After the weed smoke dissipated and the Andre was tapped, it was finally time to sit down with the Flatbush collective, NYC LAW$, and get a glimpse into their musical process and lives. The 12-man group boasts impressive qualities: Unity, brotherhood, confidence and ability. While 12-men claim the LAW$ as their bloodline, only a select few claim the group’s formation. Incepted under the direction of crew leader, Kalonji, and his high school buddies, KiKi and Tex, the LAW$ are tirelessly working to prove why they deserve your time and ears.
Tightly packed into their darkly-lit recording studio sharing a jay, champagne and stories, I noticed something: These guys are having the best time. Constantly smiling, cracking jokes and just shooting the shit, the NYC LAW$ understand the importance of simply finding joy in every situation. They love what they’re doing: Making music, creating and dreaming, all in the company of their best friends. But don’t mistake their jovial nature for a lack of ambition—they know what they’re up against.
It’s damn tough to make it in this industry. I know it, you know it, the LAW$ know it. With seemingly non-existent barriers to entry, any clown can make a SoundCloud page and “effectively” compete in the music space. The LAW$ are so familiar with the arduous aspects of life that they created their own vernacular for difficult situations: Huff. “Yo, it’s really hard out here for us…sometimes man, that shit just gets huff,” Kalonji solemnly says. But that’s what friends are for, right? NYC LAW$ are a full-service entity who encompass multiple facets of the creative process. They have members responsible for merchandise, filmography and publicity—all quarterbacked by their manager, Dizz Taylor. Yes, life might get “huff”, but that doesn’t deter them; it inspires them to create.
The group’s frontrunners, Kalonji, Chaad and ShowGen—they all use the suffix “LAW$” in their rap names—dropped their rookie tape, LAW$ of Life, in 2015. The eight-track project takes listeners on an excursion through life filtered by the LAW$’ lens. When you put the earbuds in and press play on this project, it’s like lacing up your kicks and walking through the streets of Flatbush. In their words, “It’s more than just street life tales; it’s a motivational tale; a spiritual tale.” They touch upon harsh realities imposed on them on tracks like “Laws Life”—“This is the life that we were given/You either play ball or go to prison”; they discuss how their homies are an irreplaceable support network; they talk about life according to the LAW$.
Since this tape’s drop, the LAW$ have been droppin’ bars in the studio regularly as well recruiting new members. One of their newest additions, Izz LAW$, is a formative spitter who models his bars and flow after arguably the game’s best lyricist, Eminem. Izz has a diverse repertoire of rhymes and is the Joseph Pilates of lyrical flexibility. Watching him rap is truly an experience—he drifts off into his own world and at the end of his 16 his face bears a resemblance to Will Ferrell in Old School after he wins the debate (What happened? I blacked out.).
It’s amazing watching these kids champion each other and one simply feels inspired being in their presence. They’ve got dreams—big ones. Despite their young age, they understand the importance of surrounding yourself with honest and supportive individuals who share a common goal. The Flatbush group is expecting to follow-up their 2015 LAW$ of Life release with a collective project, 48 LAW$ of Power, later this year and it will feature more members than their inaugural drop. In the words of former Jet’s star Bart Scott, “Can’t wait!”
ZeusWolf Choice Picks: