Gone are the days of artists fitting neatly into genres like pieces of a puzzle. Instead, they’re piecing together sounds and influences from all over with a do-it-yourself approach that’s changing music. Each week, we’re profiling a rising artist who works across mediums with a DIY spirit that is shaping our present and future. We’ll share one song you need to hear, one video you need to see, and finish off with a few questions for the artist.
Artists: Baby Boy, Manny, Jody Fontaine, Ivan Collaco
Hometown: East Bay, San Francisco
Current Location: Los Angeles
Latest Project: FYE Pt. 1
Tyler, The Creator, Jasper Dolphin, Hodgy Beats, and the rest of Odd Future raised a legion of kids in the early 2010s, inspiring a generation to revel in their uniqueness and embrace being different. When you get wind of the Bay Area-raised collective AG Club and their collaborative approach to creativity, you might be reminded of what Odd Future accomplished a decade ago. This feels like a natural evolution of their blueprint. The scary part is that AG Club is just getting started.
AG Club’s lead performers are Baby Boy and Jody Fontaine, while Manny aka 777MEDIA and Ivan Collaco focus on the visuals and creative direction. The wider collective has as many as fourteen members who are producers, videographers, and designers—representative of their wish to get into multiple industries beyond music. Formed in 2017, the collective released their debut EP, In My Mind: The Prequel in 2019. Buzz started to build when, the following February, they released “Memphis,” a high energy track with a compelling video that serves as a perfect introduction to the group.
AG Club’s entire approach is DIY. Their music, whiplash-inducing raps at breakneck speed with hints of melodies, is just one piece of their work—their videos are shot in house, and with producers in their camp they can rap over whatevery beat they want. With a moodboard of influences that ranges from rap to rock, they’ve curated their own idiosyncratic style which has them positioned as one of the breakthrough rising acts out now. Whether AG Club can expand their brand in the way Odd Future did into clothing TV, film, and more remains to be seen. From this viewpoint though, it feels inevitable.
A SONG YOU HAVE TO HEAR – “MEMPHIS PT. 2”
Being that “Memphis” was the song that helped AG Club take off, it’s only right that they revisited it with two of the most energetic rappers in the game—NLE Choppa and A$AP Ferg. The more established stars bring new life to the song, with the message being to let everyone know who they are and what they can do. With some having compared AG Club to A$AP Mob, Ferg’s inclusion on “Memphis Pt. 2” shows just how far the group has come already as they hold their own beside their guests.
A VIDEO YOU HAVE TO WATCH – “COLUMBIA”
AG Club creates their own extraterrestrial short film with “Columbia.” After discovering an alien, the collective’s video shines as a testament to friendship that could be a metaphor for their own brotherly ties. As their new alien friend gets chased by Men in Black, AG Club whoops ass to save them. Do you have anyone in your life that will do that? If not, this will give you the feels. Shot by in-house director 777Media and edited by various members of the collective, AG Club makes it a mission to show that they can control all aspects of their creativity. By doing it themselves, they make sure that no one can dilute the wildest visions that they bring to life.
A FEW QUESTIONS FOR AG CLUB
What genres and influences do you piece together in your music? How do they shape the sound that you create?
Jody Fontaine: We just try to consume as much stuff as we possibly can. I feel like that’s why we bond. We just like to listen to all types of music and watch all types of stuff to get inspiration from so many places so everything we make never ends up looking or sounding a certain way.
How does a DIY approach influence the outcome of your music and creative work?
Baby Boy: It’s everything. I definitely feel like having that freedom makes us able to go into the studio and make anything, whatever we feel. We want to do rap, rock, country, classical, you name it. Having that freedom, you can make anything.
What are you listening to this year that inspires you?
Ivan Collaco: A lot of Baby Keem for sure. I think we all have. It sets the tone for the day. It’s hard.
What can we expect from you in 2021?
Manny: Everything. Albums, music videos, movies.
Baby Boy: The second half of our FYE album comes out on April 30. We have some shows coming up later this year. Some more music after the album, a lot of stuff.