Celebrating the Two-Year Anniversary of Litty Boyz International
By Chioma Nwana
Every year still in the game is a good year, and Litty Boyz International (LBI) is celebrating two. From podcasts, to music development, to art direction, to a clothing brand, LBI has spent the past 730 days running three-man weaves and executing full-court plays. To mark the successful completion of a second season and the beginning of a third season, SVGE’s Chioma Nwana talked stats with two-thirds of the founding members of LBI, Kile Childress and Drew Bosompem:
Drew Bosompem: Litty Boyz INTL is a creative content company. It's the umbrella for everything we do, from the clothing to our podcast. 2-3 ZONE falls under that umbrella, and it's basically the music and creative direction team that Kile and I started. We work as an agency to help artists with their singles, EPs, and albums. Kile handles the creative and art direction along with two of our homies, Rich and Nyles (VernellVision), who are graphic designers. I play more of an A&R role and work with two of our main producers, Taleil Brown and JSPIZZY.
Kile Childress: Litty Boyz INTL is what we represent and identify with as young Black men. We’re regular guys that happen to do some cool shit within the process, and that makes us lit. 2-3 ZONE is a creative agency that deals with music development, A&R, marketing, and creative and art direction. Drew handles more of the music side, and I handle more of the creative and art direction for artists or my clothing brand called “S.H.A.R.K.S - Stay Hungry And Remember Keep Striving.”
How did the two of you come together? Feel free to talk about Nyles as well, as I know he’s an integral part of the LBI brand.
KC: I met Drew on twitter at first and then we’d randomly be at the same functions. He also supported the brand in the early stages. I first met Nyles on twitter, and then I randomly seen him in person at my job when I was late to work, and the second time I met him, we were at a show together in Philly.
DB: We were following each other on Twitter for a while and the idea for the podcast came up around 2015. I met Kile at a couple events, but all three of us started kicking it and talking about where we could take the brand about two years ago. I randomly tweeted #littyboyzintl and Nyles saw it. He sent me four designs for LBI the next day. I tweeted it and tagged them in it. It got the biggest response to a tweet that I had gotten at that point, so it just made sense to stick with that as the name.
Speaking of Nyles, how has the transition been? What changes have y’all had to make to your execution plan in his absence?
KC: It was different at first because that’s the homie and we were so used to him being around, helping out with the cover art, and being a part of photoshoots for the brand. We’re good now because we figured out what we needed to do to keep the brand going while he’s in the Air Force. We came up with the 2-3 ZONE agency, which would promote LBI and ourselves as individuals.
DB: At first, the transition was rough because Nyles does all of our cover art and designs, so we needed to find someone else to do that for us. It threw momentum off that we were just starting to gain, but everything is a lot smoother now, and he's back on deck handling our graphic design for LBI/2-3 ZONE. He recently did the album design/booklet for our friend Rwude's album, "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish."
November 23rd is the two-year anniversary of LBI. Can you give me one word to describe your first year and one word to describe your second year? What has been a defining factor of this year for y’all?
KC: Genesis. Building. We’re actually making the right moves, and some of the things we put out in the universe last year are coming to fruition.
DB: The biggest difference I can point out between our first year and our second year is our level of seriousness. I don't think we were really being that serious about the brand our first year. A lot of the small wins we that we gained in 2017 were based off of us making things up as we went along. We didn't plan our efforts out as much as we should have. We were just being ourselves. The internet played a part in it, but we were pulling up on people and events to show our faces while spreading the brand. That helped a lot with how we moved this year. By the time we started the second season of the podcast, we set actual plans in place for us to follow through with. All we had was the podcast, but that slowly developed into making LBI a creative content company. From then, we created 2-3 ZONE, looked into securing the LLC, and started looking for an office space in October. It's like a complete 360 from how we moved last year.
How do you measure or quantify the growth of LBI and 2-3 Zone?
KC: You don’t. It’s a lifestyle. We’re of the people that are for the people.
DB: Two things that helped me gauge our growth this year are our office space search and the transition we made from a podcast to a company. To keep it real, last year we weren't thinking about the possibility of having an office at all. It seemed too far-fetched, but this year, an office is necessary for us. That's a big jump. Creating 2-3 ZONE and having artists trust us with their vision is something I didn't see coming. We really grew a lot.
Speaking of growth, since its recent conception, 2-3 ZONE already has an album placement under its belt. What was that process like?
KC: It was cool. We got to see the ins and outs of what an album process looks like, from creating the concept of the song, to before the song is recorded, to behind the scenes of the photoshoot.
DB: It was fun, man. It was trying, too. “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” took almost two years to make, and it's only seven songs. We were around the whole time the project was being made, but I didn't get involved until this year. I played the A&R role along with Taleil, who executive produced it. Kile was around soaking up game and eventually becoming Rwude's manager. In the process of making the album, each of us grew individually into our roles. Rwude isn't someone that's into making disposable music and that mindset won't you allow to cut corners. We really had to be patient and see it through, but in the end, it was worth it. I'm really happy with how it came out.
When two people work together so often and so well, it’s easy to begin to think of them as a singular unit. It’s important to remember that they’re individuals with lives and aspirations of their own. With that being said, are either of you currently working on any solo projects?
KC: Yeah, the plan for the new year is to drop a website/blog, release some late-winter to early-spring merch, and creative direct a video.
DB: Yeah, I've been running my site since September. It's been dope to see the reception I've gotten from it so far. I've been moving around, trying to connect with a bunch of artists in Jersey. Just trying to get myself plugged in as an A&R. 2018 was my first year taking it seriously, so I'm ready to do a lot more work under 2-3 ZONE next year.
On the topic of projects, I understand that the two of y’all have a project underway. What can you tell us about that right now? Will you be running a 2-3 ZONE on your own court? Or will you be looking for another coach?
DB: We have a compilation album titled “Everybody's Favorite Cousins Vol. 1” that's dropping next summer. It's a project with all of our homies that make dope music, and I'm really excited about it. We're running the plays through 2-3 right now. We can't speak on the details just yet, since it’s so early, but we have the concept for it, and we already started the process of putting it together, so be on the lookout for that.
KC: To say the least, the tape is going to feel like a night out with the homies or your homegirls, and y’all just got paid.
Who are some industry OGs whose execution/work ethic/visions guide the two of y’all as you develop your brands?
KC: In no particular order, Dom Kennedy, Curren$y, TDE, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z.
DB: So many, but Josh Peas & Anwar Carrots, TDE, OPM, Rocafella, the 4Hunnid brand, Daymond John and Cinematic Music Group, to name a few.
I asked y’all to give me one word to describe your first and second year. Give me a word to describe your third year. What can we expect from y’all in 2019?
KC: Elevating. Growth from the brand and us as individuals.
DB: Expansion. The plan is to take the brand way farther than Jersey and spread our reach. You can either be the best players on a team or be the best in the league. We're aiming for MVP next year.