How The Rap Game Paved The Way for Hip-Hop Duo 2 Crucial
Hailing from Atlanta, the mecca of Black entertainment, 2-Crucial should be anything, but slept on. JR and Chez are the make-up of hip hop duo, 2 Crucial, who have been recording music since before they were ten. Since being discovered by their father, the two have been afforded the opportunity to work with industry mavens such as Metro Boomin, Cassius Jay, 808 Mafia, and more. Recently, they’ve worked with Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael Cox for their single, “I Set Trends”, which was debuted on Lifetime’s The Rap Game, executively produced by hip hop legend and actress Queen Latifah. In this SVGE Magazine exclusive, the two brothers bare all about working together, handling fans and how The Rap Game leveraged their brand.
D’Shonda Brown: Do you two ever find it hard to work with one another, like separating business from being related, seeing that you guys are brothers?
JR: No, I never find it hard to work with my brother.
DB: So, you find it a lot easier?
JR: Yeah, it’s a lot easier because we catch onto each other’s vibes. Sometimes, we’ll get into it, but --
Chezz: We’re brothers at the end of the day.
DB: What is the most valuable thing you two have learned about the music industry so far?
JR: A lot of hate. A lot of hate going on, but we still stay dedicated and stay working.
Chezz: Because, you know, we naturally got it.
JR: Naturally talented (laughs).
DB: Does this include social media trolls, and stuff like that?
Chezz: Yeah, there’s hate on that, too.
JR: But you have to ignore it. We try to ignore it.
Chezz: That’s what comes with it; that’s just what comes with the game.
DB: Aside from hate, I know you guys get a lot of love and support. How supportive are your friends and family of your dream?
JR: They’re one-hundred percent. They support. They’re like our number one fans. They support everything we do; any and everything we do.
Chezz: We gotta go hard for them because they’re depending on us. We gotta go hard.
What inspired you guys to first get into the music industry?
Chezz: Coming up and listening to this rapper, Lil’ Wayne. I know y’all have heard of him.
JR: And listening to other rappers. That’s who inspired us to rap.
Chezz: My family just loves music period, so we just caught on ---
JR: Came up in music (laughs) We just vibed off of that and started rapping ourselves.
Speaking of music, do you guys have different musical tastes aside from the music you create? Or anything that you two like to listen to individually?
Chezz: We got a lot of talent, so we’re into different things. We’ll mix it up and put a little R&B in there, put a little hip-hop ---
JR: We’ll listen to a little R&B, jazz, old school R&B. That always works (laughs). That’s where we come from.
So, when you say “old school R&B”, do you mean like New Edition, Cameo, etc.?
JR: We mean, like that Bruno Mars. We rock with that Bruno Mars.
What’s your favourite Bruno Mars song?
JR: “That’s What I Like”.
Chezz: Yeah, the one that just dropped.
JR: It’s going crazy! I like that one. That’s my favourite and he just dropped it!
You guys made an appearance on The Rap Game. Did that at all leverage your brand in the industry? Did your fanbase start to go up more?
Chezz: It definitely built our publicity, you know? We got a lot of attention off of that!
JR: It basically took things to the next level. Being on TV - international TV - how can’t it go up? It was lit!
Chezz: Great experience!
I know that you guys are young, so do you ever find it too hard to deal with the fame and the publicity of becoming rap superstars?
Chezz: No, not really. I feel like I’m used to it now.
JR: I feel like all of our fans are cool, like they’ll just come up and ask for a little picture. I mean, that’s the most that’ll happen unless we’re at a show. Then it gets crazy. When we’re performing, that’s when fans get crazy. When we’re in the mall, they’ll still go crazy, but they’ll just ask for a picture.
Chezz: It’s what comes with the rapping thing, you know? So, before I even started, I thought about that. Like, “Am I ready for that?”, or “do I really want to go through that?”. I told myself, “Yeah, I can”. I love it when my fans come up to me, I love all my fans.
JR: We’ve also seen other rappers do it.
Would you say that your fans give you the motivation to keep going?
Chezz: Yes, they definitely do. They’re the ones that support you and they will not let you down.
Speaking of fans, do you have any upcoming projects that your fans should be on the lookout for?
JR: We got one that we just dropped and it’s out RIGHT NOW called Set Trends 2. Go get it...everywhere! Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, 2CrucialWorld.
Chezz: Link in our bios on Instagram (@JR_2Crucial, @Chez_2Crucial). Go get that!
Where do you guys see yourselves in the next year?
Chezz: At the top (laughs)!
JR: Or, at least, on another level. Bigger than where we are now, you know, and we’re just trying to keep it going.
DB: What about maybe five, ten years from now?
JR: That’s when you say “on top”!
All images captured by Ashlyn Baldwin.