Anlässlich der Veröffentlichung des Gruppenalbums “Breakfast For Champions” unterhielten wir uns mit Marq Spekt von den Broady Champs. Kenner der Szene werden den Rapper aus West Philly noch von seinem kurzen Auftritt auf Bigg Jus’ Subverse Music kennen – im Interview erzählt er, warum aus diesem Deal nicht mehr geworden ist, wie die Broady Champs zusammengekommen sind und was uns an Releases aus diesem Umfeld noch alles bevorsteht.
Not everybody might know the Broady Champs, so please introduce the group and its members to our readers first.
The Broady Champs are a multifaceted group which I founded in Atlanta. I’m repping West Philly/New Jerz. N.Y.C.E is from Brooklyn, P.G is from the Bronx and Buddy Leroy is from North Carolina.
As you said, your group consists of four members everyone hailing from a different city or part of a city in the US. How did you connect with each other?
We all met up under different circumstances years ago. We all rhymed and knew each other and was on some hiphop shit, but it wasn’t until I linked Nyce wit Buddy Lee and P.G and we actually started bonding on more than just some freestyle shit, I’m talking doing songs and putting shit out. This was like 2000 and I had the shoplifter single out.
So why did you call yourself the Broady Champs as a collective and what’s the special meaning behind that name?
Broady, which is an old school Philly term for taking advantage (or just straight stealing) which describes our code of ethics. We used to just be in clubs either bypassing security or just getting in the back door. While we in the club we may end up bagging a chick, getting drinks and herb for free the whole night. When you do shit like that you broady. See what I mean and it’s like being in Atlanta, theres different people you see from different states and it just so happened we connected on the level of just chilling, broadying shit so much that we linked.
You already mentioned your critically acclaimed 12″ “The Shoplifter”, released on Subverse Music. What’s the story behind that and why did the deal not work out?
The Broady nature was there for me to get that deal. I had to impress Bigg Jus (Lune TNS) enough for him to persuade Subverse to cut a check and get me out there with Subverse Records. I did a Rocksteady Showcase in New York in 2001 with Broady Champs and we tore that shit down. The label people were there and they saw the potential but they said they didn’t have the the money to put out the group. They wanted me to do a solo album around that time and they had Bigg Jus, MF DOOM, Micranots, Scienz of Life and C-Rayz Walz. The money that they were offering was so small that I couldnt afford to really record the kind of album I wanted comfortably. I was still working a gig and hustling so I didn’t have the space or advance that any artist needs to properly do their craft. The label also got flaky so my relationship with them wandered, especially after 9/11. That just happened and Subverse offices were a few blocks away. After that shit that label died, too. Bigg Jus left and everybody else dissappeared as well. Some people actually wanted to hurt the owner over some business shit and he vanished too, owing people alot of money. That kind of jaded me to the industry and I fell back with my crew. That Broady Champ music was the outlet for frustrations we all had.
So your reaction was to release records together with Buddy Leroy, N.Y.C.E. and P.G. as the Broady Champs?
As Broady Champs we’ve released local underground records since 2001. You heard the Shoplifter 12′ but you never heard any more music from me because Subverse started to fizzle and any other labels I talked to already had their full rosters. It’s hard to get deals for anyone so I just honed my art with Broady Champs. We got paid a few hundred dollars for a show that we were supposed to perform at but it got cancelled. The promoter drove like 2 hours and still gave us an envelope with that money. We used that to fund our first EP which was called the Appetizer. We hustled a couple hundred and started buzzing on the Atlanta underground. We did lots of shows and built up a little fanbase so we recorded more material and put out the Appetizer redux, a whole album. In this time I did a solo project called the GhostMaker of rough songs that would have been on a Subverse album. Buddy Leroy did a solo and Nyce was recording. We did another albums worth of material and just chilled because we couldn’t get any music to the masses. Thats when we started doing themed mixtapes. Nyce and I did Snakeyes vs. Stormshadow and Broady started the Dirty Needlz series. Thats when we started putting music on the net.
And that was the time you got connected to Day by Day Entertainment?
Yeah, that’s when we got a call from an A&R from Daybyday. I sent out a package containing what I had done and what Broady was up to. Daybyday was strongly interested. I built with MF Grimm and he was 100% with what we were doing. He felt the movement and the vision. It felt good to have someone tell me what I felt myself and knew was true. We are on par with all these labels and mcs out here now doing this. Broady is set to explode, we’re just waiting on the album to drop like everyone else. It’s crazy because there are a lot of people I can tell havent grown up wit this culture as intimately as us and it’s like They’re running shit and fronting on us. I personally started freestyling and writing in 1989 and was professionally flown to work with Ultramagnetic Mcs in the late 90’s on a reunion that was supposed to happen. I’ve freestyled with KRS 1 and I’ve been surrounded by like 60 mcs and it was just me and Nyce and RZA gave us our respect. I know what the fuck we’re capable of, it’s just the matter of getting heard.
