Bout It: ScrapGang discuss new album Thankful, squashing beef with Drake, new video & more
Before the COVID-19 crisis had really been a huge issue in North America, Toronto’s KG and Freeze of the group ScrapGang were busy promoting their latest project, Thankful.
The 17-track release—featuring an array of artists that are part of the SG family—follows the 2019 project, They Don’t Want Me To Win, which featured SG fan favourites “Right Now” and “True Colors.”
Roughly two years ago, ScrapGang was being discussed on major hip-hop platforms as the group’s feud with Drake and OVO came to light.
A screenshot was released of Drake making some snide comments towards the group via Instagram, and KG responded in kind by posting a video of himself taking shots at Drake. SG also released a Drake diss track and video with Dre Barrs, who is also known to have had past issues with Drizzy. But to close out 2019, ScrapGang and Drake squashed the beef, and the group has been focused on positive growth and development.
“I felt like that was a bad business move,” KG explained of the beef. “It had a lot of people in the city not wanting to work with us or do any shows, so hopefully that can change for 2020.”
But the situation is long past them now and they’ve been 100% focused on releasing new music and pushing their respective careers forward. As a result, Thankful has proven to be some of the best, and most introspective music they’ve released to date. If you’ve been a fan since Only Option (or even earlier) like me, Thankful is certainly going to put the group’s immense growth into perspective, and will leave you looking forward to the solo releases they seem to have planned for later this year.
ScrapGang just recently released a new ShotByPrince-powered “Bout It” video in support of the project, and once quarantine is behind us they hope to get some more visual releases together.
“Definitely planning on shooting a visual for ‘Memories’ as soon as lock down is over.”
I had a chance to connect with KG and Freeze via email to ask them about Thankful, squashing the beef with Drake, their relationship with Canadian hit-maker Boi-1da, plans on expanding the ScrapGang roster, and much more.
You can find the exclusive Q&A below along with the the new video for “Bout It” and the Thankful album stream (at the very bottom of the post).
HipHopCanada: Welcome to the HipHopCanada hot seat guys. People might not realize that you guys are actually brothers, same parents, and both got into making music before high school. What were your main inspirations for picking up the mic?
Freeze: Coming up, our mom loved music and used to blast it every morning when she was cleaning the house, and used to order all the albums from artists back in the day off the TV, so we had every artist playing in our house from Mary J. Blige, Mase, 2Pac, SWV, The S.O.S. Band, Escape etc. Which really instilled the love of music in us as we got older. Eventually, that’s what lead us into that path. As far as other artist that inspired us along the way, rappers like 2Pac, Bone Thugs, G-Unit, and a lot of R&B as well. We also came up in the era of battle rap which we did watch a lot of.
HipHopCanada: What was growing up in Scarborough like for you guys?
KG: Honestly, growing up in Scarborough was a fun experience as a kid only because there was just so many kids in the area and we all used to link up daily play manhunt and get into all kind of BS. Never really payed attention to the negative side of things, we was just kids having fun. We grew up all around the city tho, Scarborough was definitely one of the longest areas we ever lived in.
HipHopCanada: Back in the day, you guys lived in the same Kennedy & Finch area complex as producer Boi-1da. And on Jan 20, 2016, around the release of your Only Option project, he dropped a tweet stating, “Salute to my fam @ScrapGangMuzik, putting out some 🔥.” Have you guys kept in touch? What’s the relationship like?
Freeze: Most definitely, Boi-1da was a very close childhood friend not only because we lived in the same area, but our dad and his uncle were close friends also. We still in touch with Boi-1da, it’s always love. We working, he working, but we do still keep in touch. Minus the beef from the past, no bad blood, he still shows love vice versa. Actually spoke with him recently just squashing everything and he showed the same love back.
HipHopCanada: For those unfamiliar with the beef you’re referring to, you guys had a well-documented situation with Drake / OVO. Where do things officially stand with that now?
KG: As far as the OVO beef and the problem with Drake, that is dead. I recently reached out to Drake myself and basically squashed it. He hit me back and said, “yeah he rates dat, nothing but blessings and positivity for the New Year.” And I wished him the same back. So, hopefully things could go a little easier for us in the city cause I felt like that was a bad business move. It had a lot of people in the city not wanting to work with us or do any shows, so hopefully that can change for 2020.
