We got a chance to sit down with rap duo and amazing humans Blimes and Gab at Soundset to chat about their music!
WMXM: Tell me about how you ladies started making music, and what made you want to start working with each other as a duo?
Gifted Gab: Oh man, well I sure didn’t seek her out, that’s for sure.
Blimes: Damn, you really gonna play me like that? We don’t know who friend requested who on Facebook. We still argue about it, like you definitely friend requested me.
Gab: I don’t send friend requests–
Blimes: I don’t either, so who was it? It’s a mystery. The universe was just like “Y’all are friends now”.
Gab: Honestly, how this whole thing came to be was literally happenstance and like not forcing anything. So us just finding each other on Facebook, being friends through the inter-webs, and then her coming to Seattle to do some other work and we ended up linking up–and weren’t doing music, we just kinda kicked it and had a crazy night.
Blimes: Crazy night, we saw a forty person street brawl, we ended up getting into a fist fight–
Gab: Yeah we ended up fighting someone together–
Blimes: So we became family. Sisters for life.
Gab: The first time we EVER met. It was crazy. So yeah, the next time she came to Seattle, we end up making the song, the very next time we meet we shoot the video. So between the time we met and when we put out “Come Correct”, we had only met like three times. So just the universe doing its thing, and then yeah after that I moved to LA and the internet made us a group…We’ve literally only known each other for a year, so it’s just a testament to our character, and who we were before music, cause when music unites people it can be fickle, but when you’re just on another level it makes it easier to have a rap partner.
Blimes: It’s nice to have a partner in this thing, to face the world with. It’s nice on stage to have somebody to team up with, and kick back and forth bars to, and it alleviates some of the pressure from us, and in that sense it alleviates some of the pressure in the admin part of our business. it alleviates some of the pressure when we’re dealing with record labels and agents and managers and the business side of things. its really nice to have someone who has your back, working together and trying to get a good team in place, and we know that no matter what, we have each other’s back, and that feeling is like really valuable in this industry especially as women.
WMXM: You’re from Seattle and San Francisco respectively, how did your backgrounds create your individual styles and how do those styles work together when you started collaborating?
Gab: I mean were both very West Coast, and I mean, I like to give her sh*t but Seattle does get a lot from the Bay so were very kindred souls, so at one point during that time, growing up in Seattle was much more diverse, and a whole lot of culture with the grunge scene, and just hella artists in general–sculptors, painters, a whole lot of artists so its a very artsy scene, and I mean, as well as san Francisco, the gentrification and things that are happening sort of at the same speed, both cities with big tech companies and a lot of transplants coming, so there are a lot of similarities and we can relate to a lot of the same stuff, and that plays into it as well.
Blimes: Yeah. To watch the culture be erased in both of our cities, we have some camaraderie for each other in that sense, you know, we commiserate with each other. San Francisco had the free love movement in the 60s and tons of artists and hippies and just so many spiritual people. its a city of immigrants and working class people, there’s so much industry in the bay because of the ports and it brought so many different people and so many different cultures tot he bay, and then the art– the artists and the culture that was there. it was a place that was affordable, beautiful, and had great industry. My dad came to San Francisco for music, he was a blues musician. my grandfather was a jazz musician, but my father moved to San Francisco and there was a huge blues scene in the north beach district, and my father played in all those clubs, and his band is still successful because of those days. He grinds his ass off on the road every year as a 60 year old man, he’s still working but I learned from him how to work hard in this industry, how to stay focused, how to literally just–I watched him work so hard. He is the tour manager for his band, and he’s the bass player, and he’s been the leader of the band for 30 years, and to watch him work that hard and give it all he has really taught me how to work hard, and it taught me a lot about the admin side of this business, so I take that and I take the love of music. Lyricism happens to be what I think I’m best suited for, in music, otherwise I would’ve ended up singing or playing instruments more, but I think I was able to take that kind of honesty of blues music that I was raised on and put it into the genre that I was most exposed to which was hip hop and when Gab and I get together, I think she does her and I do me, whether it’s singing, rapping, both, whatever we can do to bring it together on the track, it’s all been happenstance and we just try and keep that vibe alive in the studio–we try and just vibe with each other, whatever the other one wants to do, we give each other a little helpful criticism here and there, but we never step on each other’s toes, it’s really a pleasure to work with each other, and we bring different things to the table so it’s fun.
WMXM: “Nasty” is your first single that came out as B.A.G., how have things changed since it came out in 2018? I know you both did a VEVO live event, so what has all of that sort of been like?
Gab: It was hella fun. I mean New York is one of our favorite places.
Blimes: That was early on, it was right at the beginning of things so we were like up there, 25 stories above Times Square, playing this live session for VEVO, that was the thing where we were like “Oh sh*t, we’re doing something here, people are interested.” What’s changed?
Gab: Um, I mean obviously more people recognize us, you know, followers have gone up on social medias–
Blimes: We recorded an album, so people probably saw “Come Correct” and then “Nasty” is under B.A.G. but were like, “Okay, so?” So we have an album, it’s *this* close to being done.
WMXM: Is there a release date on it yet? A season maybe?
Blimes: Very soon, we’ll announce and then keep the content coming. We had solo albums that were done when we met, so we had to make sure we delivered those, which we just did. “Castles” and “Cause and Effect”.
WMXM: Which are amazing, by the way.
Blimes: Thank you, so we’re finishing the promo for those and then we’ll be back to B.A.G., because people wanna hear it and we’re excited to give it to them… It’ll be crazy to see what our solo albums are like after working together, because we’ve grown so much together and we made all of that before so it’ll be really cool to see how our solo music will be elevated after working so closely.
WMXM: Do you think that it’ll be the same pattern going forward, of solo stuff then B.A.G. stuff and then more solo stuff?
