A Conversation with Brian and Quentin From ANGRY BLACKMEN
Henry: Alright we’re here with Brian and Quentin of ANGRY BLACKMEN at a Culver’s in Crete, Illinois. So what made you guys choose this place??
Quentin: I used to work here.
Henry: And what got you guys into recording music and about how long ago would you say you started?
Quentin: What like two years ago? Two years ago? 2017?
Brian: You started 2017. I started like when I was nine.
Quentin: Okay well yeah individually like I started like when I was like 2013. 2013. That’s when I started like dabbling into it. We didn’t form this til 2017 though. So there was like a little couple year gap between there.
Brian: There was like a year gap in between like doing it independently and like finding our own self first and then like once we kind of like found our sound we kind of just combined it in 2017.
Henry: And who are some of the inspirations for your music?
Henry: Yeah, just like a few artists you can think of.
Quentin: I’m gonna name my five: Tyler (the Creator), Kendrick, MF Doom and Earl Sweatshirt. This last one’s always hard. I say Kendrick already? Tyler. Tyler, Kendrick, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, Kanye West.
Brian: Mine’s Chance the Rapper.
Quentin: Aw you still like that nigga?
Brian: Yeah I still like the nigga. Chance the Rapper. Um Earl Sweatshirt, Kendrick, J. Cole and who’s my last one? Um Lil Wayne.
Quentin: Notice he got all the corny dudes. No I’m just playing.
Henry: What are some outside activities outside of music that you enjoy?
Quentin: Watching movies. Writing screenplays. Drawing. I don’t know.
Brian: Me um mostly like yeah writing screenplays and stuff like that. And yeah.
Quentin: I’ve never heard none of this.
Brian: I tried to get into acting. Was at Prairie State. That did not work out well. So I’m gonna have to say scratch acting for right now.
Henry: Alright just for the moment.
Quentin: We watch anime. Big anime fan. Love anime.
Henry: And what aspects of the Chicago area culture would you say influenced your music?
Quentin: What aspect? Does it have to be particular people?
Henry: Yeah, people, places elements of the culture.
Quentin: Oh shit, this came out nice. Sorry I got distracted. Kanye mostly. His whole come up for me was just like if he can do it then anybody can, but you can’t like sit here and lie like Chief Keef and Chance the Rapper didn’t just make a whole new wave for people you know what I’m saying? So definitely those guys like as far as like Chicago. You know? For me. I don’t know about Brian.
Brian: It’s for me too honestly. Um who did I grow up with? Like I’m not gonna lie to you. This is gonna sound off, but my first project I ever bought was and I always tell you I bought uh Drake “Thank Me Later.”
Brian: That’s when he was at his peak. And like after I heard the bars off that, that that got me going. That was like spreaded throughout Chicago like wildfire.
Henry: What does the character you use in your in the visual aspects of your art such as your merch and your social media posts what does that represent.
(Quentin points to his shirt)
Quentin: One right here?
Henry: Yeah, the one on your shirt.
Quentin: So originally I had it for like when I was doing my Not a Comedian shit, which was like my stupid ass rap name like a long time ago. And it had nothing to do with like like me. It was just a blackface. I got inspired by like MF Doom was in this group called KMD. Are you familiar with them? And I saw like his logo and I did like a whole bunch of research of how like black people were depicted back then, so I was just like oh yeah. And I remember showing him. And it was sitting for like a year before ANGRY BLACKMEN got started. So when it got started I was like let’s use this for that. Cause it makes sense you know what I’m saying?
Quentin: So it was a big coincidence actually. Cause this wasn’t started for you know ANGRY BLACKMEN, it was started for my little solo thing. You know what I’m saying? So that’s pretty I didn’t think of it like that until I actually said it. That’s weird.
Brian: He told the story right.
Henry: Yeah I know what you’re talking about. I’m trying to think of um the album. Um
Quentin and Henry: “Black Bastards.”
Henry: Yeah that was it. In May you posted um what I initially thought was your first video, but it actually turned out to be um your second one? Um.
Quentin: Which one?
Henry: As a duo. Your first music video as a duo. Correct?
Quentin: That’s the first one.
Henry: Called “Riot.” Um what was that experience like for you guys?
Quentin: Fucking hell man. Like (…) But like it was like okay so we couldn’t find a dude to do it at first. We kept going through different people. Kept going through different directors. Everybody kept bailing on me on us. First we had like this Asian guy and he was just hard to get in contact with. Then we had one of the people who shot Chance the Rapper’s video. His name was Elijah. I ain’t finna put him on blast, but we were about to work with him but he was just like everywhere. We were trying to get it done and he had problems with like burning the flag. We brought that up he was kind of like uhhhhh you know what I’m saying?
Brian: Yeah. They just slowly stopped answering our calls.
Quentin: Then we ran into uh Petey like on the internet. So I was just doing promo reaching out to people. I think that’s how I met you. I was just like, “Hey check out our music.” And Petey was like, “Oh you know this is sick.” And I’m like, “Yeah we’re trying to do a music video.” And he was like, “Word?” Then we met up with him. This was uh like you know a couple months before then and that’s how it really took off. It was just wild man. We kept getting pulled over by cops.
