THE COME UP

TREY COASTAL

 

With the number of African-Americans leaving Oakland rapidly increasing by the year, it is important to keep our ears open to individuals and groups who are representative of the Town’s historic past, and who have the insight to help shape Oakland’s future. Activist groups like the Black Panther Party and local hip-hop acts like The Coup, show a natural lineage of Oakland’s social justice roots. One group that seems primed to carry on that legacy is Trey Coastal, consisting of rappers Cam Moss and Philip Bank$, and in house producer Rye Mann.

What started out as a trio of friends recording music over FL Studio beats, has grown into legitimate rap group with compelling lyrical content and standout music production. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Philip Bank$ to discuss the group’s debut album No Lay-Ups (Side A).  During our conversation I learned more about his Oakland roots, the creative process for Trey Coastal, and how he almost lost his creative spark while pursuing higher education.

“My grandma first came to South Berkeley when she left Oklahoma. I come from seeing black people running businesses. I was raised by real stand up men and women, and that’s reflected in my music.”

 

 

Being that Philip is a proud Oakland native, I was surprised when he suggested we meet up in South Berkeley. After learning more about his family lineage, it was clear that his Bay Area roots run deep and it has informed the subject matter in his lyrics. “My grandma first came to South Berkeley when she left Oklahoma. I come from seeing black people running businesses. I was raised by real stand up men and women, and that’s reflected in my music.”

 

https://youtu.be/R4AmgMHTYuY
An Alumni of Berkeley High, Philip met Rye Mann and Cam Moss in middle school. Although No Lay-Ups (Side A) is the their first official project, they have been working in the studio since they were pre-teens. “We’ve known each other since elementary and middle school, we were making music back in 8th grade when we were downloading beats off of  FruityLoops. We were Myspace rappers I can’t front.” Banks added.

“I graduated from Morehouse College in 2014, I did three years at Merritt and I did three years at Morehouse. For six years I had really stopped making music. School kind of stripped me of my creativity, and it’s weird looking back because I do feel like I’m an artsy nigga but formal education will suppress that shit.”

 

Another contributing factor to this groups of friends not releasing project earlier is that they weren’t always in the same state. Philip moved to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College. Not only did this separate him from his Trey Coastal team, but it restricted his creative instincts. “I graduated from Morehouse College in 2014, I did three years at Merritt and I did three years at Morehouse. For six years I had really stopped making music. School kind of stripped me of my creativity, and it’s weird looking back because I do feel like I’m an artsy nigga but formal education will suppress that shit.”

Listeners who get the chance to listen to No Lay-Ups will hear an album with cohesive production and natural back and forth between Cam and Philip. “That’s just what happened. It’s very organic, that’s what I love about our group, I love that we can just sit down and decide to start something from scratch. I feel like there’s something hella pure with the music we make.  

I have so much trust in Rye Mann. His production is inspirational and I just start writing.” Phil added when speaking of the sound on No Lay-Ups.

No Lay-Ups is a short project by design, and it’s meant to give listeners that throwback feel similar to records that came out in during the vinyl record days. Trey Coastal fans won’t have to wait long for another project, as the group plans to release No Lay-Ups (Side B) in the spring,  and they recently shared a interlude to help give fans a teaser of what the next project will be like.

“I make music because I’ve been grossed out by hip-hop. Hip-hop artists and athletes, those motherfuckers have more of a voice than politicians and religious leaders, when people aren’t using that for the good, that’s what motivates me to make music. People just get this platform and just piss it off.”

 

While Trey Coastal is new to the hip-hop scene, it’s clear that Philip is uninspired with the current state of mainstream rap. “I make music because I’ve been grossed out by hip-hop. Hip-hop artists and athletes, those motherfuckers have more of a voice than politicians and religious leaders, when people aren’t using that for the good, that’s what motivates me to make music. People just get this platform and just piss it off.”

 

Now that spring is around the corner, Bay Area hip-hop fans should stay on the lookout for Trey Coastal’s next project which should positively build off their impressive debut.

 

https://treycoastal.bandcamp.com/

 

https://twitter.com/TreyCoastal

 

http://www.treycoastal.com/

 

https://soundcloud.com/treycoastal/sets

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