Tedy Brewski

Run it up: Tedy Brewski drops Count EP, Produced by Djunivrse by Maxwell Young

Time doesn’t exist in my zone.
— Tedy Brewski on "Count"
Polaroid of Tedy Brewski by Maxwell Young

Polaroid of Tedy Brewski by Maxwell Young

Tedy Brewski pulled from the archive releasing Count, his first solo offering in over a year. The new EP produced by Pittsburgher Amadís Amaya AKA djunivrse, dropped unexpectedly at the beginning of April after sitting on ice since its genesis in the winter of 2017.

It’s not that Brewski has been absent from music-making. Find him on Instagram, daily it seems, practicing the acoustic guitar and working with his MIDI keyboard, marketing himself to Roc Nation A&R’s as an in-house beat-maker and writer with his trademark comedic flare. Plus, his SoundCloud credits five features within the last eight months. Yet there’s a disconnect between the Tedy we’ve laughed with on social media and the Tedy we’ve sparsely heard over the calendar year. From the collaborations to the alternative/punk/emo-esque guitar licks and downtempo production of Count, Brewski has revealed a melancholy and anxiety that he says reflects drug use, alienation, and night life.

Take Brewski’s contribution to Charlotte rapper Litreill’s track “questionreality,” where he introspectively ponders over a boom-bap beat, “Why am I alone in a room full of people? but never in my mind—a million personalities.” Or, his verse on "Phantom,” a posse-cut by way of Internet Hippy that elicits a realization of his eccentricity, “A misfit crucified for being different, and when it can’t benefit, that’s when friends become distant.”

Without Brewski’s punch lines and self-deprecating humor, these existential thoughts become intensified. Count stratifies this somber mood as Brewski lays forth what he describes as “wounded aspirations” in his SoundCloud bio. The two opening tracks on the EP allude to such manifestations. “I wanna rock. I wanna rock right now. I really wanna beach chair on my island. I really wanna millie rock with my right hand. I wanna get my money fine, call it finance,” he distortedly raps on “Go Pro.”

“I definitely recorded that music during a dark time,” Brewski told InTheRough.

Marinating on a catalogue of beats and bars from a few other collaborative EPs, Chef Brewski hasn’t recorded any new vocals since December. Newer sounds are on the horizon, though, and it appears Brewski is emerging from the contemplative state for the better. “I’m slowly working on a self-produced project that is definitely more upbeat,” he said.

Until then, re-acquaint yourself with the work of Tedy Brewski and listen to the Count EP below.

The World Is Tedy Brewski's in "Blue Blockers" Video by Maxwell Young

Tedy Brewski  photograph by Maxwell Young

Tedy Brewski photograph by Maxwell Young

From iconic catchphrases to quintessential Nasty Nas and even silhouettes of Vlone wear,  Scarface --the 1983 American classic film--has made an indelible mark on popular culture. 

What boy, or girl, hasn't envisioned themselves as Tony Montana trying to woo Elvira Hancock?  This is rhetorical, of course, because Tedy Brewski has done just that in the music video for his hit bop, "Blue Blockers."  On the track off Connecticut raised, Maryland-transplant's 2017 EP, Platinum Beach, Brewski raps in self-actualization, "Imma get my money up/ We gonna earn the dough/ Nobody said that this would be easy."  At the same time, his head is photoshopped onto the body of Montana who's quickly becoming enchanted with the power and sexual trappings of the drug trade as he hustles through Miami. 

Brewski's four-minute video takes us back and forth from The Babylon Club where actors Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer build up sexual tension to other iconic moments in the film, including the part where Montana acknowledges his success gazing at the passing air blimp that flashes the message, "The World is Yours..."  The lyrics and visuals are quite symbolic of a fast lifestyle defined by sex, drugs, and rock & roll as well as the depression that results from such materialistic wants. 

Check out the music video above and familiarize yourself with Team Brew's latest releases.

The Tedy Brewski Interview by Maxwell Young

Words from rap's underground veteran.

Tedy Brewski photograph by Maxwell Young

Tedy Brewski photograph by Maxwell Young

Tedy Brewski didn't appear in InTheRough's VibeRotation playlist until late 2015 when the DMV-based rapper featured prominently on a few tracks of D.C. family lineformation M.I.L.F's tape, Ten Beers Deep.  His song "Global Guts" was an instant favorite as his rhythmic chanting evoked infectious head-nods.  Brewski has since released four solo projects, his most recent the Platinum Beach EP, and a number of singles through SoundCloud.

He moves with ease over boom bap beats and adds his twist to the generation of 'mumble rap' on songs like "My First Time" and "Blue Dream" found in The Tedy Brewski Playlist.  But it's also not rare to hear him align his tone to emo grooves and rage.  Originally from Chicago, Tedy Brewski is an internet rapper in the sense that his songs cover a variety of sounds, but also because his ears are tuned to the developments in hip hop.

"Man I listen to everything," he says.  "I'm influenced by everything...some shit is influenced by me and some shit influences me.  I will listen to everything that's coming out: Rich the Kid, Lil' Pump, Famous Dex, you know?  And a lot of my new songs are inspired by that kind of shit.  In some ways I wanna keep up, but in some ways that shit is hot.  I wanna make what's hot, man."

Brewski started rapping at age 13 due to influences including A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, and Kanye West's "The College Dropout" album.  "I just remember being like, 'Oh, word.  I don't have to be gangster to be a rapper,'" he said reflecting on his formative years.

Now at 27-years-old, Tedy laments that he's a bit old in terms of "rapper years."  He broke down this sentiment further saying, "The people who get the deals and stuff or the people who are chosen are like 18, 16, 18...19 [years old]."

Perhaps more of a commentary on the music industry than his own progress as a rapper, Brewski doesn't seem to take anything too seriously.  In fact, it is this unfiltered, nonchalance that adds to the intrigue of Team Brew.

The thing about me, I’m not necessarily forcing anything.  When you force this shit it gets fucked up.

Before publishing the "Platinum Beach" E.P. in August, Brewski was relatively quiet on streaming platforms--ten months he went without new music.  Instead, he proliferated his Twitter and Instagram accounts with entertaining and personable content.  Catch him manning the grill in a custom 'Chef Brewski' apron or posting a series of "sexy sultry" photos of a "local pussy cat."  Anything goes for the skinny swag emcee.

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Brewski's comedic quirkiness translates through his tone and lyrics, too.  His voice is liable to go from high-pitched to 'hefty-bro' in a matter of bars.  And much like Eminem layered tracks on "The Slim Shady LP" with multiple characters, Brewski also integrates different characters into his songs such as "Woke Boi Freestyle."

"I probably got the quirkiness from West Hartford, Connecticut," he says.  "I lived in West Hartford for the majority of my life--from ten to 18.  Just being a fucking suburban-guy, like being a city kid who goes to a suburban school that's mostly white people.  You end up with like a whole mixture of all this bullshit."


ITR: Can you walk me through your "Woke Boi Freestyle"?

TB: Oh yea, man.  "Woke Boi" was originally called "Broke Boi Freestyle," but then my internet friend, Kemet Dank, I don't know if you've ever heard of Kemet Dank.  He's like another Based God disciple, but he was like 'Yo, this is woke.  This is a woke boi,' and then I had to change the name.  When I was in D.C. there was a Playboi Carti show at 9:30 [Club]...no it wasn't 9:30 it was one that got closed, but I forget what it was called.  That shit was mad fun.  I was just jumping around and shit, just like 'Damn, I gotta evolve my style to do some other shit.'  But that sound is influenced by André 3000.  When I came to college at UMD, Lil' Wayne was the shit.  He had 'Da Drought', 'The Carter', the 'Dedication' tapes...But with ["Woke Boi"] I wanted to freestyle, you know, ball all the way.

ITR: Is [mumble rap] hip hop music to you?

TB: Definitely, man.  I think at the end of the day that stuff was influenced by 'snap rap' and 'snap rap' was influenced by 'gangsta rap' and 'gangsta rap' was influenced by 'boom bap' I would say.  It's like a long heritage of shit that I try to keep up with.  Like Lil' B's new tape, he really went all the way back to the 80's that was funny.

ITR: That was awesome.  I knew about Lil' B, but I wasn't really listening to him whenever he put out his last tape.  So ['Black Ken'] is my understanding of Lil' B.  it was kind of like a synthesis of decades.

TB: Yea, it's great because he produced the whole thing.  I've got whole tapes I produced, too.  'Typical Black Punks,' I don't know if you've heard that...that shit is crazy.  I try and jump between sounds because I wanna cover everything that is affecting me in my life.

ITR: What kind of relationship do you have with M.I.L.F?

