The historical past of Bay Area rap music has largely featured tales of underappreciated legends. E-40 and Too Short are nonetheless heroes on either side of the Golden Gate Bridge, however business enchantment has, lately, given strategy to important clout. Andre Nickatina is a good starker instance, an MC beloved in sure communities however by no means 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 brand tattoos as they’ve accrued document 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 document deal -- and as of Wednesday, thrusting the group into turmoil a now-deleted Instagram put up that states Gangin’ II shall be his final album with the group -- along with the four-piece incomes a spot on the Billboard charts because of their Black Panther soundtrack spot, SOB x RBE is maybe already as common 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 put up that extra music with DaBoii is on the best way). This absence, although, permits the opposite members to say personalities that may at instances be swallowed by the presence of Vallejo’s hottest rapper underneath the age of 40 (though Nef the Pharaoh has an argument as nicely).
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 throughout the course of our dialog, regaling each Billboard and his fellow band members with tales of rising up in Vallejo, the group’s speedy rise, and the way his little one has modified the best way he approaches the world. DaBoii and Lul G spherical out the group, every sometimes trying to at least one up Slimmy -- a transparent instance of the group members’ inherent competitiveness, the signifier that means how simply every of those rappers deliver the very best out of one another. It’s clear that SOB X RBE can’t work with none of the members, regardless of how common they get as people.
Bay Area rap has been clouded since Mac Dre’s tragic dying 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 come back out? How are y’all getting ready?
Slimmy B: Answer that, D-Boy!
DaBoii: [Laughing] I ain’t even know that motherfucker was popping out!
Slimmy B: We simply gonna reside our greatest lives till then. We simply gonna keep within the studio and hold 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 classes, 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 stress to make Gangin’ II a success contemplating how profitable the primary one ended up being?
DaBoii: Naw, we didn’t really feel no stress 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 suppose you achieved the identical heights with this one?
Slimmy B: If not we achieved extra, most likely.
So y’all have excessive expectations for it?
Slimmy B: There are large expectations for certain. 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 folks prefer it or not, that received’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 along with your hometown, Vallejo? Has it modified in any respect?
DaBoii: It’s what you make of it.
Slimmy B: It modified a bit bit. It’s form of the identical, although. We nonetheless get love. The identical those that give us love nonetheless present love and the identical those that present hate nonetheless present hate, you recognize? We’re just a bit extra within the public eye now.
Do you continue to reside in Vallejo?
DaBoii: We across the bay however we don’t reside 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 loads. We been speaking to 40 loads all through our careers. T.O. been featured on a observe with Too Short. All the opposite OGs present love for actual. We ain’t performed any music with any of the opposite OGs from the bay but however I’m fairly certain 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 have been so large again within the day. Everyone needs to be on the wave, that hyphy wave. With us, we now have that comparable kind of wave.
DaBoii: That new wave.
Lul G: Everyone needs to be in our wave. We acquired 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 street 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 sort of is, however we simply push one another more durable. Everyone wanna come exhausting so if I spit a verse I do know D-Boy’s gonna wanna come more durable. If they go exhausting, G will go exhausting, after which T.O. will go exhausting, 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 creating music?
Lul G: Secure my bag, bruh. We simply do regardless of the day places in entrance of us.
DaBoii: Secure the bag any means we will!
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 similar 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, they usually fuck with us, then that shit is wild.
Is it nonetheless thrilling when folks know phrases to your songs at reveals?
Slimmy B: Man, not even in the identical metropolis...In completely different states! New York, Philly, shit like that, it’s insane.
When did you first understand that SOBxRBE was blowing up?
Slimmy B: I didn’t even understand it, it simply occurred! It was similar to, growth! We dropped “Anti” and we have been rattling close to established now that we had that observe. People began reaching out, labels and celebrities. We simply began getting large.
Do you continue to contemplate your self a Bay Area rap group now that you're getting common nationally?
Slimmy B: We undoubtedly nationwide, however the Bay shall be ours perpetually. Even with that, although, we’re not tryna keep within the Bay as a result of these are folks that may’t ever go away. With us, we may actually go anyplace and promote out a present. We’re nationally and internationally recognized. We’re not attempting to remain native. We’re greater than large.
The group’s success has come so shortly. Have y’all had any likelihood to mirror on the trail you’re on?
Slimmy B: Most undoubtedly. Sometimes I nonetheless suppose, 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 may 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 best way you strategy music?
Slimmy B: It doesn’t change the best way I strategy music but it surely adjustments the best way I strategy life typically. Music’s one factor, I’m gonna do what I do with my music regardless. Ain’t nothing gonna change. But the best way I transfer and care for my son, I don’t need him having to do something dangerous. I don’t need him to see me fall.