In today's hip-hop, the group mentality has become almost non-existent amongst artists and fans alike. Most groups today center around one star act and when a group manages to hold it together like the Migos, we as fans encourage them to break apart and release solo work. Groups like Wu-Tang Clan, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and A Tribe Called Quest all had their rough patches, but they all maintained a balance and there were rarely points where one member completely separated himself from the group to a point of no return. Baltimore rap group Creek Boyz plan to bring the concept of unity back to the forefront of hip-hop.
Earlier this year, Turk P. Diddy, Fedi Mula, J. Reezy, and ETS Breeze built a huge buzz with their single, "With My Team." The song took off online and was actually was the first song the four members ever recorded together as a unit. They've formed an unbreakable bond since then, both on and off-record, to the point where they even stack their vocals in the studio and record at the same time, in the same booth. Today, the group is here with a revamped video for their breakout hit and also spoke to us about their impact and the importance of teamwork.
How did you all come together?
Turk P. Diddy: The music, that's what brought us together initially. I met Fedi back in middle school. We consider each other brothers from another mother, for real. That's what we call each other.
How long have you guys been making music together?
Fedi Mula: I'd say about a year and a half but we didn't all really come together as one at first. It was more like J Reezy and Breeze had their thing and me and Turk had our thing and then we just brought it all together and named it Creek Boyz.
When did you bring it together, on “With My Team?”
Who influenced you guys growing up? I saw you guys mention Gucci Mane, Styles P, and The Lox before.
Turk: My parents really influenced me, because of the struggles I had to go through at home. My grandmother, she's the one that had passed away, she influenced me. She was the first person in my family to actually tell me to pursue this career even when everybody else in the family was like, "Nah, don't be a rapper, be something else." Family influenced us.
J. Reezy: Musical influences would have to be Yo Gotti, Gucci Mane, Three 6 Mafia.
Turk: J Cole, Fab, Nas, and Biggie. That's all I'm here for, that's all of my music, fam.
Breeze: My big brother, my brother played the drums, we were always musically inclined. We used to go to church and stuff like that. So we kind of carried that over to the street and eventually we mixed everything. Growing up I listened to Dru Hill, Al Green, Teddy Pendergrass—that's where we get the old school from.
Fedi: I grew up with music, born into the family of it. Everybody, like my whole family was trying to do music at one point. So, it just was what it was. It was a natural attraction. By the time I got eight, nine years old, I sung in my elementary choir, Woodland Elementary with Ms. Otis. I got kicked out two years later, so I started rapping. My older brother did everything, he was always making beats on Fruity Loops. He played a big influence. As far as musical influences, Michael Jackson, number one, 2Pac, number two, and then I like all the groups going nuts like the Temptations.
You guys shout out kids a lot in your interviews and stuff, do you think that most of your fans are younger?
Turk: That's what I see, yeah.
Fedi: We’re influencing all of the young'uns coming up right now.
Does that affect the kind of music that you guys record?
Turk: Yeah, we got to make sure stuff is kid-friendly, PG-13 type of lyrics. I mean, I still go crazy, but I try not to. You gotta keep pushing it in a different way.
So no more “Keep Them Freaks Out.”
Turk: Let 'em keep them freaks out the house. [Laughs] Nah, you're gonna still get that, still get that aesthetic!
The whole world was built on teamwork, but everybody says they did it by themselves.
How do you guys pick who's gonna be on each song? Is it open to everybody or do you work together separately and then come together with different songs?
Breeze: Every song and everything we do usually comes natural. So if one of us comes up with a hook or a song, we all try and flow but some people it comes naturally in certain types of songs. We don't force nothing, everything we do comes genuinely. Usually we vibe separately and then come to the studio, bring it all together, and that's what makes the masterpiece.
Whose idea was it to stack vocals like that and have all four of you singing into the microphone at the same time?
Fedi: Our producer. That's our style, that's our new genre of music.
How have you guys adjusted to the music industry? Have you gotten to meet any people involved in the industry, like other rappers and stuff like that?
Turk: Fetty Wap, Trey Songz, Gotti. A couple other artists on 300 like Tee Grizzley, TK Kravitz.
Fedi: The music industry just has encouraged us to all be on the same page so we can show them all that this team is really a team.
Turk: None of that funny stuff. Show them the unity in the group.
What’s in store for 2018?
J. Reezy: Albums, solo projects, tour, merch, awards, more money. [Laughs] That’s just me brainstorming. I’m gonna keep it 100 with you, where we’re from, I’d feel lucky to be alive next year. Anything could happen. Our main focus is to get to 2018.
How important is it that you have such a strong following amongst kids in your environment, knowing the potential dangers both you and them face on a day-to-day basis?
Fedi: It’s a huge impact. Especially just being able to work together as a team. The whole world was built on teamwork, but everybody says they did it by themselves.
Breeze: I agree.
Turk: Let me give you a quick story. A little boy was rapping to me, trying to freestyle, but the only thing he could rap about was killing and shooting. So I asked him why and he said, “I only rap about it because everyone else talks about it.”
So what we’re doing right now is setting a positive example. There’s a lot of tension going on in our city. The power that we have is the power to change these kids’ perceptions on life. Instead of being a drug dealer you can be a doctor, a nurse, a ball player... or a rapper!