Musical groups with cult followings always spark a distinctive curiosity in writers and fans alike. Beyond the mainstream airwaves lies groves of musical treasure just waiting to be discovered. Venturing into Parts Unknown, you may stumble upon two cloaked out figures carrying underground hip hop on their weathered shoulders.
The Ghastly Duo, otherwise known as The Doppelgangaz, have conjured a style that can be categorized as classic New York boom-bap with a progressive twist. Rappers/producers EP and Matter Ov Fact’s lyrics are abstract and thought provoking, yet amusingly complex and comical. The type of verses you may have to rewind a few times to catch every metaphor and double entendre. Even then, you may still be a bit befuddled.
Instrumentals consist of dingy and dark samples layered over understated drum kits, lately transitioning into more funk, still with The Doppelgangaz’ unique panache. The Orange County, NY, duo has made waves within the culture and plans to continue throughout 2018 beginning with thier latest AAAAGGGHH album — out today.
We caught up with The Doppelgangaz after returning from their most recent European tour:
First off, what a pleasure and honor to interview you guys. Peace to y’all.
EP: Peace kehd!
EP and Matter Ov Fact; best friends growing up? How did you guys meet and end up forming The Doppelgangaz?
MOF: We’ve known each other since single digit age man. I think we first bonded over Wolverine and Shawn Kemp. As far as music goes, dudes loved listening so much that we decided to create.
What was it like growing up in Orange County, NY?
EP: It was the exact duplicate experience of growing up in Orange County, CA. People don’t realize that the coasts Doppelgang each other in a massive experiment conducted by the government. We have twins that live in Orange County, CA replicating our exact movements, thoughts etc. just mirrored on the west coast.
MOF: It was dead poppin.
When and why did the infamous cloaks come into play?
MOF: Probably around 2008. We realized that we couldn’t be seen in the clothes we were wearing so we needed something to cover up.
How has your fan base and the hip hop community taken to your latest release, “Dopp Hopp”?
EP: It’s actually been quite overwhelming for us really. We made “Dopp Hopp” as a statement piece to show off the versatility and expected some sort of possible backlash for us continuing to evolve and explore new sounds. But to our surprise, it was met with open arms! We were super pleased with it’s reception because we love it and put a shet ton of blood, sweat, tears and other bodily fluids into it.
Is EP still at the helm of the production? What is a typical song writing process for the Groggy Pack?
EP: If letting Big Josh do all the programming and sequencing, while we watch from afar constitutes being at the helm of production, then yes. Still the same. Writing for us as well as production is never a standard process. It always switches, but like we tend to say, we need brothel chicks with us alongside massive piles of designer intoxicants.
MOF: It takes a village, so we just let everyone else do the work and then stamp the Dopp name on it.
As another European tour is on the horizon, are you guys excited?
MOF: Gangaz love to see shark nation worldwide.
What’s your favorite country or city to perform at while in Europe, and which country has the most hype fans?
EP: No favorites because we love them all the same, but if you want to talk a sleeper country that has a shet ton of energy, then I’d have to say Belgium. Always surprised with how intense shows get there, especially after we’ll do a bunch of high energy shows in Germany. Somehow Belgium just knows how to go sick!
With so many uncanny medical field references in your lyrics, does this come from Big Josh being a nurse and keeping you guys informed?
MOF: Haha Big Josh isn’t a nurse, but he is a very caring person. We just happen to think the medical field has too many ill words.
Along with medical jargon, there’s more food talk than a kitchen in a 5 star restaurant. What would your last meals on Death Row be?
MOF: All I would need is some ackee and saltfish over some dumplings.
What can fans expect from The Doppelgangaz in 2018 (album, instrumental projects, merch..etc)
EP: Shark Nation better be prepared. We got “AAAAGGGHH” dropping, “BFBV4” dropping, plus some other goodies a long with a shet ton of merch. It’s not stopping kehd!
MOF: Much Love kehd! Thank you.
Watch their latest video for “Slay Bellz” off their “AAAAGGGHH” album
The Doppelgangaz are currently on a United States (West Coast) run and plan to run a second European tour for late 2018.