The Brown Bag AllStars are one of the best (and most slept on) collectives to come out of New York in recent years. Comprised of J57, Audible Doctor, Soul Khan, DeeJay Element, DJ E Holla and Koncept, these guys have taken Brooklyn by storm.
After releasing his first debut solo project this year, Awaken LP, I decided it was time to get to know Koncept on an individual basis a little more. Whether performing with the likes of Black Thought, Styles P, EPMD, Big Daddy Kane etc., Koncept has most certainly embraced the role of an emcee, not just your average rapper.
[Erin of Bad-Perm] Let’s start with an introduction: Give me 3 adjectives and a verb to describe yourself. Perhaps even in a sentence, if possible.
[Koncept] Passionate, energetic, and loving all while back-flipping and rapping. All at the same damn time. Yes, I added an extra verb.
[BP] For those who don’t know, can you refresh us on how the Brown Bag Allstars came to light and what part Fat Beats has in that?
[Koncept] We all met while working at Fat Beats. First we became drinking champions of New York while selling records to costumers who still bought music. At the time, people did that a little more than they do now. We also all rapped on our own at the time, so we decided with our drinking, and rapping abilities combined we could form…a group together. You thought I was gonna say Captain Planet or some shit, didn’t you!?
[BP] As a collective, how do you (and the rest of BBAS) maintain a streamline communication that allows you to continue to be supportive of each other and each other’s projects?
[Koncept] Well, first and foremost, we are all friends. We also all live close by, so we talk and see each other often. Even with each of our solo efforts, it is always a Brown Bag project. No matter what EP, or album, or whatever you look at, or listen to from any of us, there are always multiple members involved in the project. For instance, “Awaken” is my solo debut album, but J57 and The Audible Doctor produced majority of it. J57 also overlooked the whole project with me. Soul Khan is featured on it. You see what I mean.
[BP] More recently, there have been discussions about what a collective/crew is versus a group. How would you describe the two?
[Koncept] I would say a group is when the music coming out is always and ONLY together with all artists in said group. A collective is a bunch of artists that make music together, but also branch out with their own personal work as well. All in all, the solo work by each artist also continues to build the collective brand.
Example: De La Soul is a group. Wu-Tang is more of a collective. For younger heads: TDE is a collective….And I can’t even think of a new “group”. Haha I guess Pac Div..? They don’t do solo stuff, do they?
[BP] How do you attract a younger demographic who may not know anything about the Golden era?
[Koncept] I would say just by having fun, and enjoying what I’m doing. The younger generation, and everybody for that matter likes to have a good time, right? That is exactly what I do. In fact, I’m having an extremely glorious time. What I got from the golden era, and what I try to put out to the younger generation, is the quality of music.
Image is important, and there has also been an image to sustain, but the music is what matters most above anything. It seems that some forget that nowadays. I’m trying to make that very clear to listeners. I repeat, listeners. I repeat, music.
[BP] When did YOU get into the game? Who/What was your major influence(s) coming up?
[Koncept] I really decided to make this my career when I moved back to NYC, and landed a job at Fat Beats. Hold on though, I’ll back-track a little. I had left NY & moved away to Vermont to go to school, but mainly to snowboard. At that point in my life snowboarding was everything. I rode every single day and I wanted to be a professional snowboarder, or at least be a part of that industry. I rapped and I DJ’d a lot of parties, but my main thing was really snowboarding. After a few years living in VT, and freezing, I decided I was going to move out west to Lake Tahoe in California and try to make something of snowboarding, but also with my music. About a month before I was supposed to move, and already had a place to stay lined up and all that, it hit me that it would be impossible to do both, and I had to make a decision on where to go with my future. I chose to move back to NYC and really follow a rap career. It was definitely the best decision I could’ve made, but I definitely do also miss being on my board every day. Especially looking on instagram at all my friends riding all the time! Bastards! Haha
So upon moving back to New York, I got a job at Fat Beats, met and formed Brown Bag AllStars, and here we are today. It definitely was the best decision I made though.
Influences are everyone from Wu-Tang, A Tribe Called Quest, & De La Soul to Nas, Redman, Biggie, and Pharoahe Monch.
[BP] You once said that ‘blog rappers are just blog rappers.’ What’s a blog rapper versus a rapper getting love on the blogs?
[Koncept] I think I said that a few years ago when things were still evolving, and a blog rapper was someone like Charles Hamilton. Haha. Nowadays people become overnight Internet sensations, and hype beasts crawl out from every pebble imaginable.
[BP] Three major components of your live show are…?
1 – My strong presence and knowing how to rap well.
2 – Beats that bang that are usually produced by J57, Audible Doctor, &/or Deejay Element.
3 – And of course, Parkour.
[BP] Explain the role of Parkour and 5-Panel hats in your life!
[Koncept] Haha See, you already knew. Parkour keeps me entertained since I’m not near snow as much as I would like, and I have a serious problem with hats. My whole apt is filled with hats. I don’t know where to put them or hang them anymore. And I can’t stop, won’t stop. Clothing companies…whattttup!!! Holla at your boy! Haha
[BP] Overheard: Brown Bag Allstars = “The White Slaughterhouse”. Give the fact that the last video/single you released was “Watch the Sky Fall” with Royce Da 5’9, what are your thoughts on this?
[Koncept] Given the fact that Audible Doctor is only half white, and DJ E Holla isn’t white at all, people are slippin. Haha! No, I guess they say that because both groups consist of 4 rappers that are good at what they do. Although, our overall music sounds very different.
[BP] Malt Disney is coming up next for you…what’s that sounding like?
[Koncept] It is entering Disney Land for adults. It will be the most fun you’ve had in years. Who likes to f*%k, drink beer, and smoke some shit!!!!?? Yeah, I see you.
[BP] …and as a collective?
[Koncept] We are working on the Brown Bag AllStars debut full length album.
[BP] If the Mayans are right, walking away from this interview what are the last words you want read?
[Koncept] Whiskey, Tequila, and Sam Adams Octoberfest.
You can stream Koncept’s album below! Also, check out his latest video with Royce Da 5’9 here, and peep the links below as well.
Holiday sales at: www.koncept.bigcartel.com