Koncept came into our world about a year ago. His infectious personality and chilled out East Coast rapper vibe makes it impossible not to like him. He and J57 are about to release a project called The Fuel. They have also been working with Hollis on a song called “Porcelain” which is the lead single on the project.
The Fuel is scheduled to drop November 20, 2015, paving the way for Koncept & J57’s forthcoming debut LP, Flight, coming in 2016. Stay tuned.
Koncept & J57 met in 2008 while working at Fat Beats, the West Village record store that was the launchpad for so many underground rap artists while it was open from 1993-2010. Later, along with four Fat Beats co-workers, they formed Brown Bag AllStars, a rap collective that impressed with its tough-guy lyricism, eventually turning heads while opening for Ghostface Killah at Atlanta hip-hop festival and proving ground A3C.
In the wake of this incendiary performance, Red Bull Music chose Koncept as part of its artist development and discovery program. With this platform in mind, Koncept & J57 refocused their energies on music that would resonate with a wider audience. The result is their new EP The Fuel—a riveting underdog tale told as if the duo is looking back on its legacy a la ESPN’s SportsCentury. Fired up, Koncept details his hip-hop hustle over J57’s big-statement music, the whole affair filled with ecstatic anticipation for the real-life successes on the horizon.
The Fuel challenges listeners to decipher exactly what motivates our two heroes, while Koncept grapples with the very same question. On opening track “Porcelain”—featuring Hollis of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis “White Walls” fame—Koncept remembers fallen icons Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G. and Robin Williams as he reminds himself to breathe (“Inhale it to breathe now, I’m always exhausted / My fam thinks I’ve lost it, and you think I’m awesome, which really is it?”), but as he clarifies from the jump, he’s after more than just fame. The title track, featuring Brown Bag AllStars collaborator Akie Bermiss, lands closer to an answer, hinging on an anecdotal lyric inspired by Koncept’s own single-parent family: “A woman feeds her kid full meals, having no job / and she did it with her clothes on.”