The Doppelgangaz are the rap team of Matter ov Fact and EP and they’ve been dropping discerningly dirty hip-hop music via their Groggy Pack label since 2008. Next week, they’ll look to build on their grass-roots movement with HARK, a svelte 12-track listen that snaffles the listener inside a freaky shadowy world filled with rappers rocking black cloaks, characters suffering from a smorgasbord of grisly medical ailments, and cougars chowing down on steak at Peter Luger’s. This all takes place against a soundtrack of static-coated beats that chug and boom with a rugged panache. Check out this exclusive album stream of HARK and get a primer on the Doppelgangaz lifestyle.
How is HARK different from your previous projects?
EP: I think this album is more personal. It goes more in-depth and we talk about some real life situations we were going through and delved in on it. Lone Sharks was explaining the black cloak lifestyle but this was getting more personal. I also think it’s a little more upbeat and a little more aggressive.
Matter Ov Fact: I think it’s a more aggressive record and a little more hard-headed. Our first album was very laid back and Lone Sharks was laid back and hard-hitting but this is more full on hard-hitting.
What’s the idea behind those black cloaks you wear?
Matter ov Fact: The black cloak is the lifestyle we live. It represents being able to throw on whatever, having that black cloak over you, that do-it-yourself lifestyle and not really mattering how much bread you have or nothing but to just make the best out of what you have. You could be bare-chested wearing drawers with the hole in the crotch and just throw the cloak over and nobody would know about that and they’ll be cool with it.
There are lots of references to medical conditions on the album, like I.B.S., cirrhosis and gingivitis.
Matter ov Fact: Yeah, you know, we just get patched up daily — we never get fixed up fully!
EP: It’s dealing with a lot of personal problems and we got hygiene problems and I guess we don’t take care of ourselves, henceforth a lot of medical problems. That’s just the way it is.
What’s the worst medical problem you’ve experienced?
Matter ov Fact: I’d probably have to say passing kidney stones. I talked about sewing up my own stitches on a song, but honestly, passing your own kidney stones is definitely painful. It’s like giving birth through your urethra!
EP: I would say it’s referencing back to our first album where we dwelled a lot on using Gold Bond medicated powder. If you let the jock area get sweaty and get that jock rash, that’s no joke, man. No one wants to be itching there. You need to freshen up properly ’cause it’s not very welcoming to the ladies.
You have a song titled “Smang Life.” What’s that lifestyle all about?
EP: It’s just that regular living. A lot of people want to play both sides of the fence: Dudes want to have a main piece and have the side dishes. Me, I got six girlfriends and a wife on the side, you feel me? It’s hard out here to balance it. Smang Life is that portal you can get sucked into.
Matter ov Fact: Smang Life is just having no regard for ethics and morals. It’s going buck wild. You don’t really care who’s in front of you, you’re just concentrating on your own moves. That’s all that counts.
On “Barbiturates” you have a line warning “When you get to heaven’s door make plenty sure to stay away from the seventh floor.” What happens there?
Matter ov Fact: Ha ha, that’s talking about this big-ass brothel. It’s a brolic-ass brothel in Cologne, Germany and the seventh floor is transcendental. We’re telling people to stay away — we let you in to that type of thing, I don’t even mind.
What one track from the album would you recommend people check out first?
EP: You know, I would go with the first song we decided to put out, “Hark Back.” It sets the tone, it was a new cool progressive sound for us, especially for us to be rapping on a track that fast — it was like 97 b.p.m. instead of the usual mid-’80s b.p.m. we rap on. I think it paints the picture properly to get into the album.
HARK is out March 12 on Groggy Pack. Stream it below: