by: Quinn Cory
The Chicago-based trio consists of Supa Bwe, Carl, and Mulatto Beats on production. Supa has been in the industry for many years. Pairing his well established flow with fresh and innovative new talent has proven to be a powerful formula for the group. Hurt Everybody is modern and unapologetic hip hop. With a genre often described as cosmic rap, they serve as leaders in the second wave of characteristic sound and style among their local hip hop community. The team consistently releases new content. Inspiration for these dudes is cultivated with ease. The drop of Supa's ‘The Dead Occasion’ displays a honed-in sound, accented by Supa Bwe's brazen voice. These guys have established their influence in Chicago's underground hip hop scene.
On October 22nd, Hurt Everybody made their way to the Cream City to perform with WebsterX, Klassik, and Lorde Fredd33 at the Miramar. As the local favorites sound checked before show, we had the opportunity to sit down with the group for a few words. Topics such as race, class, balancing the daily grind, creative process, and greater purpose were discussed.
How did you all meet each other?
Supa: Through my manager. He brought them through and we started working together.
How did you come up with your name?
Supa: I had a name picked out years ago. I was going to use it with my producer Zenzan, from London. But the group never worked out because they lived in London and these guys were in Chicago so when I met up with them like a year in a half or two years later, I brought the name up and they liked it so we went with it.
Does it have meaning behind it?
Supa: Different for everybody. You know, for me it’s about conquest. In order to conquer and take over and change, you have to hurt everybody in the process. War has casualties. Conquest has casualties. It’s necessary.
You're not afraid of that message in any way?
When did you all start individually making music?
Carl: I started taking music seriously my sophomore year in high school. We’ve always been interested in music. I played guitar when I was younger. I always wanted to rap when I got older. Eventually, I stopped wanting to do it. But then, it naturally started. I got bored in high school, that’s what happened. I started not listening to my teachers and schools, so I would write raps. My friends liked it.
Mulatto: I started when I was sixteen.
Supa: I have been engineering, producing, and rapping since 2006 or 2007.
What were you doing before you got together?
Supa: I’m grown and I’ve tried school and working already, but it wasn’t working out. I quit all of my jobs and went to music full time probably about two or three years ago.
Mulatto: I just made the jump over. I got put out of school because I couldn’t afford it. I only did a semester in college. Music started to work out for me, so I started to do that full time.
Carl: Before I met them I was trying to make music. Just dropped out of school. Same situation. I am only 19 and I haven’t graduated high school.
I wanted to ask you guys about the studio process. How does it usually go for you guys?
Supa: They play video games, I make music (laughter). If Mulatto makes a beat, then we are writing to it. But not necessarily, I produce as well. We are always working. We are at the studio all day.
Mulatto: Hours and hours of Call of Duty.
Carl: I like working after hours when it’s really late. I can’t focus when everyone is in the studio. Usually, I wait until no one is there.
So do you guys take blocks of time for this everyday?
Supa: We own the studio. It’s like a second home. We are always there.
Do you guys have a mission?
Supa: I don’t think we have a mission or anything like that. I’m just trying to let young black men know that if you just get up off your ass, stop making excuses, stop playing the victim.
Carl: I think people who contribute any form of art have a mission. They corresponds to each other. I’m a lifelong musician. So through my focus and discipline I feel that I will be able to showcase a lot of traits and a lot of ideas. Maybe some people are like me, who go through what I go through on a daily basis. I believe music has the power to connect people and bring people together. That’s what all art is about. It’s not about us. It’s about the experience. People come to our shows from all over. They don’t know where we’re from. They don’t know shit about us. They’ve never even been to where we are from... but they hear something and they relate to it. That’s what all art kinda does. We try to contribute and express ourselves in the only way that we can really.
You are continually putting out music, as opposed to annually.
Supa: We all have different drives through different phases of life. For them, they are still young. For me, I put out a lot of music. This isn’t fun for me. This is my career. My life choice, my path. This is how fast I work. I just do this. I don’t follow the typical release schedule because I don’t have the time or luxury of youth anymore. I’m a grown ass man. If I’m not out in some years, very soon I need to rethink my life. I’ve been doing this since I was 17.
