lineformation (M.I.L.F)

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] 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.

lineformation (M.I.L.F) presents 10 Beers Deep by Maxwell Young

Cover art by  Israel Acosta

Cover art by Israel Acosta

The DMV music scene is more than the commercial success of Wale, GoldLink, Shy Glizzy, and even  Fat Trel.  For whatever reason, the music propagating from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia has remained just that--regional.  A new wave of sound and artists are coming though, it's only a matter of time.

Washington D.C. has a rich culture of subgenres of music that have come to define our Nation's capital and its people. Take for example, a subgenre of funk, Go-Go music, which emerged in the mid 60s to late 70s.  The unique regional fusion of percussion, horns, and R&B that has been a staple on District street-corners and block parties is representative of the diverse African and African American cultures and communities that take a back seat to the Federal operations of the Capital.  Straight Up Go Go, a documentary produced and directed by Shuaib Muhammed Kedar and Shuaib Mitchell explores the roots of the music while providing a different perspective on the recent history of Washington, D.C.  I recommend watching this film not only for the historical context, but also because it encompasses what the music of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia embodies--movement, expression, and soul. 

The hip hop music that is being created within the region is reminiscent of the Go Go style not necessarily because of the sound, but because of its enthusiasm and impulsivity.  Listen to lineformation (M.I.L.F) and you'll understand the kind of energy I am referring to.  You can't just stand there and listen. 

Mitch, Phlegm, Avi Twat, Big Trees, Tedy Brewski, Mexico, and The Sleaz, AKA "Lil' Boogie",  make up the ensemble that is lineformation (M.I.L.F), a rap group based out of Washington, D.C.  Operating on SoundCloud and Bandcamp, these guys just keep creating new projects after another.  In the past four years, M.I.L.F has produced twelve major EPs or tapes, some focusing on a single member of the group, like M.I.L.F Mitch: Pink Panther EP, while others illustrate the sonic range of the entire team.

The description of M.I.L.F's most recent project, 10 Beers Deep, claims that the mixtape is, "a culmination of drunk songs," but I believe this to be an over simplification.  10 Beers Deep is a conceptual piece of music about the Navy Blue crew's hedonist lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock & roll.  You might ask, 'What's so novel about a tape that sensationalizes those types of activities, especially when every other song being played on the radio is regurgitating the same topics?'  10 Beers Deep distinguishes itself from these other songs because of its varied approach.  Typically when you hear a turn-up song, there is a common thread of production: the rapper shouts over the very heavy bass while the trap twists and reverbs fill the background.  These tracks are called "bangers" for a reason; those consistent booms and bangs are relentless.   lineformation (M.I.L.F) essentially discusses the same things, but sonically they are not one-dimensional. 

One thing you'll note about 10 Beers Deep is the level of melody and chanting that is prevalent in songs like "This Guy That Guy", "Thottie Juice", and "Global Guts".  The repetition of the phrases and individual words--"Guts, guts, global guts..."-- creates a rhythmic flow that evokes the same infectious swaying that you'd experience with a song, like "Sloppy Toppy" by Travis Scott. Moreover, the hollow sounds of "Cocaina", produced by RobSmokesBands, is an appropriate representation of the kind of empty euphoria one might feel under the influence of drugs.  

The group's range and musicianship is evident in two of the mixtape's most radical songs, "10 Deep" and "Pussy Was Tight", produced by Trip Dixon/Gucci Luey and Maada respectively. The saxophone, which begins "10 Deep", is a refreshing addition to the heavy bass and snare hits, enabling the track to balance on moments of melody and much colder, hard-core moments where you can envision the mosh-pits in full affect.   In no other song is M.I.L.F's drunkenness more apparent than in "Pussy Was Tight."  The funky chords and pleading/droning you hear in Tedy Brewski's voice are evocative of the drunken motivations that creep up in your mind during the wee hours of the morning. 

10 Beers Deep is effective because of the collaborative efforts lineformation (M.I.L.F) heavily believes in.  In twelve tracks, six different artists were heard against the production of ten different producers.  Multiple minds are greater than one.  M.I.L.F's ability to play off one another's lyrics and beats as well as solicit input from outside creators yields a final product that is unique and dynamic, no matter how trivial a topic.

Check out lineformation's 10 Beers Deep above, and it can be downloaded along with their full discography on Bandcamp