Curated by Cedric Dladla
Photography by Urban Wyatt and Hunter Lied
"We believe in doing whatever makes you comfortable in your own skin, so whatever is right for you."
- The Homies
Our current landscape of music is where genre-bending and breaking the status quo is the order of the day. While the ethos of Hip-Hop’s history has carried a mandate of political ends or pure lyrical supremacy it was rare, odd and quite frankly risky to bring any alternatives to the status quo.
In what can only be described as an exception to the norm carrying on tradition of crews such as outcast, are the embodiment of musicality, diversity and the renaissance of light-hearted fun.
Originating from Louisville, Kentucky, Quiiso, Shloob, Ace Pro and 2forwOyNE form this quartet that was co-founded by Grammy Nominated artist and close friend, Jack Harlow.
Over the past 2 years, they’ve released a few singles including their smash hit “Leaf Wraps” ft. Jack Harlow. The success of “Leaf Wraps” opened the door for significant opportunities such as The Homies being opening for top acts like Lil Uzi Vert, Bryson Tiller, Wiz Khalifa and more.
Recently, the crew released visuals for their latest records, “The Come Down” and “Homealone” both of which have been met with warm reception. The Homies join us for an exclusive interview where they share their origin story, their creative process, working with Jack Harlow, and more about their current tour following the successful release of their debut album Honest Living.
Take me to the conversation in Louisville where everyone decided that we are going to be a rap group especially considering the challenges music groups face these days?
For us, it was an easy decision. 2forwOyNE and Shloob are fraternal twins, Ace and 2Fo played ball together growing up as kids. QuiisO came around after he came to Louisville for college. One day he walked over to Shloob and 2Fo’s dorm hall at UofL and saw 2Fo making beats. he asked him to show him how to do it and They made an instant connection. Shortly after we ended up linking with Ace and decided to start as a producer group. As we’re going along one day we just said “y’all tryna rap?” And the rest was history. We felt like we were the best people to do our beats justice. We don’t really look at or concern ourselves with the cons or challenges of being a group. It’s really a brotherhood, we’re about achieving a common goal with our guys. This has been almost a decade in the making.
As an indie rap collective what has been your experience with releasing and marketing your own content? Are there other challenges that you faced breaking into the music industry?
Our experience has been kind of a journey honestly with releasing music and marketing. It’s been a lot of trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. The indie route is rewarding because when things work it gives you the extra gratification that you didn’t have much help. When you don’t have that big machine behind you it forces you to find ways to get in front of people. It also shows you that everything is attainable without the big guys.
Between Quiiso, Shloob, Ace Pro, and 2forwOyNE, who handles composition, arrangement, and engineering in the production process?
Out of all of us it’s mainly 2Fo and Ace that handle production, Engineering, and arrangements. QuiisO produces as well. We all look over the composition aspect of it pretty evenly, as everyone has input for the vast majority of our catalogue
From 2019’s “Mo Zeros” to 2021’s “Home Alone” your music has grown exponentially, what would you credit to the growth in subject matter, cadence, and musicality?
The main contributor to the growth in our music is lived experience. We like to make sure our music is as authentic to us as it we can get it. We put in a lot of work, time, and attention towards what we sound like and it’s showing itself in our releases. We’re going to take our audience somewhere and a polished sound is the best way to make sure we do that.
How does the song writing come about, the hooks, melodies, bridges and the mood of the song? Is there a method to the madness or it all organic?
The method is organic! If we have beats already made that we want to attack someone will start an idea. Then from there everyone else makes their contribution. If we’re starting all the way from scratch, someone will make a beat and the others will write or sing out loud until we like something. By the time the instrumental is done we’ll have at least a hook to put on it.
As a group being collaborative gives us a chance to get different perspectives and angles on tracks. So we just add to an idea piece by piece until we have a full song. We all write hooks, we all sing melodies, we all pen our own verses. We talk about what the overall tone should be or what the mood/feeling of the joint should encompass. Then next thing you know it’s time to mix and master.
“The Come Down” speaks to our escapist generation, do you feel its healthy to escape our realities and their problems than to confront them or do we all deserve to take the edge off occasionally?
We believe in doing whatever makes you comfortable in your own skin, so whatever is right for you. Yes, it’s ok to take the edge off if you feel you need to. Certain situations need to be confronted depending on what it is, but definitely in your own time. It’s ok to check out if things are too much or don’t make sense. That’s the thing about life, there’s no rules to this. Everyone is doing what they feel they need to make it to the next day.
Could you tell us more about the new album Honest Living? Can we expect more vibrant, layered, something for everyone energy you are known for or it for a niche fan base?
Honest Living is really just a culmination of us and what we represent. We’re everyday people with problems and situations just like everyone else. We just happen to be nice at music. We all have different personalities and influences and perspectives on music, even down to the roots of how we came up in it. This all comes out in that product. We want listeners to feel us and enjoy the experience of seeing things from our view. Going forward we’ll continue to give different flavors and expand our artistry so people can enjoy that growth.
Lastly, let’s chat about Creme de la Crème tour with Jack Harlow, how does it feel to tour after the performance drought caused by the pandemic, how you met Jack and a little more about where the tour is headed, which cities are next and experiences you are looking forward to?
Its been dope! Feels like a weight has been lifted off of our shoulders a little. This tour has been our first time getting back in front of people in almost two years. So we were excited to get back out here and continue to make a name for ourselves. We met Jack around 2014. Ace came across some of his work and was impressed. They hit it off after they started working together. Then gradually he met the rest of us as we started hanging around more. After a while we came together and created private garden, been locked in ever since. As of right now we’re ending the first leg in Boston. We’ll have St. Louis in October, and a few Midwest dates in November. QuiisO is excited for Toronto and NY especially. We just want to make sure we’re giving our best and coming away with new fans. So far we’ve been able to do that. It’s been fire getting love and reaching people in places we haven’t been to before. The best part of all this is soaking in the experience and building our fanbase as well.
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