Coming straight out Brooklyn, Royal Clutch upholds the hip-hop standards put in place by their legendary BKLYN forefathers. While providing a fresh take on the everyday trials of young black males, the group bares it all with their menacing lyrics, eclectic beats, and relatable stories. Consisting of Jiggy Jase, Kos D, and Reese, Royal Clutch presents witty bravado wordplay, and loads of personality. Since the release of their singles, “Fresh Faces” and the increasingly popular ode to their hometown, “Welcome Back to BKLYN”, Royal Clutch has cultivated a lyrical atmosphere reminiscent of legendary hip-hop acts like A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, and OutKast.
Royal Clutch pictured from left to right: Jiggy Jase, Reese and Kos D
1. For starts how did you guys come up with your stage names?
Kos D: I was going by something different for a minute but i was getting bored with it, I had the shit since high school. And I was thinking bout a name for a comic book character I was writing at the time, I thought Knowledge of Self is Deadly: Kos D and that’s been that for the past 6 years.
Jiggy Jase: Well Jase is short for my real name of Jason and girls used to call me Jase so that shit stuck. And I always thought of myself as a jiggy mofo so I was like why the fuck not.
Reese: Jase gave my name from a youngin. Now it’s me.
2. For those that don’t know, when was the turning point when you guys formed the group?
Jiggy Jase: Me and Reese are brothers and we met Kos D in high school. Matter fact, Imma give you the amended version. At the time, we had six people in the group. We decided to take it to another level but the three other guys couldn’t see themselves in that same aspect so we had to call it quits.
Reese: Word. But we all still friends though.
3. It’s not often you hear about a Hip Hop groups anymore in Hip Hop. In the 80’s and 90’s it seemed more common. Why do you think there are less groups in the genre and is it harder to be in a group?
Kos D: That’s a good question. I think at this point it’s not seen as much because people might be looking at it from a cost standpoint, how we gonna make money when we gotta split with the crew and the label. And labels might be like it cost less to pump a solo artist than a group. We aint worried about that shit though.
4. Your video for “Welcome Back to BKLYN”,” was raw. The lyrics were sharp and the hook was catchy. Not to mention it showcased your borough. How did that video come about?
All: thank you thank you.
Reese: We just wanted our first single, the title track of our project, to really showcase where we’re from. It’s like an origin story. so we hit you with visuals to make you feel it.
Jiggy Jase: Real Shit
5. We saw how you guys pay homage to your city. It seems like nowerdays East Coast artists are forced to sign with Southern artists and mimic their sound. What makes you guys stick to that gritty East Coast sound and not compromise?
Jiggy Jase: We didn’t wanna sound like everybody else. We spent time learning how to sound like us, and incorporate all our influences into something totally different.
6. Speaking of that, what’s your thoughts on the current state of Hip Hop?
Kos D: For me I think Hip Hop is in a much better place than it was like 8 or 9 years ago. There’s more diversity, back then niggaz really were playing the same type shit all the time. At least now you got music for different moods.
Jiggy Jase: It used to be in a far worse place, now it’s getting better. But it still aint there yet.
Reese: Some niggaz are nice some niggaz are not, that’s just the way it goes.
7. You guys really blacked out on “Jumping Gaps”. It almost reminds us of some Gravediggaz music from back in the day. It had that horrorcore look but had some crazy complex bars in it. When you guys were writing that, was there an unsaid competition? Another words, do you guys almost push each other to write top notch when crafting those group joints?
Jiggy Jase: Yeah everybody wants to have the best verse. That’s just how rap is supposed to be, you wanna be the best. Why wouldn’t you wanna put your best verse out to the world.
Kos D: And that’s what makes a song hot, if niggaz came on on some weak shit, nobody’d wanna hear that shit!
8. How did you guys individually get into emceeing?
Jiggy Jase: I started out doing r&b for this little independent label, but that aint work out. So I started rhyming with these guys for fun and I started getting good at it so I fell in love with it.
Kos D: I started out writing little joints here and there in like early high school with my cousins Loan and Prime. By my junior year me and the Clutch started rhyming together on some freestyle shit, and we just caught the itch.
Reese: I been rapping for a minute, back in the day when I was a kid, I must’ve been like 7,8, I used to write out whole albums and cut out the paper for the cd, draw the cover and tell people “yo, my album dropped.”
9. With 2015 on the horizon what is up next for Royal Clutch?
Kos D: We in the process of recording our new shit for the summer . It’s gonna be some fresh shit, like pink lemonade in July type of shit. Other than that we gonna be getting ready for a couple of parties and shows we got lined up.
10. Being you guys are a well rounded group, which rap group is the best of all time in your opinion?
Jiggy Jase: That’s easy, Outkast. No disrespect to everybody else, but Outkast did everything, they were creative geniuses in their own right. Their type of music wasn’t supposed to be main stream, but they made people fall in love with their music.
Reese: G-Unit, they hard man, the bars are crazy, the songs are crazy, everything.
Kos D: theres a lot, but I think I’d have to go with Outkast, cause they put the game down crazy. Their sounds were so different.
11. It was cool chopping it up with you fellas, in closing let our readers know where to check you out and whatever else you want to let them know. The Floor is yours..
Jiggy Jase: You could check us out on twitter and ig @royalclutchbk, and on sound cloud at https://soundcloud.com/royal-clutch