I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again rap is in one of the best places it has been in years, it’s almost like we are in a new Golden Age. There might be more sh*t to sift through now but there are tons of gems. One thing that is starting to see a resurgence is rap collectives something that was more prominent in the 90’s. One up and coming collective that you may not be familiar with but should definitely be on your radar is LOWFi Movement.
LOWFi consists of members Jayy Grams, and Von Wilda who hail from Baltimore and Haeylo who reps Florida. The trio are some of the most exciting rappers to enter the game and lyrically they can stand toe to toe with the best of them and they can’t even legally drink yet. They each bring there own unique style, they have amazing chemistry and whenever they get on a track together it’s a match made in heaven. Their youthful energy brings a sense of urgency to every track and it translates to their live shows.There influences date back to the 90’s and you can hear it in the way that they rap and see it in their aesthetic but the collective is far from one dimensional. There witty, comical, and serious, they touch on a variety of topics and their production varies as well. If you’re a hip-hop head you’ll love there traditional approach to music, the back and forths, and the grimy production. While you have some rappers that hip-hop heads champion and the kids are not feeling. LowFi is that bridge between the two providing the energy the kids love, and the style and lyrical content the OG’s are looking for.
Jayy Grams kicked things off for the collective with the release of his Good Times and Grime and Basslinez EP’s back in 2017 with both of them being well received. Since then the group has inked a deal with Cinematic Music Group who is building one hell of a roster. Hayelo and Von have yet to drop any solo projects but they have released a handful of singles. Currently they are both prepping their own solo projects which are slated to arrive sometime next year.
Over the past few months, LOWFi has been dropping loosies, freestyles and prepping there anticipated debut The Allegory which actually arrives today. A few months ago I got a chance to sit down with the trio and discuss how they met, signing with Cinematic, The Allegory, each of there styles and much more.If your a fan of hip-hop in general LowFi should be on your radar. The kids can flat out rap there ass off and honestly, are some of the best I’ve heard in a while. With The Allegory out now it’s only a matter of time before you start hearing Jayy, Hayelo, and Von names more often. Check out the interview below and get familiar with the LOWFi Movement.
1. So, before you guys ever met were you doing music and how long? (All)
(Jayy) Me personally I have been working on music since I was 12. The first rap I actually wrote I was 9, I made a little jingle for my sisters answer machine it was hilarious.
(Hayelo) I was also 12. My brother he rapped to and he uploaded some videos to Youtube and I lowkey got jealous because family and friends were praising him for it. So I just tried to do the sh*t to. I made a remix to Lil Wayne’s “Run This Town” remix. I basically took the skeleton of his flow and I inserted new words and I kept writing from there.
(Von) I started when I was 13 and I really didn’t take it seriously until I was 14 and I came up here to Cinematic and the first song I actually recorded was here at 15.
2. Jayy and Von your both from Baltimore while Hayelo you’re from Florida. How did you guys first meet? (All)
(Von) There was this app called The Booth, they can tell you better about it because they were on it way before me.
(Hayelo) It’s like Twitter for rappers basically. So you have sections of the app where you can listen to beats, where you can upload beats and where you can upload freestyles to beats and it would all appear on the timeline. I saw Jayy’s song he did an “All Caps” freestyle and it was on the timeline and I’m like who doing an “All Caps” what he know about DOOM so I listened to the sh*t and it was fire. I just hit him up we started talking then we took it to a different app and that’s where we really put together the collective. We were called Division East at first, but we had to break away from that Beast Coast mentality and sh*t because they were really a big influence around that time on us, so we had to switch that sh*t up like nah we can’t be there sons.
3. When was the first time you connected in person and what was the first song you guys recorded together?
(Hayelo) Here in New York around August 15th or 18th of 2017.
(Jayy) The first song that we recorded together was probably “Dew It All”
3. You all have your own unique styles but mesh very well together on the track. Can you each breakdown your style for me and who were some of your musical influences?
(Jayy) I don’t even know, I still have a hard time really pinpointing my style. I try to do as much as possible, but I just feel like my style is me, just variations of me. My muscial influences are like the same people, Kendrick he’s very versatile in that type of lane, Biggie definitely, Big L and Redman.
(Hayelo) My style I’d probably say conspiracy theorist. I believe there’s other sh*t going on I guess I’m like a truther, but at the same time I like to give my own story in a way that other people can feel it. My musical influences would be Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt, Lil Wayne and Biggie.
(Von) My style is more street. Being that I’m from Baltimore and seeing a hood for what it can really be, just super f*cked up sh*t. I’m trying to show people that there is a light that you can follow to get out of that space becasue it’s not healthy for nobody especially coming up young. My influences are Tupac, Kendrick, Jadakiss, Scarface for story telling and alot of other people.
4. What’s the creative process like when you guys are making a song together? A track like “Dew It All” for example how did that come about?
(Hayelo) Those are always weird because it’s always different lowkey. Structure wise we like to play with it, it’s more than just doing a hook and a verse. It comes in with Von’s verse, then the hook comes in, then Jayy’s verse then I come in right after Jayy then a little bridge then the hook. So we play with the structure of the music. Sometimes we actually sit down and we all have this thought in our head that we didn’t have to speak about first then once someone says it, everybody else is like me to, me too.
(Jayy) How we approach certain songs is mad different, I feel like “Dew It All” was one of the spontaneous ones, we all f*cked with the beat and jumped on it.
5. You’re currently gearing up to release your first official group project ‘ The Allegory.’ Can you tell me a little bit about that?
(Hayelo) That’s the secret sauce we giving to the children.
(Jayy Grams) It’s so versatile, it’s like so many different categories of hip-hop on that one project, but it just goes together so perfectly. I’m trying to say that in the most humble way possible we touch so many sub-genres of hip-hop on it.
(Hayelo) Facts! We got real hip-hop heads that are going to f*ck with the tape just as much people who like the new wave of music we try to merge them both.
6. When did you all sign with Cinematic and how did that all come about?
(Jayy) I sent a freestyle to Johnny Shipes in his DM a little bit before July of 2017 and on some crazy sh*t he answered, he was f*cking with it heavy. Then he asked me did I have any music and at that time I had the song “Hypebeast” that’s like my biggest song now. I had a real rough draft version of that song in my bio and he bumped it and put it on the Cinematic Playlist I still remember the exact one too, it was Cinematic Radio 7 he put it on that sh*t. I just went crazy, I told everybody they went crazy too we were hitting walls all types of sh*t. A couple of days later he was like “bro this is really crazy, I want to build” he gave me his number. I was going crazy, I told my mother she wikipediaded Johnny. Eventually, he told me I could come down for the holiday, Fourth of July and he told me I could bring some friends, I brought Beezy and Hunter and it just escalated from there.
7. You recently performed at some select date for Smoke DZA’s tour. What was that experience like? (All)
(Hayelo) Amazing, a learning experience foreal. Just seeing different sh*t, it was my first time in Cali
(Jayy) It’s like taking your rapper training wheels off. It’s crazy, you enter a new element as an artist. I was really feeling myself on that stage, I really felt like an artist.
(Von) Dza told us you gotta bring out your inner superhero, that’s what it feels like.
(Jayy) What’s crazy is before he ever told us that I’m like why is DZA always the coolest dude in the room everytime he performs, but yea he’s cool as sh*t. It definitely showed me what an artist can be at there maximum potential.
8. Oh and if yall didn’t already know you guys bodied that LA Leakers Freestyle. Von and Haeylo that was your first radio freestyle, were you guys nervous at all. Jayy do you ever get nervous or butterflies when you freestyle, I know you have made a few rounds?
(Von & Hayelo) I was hell of nervous.
(Hayelo) I get nervous all the time.
(Von) I was moving on Eastern time so I was f*cked up in the head. Mad tired and sh*t.
(Jayy) I get less nervous now but on Sway I was nervous as a motherf*cker. You just gotta deal with it you can’t turn back once your there. From that point on it’s either your going to look nervous on camera or you going to deal with it.
9. What do yall have planned for the rest of the year?
(Von) Just killing sh*t, foot on there necks like we’re supposed to.
(Jayy) Facts just murdering sh*t
(Jayy) We are finally going to show the people we are a collective rather than a group. Once we drop our solo projects we all just have our different lanes that we can go into.
(Hayelo) This is actually our first time working together as a group. Even though we worked together before, we worked as a collective because when we dropped songs it would be my account has this sh*t up becasue I just dropped and his account has this sh*t up. Now it’s all three of us having a one cohesive project together and putting in the same amount of effort for each other
10. Is there anything you want to add?
(All) LowFi the f*cking movement, the future you dig.