INTERVIEW: 80 Empire

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey guys thanks for having us! Things are great all things considering. A lot going on in the world and it’s happening in real time. This pandemic is like living in the twighlight zone, but more importantly we really want to see the fall of systemic racism! Racism needs to end period! We want to see more diversity in every aspect of society. Want the earth to be a better place for our children and their children’s children.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “LEGACY”?

Ya Legacy is our latest single and will also be the name of the entire project. It features Conway the Machine who is buzzing right now and our brother Balistic Man. Both are from Buffalo.

We grew up in Toronto but now live in the Niagara region. It’s closer to get to Buffalo then it is Toronto. ( pre- pandemic ), so their’s defintley that influence in the verses. The chorus, we think is very anthemic and really is a proclamation that life is short, make it count but work hard, make memories, and be honorable while creating them. Things don’t happen over night. We all go through things as people but it’s how we navigate through the bad times that ultimately shapes our Legacies.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I think we were raised by two Amazing parents who gifted us this crazy, yet luminous passion and relentless drive to continue creating music, regardless of how big the reward. We are also devoted family men so we wanted to make a song that embodied all of these elements, but also to have other artists that we admire and respect both personally and creatively to tell their Legacy story. ie. Conway and Balistic. From life on the streets to Balistic’s time in the feds prison ). Also the art work that our good friend ( brother ) There be Monsters aka Matthew Smith put together embodies all of these elements. You have the city of Buffalo and a Huge Lion Head with a crown on his head. Lions are majestic and synonymous with the whole ideology of honor, strength and legacy. Also the lion is one of the first symbols of ancient Rome ( we are Italalian and our mom comes from the Rome area ) so Even the artwork is a reflection and connection to our various heritages and the things we identify with in the world, both philosophically and geographically.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

We are in the works right now, colloborating with some Future NHL stars that were on team Canada. Can’t give it all away  but we are pumped about the concept and the potential of this dope collabo.

How was the recording and writing process?

It’s always fun for us, never gets old. Love getting verses back from people that’s always exciting. Because we are working with so many people all over the place, many times all communication is being done via email and phone, even zoom then people email in their verses and we do the same. It’s always nice to have that in studio experience as well.

What role does Ontario play in your music?

I think we have always been extremely influenced by African/American culture and being that Ontario is right beside Newyork state, that has defintley played a role in shaping our sound. Also being that Toronto specifically, has a diverse demographic of people from the Caribbean, we were exposed to such a rich and cultural musical upbringing and listened to alot of calypso and regaee music as kids because of our parents. We are fortunate to live in a province that is so multicultural and where all of this incredible music was so accessible to us at an early age! All of these factors contributed to the Gladiator records /80 Empire sound.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

We are so used to colloborating with people because we’ve done it from the start. However there’s nothing like our brotherly bond. Just today we made a song maybe in 30minutes, we get each other and often know what the other is thinking without even having to say it. We don’t always get that same connectedness with someone your working with for the first time unless their is a genuine connection.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Ya definitely tons of songs were talking about, our Legacy project has tons of singles with so many dope artists from Long Beach California’s Kxng Crooked to putting out a joint album with Swifty Mcvay from D12 July 16th.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

For the whole Legacy project we’re just dropping single after single from already released singles with Fred the Godson ( RIP ), Bishop Lamont, Laz and more to come with Kid Vishus, Evil Ebeneezer, Statik Selekt, Masta Ace and many many more.

Any plans to hit the road?

We were planning on filming some indie films and some documentaries but have to put that on hold while the border is closed.

What else is happening next in 80Empire’ world?

More music, opportunity, film, televison…the universe is opening up!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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