- Words Notion Staff
Ahead of the release of 'Baby Gravy 3', bbno$ and Yung Gravy talk their musical firsts, from early SoundCloud sessions to blowing up in China.
Everyone loves a hip-hop love affair: from Tyler, The Creator and A$AP Rocky to JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown, bromances are brewing right across the genre. Few have felt as fervent as bbno$ and Yung Gravy’s, who are countless collaborations and joint EPs into their relationship. Just this week, the lyrically dynamic duo announced the release date for ‘Baby Gravy 3’, the third in a now legendary series of tapes that’s enshrined their provocative music in the modern history of rap.
Individually achieving a level of success that speaks for itself, when bbno$ and Yung Gravy come together, virality is never too far away. On their latest single, “You Need Jesus”, the unhinged wordsmiths craft an unconventional club banger, chaotically cracking jokes about Christianity and comparing scripture to their hedonistic pursuits. The music video is equally outrageous, as god parts the clouds to intervene with their blasphemous preaching.
And yet, over email, bbno$ and Yung Gravy come across as two completely contrasting characters. The former provides long, meandering answers to our questions, while the latter is more reserved, cherry-picking what he says with more nuanced expression. Nevertheless, we sat down with the musical soulmates to discuss their career firsts. You’d be hard-pressed to find another interview that mentions Young Thug, Shlomo and Pussy Cat Dolls in the same piece, but this was never going to be an ordinary article. Tap in below.
First song you ever made?
bbno$: The first song I ever made was called “Zebra Stripes”. It was with my friends Seb and Dan; we were super bored one day and ended up smoking a blunt in the heat of early 2016. It sounded like a Chief Keef-type beat but it’s the worst song I ever made.
Yung Gravy: The first song I ever made was “Karen Pt. 2“. I thought that I was clever with the “part 2” bit.
First CD or record you owned?
bbno$: Holy shit, I don’t even know. The first record I probably ever owned was mine. The first CD was probably a megamix of The Funksoul Brothers, Smash Mouth and others from 2013. Maybe The Matrix Soundtrack? I have no idea.
Yung Gravy: Madvillian – ‘Madvillainy’.
First time you realized you wanted to do music full time?
bbno$: I realised the moment I made “Zebra Stripes”. This was a time in my life where I would say I was relatively depressed, and the emotions that making this song gave me, triumphed so heavily over the negative emotions I had at the time. I assumed that, if I worked at music for the rest of my life, I would eventually, hypothetically, get good at it. I’m just trying to do fun things and have fun times, and that’s pretty much it really.
Yung Gravy: When I was 20 during college. I made my first song the following week.
First gig and first festival you went to?
bbno$: The first festival I went to was called Pemberton Music Festival. I used to be a huge fan of Shlømo, the electronic-like ambient DJ. I remember I did some molly, and went to his show and ended up tearing up a tonne because he helped me get through a lot of dark times in my life. The first gig I ever went to was Rush at Rogers Arena, Vancouver, in 2012. It was such a good time and a really high end production show. I don’t really know their music too well, but my friend was a huge fan and it was a good experience to see.
Yung Gravy: A free Pussycat Dolls concert when I was 11.
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
bbno$: Being a human being, you face obstacles constantly. After two or three years of working on music, I was at university and I was struggling emotionally because things weren’t working out. And you know, you obviously can’t beat yourself up over it because, a lot of the time in this music game, it doesn’t work. That’s just the nature of things, but it was just very difficult. Doing school and nothing working in music, it was kind of exhausting. So that was probably the first genuine obstacle that I encountered.
Yung Gravy: I had a trademark dispute with another Young Gravy and had to pay him 150k. That was about two years into my career.
First instrument you owned?
bbno$: I give a lot to the percussive elements in my music. I’ve learnt to play and instrument called the djembe, which is an African drum. My mum was a big advocate of getting me into instruments as I was homeschooled. So, she gave me a drum to beat, and I would just slap the drum on a constant basis. A lot of my earlier music leaned towards percussive elements, which I attribute to using the djembe.
Yung Gravy: A saxophone in middle school band class.
First time you felt like giving up?
bbno$: It was that first obstacle I mentioned above. But, in the midst of wanting to pack in music, I blew up in China and found out that I was incredibly popular there. It shows that in times of absolute need and desperation, you can always break through as long as you keep striving. So, that’s a good thing.
Yung Gravy: My friend OD’d.
First time you felt starstruck?
bbno$: I don’t really get that feeling to be honest but when I first started making music, I was a big fan of Buffet Boys, Pouya, 305 and Miami SoundCloud rap. I really fell in love with the whole world that they created and would always watch their music and stories. I remember I saw him for the first time in real life and I had DMed him way back in 2015 with a picture of me with a microphone, but obviously, he didn’t see it. He said to me, “You did what not many people can do, so never let anyone take that away from you. You’ve full-circled, from sending me a message five years ago, to now being here in front of me, you should be incredibly proud of yourself”. It was a really cool experience, one of those things I’ll never ever forget.
Yung Gravy: Meeting Young Thug at Magic City
First time you realized you’d made it?
bbno$: I have two points in my musical career. One being “Lalala”, which was a confirmation of my success as an artist. The second being when I was making four dollars a day from music, and those four dollars a day would pay for a burrito at my University. So every day I was eating from people listening to my music. Four dollars was about one to two thousand streams on Spotify back then, which is absurd.
Yung Gravy: I hadn’t revealed my face yet and got recognized by my voice at a party.
BABY GRAVY 3 is out August 25th. Pre-save here.