The number 23 signifying greatness, with living legends like basketball greats Michael Jordan, and Lebron James immortalizing its power. Representing a level of mastery; symbolic, a way a living, a mindset, following the mantra, a group of friends would come together forming a collective to be known as 23rd Nation.
As school brethren’s, members Don Mykel, Osagye, LevyGrey, Fry Yiy, Reggie Rude and Charlie Ka$h, all having a knack for rapping; a Harlem bred Don Mykel linked the pieces of the group together. Knowing each individual member at one point in his life, down to their manager whom he met in college. ” I went to elementary school with Reggie Rude. In fifth grade, I left that school and in middle school, I met Charlie Kash,” Don Mykel jumped in when asked how the crew was formulated. ” When I hit high school I met Osagye and I also linked back up with Reggie Rude,” he continued. “We formed a collective together because at the time we were working on music and it just evolved over time. In college, I met our manager (Fame Williams) as well as Fry Yiy and LevyGrey.”
“We just came together and just realized that we were special.”
Better at being themselves, it only made sense to arrange a sound that was distinctly their own. As individual artists with individual talents, reminding Hip Hop heads of classic rap composite’s like Wu Tang and Outkast; they too, further add to the power that lies in numbers, yet alone the number 23.
“It reminds us every day that 23 is the goal and 545 is the grind,”
Don Mykel said, speaking on the time of 5:45 in the morning being before sunrise, the the time to get up and get to work in pursuit of the goal.
After dropping one of their debut tracks “Isabella” on the scene, produced by 23rd Nation member LevyGrey, Reggie Rude reminisces over the point in time they came to realize their potential of greatness as a team, a band of brothers with keen senses for the spoken word of the Hip Hop genre. “It was an example of dopeness meshing,” revealed Reggie. A track that was at first, almost overlooked, stored away in an email thread for later usage, thereafter becoming a beginning aspect of their Fear the 23rd official project that dropped just this past February.
“It was something we never did before. That’s just an example of individual talents meshing. I couldn’t have made that song by myself without Levy, Charlie, Fry, Mykel and Osagye it wouldn’t have worked out,” Reggie proclaimed. As the unity of brotherhood brings more to the table upon the joining of the minds.
Just having fun among friends, conversation and music comes almost effortless as the creation of some of their other tracks off the 23rd tape like “No Tocar” would take life after a joke. Another LevyGrey produced single came to after a creative session of sorts where the guys were bouncing ideas off of one another, when they realized they actually had a gem on their hands. Their natural ability to generate music while merely brainstorming lit a fuse,
“That’s when we realized were a force to be reckoned with,” Reggie maintained.
In-house producers LevyGrey and Osagye come as vital aspects to the group as their vision puts the collective as a whole in a lane of their own, not needing to trudge too far outside the bounds of the 23rd Nation wall. Both, with similar logic as to how and why they became to produce music in addition to rapping, Osagye admitted, “I first started making beats like a year after I started rapping so like 2010. Honestly, I was broke, I didn’t have any money to pay producers so I said why not try to make them myself and it just worked out in the long run.” And LevyGrey shared, “For me, as upcoming rappers, we would go on Youtube and look for a Meek Mill type beat or a Young Thug type beat. After awhile. those beats get redundant; so I was thinking how do I take it the next level if the music isn’t doing the same. That’s when I decided to start making my own beats.”
With the groups collective efforts plastered all through their mixtape Fear the 23rd, mixed and masted by Mike Snails, collecting rave remarks and reviews, comparisons to those like Future, Drake, Lil Wayne, Travis Scott and even Beyonce, as far as makeup and inclination, with the exception of member Charlie Ka$h, who was not in attendance, the guys Reggie Rude (co-founder) and Don Mykel (founder), along with LevyGrey, Osagye and Fri Yiy couldn’t leave the building before disclosing their respective project agendas, all expected out soon.
Fry Yiy, the rapper and dancehall artist of the crew out of Brooklyn quoted, “I have an individual project, Sex Heals Everything, it’s a reggae project for the most part. And for my next one, I’m going to try to mix more rap into it with the reggae more.”
“I got an EP coming out in October then I have a full LP coming out closer to next year and I’m working with LevyGrey to put it together.” – Reggie Rude, aka Big Snoop Dogg
Rapper/producer/engineer Osagye shared, “I have the second installment of “Harsh Realities” coming. I’m basically going for a Rock & Roll/Hip-Hop fusion and talk about the struggles I have gone through in the past few years since the last one came out which was like 2014, talk about the struggles, as well as the good times in my life, a little bit of everything.”
I rap and stuff like that!
Don Mykel revealed, “I have an EP coming out “Infinite”, aiming for June. It’s going to be dope.”
And in addition to the Netflix/Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit ENT film “Deuces” starring Larenz Tate, Meagon Good, POWER actor Rotimi, Siya and more that just dropped on April Fools, as a matter of fact, where he scored about 6 of the tracks, artists/producer LevyGrey has a lot going on as well, “I got an EP I’m working on, it’s House music. So I went in with the mindset of shaking some things up, I really wanted to experiment,” and after asking if he could properly speak his mind on the project, he added further, “So yeah, I’m trying to f— things up.”
And on their movie mode right now, they are shooting a short film that will lead up to their next project, not to mention, them having about 23 other projects in the vault right now, “We got alot of work,” Reggie affirmed. And speaking on Charlie Ka$h, “He’s actually working on beats, got inspired by LevyGrey and Osagye, and so he’s working on a project called It’s Already Tomorrow.” Look out for that as well.
But before you go, check out the two respective Videos below, “No Tocar” followed by “Wind Up”, as they kind of go hand in hand, telling a story, so watch each in respective order. Showing off the guys acting skills, as they too have knacks for acting. With both Reggie and Don Mykel taking on acting roles since their elementary days. “We all have a certain level and interest in film as it is. Besides music, I like to do screenplays, and I direct on the side,” unveiled Reggie Rude.