Quentin: Like it was weird. Like we started like in this desert over here somewhere but we burned the flag and a cop pulled up and was like, “What’re you guys doing?” It was wild man. We got pulled over like twice. And we shot it in the store. You seen that.
Brian: Yeah I got a ticket in the process like shooting too.
Henry: For the store or the outside?
Henry: Yeah I was wondering about uh not even the legality of the burning of the flag, but just the fire itself. Like yeah I would have been surprised if that didn’t like create like any awareness or any problems for you guys.
Quentin: Yeah it wasn’t so much that cause they were so dumb that they didn’t put two and two together. They saw the flag and they saw a pail of water and they were like, “Why is there a flag on the ground?” We were like “We’re shooting a movie.” You know what I’m saying? So they were dumb. Actually it’s funny cause the first time we shot it there bro they went to go get a lighter and I was sitting there waiting for them at the spot and a cop came. I was like, “Oh shit.” So I grabbed the flag and the bucket and I ran out. And I grabbed the flag and not the bucket like crawled on the ground. I met them on the highway cause I wasn’t trying to. But then like the next day that’s when all that other shit happened. So you know what I’m saying? Like it was a struggle.
Henry: Did you have any issues with the shooting in the store? Like did any employees come up to you and confront you or anything?
Brian: No. We was actually pretty comfy in there. Like ain’t nobody bother us. Then again we actually went and shot it at like midnight.
Henry: Oh okay.
Brian: So they was still kind of open.
Henry: And what can you tell us about the project that you’re currently working on including like title, um number of songs anything like that?
Quentin: The EP? Uh it’s called, “Talk Shit.”
Quentin: And honestly this is a dope ass cover. It’s called, “Talk Shit,” and like it’s like six tracks. So it’s like the three that’s out plus the three that nobody heard yet. And we’re just gonna put it out. And after that we’re probably gonna do a tape. Cause we need to get this out. This should’ve actually came out last year I feel like. I feel like we waited really long, but.
Brian: Yeah it’s been like a lot of back and forth.
Quentin: Yeah it’s like a lot of behind the scenes shit. It’s cool cause like every time we make a post, there’s people. Sometimes you just feel like people forget about you cause like you haven’t dropped something in awhile cause this this, we’re in this time where like people want shit like duh duh duh you know what I’m saying? So when I like post something it’s cool to see a lot of people like, “Oh yeah like.” They still care. That’s just weird cause like you know we’re just starting and like you know the times just move fast. You feel like people don’t care about what you’re doing, but people do care. That’s crazy.
Henry: What direction do you hope to take your um music in in the future?
Brian: Hmm. I plan on like really taking on a really high pedestal honestly. I wanna like be able to inspire, like I wanna be a game changer. That’s what I wanna do. That’s that’s where your legacy and your weight is. When you change the game yourself. That’s what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to take this as far as I can go.
Quentin: I agree with that. It was pretty well said.
Henry: What can people expect at a live show of yours?
Quentin: Have you seen footage’s?
Henry: I haven’t really seen footage. I’ve seen the ads for it, but I haven’t seen the exact footage from it.
Quentin: It’s pretty dope man.
Henry: Are they more like house venues or are they um?
Quentin: It’s a little bit of both, but I do prefer house better.
Brian: Yeah prefer definitely house venues.
Quentin: Cause it’s like better man like.
Henry: So you’re very much in tune with like sort of the local scene you would say?
Quentin: I would say so. At first I was surprised. At first when we started like 2017 I didn’t like well 20-. What was last year was it 18? Alright. So 2017, that was like the beginning year and it was amp, but last year I was surprised at how like just people knew us from like when we were on the flyers. “Oh yeah I heard about you guys.” Cause it was like I be forgetting the power of like blogs like Lyrical Lemonade and shit.
Henry: Yeah how did how did it feel to get uh reblogged by them?
Quentin: Pretty cool.
Quentin: They’re pretty cool. Shoutout shoutout shoutout to Lane, bro. Like Lane hooked us up.
Henry: And last question, uh what else should I and the rest of the world know about ANGRY BLACKMEN?
Quentin: It’s gonna be huge. I don’t know it’s just gonna be cool you know?
Brian: Well, what you should know about ANGRY BLACKMEN.
Henry: Yeah no for sure.
Quentin: I’m gonna Boomerang this event is that okay?
Brian: Um well just know we’re doing this for like everybody. Like we’re trying to like I don’t wanna see like music go in a deep, black hole. Like I don’t wanna see that shit. So what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to come with our bars. We’re trying to come with the best hooks and the best beats that we can and like get everybody head knocking like this. Like turn this shit big. Honestly. I’m trying to go big.
Quentin: I agree man.
Brian: Go big or go home.
Quentin: This year I have like well we have like a lot of plans this year. Cause we’re trying to get a manager. We’re talking to this one guy who’s pretty big in the scène. Are you familiar with Omar Apollo?
Henry: No, I am not.
Quentin: Oh man. But yeah uh he helps like a lot of like artists out and we kinda we have this thing going on so hopefully something comes out of it.
Henry: Alright well great thank you. I wanna thank my guests, Quentin and Brian for joining me today and um-.
Quentin: I’m gonna finish my food.
Henry: Alright and we’ll catch you guys later. Thanks.