Who Is Flatbush Zombies?

Learning How To Rap

Erick: “My brother played Wu-Tang Clan’s “Protect Ya Neck” for me. I don’t know how old I was. He was like, ‘You are going to learn all these words of the first verse and I am not going to let you out of this room.’ If I didn’t say it he would punch me or he wouldn’t let me play video games. So I was like, “I smoke on the mic like smoking Joe Frazier/The hell raiser ...” and I learned it. Eventually I wanted to start writing my own shit because it was super cool and I knew [Inspector Deck's] verse so well and I wanted to write one too. That’s how I started that.

“And beats, my mother bought me a beat machine. She bought me a MV-8000. It was the Roland joint. I saw RZA have it. I was like, ‘Damn, I want to be like these guys. These are my idols.’ I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing for two years. I got kind of sad. I was like, ‘Damn, these other dudes bought this machine, why are they making hits and classic records?’ I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I really almost stopped. But it's kind of crazy that even still to this day these guys are like, ‘Yo, you are a producer.’ And I really didn’t accept that until like two years ago cause I was like, ‘Nah, I’m a rapper and I make beats.’

“If two years was the benchmark, I was always doing shit but I never sent it to nobody because it was whack. I didn’t really fuck with it. It wasn’t until I gained that confidence. That was the Flatbush Zombies shit. My solo shit. I was like, ‘Damn, this is good enough to send out.’ I didn’t really work with other artists. I never really wanted to. Now, I got the opportunity.”

Meech: “I always used to freestyle for fun. But Juice, I think it was two and a half years ago, Juice was on some sober shit. He had gotten sober. I guess bored out of his mind. He just started writing rhymes and it started making me write rhymes. And it made me take it a little more serious.”

Juice: “I quit pot for like four months when I was like 19 years old or some shit like that. I don’t really remember how old I am now. My birthday did just past. July 8. I’m a Cancer [Laughs.]

““I’m overload/I’m over gone/Time to get this paper on/Fetty, Mozzarelli/Modern day Fonzierelli.” Me and this guy we used to watch Happy Days DVDs and shit. That was one of the first rhymes I wrote based on one little experience that we had. “

Meech:“We made a song. It’s probably three years old and shit. The opening line was, “Ready to die, track 17. I’m suicidal/Ran out of Dutchies, so we used a paper out the Bible.” We would just do [rapping] for fun. Just rap amongst each other back and forth. It wasn’t really like, ‘Yo, let’s do this.’”

 

“There wasn’t no force, no pressure or no plan. It was like, ‘Yo, I’m rapping.’ It was an exercise. You and your friends smoke weed together. You and your friends ball together. We rap together.” - Meech

 

Juice: “Yeah, there wasn’t really any plan.”

Meech: “There wasn’t no force, no pressure or no plan. It was like, ‘Yo, I’m rapping.’ It was an exercise. You and your friends smoke weed together. You and your friends ball together. We rap together.”

Juice: “I remember the exact emotions we were going through at the time in music. People were dropping whack records. Bad music. We weren’t listening to nobody because everything was pretty shitty. We were just like, ‘Yo, let’s just make music for our friends and ourselves so we can listen to it and smoke to it.’ That was one of the emotions we were going through at that time. Years ago.”

Meech: “Our approach wasn’t really even having the mindstate of: ‘We gonna bring some new shit.’ Our approach was more like, ‘We are going to do what we want to do.’ There are no rules really to music.That’s pretty much what it is. We do what we feel. We rap about how we feel at the time. No two songs are going to be alike. Although you may hear us say that we smoke weed in this song compared to smoking weed in that song. I felt different when I wrote that before I wrote this.”

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