TB: I moved out to D.C. in 2015, chilling with M.I.L.F--good friends.  We've been through our bullshit, but I've known them since 2009.  M.I.L.F was created by M.I.L.F Mitch and Phlegm.  They went to Howard together.  One of my boys who I went to high school with, Noah, he went to Howard for a couple years and met those guys.  We linked through that because I went to UMD.  But M.I.L.F is their creation, and M.F.K--Marcy Mane is working with Goth Money in Los Angeles and shit--he was a big part of M.I.L.F back in the day.  I just wanna preserve their legacy, you know?

TB: I put up the M.I.L.F Mansion documentary on my YouTube last week.  The footage is from a year and a half ago.  I was on U Street two weeks ago, just chilling, and nobody knows what we were doing at that time.

ITR: I noticed you put out videos that were filmed years ago.  Is that on purpose?

TB: It's not on purpose.  Going into them it was like, 'I got to do this right now,' but things come up: there's personal conflict and my own struggles, so maybe I'm not fully comfortable putting out a crazy-ass video at this point.  It's not about figuring it out.  It's just when it works it works, you know?

ITR: That makes your fans want more.

TB: I'm working with my boy who lives in Brooklyn.  I met him when I was in film school maybe like 4 or 5 years ago, his name is Aaron.  We've got a cool video.

ITR: What's next?

TB: I got the thing called Team Brew, you might have seen the logo.

ITR: The merch is fire.

TB: I'm gonna bring back some of the merch, like 'Typical Black Punks' merch and 'Space Cowboy' merch.  I'm also gonna make the Team Brew shirts.  I feel like once it all comes together it'll make sense.  I just got started with Photoshop.  That's what I've been doing recently.  I've been making memes and stuff, just because memes rule the world...the meme war is coming soon, man, be ready.

The Tedy Brewski Playlist by Alex Young

Tedy Brewski photographed by Maxwell Young

Tedy Brewski photographed by Maxwell Young

Following his 2016 project Space Cowboy, Tedy Brewski has released a new EP--Platinum Beach.  It must have been the DMV native's hyper-patience that kept him from releasing music in over ten months because we know he's been grinding.  "Staying up 'til six in the morn' making songs," the underground rap veteran says in "Blue Blockers," a song that makes you want to get in your car and drive.

Dubbed the 'best backpack rapper,' Brewski is back on the creative wave.  While dropping the six-track project at the end of August, he also published a series of what he tagged as '#Alternative Rock' songs on SoundCloud.  "In My Dutchie" and "Blue Dream"--a track Tedy Brew released just four days ago--both capture that new wave bop that's reminiscent of sounds by bourgeoning producer Pi'erre Bourne or mainstream hits like "Please Shut Up" in Cozy Tapes Vol. 2.

"I listen to everything and I'm influenced by everything.  Some shit is influenced by me and some shit influences me," he says over a blunt. 

Enjoy the 'Tedy Brew Playlist and Groove' below, and stay tuned for his upcoming interview.

Sounds of D.C. Playlist by Maxwell Young

The music scene in Washington, D.C. as well as its surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia, is diverse with different grooves and experimental sounds blurring genre lines.  Over the last several months, these sounds have been on display at numerous events and venues around the District.  InTheRough has documented some of these experiences, like Frankliin's set at D.C. Funk Parade in early May or performances by Alex Vaughn and Meche Krorrect for the Glow End Theory Program at Black Cat.  There are shows three and four days out of the week put on by art and music collectives within the creative community.  Scroll through the Instagram feeds of Medium Rare, Bombay Knox, CMPVTR CLVB, and DCDIT to find show posters from 2014.

From Go-go and jazz to punk rock and indie-dance, the genres of the District have always been "amazing unto themselves," said Marcus Dowling, chronicler of capital culture for publications including the Washington City Paper, Vice and Complex.  The Sounds of D.C. playlist captures a number of the contemporary sounds and artists that are influenced by the rich, musical heritage of Washington, D.C. Listeners will understand the collaborative element to much of the music that is produced in the DMV through tracks like "Devil's Red Dress"--a true rock ballad assembled by Dreamcast and Fat Kneel.  

GoldLink and Fat Trel are DMV artists who have found commercial success.  They continue to promote the budding talent and sounds with their respective tracks "Rough Soul," which features April George of April & Vista, and a Trel track, "IN MY BAG," that's anchored by forefather Wale.  Of course the lineformation family is present in this playlist, especially Tedy Brewski who's purportedly working on new music.  But pay attention to rappers Nappy Nappa and Sir E.U who are headed to London for the first time.

Listen to the playlist above and if you like what you hear, be sure to keep exploring new music by clicking on the artists' profiles.