Gorilla Warfare Tactics: Taking it to the Tip Top

Since dropping their debut track Temptations, New York hip-hop collective Gorilla Warfare Tactics have been turning heads and gaining critical acclaim across the blogosphere.

It’s an ability to make intelligent and accessible music that sets the collective apart from the countless pretenders captivated by the cash, hoes and bling.

Recently, LUNA had a chance to chat with Vikram Nayar to find out what makes GWT tick.

Vik, along with his twin brother Vivek, are responsible for the production of the group, whilst Abhi Kanakadandila, better known as Kid Dilla, is the main lyricist.

Dilla’s been listening to hip hop his whole life. Me and my brother (known as Cake) used to only listen to classic rock. We got really into hip hop when we came to NYU. I lived with Dilla because he begged me to. Fucking loser [laughs]. But yeah, we started putting together music right after that.”

With flow reminiscent of the golden age of hip-hop, the group cite Donald Glover, Shad K, J Cole, Jay Electronica, Blu and Exile as key influences on their style of music.

“These are the guys we listen to on repeat, plus Lupe, DJ Premier, Nottz, Asher, 9th wonder and Mos Def. It’s People that push the boundaries of hip-hop, rather than making the same shit over and over and we like to think that we’re creating our own style based on these influences.”

Pushing the boundaries and remaining creative is a key priority for GWT, who manage to keep their tracks compelling and thought provoking.

“Creativity is one of the most important things. In our opinion, there’s no such thing as good styles of music and bad styles. There’s creative music, and music that sucks because of the lack of creativity. Nah mean? We’ll say we’ve made it when our album (coming next year) goes platinum. Dream big.”

Creativity is certainly evident in the ground-breaking Temptations, which encapsulates GWT’s free-spirited vibe.  A brilliant loop sampling of The Temptations Ain’t Too Proud To Beg is complemented by silky smooth delivery and solid lyrical content, making it the standout track of the EP.

Unsurprisingly, Temptations isn’t the only quality track on the EP. Sporting Middle Eastern samples, hip-hop narratives and a defining anthem of the perils of the GFC, Premier is a well-rounded and solid EP, worthy of repeat listening.

“My favorite track’s probably Bernie Madoff. That’s my favorite. Dilla and Cake both like Tale of Mr. Street. And there’s obviously Temptations and Dream Green…So many choices.”

One common trait between all of GWT’s material is their striking and thought provoking lyrics. But how much work actually goes into making their tracks golden?

“Not that much work. Just kidding, Dilla‘s a lyrical wizard. Before we write lyrics, we sit down and decide what the songs are going to be about (even when we’re putting together a beat). But yeah that’s the hardest part.”

He isn’t joking either, just check this clip of the group free styling to fully understand how talented they are:

In our technological age, the internet and music blogs in particular have played an astronomical role in galvanizing the music industry by helping up-and-coming artists get recognized. Since their tracks first hit cyberspace, hype surrounding the group has grown exponentially.

“The internet has been one of the biggest innovations in mankind’s history since…fire [laughs]. It definitely helped us when we started out. The blogging world has been nice. No complaints. Shout out to Confusion from Pigeons and Planes for first blogging our stuff. That was dope.”

A full mixtape, slated for release this August, has hip-hop aficionados and critics alike drooling at the mouth. Judging by Vik’s sentiments, it’s going to be well worth the wait. Until then, Gorilla Warfare Tactics’ EP Premier and single Temptations are available for free download here.

The future is bright for GWT and if they keep building on the success of Premier, expect to hear a lot more of them very soon.

In the words of Dilla:

“Life gave me lemons, didn’t make no lemonade; Threw the fucking lemons back and busted out the cabernet”

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