This year's Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival [click here] will be headlined by none other than Smif-n-Wessun [click to read]. The Boot Camp Clik generals, through all their name-changes, Cocoa Brovaz, Tek & Steele and right back to the Smif-n-Wessun "originoo" moniker have always kept their love for BK as a consistent element in their music. Before heading to do shows in Europe, the duo spoke to HipHopDX about the June 20th affair.
"There's no place like home," said Steele. "Brooklyn is 'Bucktown,' and this is where we started. It gave us the energy to be able to go and rhyme. Little did we know that people was really gonna vibe to what we was sayin'; communication is just natural. If you can feel where we comin' from, as far as reppin' Brooklyn, then you know we love this place. This place raised us. Born here, we got our scars and scrapes here, and we elevated here, and we can still be able to perform here." The emcee, who last month released a solo album titled Bucktown [click to read] added, "We're gonna be in Switzerland in a matter of hours, and we're taking Brooklyn with us too. We have to represent Brooklyn."
Recently, with Duck Down pioneer labelmates Black Moon [click to read] performing Enta Da Stage, Smif-n-Wessun has begun performing their own debut, 1995's Dah Shinin' [click to read]. Asked the response from Brooklyn crowds when the duo performs borough classic, "Home Sweet Home," Tek answered with a hearty laugh. "When we perform at home, in front of the home-team, it doesn't really matter what song we perform, they feel us. Each fan has their own favorite, but 'Home Sweet Home,' when it's performed, the energy is just awesome."
Steele praised the promoters of the event, Brooklyn Bodega [click here], and compared the name to one of the significant landmarks of his Brownsville, Brooklyn birthplace. "Brooklyn Bodega, come to our corner-store; we got a lot of shit that you can shop for. [Laughs] It's only right." "When you come to my store, I'm gonna make sure you get what you need. Bread, milk, eggs, cheese? What you need? I got a homie that's gonna slice it up nice for you. What you need, a gyro? We got it all for you, baby! [Laughs]"
Before preparing for trans-Atlantic travel, the group updated on their next album, reported to be produced entirely by Pete Rock [click to read]. "Truthfully, we haven't even started recording the album just yet," Tek said. "We're just sittin' down, in talks, just seeing the best direction to go about it. As far as chemistry, it's gonna be producer and artist, artist and producer, all creative minds working together. How that goes [will hopefully lead to] something beautiful and timeless, because all that's all we try to do."