Digital Martyrs MC Uptown Swuite reached out over 6,500 miles to enlist the talents of New Zealand-based artist SoulChef for their collaborative album SoulSwuite.
Ahead of its release, the duo has dropped a video for the lead single, “F Is For Family,” which proudly puts their love for family at centerstage.
Produced by Digital Martrys member Off Balance, the song borrows from Biggie’s “Juicy” classic, although music nerds will know the drums are taken from the 1983 Mtume song “Juicy.”
“Soul Chef and I are of Samoan descent,” Uptown Swuite explains to HipHopDX. “Although I reside in California and Chef lives in New Zealand, New Zealand is like my second home. I used to live there and have real strong roots in the music/Hip Hop community of New Zealand.
“With this album, we really just wanted to capture the Samoan experience all around via our eyes — whether it be a Samoan living in California, New Zealand or even the motherland Samoa/American Samoa.”
View this post on Instagram
New visual for me and @soulchefmusic's new single F Is For Family with the homie @officialjohnbrooks directed by @digitalmartyrs up on on my #igtvchannel and on the @polyrappers #facebook page NOW. Official video/radio release soon come PLUS single will be available on all #digital outlets in the next few weeks. Stations and deejay's tap in if you need the single for radio air. Album otw early 2020!! Extra salute to my fam @thefwordclothingco!! #samoa #music #independent #HipHop #underground #undergroundhiphop #culture #pride
The SoulSwuite album itself was a longtime coming.
“I actually knew of Chef’s music way back in 2010 maybe, but I had no idea he was New Zealand-based nor did I know he was Samoan either.
“It wasn’t until somebody at a label I was working with in New Zealand told me Chef was both New Zealand-based and Samoan that it clicked in my head we needed to work. By then, however, I was already slated to move back to California.”
By chance, SoulChef messaged Uptown Swuite online in 2012 and they ultimately started working on a collaboration called Memoirs From Under The Long White Cloud. But life got in the way and the project wasn’t able to be finished until recently.