Q&A: Flatbush Zombies On Thug Waffles, Longtime Friendships, And The Meaning Of The Zombie Lifestyle
The word "Brooklyn" conjures up images of all types of illy shitgold fronts (not grills), bubble coats, designer "wears," dreads smoking bud like it was legal. Newcomers Flatbush Zombies managed to incorporate all of the aforementioned BK traits into their music and its accompanying visuals while injecting some of their own brand of rap.
Flatbush Zombies: Zombie Juice, Meechy Darko, and Erick Arc Elliott. (Click to enlarge.)
Though it'd be easy to dismiss the trio as gimmicky, you can always tell (least I can) when a group of friends organically form a group with a specific sound/style as opposed to artists forming a contrived crew that will probably be defunct in a year's time. Flatbush Zombies is without a doubt the former. Upon entering their headquarters (located in Flatbush, of course), you get the feeling these kids would be doing exactly what they're doing whether they were making music together or not. In fact, music almost played as the background to our initial interactions. Soon enough, though, the convo in the smoke-filled room did turn to their music and backgrounds. Here's what Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott had to say about the Zombie, er, afterlife...
First and foremost: What in the fuck is a thug waffle?
Meechy Darko: It was mad early when we were recording the track. And we were all hungry. We had been talking about Tupac, so I think that's where the "Thug" part derived from.
Zombie Juice: Yeah then Erik said something about pancakes and we were going with that name, because it was like 4 a.m. and we're high and hungry. But then Meech is like "Fuck pancakes. Thug Waffles bitch!" And that was it.
Meechy: But you can make it whatever you want it to mean. People think too hard about it. We smoke weed and eat waffles. That's it.
Judging from how you guys interact, you guys have been friends a long time.
Meechy: Absolutely. 95% of our relationship is outside of music. If I lost my vocal chords today we would still be hanging out.
Juice: It just works better because we already have that chemistry. Plus when we critique one another it doesn't come off like "Fuck you!" Erick will tell me to say something a little different and I'll take his advice.
So how did you guys meet exactly? High School?
Juice: Nah. We knew each other before high school. Meechy and Erick are from the same block in Flatbush. But we went to different high schools. [Juice went to Midwood and Pacific and dropped out; Erick went to Brooklyn College Academy.]
Meechy: I went to Medgar Evers until I dropped out.