AG Club Brings Genre-Bending Rap from the Bay to LA: Genre-bending hip-hop collective AG Club was formed by Baby Boy and Jody Fontaine in Brentwood, in the East Bay part of the Bay Area, in 2017. Their mission was simple: have a session, make music together.
But things picked up steam pretty quickly. A string of well-received projects and singles has seen them generate an audible buzz, and a move from the Bay to LA helped push them forward. Things are going exceedingly well, yet they still can’t nail down their sound.
“Personally, I would say that the sound now is a little more of a focused version of what we were doing in the beginning, which was really just like making cool songs,” says Fontaine. “In the beginning, maybe our subject matter and stuff like that wasn’t very focused because it was reflecting what was going on at the time, and we were a little bit younger than we are now. I was just getting out of high school, Baby Boy was still in high school. So I feel like, now that we’ve gone through all that we’ve gone through, and this thing has come so far, we’re making music that is a little bit more focused but still has that youthful sense of exploration. That’s why we always say that we’re genre-less, because it’s just like us trying things. We’re very experimental.”
The guys were doing just fine in Brentwood, but when they got picked up by manager Brad Scoffern (who previously worked with Tyler, the Creator), a move down south made sense.
“We visited LA and then we went back home, and COVID and quarantine stuff was happening,” says Fontaine. “So it was really difficult for us to work with him, and then we got a lawyer. We started building a team, and everyone else was in LA, and we were still in Brentwood. So it just made the most sense. I don’t think it had much to do with anything more than that. We needed to be closer to our team.”
The group’s next single is “Kevin,” a song that has an interesting backstory involving a real-life Kevin.
“Months ago, we collectively watched the jen-yuhs documentaries by Kanye, and that really put a battery in our back,” Baby Boy says. “Our main producer/engineer Isaac Rose, we were working in his room. There was not a lot of space. Then after we watched the jen-yuhs documentaries, we were just like, ‘it’s time to hunker down.’ Upstairs in our house, there’s this big room, this open space, and we just converted it into a full-on workspace. We had been going back and forth with Epic about what our overall vision is, yadda, yadda, yadda. There was this guy that was working as part of our team and his name was Kevin. We just felt like, out of everyone that was there and everyone that was on our team, he was the one that really got what we were trying to do. The day that we made the ‘Kevin’ track, Kevin called us and told us that he was going to be leaving Epic. It was a big hit.”
The real Kevin, the guys say, doesn’t know about the song yet, at least at the time of writing. He probably will by the summer, when it shows up on their currently untitled new album.
“We’ve been working really hard on this album for the greater part of this year,” says Fontaine. “Honestly, we’ve been working on this since last year. We’ve had concepts and different things. Last year, we took a trip to Oregon, and we were working on music there and stuff. I feel like every project that we’ve done has documented our lives at that point in time. Our first project, Halfway off the Porchwas showing the different things we were going through trying to jump off the porch and create these lives for ourselves. Fuck Your Expectations was the next level, the next phase, where we had jumped off the porch and now we were trying to not fold under the pressures of what people expect from us.”
As for the next chapter, this album will detail the start of their success as they make headway in the industry.
“We’ve had some pretty big successes as far as we can tell with certain songs and certain themes,” Fontaine says. “It’s like, now people are starting to think of us in such and such light. Putting these labels on us or whatever. We’re being championed for things that don’t define us necessarily, but in the same vein we’re being defined by those things. So it’s like, feeling like you don’t necessarily deserve certain accomplishments because you feel like they’re not a true reflection of you. Trying to figure out where the line is between being conscious of great things that you’ve done while at the same time not feeling like you constantly have to live up to something. That’s this new stage in our lives and that defines this next project. That’s why there are so many different lanes on this next project. We’re doing so many different things. We dropped a rap record, but also there’s some funk, all these different things because they’re all different people.”
Looking ahead, Baby Boy says that there’s a lot to come this year from AG Club, including videos, a tour with Pusha T and a trip to Europe.
“We come back home and go back on the road with Denzel [Curry] for the fall,” adds Fontaine. “We don’t want to become project-based artists necessarily – that’s where we’ve been in the last few years. Drop a project, wait, drop another. So after this one, I feel like we’ll start experimenting with different ways to roll things out. Visual ideas, a single, just having fun with dropping shit now that things are getting a little bit more normal.”
AG Club Brings Genre-Bending Rap from the Bay to LA: AG Club’s “Kevin” single is out June 10. The album is due out in the summer.