Starlito and Don Trip were moving heavy at Austin’s South by South West, music conference. With their new mixtape ‘Step Brothers Three’ currently charting, I had to talk to the Tennessee duo about the project, working together and more.
ON ‘STEP BROTHERS THREE’
“For the most part it’s art. A lot of the music that’s out right now is just for the time being and I think we came together and successfully made some timeless music. I don’t wanna gas it too much, I think the music pretty much speak for itself. After you listen to it for a few seconds you’ll hear it for yourself.”
“I think we really pushed our line and pushed towards our boundaries with our visual appeal. Like our first single, “Good Cop, Bad Cop” has a 8-minute short film to accompany it. It speaks on some of the injustices that are going on in the communities around us to social commentary on police to police to civilian interactions. We humanize that whole police narrative. The videos should draw you in. If you go on our VEVO or YouTube you will see. We didn’t just drop 12 tracks and here’s a mixtape, we took our time with it and paid a lot of attention to detail.”
MINDSET COMING INTO CREATING ‘STEP BROTHERS THREE’?
“It was pretty much if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. We know what we wanted to put out, what we wanted to display, where we wanted to go with it, what we were trying to touch on. It was just a matter of being in the same place and making it happen.”
WHAT’S THE DYNAMIC LIKE?
“I think we keep each other on our toes musically, when we in the studio together I think it’s a mutual respect, a mutual admiration for each other’s craft. More than that it’s that self imposed pressure, I can’t half ass. We don’t phone in verses, we don’t email verses, we sit in the same room and build off each others idea.”
WHAT MAKES YOUR MUSIC STAND OUT FROM OTHER RAPPERS?
“I don’t think we sound like our peers regionally, locally, whatever else. I think we stand out amongst our peers, not necessarily standing above, but just sounding different. Different is special and different is being unique. We’re lyricist, we’re from Tennessee, we make music with Juicy J, Yo Gotti, Young Dolph, everybody from Tennessee in general that’s popping, but we don’t rap nothing like them, they don’t rap like us. We probably get compared more to Jadakiss and Styles P. than DJ Paul and Juicy J. We bring something one of a kind to a table. It’s not generic, it’s not Tennessee rap.”
WHAT YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
“‘Step Brothers 3’ just dropped this Wednesday and we’re currently working on ‘Step Brother 4’. The momentum of this one, there’s no sense in waiting. We’re not getting any younger. Our audience couldn’t be more captive than they are right now, so we wanna make sure we satisfy that core.”
STARLITO ON SELLING HIS ‘MANIFEST DESTINY’ FOR $1000
“Yesterday I wore a Gucci t-shirt that cost $300 the day before I wore a Polo t-shirt that cost $13. It’s on the consumer and who puts it in the marketplace. I just think the art was more valuable than the going rate. Thankfully there’s a market for that. There’s people that agree with it. It’s just about being a true businessman and paying attention to the marketplace and reserving certain ethics. Don’t sell yourself short, that’s a short straw from selling your soul.”
DID NIPSEY HUSTLE’S “PROUD 2 PAY” CAMPAIGN HAVE INFLUENCE IN THE $1000 IDEA?
“I’m a fan of his artistry and his campaign but in 2012 I released a project called ‘Mental Warfare’ and I sold it for $100. It preceded the “Proud 2 Pay” campaign. It didn’t probably get the fanfare or notoriety for it, but I did release an album for $100 5 years ago and used it to fund a scholarship. It didn’t do a full-fledged campaign, it didn’t get Jay-Z to purchase x amount of units, and publicity and notoriety that came from it, but I also didn’t take his idea. It confirmed that it was a good idea when it worked for somebody else. Great minds think alike.”
Shoutout to both Starlito and Don Trip for linking up at SXSW! Be on the lookout for more new music coming from the duo and get that ‘STEP BROTHERS THREE’.