What inspires all of you?
Mulatto: At this point in my life unless I really did things to reconstruct shit, this is the only thing I have to do in order to live a good life. So, I am not going to fuck it up. I’m not going to jack it. This is almost a promise to a good life. For me and my family and my homies.
Supa: I’ve already tried normal life. I’ve tried school three times. I’ve always worked. It’s just not for me. Some people are okay with scraps, but that’s just not for me.
Carl: We are all here because we are passionate musicians. This our career now. This what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Facing our adulthood inspires us to come back to the studio. When we step out, we gotta work to get back to where we were before we left.
Is this still fun?
Carl: Yeah, we are about to have a good time tonight.
Supa: Shows are fun. It’s cool to go places, get recognized. But the drawbacks are that it’s a lot of work. It’s stressful to put everything you have into something that is flowering very slowly.
Mulatto: Nothing is promised. We don’t really live check to check. It’s really how much money we want to go get per month or how we are going to set up our future. It’s up to us to do shit and put music out.
Supa: It’s having a job that you actually like. It’s a lot of work.
Carl: We come from Chicago. Our families are struggling. We have to help them and we have to live for them. That is a piece of our inspiration. It all comes full circle.
How would you guys describe the second wave movement of hip hop that is going on in Chicago?
Mulatto: It’s a little more open. Just like every wave or every generation becomes a little more open. The last people who were on top made it okay to experiment and do what you want. Every wave after that is testing and trying out new things. We will eventually move out of hip hop. There will be so many different genres eventually.
Carl: People are taking interest in being active. That’s all we want.
How did you guys start working with Mick Jenkins?
Supa: That’s my homie. We met him at South By because of 'Treat Me'. We were just talking about it. He asked me if it was a real song. He was interested in it. So when we got back to Chicago we kicked it and started to work together. The EP was already ready but the hard drive crashed. Close to being finished. But when he gets back in November, we will start recording it again. Should be out in January. We make music very easily. So we won’t re-record what we already had.
What do you guys think about the Milwaukee music scene?
Carl: I don’t know a lot. Whenever we come out here we have fun. We have a lot of fans here. We’ve met a few artists a few times. We had a show with Klassik. We know people in Madison. Third Dimension and those guys.
What are you guys listening to right now?
Carl: All kinds of shit. I just moved into an apartment and listening to everything I can. I’ve been listening to mad instrumental producers. A lot of Madlib, Wes Montgomery, a lot of jazz and pianists. House stuff. I’m cookin and I wanna play something that moves me.
Supa: Radiohead. But I don’t really listen to music honestly.
Mulatto: When are you making music, you don’t get a chance to listen a lot. I’ve had some down time recently, and I’ve been listening to ASAP’s first mix tape a lot.
Where does your influence come from if you aren't listening to music?
Supa: I have been doing this for a long time and I have a very diverse background in music. Funk, metal, all types of music. Growing up with such a wide range of influence, I created my own sound. I developed it when I was 22. I found it. There isn’t much experimentation left for me. Just trying to make it harder and stronger.
What would you guys be doing if you weren't making music?
Carl: I would probably go to school.
Supa: I would be a crime god. That was an actual term in my life when I was growing up and I used to think to myself. I am either going to go to the army, I’m going to die, or I’m going to become a crime god. I was going to get better at selling drugs. Start a syndicate somehow.
Carl: That’s real. I would be a real smooth legal criminal. I would help you do shit.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Supa: Stop being a bitch. Stop being lazy. Just go get it. Some people are just assholes and trash and don’t deserve it. But I think a lot of people don’t realize that they do deserve it. A lot of people don’t understand that they should have more. There is a better and more suitable lifestyle for everyone. The way the system is set up, they want us to be lower middle class. They want us to be happy with check to check lifestyles. That is not okay.
Carl: No one should starve. No one should be homeless. The pathway should be open. If we can do a little bit to show people that, then we are doing our part.