Published Feb 13, 2013For Crooklin and Junia-T, Think It's A Game? is more of a statement than a question. The Brovaz say the album was ten years in the making — that's commitment in any relationship. Standouts "Cassarine" and "Paper Planes" set the tone off the top, combining old-school tastes with personal idiosyncrasies. For a duo that'd roll up to open mic nights at the now-defunct Hootch bar in a drop-top Volkswagen, Smash Brovaz rarely fall for nostalgia's stale trap, which is just further proof of their unbridled commitment.
What's the concept with the "game" reference?
Crooklin: It's hip-hop; it's a game, man. You got to play this shit to win and a lot of the time these cats don't play to win. They don't feel like it's the truth. That's why we had to state the question.
Junia-T: In the last two years, traveling, it's opened our eyes. A lot of people, locally, think it's a game because that's all they know. We realize we have to be pushing towards a worldwide audience.
How personal is the album?
Crooklin: The whole thing is personal. Like before "Soul For Tomorrow," the guy speaking is from a funeral we had to attend for someone we love a lot.
Junia-T: Even the sound bites between tracks, they're from places we've been and experiences we've had over the course of creating the project.
How'd you guys earn your reputation for live shows?
Crooklin: Before Junia and I even created Smash Brovaz, we were doing shows with 3-5 Playa. We used to do shows every weekend, little shows and open mics.
Junia-T: We're performers first. When we say we're MCs, that's a skill set. The clothes, the brand, that's just a business.