New York collective Merk has been gaining a ton of buzz recently with their hot video for Tear Drops. They have a brand song Loco that is just as infectious. The five piece group is reinventing what hip-hop can be. Memebers Bic and T were nice enough to answer a few questions about their style, music and having family members work together.
LiL: Your music takes the autotuned rap style common amongst acts like Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti and Lil Yachty while slowing it down to a promethazine induced vibe. How did you find your unique sound in a landscape that is constantly looking for the next new thing?
Bic: We have always known what we like and what we don’t like and we’ve always known how we want out music to sound. So it’s just been a matter of getting better at bringing that to life.
T: Our sound is a reflection of us and our perception of the world. We have such diverse backgrounds and its only natural for that to seep into what we create. We fuck with a lot of different stuff and try not to box our shit into one lane; nothing new or exciting comes out of that
LiL: I’m always interested when a group has family members working together. Do the three of you have lots of disagreements on direction or do you work pretty harmoniously?
Bic: We’re all pretty much in tune with the direction and the overall vision but we do have our little disagreements here and there not so much on the direction though but more like tiny details that no one else would catch but that’s because T, Bic and Juju are all producers before anything.
T: We work pretty fucking harmoniously because certain shit is just absolute. E.g Bootcuts are unacceptable and we are always going to agree on that and anything in that vein. But we do have our disagreements. We value disagreements because it shows individualism and different viewpoints. I may hate something that my brothers love, they are gonna show me why I should I appreciate it, and I’m gonna show him why they should consider different approaches.
LiL: In the Tear Drops video, the style seems to be 1970’s LA cowboys while in the upcoming release Loco is Prince playing Fifa, as both videos has everyone dressed fancy while not taking themselves too seriously. Is this an ethos of the group to look good while still being playful?
Bic: Yes! Looking good is important to us. We definitely embrace our style. We don’t believe in taking ourselves too seriously but we also don’t believe in wearing any open toe shit.
Juju: No chancletas. No sandals. No flip flops. But do you. By the way “Prince playing FIFA” is the dopest way to describe it.
LiL: You all seem to support each other’s separate work like Milli’s AH AH AH, which was produced by your in house producer Juju. Do you see yourselves like A$AP Mob where you are just as strong together as you are separately?
Bic: You can definitely draw some comparisons with A$AP Mob in that we all bring our own things to the table but we all have a similar vision and can play off of each other well. We like to keep everything in house when it comes to music, design, videos and all that. We don’t really consider ourselves a rap group though.
T: We don’t see ourselves as anyone but ourselves. We are like Power Rangers but individually every gets it shaking like the red guy.
LiL: A1Vision shot both Tear Drops and Loco, what does he bring to the table that works so well with you?
Bic: A1 is amazing at capturing our vision. We come up with the idea for the video, get everything together and then A1 comes through and captures the moment.
LiL: I’m seeing on your Insta that you just had a casting call for a new video, is there anything you can tease about that project?
T: No gas but this project is what we’ve always wanted to make. It’s what I’ve always wanted to hear, see and feel. That casting call is for something really different and special to us. We got a lot of responses and it showed me that kids feel what we’re trying to do. Shout out to everyone who got on board. Most people had seen what we’re already doing and just wanted to be part of creating fire.
LiL: You got lots of love recently from The Fader and The Source, which is a big deal for any up and coming act. Other than your upcoming album what are your plans for the next year?
Bic: We plan on pushing the shit out Safe In Sound, then hitting the road we have already started establishing ourselves in a couple different markets so a tour is in the works. We’re trying to figure out how to adapt our songs to playing with a live band to make our shows more of a unique experience. We have Maritza solo project coming out as well. And a whole lot of Milli.
T: Big shouts out to Ali from the Fader, the Source, Convicts, and everyone whose applying pressure. The project is more than just an album, this is an experience. Safe!
LiL: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions and everyone should stay tuned for the exclusive premiere of Merk’s newest video for Loco coming September 4th only on Live in Limbo. They were nice enough to share an exclusive preview clip with us so check it out!