I first met the 2 Hungry Bros (Big Deep & Ben Boogz) back in 2006 during a shoot I was doing for my homeboy and Stronghold veteran, L.I.F.E. Long’s album. They produced a bunch of tracks on the album, if not all of them. Forgive me guys it’s been a minute! I can’t even remember the name of the album right now! Damn. Note to self: “Chill with the weed TONE!”. Anyway, we drove our asses deep into New Jerz to shoot some shit that I felt cats wouldn’t predict. On the trip, I got to know a little about the two and we have worked together on and off ever since.
Over the years, our paths have drifted as our individual grinds have lead us to different places. When our worlds collide, it’s always good to be around these genuine New York cats.
I decided to write this interview on them because I think that in this climate of fakeness and condescending bullshit, it’s important that talented and good people get as much shine as possible. These guys are the real deal. They have a prolific body of work that consists of solid content and talented contributors. Native New Yorkers to the end, they are hard on the grind, humble and determined to leave behind a legacy. Oh and in case you don’t know, they spin breaks and classics and feel good shit and they only spin vinyl. If you haven’t already, check them out some time. They keep their Myspace crispy with everything they are working on.
The 2 Hungry Bros will be the first in a series I am calling Everyone Is Everyone (EIE). Let’s roll….Action!
TONE: When you first started this journey, what was your goal? Has it changed over the years and if so, how?
2HB’S: We were lucky to have grown up in an era with such rich music, where the Hip Hop had so much substance, naturally (it wasn’t labeled yet). We just love to contribute to that legacy since we were so inspired. We try to remain agents of progress and innovation as well as good times and unforgettable moments. That’s why the 2 Hungry Bros also spin great parties!
TONE: When you’re feeling unmotivated creatively, do you have a ritual that inspires you and gets you back on track? If so, what is it?
2HB’S: That’s real easy! We go digging! Yo Ben I think I need new drums or Deep I am looking for some new sounds. We just added a Mini Korg to the weapons department so look forward to more open sounding synth over hard drums and funky samples. We just did a banger with Fresh Daily & Mickey Factz coming to a download button near you!
TONE: What’s your feeling on the industry right now in NYC?
2HB’S: We’re not crazy but we feel very comfortable with what we are doing right now. We run with the All Out Kollective! That’s A.O.K. Nola Darling, Naturel, Homeboy Sandman, P.Casso, 8thw1 and you know, that guy you take lots of pictures of…. Fresh Daily. We’re not looking for approval and acceptance from anyone because we are real lucky to be part of this great family. I think the positivity generates success. Oh and we are working with Reef the Lost Cauze too. He’s been a big part of our Hungry Fam.
We are so into AOK right now and banging out their solo artists and collective ones, that we need time for ourselves, loved ones, and family. People shouldn’t take these things personally. We all need to breathe. There are only so many hours per day. Deep was just on disability after tearing his right bicep off from his shoulder tendon. He took that time to promote and go around, get shows and gigs established. He still feels it wasn’t enough time in a day. 5 o’clock comes in the blink of an eye when you are having fun busting ya arse!
TONE: To date, what has been your most memorable achievement as a team?
2HB’S: TABLE MANNERS! Especially with those beautiful pics you took! of course that’s cuz we are beautiful and you just have a camera. Not! But Table Manners is a baby we are really proud of. That and we’ve rocked, spun, and performed everywhere we have seen our idols except for Tramps of course. I like that people leave feeling good after they have seen our crew perform or rock a party.
TONE: Can you tell me more about the AOK crew and your role in it?
2HB’S: Well besides what I’ve said already, My Crew’s all Winners! We serve as the producers and djay’s for the crew. We make the beats and rock the parties and back up the performances, which are all incredible. This adds another facet to the incredible element of vocalists and mcees that are already present. We provide the soundtrack. AOK just rocked every Brooklyn Hip Hop festival event this summer. They have to bring us back for next summer. This time they should have Fresh, 8thw1, Sandman, Nola Darling & P.casso rock their own individual sets as headliners. Thats 3 hrs of great fun music!!!!
TONE: Fred Ones at TME Studio has been holding you guys down with the recording for a while now, how has it been working with him?
2HB’S: Fred has been an inspiration! He showed us around the MPC, motivated us to get that keyboard. We appreciate him for everything he has done and will do in the future. That and we began our relationship with Fred as fans of Sonic Sum.
TONE: Recently you started a Sunday event at Frank White in BK, how has that been going and what was your thinking behind starting it up?
2HB’S: Interestingly enough it was Muhammida’s idea. She and my brother Soul One from Philly run a monthly called Philly Invades NY. Dope event. 2 Hungry bros had a rep for doing great parties and spinning great grooves at the Nuyorican poet’s cafe’. We also shot our album cover in there as well as doing some great events. We felt we were all integral to each other’s success. Frank White is Black owned Business and we have to look after our own all the time but especially now. We now Spin every other Sunday at Frank White cafe’. It’s a great place to build and collaborate. There’s a wonderful patio outback. The food is healthy and tasty. The coffee is good. The latte’s are super tasty. Our music is funky fresh. We also DJ a monthly at Knitting Factory with Sucio Smash (of Squeeze Radio, 89.9 Thursday Nights 1 to 5am ) called the Lunchroom. We spin Hip Hop and grooves and showcase some of the best indie Talent around.
TONE: How long did Table Manners take to complete? You have an allstar line up on that album. Can you tell me more about the process of making it? What were some of the obstacles you had to get around and were there any memorable stories?
2HB’S: It only took a year and two months. It would have been shorter but Deep got married and was preparing for the day so we took a little break. The NewPop shot an excellent video of one of our more memorable sessions with Reef and Fresh. We were also spending money on fun things like Deep’s bachelor party in Acapulco! We do it up you know. Not any old local titty bar will do.
TONE: Over the years, people make mistakes when grinding hard. Do you have any mistakes you think about often and wish you could go back and change?
2HB’S: Yeah we were are big fans of the Beatnuts and Kurious Jorge because those were some of the first Latinos Hip hop acts with dope videos. They were very influential. Deep got Psycho Les’s contact but filed it under Kurious by mistake. Psycho Les came to LIFE LONG’s video release party. The next day “Kurious” called and Deep said “yo Psycho Les came through!” Psycho Les replied “yo it’s me Nigga!” Gab Gacha introduced Deep to JuJu and he had nothing to say. That’s like Marco Polo offering Pete Rock a beat. He was tooooooo Humbled.
TONE: Whats next for you guys. I know it’s a typical question, but I am curious where you see yourself in the next few years.
2HB’S: What’s next? Interestingly enough, next is just around the the corner. Homeboy Sandman “Actual Factual Pterodactyl”, P.Casso “For Your Consideration”, Fresh Daily “Fresh Daily is the Gorgeous Killer in Crimes of Passion” & “Tomorrow is Today”, Rapmonov “Sun of a Gun”. We just put out the A-Ok Mixtape, 8thw1 is working on a monster album that we are contributing for. We are also working something out with Reef the Lost Cauze. An Instrumental album from each of us coming as well. And a whole lot more rare groove mix cds and parties.
Deep always says that Hip hop is a great Pension plan especially now that everything is digital. Money just comes. We don’t know what the U.S. economy or government will be in a few months. I can’t project what’s going to happen but we want this music to take us on paid trips to Europe and Japan already!