It’s a Thursday afternoon in mid-April, and Flatbush Zombies, Pro Era, and the Underachievers aren’t talking about rap. The three groups made names for themselves by injecting new energy into the sound of classic New York hip-hop, but the conversation has turned to another NYC staple: the surreal, slightly inane comedic stylings of Larry David—specifically the correct pronunciation of “risotto.”

During some dead time on the set of Beast Coast’s “Left Hand” video shoot in Bushwick, Meechy Darko and Nyck Caution are debating how to properly say the word, with Meechy passionately arguing that no real New Yorker pronounces the two Ts.


Beast Coast, a 10-person goliath of a rap group comprised of members from Flatbush Zombies, Pro Era, and the Underachievers, can’t help but show their closeness. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all crammed into the same townhouse, which is owned by a French filmmaker and somehow feels like it could be the set of a surreal Michel Gondry love story. It features large-scale African art and eerie animal masks tacked to the walls, and nearly every room is replete with enough candles to conduct a seance.

During downtime, the Beast Coast members gather in one of the living rooms, engaging in a spirited argument about whether Giannis Antetokounmpo or Shaquille O’Neal would be a better franchise building block in the modern NBA (most say Shaq). After a few hours, Meechy, whose energy levels never waver despite being on set the longest, invites the entire group over to cook them dinner following the video shoot. Their camaraderie is obvious here, and it shines through in everything from the way they take the stage to their parody commercials for Escape From New York, the first Beast Coast LP, due out May 24.