An Interview with Lunchbagg and Raye Sosseh
What kind of music do you make, and who would like your show at Foo Fest?
L: Raye and I make DIY punk-rock-hip-hop. If you like interesting alternative music that has the familiarity of hip-hop—like, really heavy bass; some crazy synthesizers and samples going on; some good energy—then you’ll like our show.
How did you two meet and end up playing together?
L: We both skate—well, we both used to skate. We still skate sometimes, but we don’t go hard.
R: We’re retired skaters.
L: Anyway, I saw Raye hanging out with some people I knew over at the ice rink, and we ended up talking. He mentioned that he made beats, and I was like, “Oh, I make beats too!” So we kind of just hung out and made beats together for awhile. And then, at the same time, we both had the same realization: What if we did sets together?
What was the first show you guys played together?
R: McNeil’s Tavern! It was actually a pretty good first experience.
L: Yeah, we blended the end of his set into the beginning of mine. So, I was in the bathroom when it started. And I walked out onto the stage and did my opening lines right out of the bathroom.
R: Eminem-style; that was some 8 Mile shit.
As an up-and-coming act, how have you guys gone about establishing yourselves in the Providence music scene?
L: I’ve been rapping and performing for a while now, since I was in ninth grade. One of my first performances as Lunchbagg was actually at AS220. Since then, I’ve always just tried to play a shit-ton of shows, but I didn’t get really serious about what I was doing my senior year of high school.
What made you know, as a 14-year-old, that you wanted to be a rapper?
L: I heard “The Cool” by Lupe Fiasco, and I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna rap.” I got it for Christmas along with the Justin Timberlake album, “The Future Sex Album.”
R: What? Man, my parents got me like a ping pong set!
L: I got that album, and that was it. I knew I wanted to rap. I started listening to Tech N9ne, Black Flag, Jerry’s Kids, SSD, Disaster Strikes, and obviously Lupe Fiasco.
How has the Providence music scene changed since you started rapping?
L: It’s gotten really… cute. I don’t know how to describe it. I guess, I got introduced to punk music first off: like, basement shows; Thunderdome over on the west end, bands like Black Pyramid and Disaster Strikes would come there. Lately, though, it seems like the punk scene… It hasn’t deteriorated; it’s still in the mills and stuff; you’ve just gotta dive a little bit. The scene kids have become more like the hipster kids. Everything has to have this certain “depth” to it and be “multilayered”…
R: It’s gotta be “ironic.”
L: Yeah, dudes are wearing their “ironic” Mighty Mouse tee-shirts. I feel like that shit is trying too hard. It’s too much of a gimmick.
Has that changed what it’s like for you to perform here?
L: I’ve always just done the same shit, really… I’ve always gone all-out with the cardio: doing spins, hitting the pirouettes all night. I’ve always done that, even back when I would do shows at my high school. If I couldn’t get gigs at real venues, I would just perform at my high school. I would jump on tables, flip off the room…
R: I just started off playing house parties and shit like that. But I got into DJ-ing because of dubstep and crazy electronic music, which is almost turning into a semi-punk scene in and of itself. But I’ve only been in Providence for a year now, so everything here is kind of new to me. So far, though, I’d say everything I’ve encountered has been pretty cool, except for a few off-encounters with some promoters… but I won’t get into that.
L: Yeah, there’s always gonna be that guy who’s trying to pimp, and Raye and I just don’t fucking care. For us, it’s going to be the same performance whether there’s one person or a thousand people. It doesn’t matter if it’s Foo Fest or a show where there’s nobody there; we’re still gonna put on the same show. One or a thousand is the rule, and if you follow that rule people can’t take shit from you. I mean, don’t get me wrong, money is good. Foo Fest is gonna be awesome because we’re also getting scraps a little bit. But we would be doing this shit for free anyway.
What are your plans for your set at Foo Fest?
L: Foo Fest is gonna be crazy, because we’ve been rehearsing for a while. There will be backflips. Pirouettes.
R: Maybe some lasers.
L: Some merch toss
R: Making it rain tee-shirts.
What has been your experience attending Foo Fest in the past?
L: It’s always awesome; it smells bad, though. It smells like shit, because you get all kinds of people who have probably not bathed in weeks.
R: So many hippies.
L: And they’re sitting right next to you, so you’re just like, “Damn, you smell like fucking shit! I can’t even cope right now!”
R: Dude, we should just make it rain Old Spice at that point.
L: Yeah, vaporize that shit. I can imagine… They’d all be like, “Noooo! It smells unnatural!” Hopefully the smell dissipates before it reaches our nostrils.
R: If not, we can just have Jarrod on Febreze patrol.
L: Or we could have the Super Soakers shoot Febreze at people. I bet we could rig that… Or just giant fucking spray bottles.
Nice. When you guys aren’t onstage and pouring Febreze on the audience, what do you have planned for the rest of the day?
L: Littlefoot is playing, Medusah Black, Lolita Black. We’re excited to see all of them. I’ve known Medusah for a while; she was doing the first open mic that I ever went to at AS220, back when it was called the Elementary Showcase.
Was it easy for you to meet people and break into the Providence music scene?
L: I feel as if everybody’s pretty humble and normal, so it’s not that hard to talk to anybody in the local scene. I never felt intimidated by any bands, or like I couldn’t approach them.
Besides Foo Fest, what are you guys looking forward to in the near future?
L: The Basquiat EP dropped July 17th.
R: Get that shit.
L: Get that shit. And then, Ghost Fest in Connecticut is gonna be a spooky good time. It’s a new festival, happening for the first time in New Hartford on August 17th.
What are you listening to right now?
L: I’m listening to Mr. Paulino right now.
R: He just dropped a bomb fucking EP!
L: Collaborations EP, My First Flight. Look Mr. Paulino up; he’s sick.
Be sure to check out Lunchbagg’s set at 5:15 on the INDOOR STAGE at Foo Fest!