Beginning in 2004, thousands of hip-hop enthusiasts have taken a pilgrimage to the south in search of good music. This year is no different with the 2010 A3C Hip Hop Festival’s arrival on Thurs., Oct. 7. The event ends on Saturday and before you start making your itinerary, we thought it’d be nice to showcase some artists you should look out for.
Introducing: Raye Rich and First Down, better known as FKi. With hits like their remix to Rob Roy’s “Fur in My Cap” and their own “Red Cup” they’re a group to watch. They're also producers, working with the likes of Mickey Factz (“My Name is Mickey Factz”) and Travis Porter (“Make it Rain”). Musically, they combine Chicago’s house music with Atlanta’s party vibe. With the release of their collaboration mixtape with Travis Porter and Machine Gun Kelly called Differenter Gang, the group took some time talk before their return to the A3C stage.
I always find it interesting that most good friendships in hip-hop begin with some sort of hip-hop beef. I heard the two of you began in a Nas vs. Jay-Z debate. Is that true?
First Down: How’d you know that? [Laughs] When Rich first moved down from New York to Atlanta, he was a new student in our class. I’m a Jay-Z fan until I die, of course, and he was a Nas fan. We got into a big argument in class about who was better. [Then] when school was over, he ended up getting on the same bus as me. We ended up going to the same neighborhood. Then we found out that we each made beats and we just connected like that, basically.
Would you say you’re still influenced by Jay-Z and Nas?
Raye Riche: No. [Laughs] Just Jay-Z. Nas fell off a long time ago. I haven’t liked Nas in years. I’m a Nas fan, but the Hip Hop is Dead album wasn’t my favorite, man. It let me down. I’ve been a Jay-Z fan forever though. Jay-Z’s been good since forever. [Pause] Since the war. [Laughs]
Besides Jay-Z, what influences your music?
First Down: We listen to literally everything. In my iPod right now [there’s] Daft Punk to Chemical Brothers to Soulja Boy to Jay-Z to Travis Porter to Feist. Everything. We listen to everything.
Raye Rich: Really I think it’s just the progression of music, period. Like how much it changes. That’s the dopest thing about music. It’s going to always change. It’s not going to be one thing forever.
Hip-hop is transitioning to a more electronic sound as far as the production goes. What is your take on that?
First Down: Of course, we didn’t start it. There [are] other rappers that have kind of been doing it, but for example, Usher’s "OMG" record. We did a song like that a while back and when I heard [his song] I was like, “Oh no, it’s getting popular now! No one’s ever going to know that we’ve been doing it for a while.” Even though we didn’t start it. Truthfully, a lot of our stuff we got from Micky Factz from GFC. He inspired us a lot with fusing different types of music together like electro and rap. Even though we’ve been listening to all types of music. He inspired us to do it. That’s really where it came from. I can’t speak for him, but if it blows up. I can see him being mad like, “Man I’ve been doing this for so long and I’m not going to get any type of credit for it.” But a lot of it came from him.
What would you say makes FKI different from other Atlanta hip-hop groups?
Raye Rich: As far as us performing in an all white rave club, we can go to Libra, th most 'hood club in Atlanta, and put on the same performance. That’s hard to come by. If you stuck OJ Da Juiceman in a New York hip-hop concert, he couldn’t do it. But we could. That’s what I think makes us so unique.
So in essence, your music is a little bit more fluid. You don’t really have a label.
First Down: Like he said we could go to a rave club and perform our “Satisfaction” remix or another song that we have called “Mosh Pit." Or we could go to a super hip-hop club. We have songs for that, too. We have different songs that we can fit into whatever. Kind of like a sponge. And it’s still us at the same time. It’s not like we’re making completely random music. It all works.
Where do you see FKi in the next few years?
Raye Rich: In the next five years we should be there. Not even on some cocky talk. I don’t know what position that’s going to be, but we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. We’re producing, rapping, everything. I see both of them going hand and hand but I know one of them is going to end up taking off even more. It’s going to take over Atlanta first, [and] then it’s going to spread…like a good disease.
First Down: A good disease? [laughs]
Raye Rich: A good disease.
Catch FKi perform on the Smoking Section and Fadia Kader’s Perfect Attendance stage. 7 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 7th. Masquerade. www.masq.com. Tickets available at http://www.a3cfestival.com/. Also look out for FKi's newest mixtape Zoolandish coming later this year.
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?
WWW you trying to date big boi? Sounds like you got a lil bromance bruh