Home MusicInterviews Barely Legal is piecing it all together

Barely Legal is piecing it all together

by Guillaume Laberge March 16, 2021
Barely Legal is piecing it all together

The eight-man, Florida-based collective is ready to explode

Hip hop collective Barely Legal sound like they’re performing fresh off a sugar high. Coming out of the Florida music scene strongly, the eight-member collective from Tampa Bay is here to focus on themselves individually — and as a group.

Four of them make the music and the rest are the digital media team and the manager; all of them living together and progressing on a journey towards success. The four musicians are rappers Chowder Band$, JØ, Kid Dre and singer Miguel Morales. The collective are fresh off their first mixtape, Barely Legal Tapes, Vol. 1, which was released in late January.

Barely Legal may be new, but its four artists all have individual singles and solo projects under their belts from before their collaboration. They came together as Barely Legal in the summer of 2019, but only released their first single in November of 2020, with the track “Money Where Your Mouth Is,” showcasing Kid Dre and Miguel Morales, who teamed up to deliver a sweet and catchy tune with a lot of flavour.

The collective received a lot of praise, with some fans even comparing them with groups such as BROCKHAMPTON, and the notorious rap label Dreamville. Though their high number of members are reminiscent of BROCKHAMPTON, they don’t see themselves as a product of that group’s music.

“We don’t really get a lot of influence from them because we know that the sound we have is different than everyone else’s, so we don’t really like to put ourselves in the same box that they are in, but I can see how a lot of people would think that they crawled so we could run,” said Kid Dre.

Although it is their main focus at this time, Barely Legal is not a rap group – it’s a collective — and all members are also focused on their individual projects, said Kid Dre.

On Barely Legal Tapes, Vol. 1, Barely Legal exemplifies its members’ abilities by playing with a lot of different sounds and by hopping on different instrumentals, which allows them to show both their smooth and aggressive sides. The four artists work hand in hand to deliver the mixtape’s 18 tracks.

The boys mostly rap on the record while trying to touch every sound possible. They succeed in doing it by hopping on hype songs like “Gawd Dammit Amerikkka” and “Fuck,” and on classic boom bap beats like on “Creep” and “Saturday Morning Cartoons,” or even on chill laid back songs like “Choices” and “Decisions.”

Having a gifted singer like Miguel in the collective adds another dimension to their tracks. From beautifully sung hooks ranging from a variety of genres, like the songs “Too Fast,” where Miguel sings parts in Spanish, to songs like “Take It Slow,” which is a smooth dancehall track.

“I think the creative process behind the album was trying to get a large body of work that could highlight each artist’s individual skill and try to mix them together to make a masterpiece,” said Kid Dre.

The four artists in Barely Legal can hold their own individually, but their talent comes to fruition when they combine forces on songs. They feed off of each other’s energy, motivating themselves to give it their all.

“There are times I came in the studio completely angry and sad, times where I didn’t even wanna be there, but I see Miguel in his zone and it puts me in my zone. There is always someone to pick up where you slack even though there is no slacking allowed,” said JØ.

The third track of the project, “Sugar Rush,” started to catch fire, with a TikTok video promoting the song surging past 100,000 likes, and with 128,000 listens on Spotify. The song is a high energy banger featuring Kid Dre and Chowder Band$, that sees both of them go completely ballistic.

Despite having a small initial buzz surrounding their name with “Sugar Rush,” in their heads, they aren’t remotely close to where they see themselves in the future.

“We want to make music to inspire the youth and to go to work, quit their jobs and start grinding,” said Kid Dre.

In a closing thought, JØ pondered the group’s future: “We are working on a lot and we are not gonna stop working on it, and once we finish what we are working on, we are gonna go from there, and start working on a lot more.”

 

Related Articles