(Photo by Matthew Sorensen)
Koncept & J57 create earnest Big Apple stadium bangers that carry a deep emotional resonance while still keeping the party rockin’. They were weaned on crate digging and local deep cuts, but have always kept one foot in the mainstream. It was this deep immersion into NYC’s hip-hop scene that brought the two together.
Lyrically, Koncept delivers intimately biographical rhymes that explore where he’s at now by dissecting his past. His friend and cohort J57 adds his A-game production to the mix in a sweeping tapestry of boom-bap revival, orchestral synths & clever hooks. Now, as an ambitious producer/emcee team, the young veterans are ready to take their epic, relentless sound to the masses.
Koncept, the Queens-raised emcee, made a name for himself in the underground hip-hop trenches, but these days you can find him working with heavy hitters like Ty Dolla $ign, Pharoahe Monche, Big Daddy Kane, Doomtree, Tash of Tha Alkaholiks, Brand Nubian, Royce da 5’9” and Dead Prez. J57, the Long Island-raised/Brooklyn-based producer/rapper, has just as strong a resume—he counts the legendary DJ Premier as a mentor and has assisted the hip-hop architect on songs by Nas, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, A-list work that led to his own collaborations with Joey Bada$$, Method Man, Raekwon, Mack Wilds, The Roots and countless other influential artists.
Koncept and J57 met in 2008 while working at Fat Beats, the West Village record store that was the launchpad for so many underground rap artists while it was open from 1993-2010. Later, along with four Fat Beats co-workers, they formed Brown Bag AllStars, a rap collective that impressed with its tough-guy lyricism, eventually turning heads while opening for Ghostface Killah at Atlanta hip-hop festival and proving ground A3C. In the wake of this incendiary performance, Red Bull Music chose Koncept as part of its artist development and discovery program.
With this platform in mind, Koncept & J57 refocused their energies on music that would resonate with a wider audience. The result is their new EP The Fuel—a riveting underdog tale told as if the duo is looking back on its legacy a la ESPN’s SportsCentury. Fired up, Koncept details his hip-hop hustle over J57’s big-statement music, the whole affair filled with ecstatic anticipation for the real-life successes on the horizon.
The Fuel is scheduled to drop November 20, 2015, via KON57 Records paving the way for Koncept & J57’s forthcoming debut LP, Flight, coming in 2016. Stay tuned.
Today, Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of premiering “Plane Ticket” featuring The Grand Concourse from the debut EP. This is what the pair had to say about it:
“I wake up at 8am, I’m trying to be in a better place by 1pm,” Koncept says. “I think the goal is to always move forward in the fastest way possible, but still most importantly, making sure it’s stable, in control, and it’s hopefully going to go smooth. Plan ahead.
“‘Plane Ticket’ is the song that closes out the EP going into our album that’ll be released in 2016 titled, Flight.”
“I’m in five indie groups outside of this (Antcs, Tigereye, MAK3RS, Goldie Haunt, and The Aware Wolves) and the debut projects for all of these groups drop in 2016,” J57 added. “All of them are completely different vibes from one another but still in a kind of indie electropop vein. I’m a very eclectic listener and I’m finally in a place mentally where I can make anything I want; genre and sub-genre-wise as a lyricist and a producer.”
(Pre-order The Fuel on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-fuel-ep/id1032831888
Koncept official site – http://www.iamkoncept.com/ (Koncept)
J57 official site – http://j57music.com/ (J57)
Koncept Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/konceptfanpage?fref=ts (@konceptfanpage to tag)
J57 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/j57music?fref=ts (@J57music to tag)
Koncept Twitter: https://twitter.com/koncept (@koncept to tag)
J57 Twitter: https://twitter.com/j57 (@j57 to tag)
Koncept Instagram: https://instagram.com/champagnekonny (@champagnekonny)
J57 Instagram: https://instagram.com/j57bbas/ (@j57bbas))
(Photo by Matthew Sorensen)