There’s something fishy happening in hip-hop today. The internet is a wild frontier full of up-and-coming bullshit. Everywhere you turn there’s another crew, with another look, and another hook that we’re supposed to remember once we close the browser. It’s saturated to the point of being downright laughable, and altogether forgettable. But every few calendar days something comes across the radar that hits…and sticks.
Enter Swag Toof, a duo who met in Brooklyn after transplanting from different corners of the country. What came next shouldn’t surprise you. Like many young and talented upstarts, the digital world grabbed hold of Ouija and Choirboy’s rugged bars and triggered a buzz; but this time for good reason. Their brand of unique hunger couldn’t be ignored.
I reached out to the Toof Boyz in order to understand what makes their art stand taller and scream louder than the rest. Here, the duo breaks down their short yet impressive history, the art of the collaboration, and why rappers need to stay thirsty. Get familiar.
Shiny Glass Houses: Ouija and Choirboy. Two out of towners meet up by way of the Rotten Apple. How did you two end up crossing paths in NYC?
Swag Toof: We met via a mutual friend, Rob Higgz who ran Dirty Gemz Studio in Bed-Stuy back in 2010. We both chilled there from time to time, chopping it up and fucking around with random keyboards and shit.
SGH: Did you know right away that you’d be making music together?
ST: We knew we’d be friends for sure, being that we both had similar childhood influences and “no fuckshit” personalities; the music just fell into place.
SGH: Once you got the kisses and hugs out of the way, how did y’all settle into this Swag Toof shit?
ST: *shoots the microphone out of your hand* Next Question.
SGH: How did Harlem’s Adopted Children (Side: A) come to be? The sounds, the rhymes, the features…it’s dope from top to bottom. I love how it pays homage to the shit you’ve studied, but stays completely toofy all at once.
ST: We just cracked open some beats from various composers we vibe with, and made a bunch of songs that we really liked. The features chose themselves really. “THUG P.T.S.D.” needed Pepperboy because he lived a similar struggle and to have him on that song just connected, seamlessly. “Linger” called for our OG Sole because of the emotion and sentiment we were going for, and also because of his influence on us as artists, songs like that are possible. Wicca Phase and Kevorkian are clearly Dark Princes all day, and D.G.A.F. BOYZ had so much momentum the only way to keep it up was by calling on the lyrical wildfire of kingpin Noah 23 and the D.G.A.F. essence that Bolo Nef embodies. This tape and the (SIDE B) to follow, are really just us doing our thing in the company of some other really great artists.
SGH: We definitely have something in common, we both have a crush on KEVORKIAN. Who else do you guys like working with?
ST: Kev is our dog. Fuck with Kev and you will die….because HE will kill you (we’ll just open up some popcorn and yell, WORLDSTAR!!). To answer the question, we like working with artists passionate about the culture. We really like working alone so if you see someone else on a song, we felt they added an element that was invaluable to the music.
SGH: Papers, wraps, blunts, dabs? What’s your method of choice?
ST: We don’t trip on that stuff man, people are drinking weed tea and juice these days and smoking cyborg wax apparatuses. Next they’ll be injecting THC in their necks. We’re old school we don’t complicate our relationships with Mary.
SGH: What’s next for the TOOF?
ST: Next? Harlem’s Adopted Children (Side: B) is right around the corner with some really strong visuals. After that the Evans Gate EP drops produced by none other than Ryan Evans. Then, the debut tape for D.G.A.F. BOYZ, which is a click we formed with some of the best spitters the underweb has to offer; Noah 23, Supa, Kevorkian, Bolo Nef, and yours truly, SWAG TOOF. We also have some really dope #TOOFGANG shirts with built in TEEF dropping 6/6 if they don’t sell out first. We are taking pre-orders at http://swagtoof.bigcartel.com.
SGH: Let me know… what are your drinks of choice?
ST: Gotta drink a lot of water regularly, ‘cause we trying to stay young and dehydration is damn near killing rappers these days. We invented a little drink called Speedball, a combination of Redbull and Codeine, which is a go-to party drink for sure. Picking a favorite anything is never easy but if you’re getting us something, just make sure it’s cold.—–
It’s easy to get swept up in all this brainless internet yammering and Jordan Brand freshmen hype. But remember that real will always recognize real. A massive thanks to Ouija and Choirboy for making some time to chat with us, and be sure to grab Harlem’s Adopted Children (Side: A) at http://swagtoof.com/. Follow them boys on Twitter at @SWAGTOOF. The movement has begun.