Gab: That’s a good-ass question. I mean we obviously want to keep our individuality while also maintaining this group thing, so I don’t know if it’ll be so cut and dry like that, but yeah we’ll be putting out B.A.G. stuff and stuff of our own as well, but if we go on tour or anything, like I’m not gonna be somewhere without her and vice versa, so even if it’s solo stuff it’ll still be a ball.
Blimes: I think, too, it just depends on the reception, you know.
Gab: Yeah, we shall see–
Blimes: –more shall be revealed.
WMXM: If you could each sit down to a lunch and a chat with anyone from the music industry, alive or dead, past or present, who would it be and why?
Blimes: Could we put Barack Obama in the music industry real quick? I really wanna have a meal with Barack Obama.
Gab: One person?
WMXM: or like top 3 if you’ve got them? This is a hardball question, I’m really sorry.
Gab: It is! It’s tough, okay. One would have to be Big L. Two, Shuga Free, three, oh man, maybe like James Brown. Oh man, I love him so much, he’s like one of those guys that like “This is all of my uncles and my older cousins and my grandpas all balled into one guy.” He’s very boisterous, a little wild, but like so f**kin talented and serious as hell. I’ve seen all the documentaries of James Brown, always just inspired about the way that he ran his sh*t, like he had his band and stuff and as much as he was on point, his band needed to be on point too. Like, they’d be performing and if one of the band members would f**k up, he’d flash a sign to show like how much was coming out of their check, or how much they’d have to pay. And I’m like, damn I wish I could do something like that, maybe at one point I will, because that’s the type of perfection that comes with greatness. If you’re gonna be great, everyone around you has to be great, everyone has to be doing their job, and also at the same time, still being you. James Brown was a wild motherf**ker, and thats why I’d like to sit down with him–because he would have all the stories and through all the adversities through his life, he still managed to be one of the greats.
Blimes: I would say, Mac Miller is a really important one to me, I felt like we were on a path–I started rapping before I knew who he was and I’m a bit older than him but as soon as he came out people were comparing us right out of the gate, and rap-wise his music resonated with me, I felt like we were very similar, and outside of rap music the way he spoke, the things that he cared about, his love for women and just his being, his spirit, I feel like we would have been friends… and when he died I really felt sad, like I had lost a friend, cause I thought that we were kindred spirits and I thought that at some point we would meet. I thought at some point we would meet and then at one point have a friendship with each other, and it was really sad. For what he brought to music it was sad, and for what he brought to everyone around him that he uplifted, it’s crazy to hear all of these stories that come out, about all of these lives he touched that we didn’t even know because it wasn’t as public, but Mac Miller. I’d love to have lunch with him, I’d love to talk to him about growing up, just young white rascals who grew up in really cultured areas and the effect it had on our lives and our music, and the music that touched us. Tupac Shakur, one of the most interesting human beings I’ve ever watched, he’s so profound I just wanna listen to him speak for hella long… and I wanna say a music industry exec cause I’d love to get the knowledge you know? But I can’t think of anybody that I respect enough right now to name them off, I gotta do my homework a little more on that.
Gab: I would say Nipsey as an honorable mention. He’s another one like ‘pac where you dont have a conversation with them, you listen to what he has to say to you, cause he’s gonna give you something to take away from it.
Blimes: Man, Diana Ross?
WMXM: for sure, we’ve had a couple people say Amy Winehouse too.
Gab: Oh, thats a good one.
Blimes: I’d like to soak up the game from a woman who was successful when it was so hard for women to be successful, so that’s where it’s at for me.
WMXM: What’s the one thing you want people to take away from your music?
Gab: The one thing I want people to take away from my music… damn, that’s a good question, that’s thought-provoking
Blimes: For me, I got into music because I felt like an outcast and a misfit, and it gave me a home with a group of peers, and I wanted to feel love and acceptance and music is a way that I can communicate with people that garnered that love and acceptance. So for me, I just want people to know that they are loved, they are accepted, that they’re beautiful, you know. I want them to feel worthy because we are–we’re worthy of love and acceptance. It’s also okay to be honest and be who you are, and I think we’re in a place in hip hop where that’s cool again and I love that, cause I feel my best when I’m being my most genuine self. So everybody out there, learn to get comfortable with being your most genuine self, if you aren’t already, and if you are, more power to you. Love you.
Gab: That was really cute. Um, I think mine would be the same thing, I think just be yourself, don’t try to fit into any mold–when you’re not being yourself, it’s pretty easy for people to tell that that’s not really you. I really pride myself on trying to be me across the board. I mean I be wildin’ on twitter, I’ll be saying whatever but at the same time, that’s me, you know. So just be you and be apologetic when you have to, but don’t apologize for sh*t because we’re all on our own different journeys so whatever works for you, let that be your thing. Yeah, just stay you, stay true.
Blimes: Yeah, and I think to take it a tiny bit farther, when the two of us come together, I think that speaks to people really loudly, like we’re very different individuals, and our lives have been very different. But we also learn to grow through that difference and we teach each other so much, we have this yin and yang balance effect, and my life has grown so much, I feel like the betterment of self has improved since meeting Gabbie and we just learn so much from each other.
Gab: She’s the inspirational one that’ll like make you cry, and I’m the one thats like “Shut the f**k up”–I don’t like to take sh*t seriously, and I don’t know, I don’t wanna force myself to put myself out there as far as like a role model, or like I don’t know–if you can find something to take away from me that you can see in yourself or that you can find upstanding or whatever, that’s what’s up. I’m just being me, and I think that’s gonna carry me through life. Cause the real recognize the real.
Listen to B.A.G.’s single “Nasty” below:
Listen to Blimes’ newest solo album:
Listen to Gifted Gab’s newest solo album: