what we don’t want to be – a trend.  Something that you like now and ten years from now you just remember it, but it’s not even around no more, that’s what we need to avoid.

As far as people doing this type of music.  Like, it’s two kinds of people who do this right now: People who actually want to be in Raider Klan, like this one guy he actually named his mixtape Raider Klan – I guess trying to show that he liked us – then there are those that are actually from Memphis or other places that actually do g-funk or do 90’s style music. But there are artists who are just hypebeasts trying to jack the Klan’s sound, or use the 90’s to get whatever buzz they can for the moment.  There are artists, like Joey Badass, he is a good artist, he actually makes 90’s style music, but he’s not trying to do something similar with us or compete with us, he actually listens to our music, but he makes his own music and has his own style that he incorporates in his music.  So shout out to Joey and everybody else that has their own style and pays homage.

Ethelwulf:

First of all hypebeasts are exactly what the name says.  They just want to be on the hype. Like when A$ap came out, like when Rocky and them came out like last year, there was a lot of folks jumping on that.  But let me speak personally.  Personally, there’s some hypebeasts in Memphis too, like around me.  This is how I know how all the rest of them act around the world is because we got these mutherfuckers here in Memphis.  There’s this group of dudes I knew, they used to dress one type of way, like say a couple of Memphis niggas, but then after A$ap came out, they wanted the Adidas with the bones, one dude got them, and they just started looking like them niggas.  And I was just like “what the fuck?” like you know what I’m saying out of nowhere.  You know they’re a hypebeast when you see a fool one day in some normal shit, and the next day they on some other shit, that you say a nigga on tv with, that’s how you know.  You know they’ll just switch from different styles every single day.  Like they went from that style to the little skateboard style I guess, whatever you want to call it, like wearing skateboard shoes and shit.  To me any nigga that don’t skateboard and wears skateboard shoes is a hypebeast.  That’s just straight up, because I’m a skater and shit so I take that shit real.

Purrp used to be cool with Asap and because he’s on a few pictures and videos and shit, now it’s hard for people to see Purrp as his own man.  Straight like that, they just don’t think, because he was with Rocky and them, he used to be part of them and shit.  Rocky came out first, so of course you got hypebeasts on Rocky.  So now Purrp started coming up from out of the ground, like Purrp coming up fast and shit.  So now, people that like Rocky and them music, they tend to like our shit too, because they think that Rocky and their style is the same as our’s, but really that ain’t what it is.  Like Rocky and them, they ain’t know shit about how we do it and shit.  Like that all black shit, them niggas wearing that shit, they doing it for a whole other reason.  It’s for marketing purposes.  Long story short, Purrp brought that phonk to them.   Purrp is the reason them niggas is the way they is and shit.  Purrp is the motherfucking reason.  Them niggas just blew up before that nigga did, because Purrp made a few beats for Rocky and whatever.  But Purrp made them niggas the way the fuck they as and shit.  So hypebeasts niggas, they don’t care about none of that shit, they just hear music and see what they see, and go from there.  So once they see Purrp doing what he doing now, you’ve got some people that are like “yeah, I fuck with Raider Klan,” and before the beef got hot and shit, everybody just always thought Asap and Raider were together.  And like, they were rockin’ with us and shit, but once the beef happened and shit, folks started taking sides and shit.

How I can spot a hypebeast doing all that shit, is if you like somebody’s music, and they get into it with somebody else, who you say you like their music too – to me a person saying fuck the other people and going with A$ap or saying fuck A$ap and going with Raider Klan – you know what I’m saying I feel like only hypebeasts do that shit.  Like say somebody said, fuck Raider Klan, they’re going to stick with A$ap, but just a week before they said that, they were bumping the Raider Klan music, Raider Klan this, Raider Klan that, Raider Klan hard and shit like that.  But as soon as the beef break out, they’re like “Ah, fuck Raider Klan, we’re going with A$ap.  That’s a hypebeast.

If a new dude was to come out tomorrow and he just had some crazy swag or some shit, these niggas would just hop on him, hop off A$ap and hop off Raider Klan and hop on that fool.  Hypebeasts are just annoying as fuck.  They’re just inconsistent and fake as shit.  They’re just going to hop on any new hype, any new hype they’ll hop on, they’re hypebeasts.  That’s what they feed off of – hype – whatever’s hype at the  moment that’s what they want to fuck with.  If Raider Klan get put on MTV tonight and say one of us wearing a motherfucking bucket on our head or some shit.  You’ll probably see a nigga the next day on the internet wearing a bucket on his head thinking he cold, thinking he hot.  Or if Raider Klan got a bucket on their heads start trending.  You know just because it’s trending, people gonna feed off that.  That’s why I hate trending topics, because people just get too into the motherfuckers just because that’s what everybody’s talking about.  That’s the problem with people.  People need to stop following each other and just do their own motherfucking thing.  If one of us had a bucket on their head on MTV it’d be twenty thousand motherfuckers be trying to do the same thing, or trying to make that shit look cool.  Like it’s crazy, there’s fools following me, they follow me talking shit to me.  I’m like how the hell are you following me, talking trash? What’s the point of you following me if you’re just going to talk shit?  That fool probably following me just because somebody he follows tweeted about my music and he wanted to be nosey and see what was up.  Some girl probably said, “I love Ethelwulf’s music,” and he probably saw that shit and followed me, just because the girl said something.  So just because she had some hype on my name in her tweet, he’s following me off that.  So he ain’t no real supporter, he’s just on me because some girl talking about me on twitter.  On a bigger scale, that’s just all a hypebeast is.  Whatever somebody else talking about they just follow.  Whatever somebody else is talking about, that’s what’s hot, until the next subject come up.

JB: What’s your opinion on the whole situation with A$AP Mobb Right now [editor’s note: this interview was prior to the physical altercation with Twelvy and Matt Stoops and prior to Purrp’s major interviews on the subject]?

Yung Raw:

I think that everybody has noticed that lately.  They were in the media together, and in videos together and Purrp made him some beats.  I was talking to Ethelwulf and he talked to Purrp, and Ethelwulf was telling me that Spaceghost has a little thing going on with A$AP and that A$AP was being a little shady.  Maybe it’s a fame thing going on that maybe A$AP hasn’t taken the time to show the respect and pay homage to the people that helped them come up.  I think it’s just best anyway that A$AP and Raider Klan just don’t have anything to do with each other.  Ethelwulf went on twitter about how he don’t like A$AP Rocky anyway.  I wouldn’t say there’s any beef, but Raider klan we’re pretty much too ourselves right now.

I don’t think SpaceGhost wants any beef right now, just it makes sense now to separate ourselves from them, because that would be the thing to do, people are already associated A$AP with the hypebeasts so it just makes sense to separate ourselves because that ain’t what we’re about.


“Push A Muthafucka” Ethelwulf & Chris Travis

Continue Reading here with Part 2: NYC (Grandmilly, Matt Stoops, & Big Zeem) and Part 3: Southwest (Amber London, Eddy Baker, Sky Lex)

Comments
  1. […] been moving up the blogosphere. To read the full first segment of the interview, follow this link: http://hardwoodblacktop.com/2012/08/14/interview-raider-klan-rvidxr-klvn-part-1-the-memphis-edition-… Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. ← Previous post […]

  2. […] Interview: Raider Klan | Rvidxr Klvn Part 1 – The Memphis Edition (Chris Travis, Ethelwulf, &a… Archives […]

  3. […] read more on the Raider Klan check out this article on them as well as Part 1: Memphis (Ethelwulf, Chris Travis, & Yung Raw) and Part 2: NYC (Grandmilly, Matt Stoops, Big […]

  4. […] Phonk and Psvlms, Prvyxrs, & Incvntvtixns. And my interviews with the Raider Klan members (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).  You can also download SpaceGhostPurrp’s God of Black free of […]

  5. […] each artist in the klan is their sound, or the “phonk,” as Klan member Ethel Wulf divulged in an interview with hardwoodblacktop. When Ethel Wulf likened the phonk to, “the old school nineties stuff, like dudes you probably […]

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