The release of the Broady Champs debut album “Breakfast of Champions” on Day by Day Ent. is very close. What can we expect from the album and what is the special meaning behind the album title “Breakfast of Champions”?
Daybyday has the album in the pressing factory now so it should be dropping before the end of the year, but it was supposed to be out early November. The album Breakfast of Champions is a full meal for the listener. It’s the Breakfast because it’s the first meal we’re sharing with the masses. To me it sounds incredible. A lot of styles and different flavor. It’s definitely chamber music and a lot of different zones on the album. My man Illastrate handled most of the production. He’s a beast from the midwest. I look at 9th Wonder getting a lot of shine right now and I’m happy cuz it’s opening peoples ears and they’ll be ready for Illa. His beats are hard as fuck but soulful at the same time. He did the lead single “HOPE” which ended up being dedicated to my man DJ OX who passed away over a year ago. He was the Champs biggest fan and died loving our shit. The whole album is dedicated to him. The cover was done by another one of my people’s, Dubelyoo over at Convertthewack.com. That cat is blowing up right now too. There’s not a Hiphop magazine he hasn’t touched. He just did the big foldout picture of Biggie in the new issue of Scratch magazine with Nas and Premo on the cover. I mean it’s just good shit happening all around us so hopefully cats will feel like hearing some new shit. So I feel confident that Breakfast of Champions will satisfy a few heads. Dub also did the cover to every single cover of the Dirty Needlz Mixtape series and It’s going to blow your mind when you see the cover to “DNC 3 Ovadose Musik”. That’s getting wrapped up right now.
Do you have total control of your music or do you get orders what to do and to release from Day by Day Ent.?
Our music comes out how ever we put it out. The deal we have with Daybyday is just distrubution and manufacturing. We have 100% creative control and in this day and age thats what all artists should have.
The reason for this may be that Day by Day Entertainment is a rising independent label led by a rapper (MF Grimm aka Percey Carey). Would you describe it as a trend that the rappers take more and more control of the industry (e.g. Jay-Z at Def Jam, El-P at Def Jux, Necro at Psycho+Logical Records, Blueprint at Weightless etc.)?
More artists are running labels because people are becoming more business minded in general. I don’t think it’s a trend. I’ve got my first solo album “Pretty Weapons” complete and I want to have a full stake in that project before someone comes along and wants to license it from me. In this day and age of technology, it’s becoming easier for artists to keep control, service their fans and make money.
Going back to the beginning of the Broady Champs, where do you see your musical roots and what was the reason for becoming a part of the rap game?
The musical roots of the Broady Champs comes from the origin of Hip Hop to current times. We also listen to everything from rock to industrial and then some. If you want to feel our core essence. It’s between 88′ and 95′ for Hip Hop. That pure oldschool meets newschool time. I think we capture that raw essence for the fact that some places we perform, people are like, “I didn’t think people still rhyme like that” I think we capture the rawness of that era. Here is why. It’s because each member of Broady came up battling and ciphering in the streets of the cities that Hiphops essence emerged from. Those were days where not everyone could rhyme or was allowed to. You really had to claim your respect, which is where my name comes from MarQ Spekt. You had to really vibe in the city, the ghettos where there are the illest mcs you’ll never hear. Today it isn’t like that. Instead of classic rap groups, you have gimmicks. Instead of raw albums, you’ll here anybody who’got protools or fruity loops making beats and anybody who owns a rap album rhyming and putting an album out. There are very few mcs these days who bring that authentic flavor.
Talking about these good old times, did the sound of the Broady Champs got influenced from those days?
The sound of Broady was influenced by Everything from Rakim, KRS-1, Nas, Public Enemy, EPMD, Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep, Redman, Ice Cube, Kool G Rap, Slick Rick, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Linkin Park, Ultramagnetic Mcs, Jay-Z, Biggie, Mars Volta, Company Flow, Biz Markie, Ecko Unlimited, Polo, Nike, Boot Camp Click, Timberland boots, fine exotic women, Heineken, Dutch Masters, White Widow, Afghani,Purple and Black Haze and thousands of other flavorful things. We influence each other a lot, too.
So what do you want to add to the rap game that has been missing in recent times?