HipHopCanada: Thanks for the update, and more importantly congrats on the new album! How would you say it compares to your 2019 project, They Don’t Want Me To Win?
Freeze: Respect, I feel like we definitely put in more time and effort on this one. They Don’t Want Me To Win was recorded in about a month, two month span. I feel like this mixtape is more heartfelt, more pain in it. Definitely feel like that has to do with the recent passing of our uncle. It kind of made us take a different view of life and it kind of poured into the music. But we have always made struggle/pain music, that’s definitely one our strengths. Thankful, we sat on some of the songs for a bit… was just waiting for the right time to release and I felt like the New Year was the perfect way to get it out and give people this new vibe of music we coming with.
HipHopCanada: Can you speak on the producers you worked with to get the project done? What kind of selection process do you guys go through when it comes to planning out a project and selecting beats?
KG: We worked with some of the hottest up coming producers in the city here are some of there social medias @iamTyGotEm, @TruthWillis, @TheFineast. We also surf YouTube when it comes to beats because it takes time sometimes to find that right one that gives you that vibe. But if we do find a beat on YouTube we usually get leasing rights to use the beats. Sometimes its hard to keep up with all of them but there are a few selected producers we do use on YouTube.
HipHopCanada: What about some of the guest features on Thankful. You mentioned some new members would be joining SG soon. Are any of them featured on the album?
Freeze: Everyone featured on the tape is family and is part of SG except the feature with Yuri Koller. We have some up and coming artists in our family and and they putting in work. Subscribe to our YouTube you will definitely see more of them. For now they in the cut just writing, working on their craft. My cousin Knotz is one of the artists you see featured on a few songs and also has his first single ever on the mixtape, number 11. “Stick By The Code” on the Thankful album. Look out for him as well.
HipHopCanada: The COVID-19 crisis is obviously something none of us have ever seen before. How has it impacted your lives and your ability to promote the new project?
Freeze: I think this COVID-19 virus is crazy and it was government planted. Not only that, I feel like they have something bigger planned. This definitely has a big impact on everything I do, especially making music cause the studio is shutdown. Everyone on quarantine. But I also feel like with everybody being home nothing do to, it is good for promotion if things are done the right way. But everybody is focused on who is turning up on IG so that kind of takes away from it. Hopefully this virus can clear up as soon as possible.
HipHopCanada: What are you guys doing with isolation to keep busy?
KG: Chilling with fam, smoking, drinking, eating, keeping the music going as well through freestyles on FaceTime.
HipHopCanada: Any plans to throw some IG Live events, in place of actual stage events?
KG: Not really any plans for Live. Prolly might see us on there dropping some bars on the weekends and promoting the new tape and the visuals for “Bout It.”
HipHopCanada: What kind of video support can fans expect from Thankful? What’s the next video now that “Bout It” has dropped?
Freeze: Definitely planning on shooting a visual for “Memories” as soon as lock down is over. And #2, “Through It All” has been getting a lot of love so we plotting on getting something done for that as well.
HipHopCanada: Are either of you focusing on any solo work as well?
Freeze: Me and KG both have enough solo music to drop a project each. I’m planning on pushing PYOL Vol. 2 this summer. Should be about 12 tracks, R&B and rap and new-age Auto-Tune. KG is still working on a name for his project but definitely look out for both of them this summer.
HipHopCanada: For those that don’t know, what is PYOL?
Freeze: PYOL stands for Pave Your Own Lane, and I feel like that’s what we gotta do in this Toronto music industry. Not being accepted cause we so original and creative in our own way, which I basically turned into our record label. But basically it started from our other blood brother, same father (Bingy) who is currently locked up right now looking at 10 years. He is also an artist and has a lot of music on our channel.
HipHopCanada: Aside from your own squad, who else does SG rate in Toronto?
KG: Grinzo coming up doing his thing, Geezy Loc, Dre Barrs, there’s plenty more.
HipHopCanada: What else does ScrapGang have planned for 2020?
KG: More music, more music, more videos, more videos… stay tuned and subscribe to our YouTube channel: youtube.com/ScrapGangTV.
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