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Got to chill with the entire Ground Up crew and ask them a few questions while they were on tour with G-Eazy and Skizzy Mars, check it out.
As a group you guys have dropped 11 total Mixtapes, how does Supernatural compare to the last 10?
Malakai: It’s definitely our most commercial project, it has the most downloads out of anything we’ve ever made, which is awesome.
Bij Lincs: I think it’s one of our most experimental mixtapes, ‘Girls That Smoke Cigarettes’ was probably my favorite mixtape we ever worked on, and ever since then we’ve been growing but Supernatural was a stretch for us; doing features we’ve never done before and musically doing stuff we’ve never done before.
So what’s next for Ground Up?
Azar: We’re gonna be dropping our new EP next fall, like you’ve said we’ve already given away 11 free Mixtapes, so hopefully the fans will give something back, you know? But giving away free music man, that’s always gonna be in our repertoire, that’s what got us here and we’re well aware of that.
Bij Lincs: And the music industry calls for it, it’s so easy to get music these days that you kind of have to start off by dropping free projects.
Y’all have a really unique style to your music, the vibe people get from it draws them in and separates you from other up and coming groups. What would you say Ground Up’s style is?
Bij Lincs: I feel like we keep the sound of Philly. A lot of the artists around Philly influence our style.
Azar: We’re all big music fans, if you ask any of us what our favorite artists are we’ll name a couple of MC’s just like any other rappers. We have a very diverse music catalog that we listen to, and I think our sound reflects that, because we come together and all of our tastes kind of combine.
How did Ground Up come to be? Where’d you all meet?
Malakai: We all met and started making music 4 years ago, getting high, and just having fun with it. Eventually it got to the point where we started thinking “maybe we should continue this on a bigger scale”.
Bij Lincs: We had a lot of support from our friends and stuff, and they drove us to keep going, and we were just like “fuck it, let’s do it.”
Malakai: We actually started trying, and haven’t stopped since.
How do you consistently drop so much music? I don’t know any other group that’s dropped 11 mixtapes in 4 years for FREE.
Malakai: The thing about us is we’ve released almost every song we’ve ever made. A lot of people probably wouldn’t have released our first 4 mixtapes, but we just love doing it. Music is a priority in our life, and we make time for it.
Azar: We’re all driven people, it’s kind of second nature for us to make music. For us to stop making music would just mean giving up everything we’re passionate about. It’s not this arduous task, we’re having fun the whole time.
Bij Lincs: I think we’re just eager to get better, at least that’s what keeps me motivated.
Y’all are based out of Philly, and you definitely carry your city in your back. Kind of like how MGK is the new rapper from Cleveland, Ground Up is from Philly and is on the come up. How do you feel about representing Philadelphia in your music?
Malakai: I love Philadelphia, and I really don’t think there’s a better place for us to make music and represent in our music.
Azar: I hope we can carve our own niche, but at the same time it’s been a blessing because we’ve worked with a ton of people that we grew up listening to. It’s surreal, but Philadelphia has our back, and we’re always going to ride for our city.
What’s been the biggest change from doing local shows on the east coast to hopping on bigger tours like the one you just went on with G-Eazy?
Bij Lincs: I feel like being in touch with the fans and everything. Visiting places we haven’t been before where we have fans is dope, and I love that we get to go out and meet them now.
Malakai: Directly gaining new fans. Being in front of a large crowd who doesn’t really know who we are is intimidating, but when it’s time to get down, they do, and that’s awesome.
How was touring with G-Eazy & Skizzy Mars been?
Malakai: It’s been crazy.
Azar: They’re good people, talented artists, and they party in every city.
Bij Lincs: I’ve been drunk every night.
Planning any collaborations with Skizzy & G-Eazy?
Malakai: I’ve been planning it… I just don’t know if they know I’ve been planning it.
Azar: If all goes well, look out for some Ground Up feat G-Eazy.
Production work is a huge part of y’alls music, some of the beats you make bump really hard and it’s clear that you’ve experimented a lot over the past projects with Ground Up you’ve worked on. Do you think you have a certain style now? What brands a ‘Produced by Bij Lincs’ track?
Bij Lincs: I met them in 7th grade, started making beats in highschool, so I’ve had some time to grow as a producer and learn how to adapt to what people want to hear. There’re people out there right now listening to electronic, dubstep, and all these different kinds of music. So the hardest thing is making something that everyone can jam to.
Last question I have is about your recently dropped track ‘Head Over Heels’. It kind of came out of nowhere 6 months after your Supernatural Mixtape dropped. It’s a dope track, and really different from the sound you had in Supernatural. Is this track foreshadowing where Ground Up is headed over the next couple of years?
Azar: The thing is, we never really stop making music. Even after we release a project, we’re gearing up for something else. So for right now, I don’t want to let out too much info, but we have a lot of songs in the cut preparing for this EP while keeping our fans happy and still giving them free music.