Q&A With Veteran Underground Hip Hop Duo Double Barrel

We are extremely excited to have featured your latest album “Locked N Loaded”, being a Hip Hop group we never heard of, we are extremely honored to have promoted your music through UGHHBLOG! Please tell us who is Double Barrel? Where are you from? Give us some background on your group name?

Double Barrel is a new hip hop duo from the Midwest consisting of emcee Hub City and producer/scratch deejay, DJ M•ROK. Our name is about two forces coming together to give people a powerful blast of dope hip hop.

How did you initially get into writing and recording music as a group?

We joined forces by both working on a track named, “I Think” by Ohio-area emcee Dirty Needles (prod. by Kollectiv). Hub City was a featured emcee on the track and DJ M•ROK scratched on it. M•ROK really took to Hub’s verse and reached out to him to collab on future projects. The rest as they say, is history!

Who’re some artists that inspire you guys?

We both love a LOT of hip hop artists (too many to list here), but here are some of our top favs:

Hub City: Nas, Black Thought, 2Pac, Rakim and Lupe Fiasco

DJ M•ROK: Large Pro, Marley Marl, Kurtis Mantronik, Paul C and the Bomb Squad

When people listen to the songs, what do you want them to take away from it?

First and foremost, this album is for hip hop fans everywhere! We want people to bob their heads, pump the bass in their rides and enjoy it! We even have a track for b-boys and b-girls on the EP named “Break It,” so we’re hoping the breakers get out there and dance. From a lyrical standpoint, Hub drops punchlines that will make people think, smile, or do both at the same time.

Last year, you guys dropped your latest album “Locked N Loaded” across all streaming platforms. Please give us some background on that project!? Could you tell me the inspiration behind the project and artwork?

We’re both inspired by the styles of hip hop that we’re prevalent in the late ‘80s and very early ‘90s. It was a melting pot of samples, lyricism, different flows, up-tempo tracks, breakbeats and styles before things generally transitioned into the rougher boom bap sound of the mid ‘90s. We wanted to give hip hop heads a taste of that era with certain elements — while keeping everything fresh and relevant for today. The artwork features the two of us appearing in black and white over a colorful background to visually symbolize a mix of the past meeting the present.

Are you guys working on any new music? Any solo projects?

Yes! We are working on Double Barrel’s follow-up release, and DJ M•ROK is collaborating with a super dope crew from the Bay Area named the Outsiders Syndicate (consisting of emcees The IMF and Nordik One, as well as producer/DJ LMT Break.) We also have some secret sauce up our sleeves that we can’t talk about quite yet, but those projects will include some really well-known names in hip hop. Stay tuned for those!

What else can we expect from Double Barrel in 2020?

DJ M•ROK will be doing a 3-day mini-tour in the San Francisco area in March, spinning hip hop and backing live performances with El Da Sensei, the Outsiders Syndicate and UK producer Mike Flips. It kicks off on Friday March 20 at Old Princeton Landing at Half Moon Bay! We’re also hoping to have new songs from our follow-up release featured on some of the indie radio stations that have supported us in the past like Vocalo Radio Chicago (91.1 FM), Break North Radio (94.9 FM), Double Trouble Radio Show (98.4 FM) and Ronsha Mix Radio Show in Paris, so people can listen to our music there, too.

Our most important question, what is your definition of “Underground Hip Hop”

To us, “underground hip hop” is more than music. Emceeing and deejaying are huge, but they’re just two elements in hip hop culture. With that in mind, “underground hip hop” is anything that stays true to the roots and isn’t properly represented in mainstream media/aligns with a corporate agenda. “Underground” doesn’t have to be grimy or gangsta’. It’s about being real and authentic, and it epitomizes the culture in its truest form. Underground is what we live, breathe and love!

Where can fans find your music? Drop all your links!

People can stream and download our music on all major platforms (Spotify, iTunes, etc.) and also cop a special 32-track edition of Locked N’ Loaded on limited edition maxi cassette. It includes all of the standard tracks, plus instrumental, dub and acapella versions of each of the songs. People can check everything out at dbarrelmusic.com and follow us on Instagram @doublebarrelhiphop

Lastly, is there any advice you guys have for anyone trying to set their foot in as recording artists?

We encourage new artists to be unique, stay true to themselves, evolve the artform and remain humble. Don’t be afraid to take chances and zig while others zag. And lastly, this is hip hop. Get out there, be creative and have fun!

This is just round one. We’ve got lots more in store. Thanks for the interview!

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Senior Publisher for @UGHHBLOG // Been an Underground Hip Hop fan all my life and I'm dedicated to keeping the culture alive on a daily basis. Working hard every day and staying positive is what LIFE is all about.