F**kin’ Kicking It with FKi (Exclusive Interview)

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1st Down and Saucelord Rich create great music and work with some of the best artists of our time, but that won’t ever stop them from fucking kicking it (or FKi to shorten). This ATL duo have been making major moves in the game for longer than you may realize and have produced for/with some of the great from both the Hip hop and EDM spheres. However, this isn’t to say one could categorize these two under one specific sound classification. The music FKi makes doesn’t nessecarily transcend genres, but more accurately bulldozes over music’s arbitrary boundaries and coasts into the sunset with a middle finger raised high and proud. If genre-splicing is near an end, FKi has something to do with it. They were kind enough to answer my few questions in anticipation of their forthcoming EP. Onto our conversation.

Eargrub: Tell me about your new Every Day Matters EP from an insiders perspective:

1st: Well, we’re kind of hypocrites, actually. We know every day matters, but at the same time we don’t give a fuck. That’s where the name came from. As far as the sound, we’re just mashing up different genres. We don’t care what anybody else is doing.

Rich: We have actually been doing the same thing for a long time with our sound, you may not know.

1st: This project is also different for us because we have been through more stuff in life to make different kinds of songs and music. Our past music was really straight party music. But at some point everyone goes through the same shit in life with relationships, career, etc.

Eargrub: To the homie Saucelord Rich – How did you come up with such a great name?

Rich: All my life I felt like I was different from other people and had something different. Through my experiences and after being down for so long I realized what I have is the “sauce.” Not everyone has the sauce. I can eat a burger dry because I am the sauce. Then through my thinking, I believe I am a higher power, so I added “lord.” And “rich” is what everyone wants to be. That’s just keeping it one thowowow.

Eargrub: What do you think about the variety of acts coming out of Atlanta?

1st: The only people we care about from ATL are 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Bankroll Fresh, Key!, OG Maco, 2-9, Zues, and everyone in Zoolygvng. Zoolygvng is  the name of our Day One squad. Anyone else we don’t really only care about because we have our circle. Those are people we literally grew up with the past six or seven years. We’re our own version of New Atlanta.

Rich: I only want to make beats for 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane.

Eargrub: How did you link up with Travi$ Scott?

1st : We were in the studio with T.I. and he was acting like he didn’t like our beats, but he ended up introducing us to Travis that night. Then Travis hopped on a song we were doing with Iggy & Dro called “Hell You Sayin”. A couple months later we made the “Sloppy Toppy” track together at Treesounds Studios in Atlanta.

Rich: We originally made “Drugs You Should Try” as an FKi track because 1st was going through some shit. We sent it to Travis to get on but he ended up making his own version and dropping it.

1st: But that shit turned out so dope we weren’t even mad.

Eargrub: And adding to that, how does it feel to be only a mere two degrees of seperation from Yeezus?

Rich: We actually want to know how Kanye feels about being two degrees from FKi…

Eargrub: What are some of the things you would like to do with your music?

Rich: Bridge the gap between the artistry of rap and the electronic dance genre.

1st: We want people to know that everything we are doing is felt, not forced.

Eargrub: How did you get into producing and rapping? Which was first? Do you prefer one over the other?

Rich: We’ve been doing for both all of our lives since middle school. Period. We are the real originators of that.

1st: Yeah, we aren’t like these producers who just started rapping. We really have always been doing both. Engineering too. We don’t have to go anywhere to create our sound.

Eargrub: Only because I’m assuming it was, how HUGE was “Work” for y’all? Also, congrats on that recently going platinum!

Rich: Thank you first of all.

1st: It was amazing because it really showed that all the hard work we did with Iggy wasn’t wasted. She had been through so much too, so it was amazing to see her on the big screen in her first video. She was actually wearing a Zooly chain. It also showed people that we could work with any kind of artist, so it helped us showcase our talents in the pop world. And as corny as it sounds, it just shows that anything is possible. We really did all that by ourselves. We didn’t have any help up until that point. Shoutout to Peezy and Iggy.

Eargrub: Who would you list as your biggest personal influences?

1stGeorge Clinton, Timbaland, Lil B, The Neptunes, Diplo.

Rich: 2 Chainz & Gucci Mane. And Ron Isley. The Neptunes..

Eargrub: Some may be the same, but who are some of your dream collaborations?

1st: To make a project with Wayne – a full project though, not just one track. Same with Flosstradamus. And M.I.A.

Rich: 2 Chainz and Gucci Mane. And Bankroll Fresh, Kanye, and Loudpvck.

Eargrub: Explain the dynamic between you two. How do you think it helps when making music?

1st: A lot of people ask or think we are a group but we really are just two individuals who enjoy making music together. Also, we were friends first, so we understand each other. We are like the ying and yang. We both started making music in 7th grade, but we didn’t meet until 10th grade. We lived in the same neighborhood and met on the bus.

Eargrub: Favorite projects from 2014 that you aren’t on?

Rich: Gucci Mane Trap Lord 3 and Drake.

1st: Future, aka Trap Jesus, Bankroll Fresh, Wiz Khalifa and Diplo.

Eargrub: What’s next for FKi?

1st: Videos, more music, more EP collaborations with artists who inspire us. We are also about to create a new live show experience to go along with this new EP so definitely look out for those tour dates coming up. It’s a mashup of all genres from trap to festival, featuring live beat-making and the emcee element. Some shit you really haven’t seen before.

Obvious thank you’s go out to 1st and Rich for the interview but huge shouts to the homies over at [Matrix] Artists for reaching out and making the interview possible. I’ll be sure to link right here once their Every Day Matters EP drops. Keep endorsing good music, y’all.

Charlie Johns