See the thing is we got music for days. Breakfast of Champions is just an introduction. It’s ill cause it’s like we’re totally interactive right now. We’re bubbling up. Once we get an ear it’s over. I think people will get where we’re going. It’s not called the Dirty Needlz series for nothing, we get another fan hooked everyday. That’s the beauty in the addiction. That’s how Hiphop started anyway. Hiphop is missing those artists who bring that shine and glow. That dirty beautiful heartfelt nigga shit. Nobodys doing that real artform so that’s what we bring to the table, the evolution of Hiphop styles and culture. It happens, when you have too much of any one thing. The South has it now and they rightfully should. It’s their time. That doesn’t mean that there still isn’t talent out there in other places. I live in Atlanta but my style embodies where I was brought up – the East Coast. I still feel as though I’m real enough to connect with real heads anywhere on this earth though.
I know what you mean. In my opinion a lot of rappers today are making music only for the money and not for the love of it. Do you agree with that?
I would say that there aren’t a lot of mcs out there who do this with a true sense of the culture period. If you do this from the heart, then I feel that you should be able to feed your family off this shit fulltime. You shouldhave other jobs and hustles but you should be able to make your living doing this art professionally. Anybody who works and bleeds and invests in themselves deserves to be PAID. As far as saying that there are MC’s who do it just for the money, I don’t know, if you put out a record your going to want to sell it so we’re all getting money, but I feel that theres a LOT of people who shouldn’t be rapping at all. BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO SENSE OF THE CULTURE.
You exactly got the point. But I guess there are still actual artists you are listening to?
Of course, right now I’m listening to a lot of different music. That Wu Tang think differently had a couple of my peoples on there. I’m listening to JAY DEE Donuts, Styles P Ghost in the Machine, Bigg Jus Poor Peoples Day, Ghostface Fishscale Mixtape, Special Herbs 7&8, the almost finished Dirty Needlz 3 mixtape, B.G Life After Cash Money, Bebel Gilberto,and mostly my finished LP Pretty Weapons.
Yeah, I can feel most of these albums as well, but I especially like your “Dirty Needlz” Mixtapes Vol. 1 & 2. They are available as free-downloads on the Day by Day Homepage (www.daybydayent.com), why didn’t you sell them as regular discs like other rappers do?
We give out the Dirty Needlz becuz it’s drugz. The first hit is always free. If the product is pure the fiendz is going to remember that shit. Like I said man, we got a supply of this shit. NYCE got a solo album that’s coming out going for the title Buddy Leroy got bitches jumping off catwalks into his lap I’m in the lab cooking up different chemicals. It’s crazy. Once the whole world tunes in it got the potential to change the face of the game as you see it now. Open the door for more talent and usher out the bullshit. I see it coming soon. I’m ready to peel heads off shoulders.
Do you think it is easier now as a rapper to get introduced to a bigger audience because of the internet and the possibility of music-downloads and what are the negative aspects of this?
YES. It’s definitely easier to be heard via the internet. The audience is millions potentially hearing the music. It’s definitely a beautiful thing. The only thing is that people are content downloading the music and not copping the CD. Mixtapes are promotional. They are sold in some places the cost of shipping and handling and a service charge and that’s it. But those are the specialty spots that may have them for sale. If you can find them. We stream 2 of ours free on Daybydayent.com. I can feel people downloading those, but the album will be out in your record stores. They will be available for purchase. I already know people are going to have it on SoulSeek and all that shit. BUT YOU have to do YOUR PART to SUPPORT the REALNESS. I let people decide what they’re gonna do but at the end of the day when it gets wacker than it is now, I let the dickheads sit around and complain and it be the same ones talking bout “Damn it was so many ill cats that had potential what happened?” and they didn’t buy the album, they downloaded the shit. Smaller companies can’t absorb that shit like Universal can. 100,000 cats download your shit for free that’s a big chunk right there to a shoestring company.
Let’s get back to your daily business, do you have plans going on tour in the near future?
You will see a Broady Champs show overseas if we can get it together with some promoters, they can hit up Mspekt@gmail.com. We’ll probably be doing the East and West Coast of the U.S for a second though.
What else can we expect from the Broady Champs and its members in the near
future, any new projects?
From Broady you can expect another album sometime in the future definitely. First you’ll hear Dirty Needlz vol.3 which is like a whole other album. You’ll hear Buddy Leroy Fashion Rap, NYCE new album, Snake Eyes vs. Stormshadow released, a bunch of guest spots on other peoples shit and my album, “Pretty Weapons”.
Last question, 10 years from now, will the Broady Champs still be in the game and where do you see yourself then?
10 yrs. from now just like 10 years ago we been doing this. It wasn’t never a game with us this shit is an art. After grinding on some real, blood, sweat and tears shit, we need to see the fruits of our labor and provide more fruit. It’s a cycle and this shit is going to revolve. Hopefully in 10 years I can look back and see the mark we leave on the history of Hiphop’s legacy. 10 years. It’ll be a whole new Conquest for the Champs to Broady.