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Every day, I’m standing outside trying to sing my way in: “We are hungry, please let us in, We are hungry, please let us in."
After about a week that song is gonna change to: "We hungry, we need some food."
After two, three weeks, it’s like: "Give me the food or I’m breaking down the door."
After a year you’re just like: "I’m picking the lock coming through the door blasting"
It’s like, you hungry, you reached your level.
— Tupac; "AMZNG (interlude)”, The Cafeteria Line
Love and hunger are two constant reminders in the balance beam of life. Your heart determines your mental and emotional equilibrium and your body regulates your physical and spiritual health. TiRon & Ayomari have demonstrated their relationship with both of these necessities, first up in The Cafeteria Line.
From PB&J Solution and Ketchup, these two foodies have been staking a claim in the music world infusing their love to eat with their hunger to create. Last year, the release of Tiron & Ayomari’s first full collaborative effort— A Sucker For Pumps— steered away from the culinary idiom to a more defined execution of “young at heart, not at mind.”
“An album about boys and girls, dedicated to men and women,” AFSP steered to the heat in the kitchen. And now with their latest collaborative effort with their creative team, the dinner table looks much more like a family affair for dessert. HNGRY, released August 30th, includes a few other cool kids from The Cafeteria Line: Breezy LoveJoy, T!FF, D Smoke, Davion, and SiR.
While the two projects are a year apart, the running similarities between them are undeniable: top-notch production, inspiring lyricism and delivery, and (most importantly), realism. I had the chance to chop it up with TiRon & Ayomari briefly about these characteristics from ASFP and ended up with a new insight into love, life, ambition, and determination. Rising alongside the era of artistic groups TDE, ASAP Mob, Raider Klan and World’s Fair to name a few, The Cafeteria Line offers another unique twist in the world of hip-hop and caters to all music lovers. Get you some.
Just taking our time and making sure it’s right. Because a lot of people are like “it’s coming out this day” and then it comes and it’s hot for like, a week! But then you don’t live with it. It don’t live in your car it just gets lost in the rotation, it’s almost like a mixtape. People release albums like—
They be making music based off deadlines instead of making music based on good music.
Jack Kerouac, for instance, isn’t someone you hear about in a normal rap line. But for TiRon & Ayomari’s ASFP, he became not only the title, but the inspiration of the intro track. Known as one of the pioneers of the Beat Generation, or “beatnik” poetry following his experience in World War II, Kerouac’s legacy later rested more-so in his lifestyle and relationships than his actual groundbreaking contributions to the literary world. “On The Road,” however, is his most celebrated piece of work, which seems to have been the most obvious reference from the two.
So we just wanted to basically look at ourselves as hitchhikers. Like, every relationship is essentially like a different car—you get in, and you go for a minute, run it a little bit more, get a bit further— but you know, sometimes you have to get out of the car. You’re a little farther, you’re a little better, you’ve learned a little bit more in terms of your journey, and then you get right back out. And you have baggage on your shoulder from that trip.
You know when you’re in a relationship and you’re into it more than the other person is? I got lost in it—like, just in love with that person. And to the point you start to spend too much time around them and you spend too much time in their world and you don’t give enough time to yourself to grow and experience and just have a place. That’s something that definitely takes a toll in a relationship when you’re around that person too much.
Obviously, certain relationships break up at that pivotal moment like ‘oh she cheated on you’ or you got into a huge argument, but other times it’s just the little small things that just definitive, like ‘yo, im done.’ The director, David Helman, came up with the treatment for [“Her Theme Song”]. At the end, it looks like she was washing the dishes; she was washing a different meal that he ate. He ate fast food and fell asleep. There’s fast food on the table. And it’s like—in those moments.
Yeah, they let you know that you’re not on the same page anymore.
Right, either she does something, or he does something. One of them knows like—this ain’t working for me. I think that’s what that moment was. It was kind of like her looking back on everything and then it getting to this point. Remembering the honeymoon phase, and remembering when it was all amazing and this and that. And now we’re at the point where he won’t even buy meals.
Not to be cheesy, but I just wanna please you
I’ll let you ride it, give you the keys too
If you don’t mind it, I can teach you some things too
Lead you you know I would, tease me I know you could
—TiRon; “For The Neighbors”)
‘Mari and I were having this conversation with a couple of friends of ours. And we noticed how women in songs— like when they sing about men— they don’t say “boy” anymore. Like, it’s either “hustler” or some shit. You know how many people used to say “boy”? Like SWV, they used to say “boy” all the time and now it’s like, some girls even say “nigga” and it’s like ‘nah…’ It’s cool, it has its time and place and everything like that but I felt like it was something about the innocence of those old records that were dirty as fuck; like I literally just found out last year that that song by Next ‘Too Close’ was talking about sex. There was a certain sense of masking that comes along with most of those records.
But yeah, that’s the reason why we did the record “The Neighbors” because we felt it needed that aspect.
Who’d have known that she hate it every time she
Takes a look in the mirror
All she hear is how she could’ve kept that nigga
If she had bigger titties, pretty eyes, slimmer hips, lighter skin
It’s crazy how society’s standards of beauty or how people see beauty, but you know, it’s the things they watch, or absorb in movies or…
When people get in relationships they automatically start trying to please each other instead of being themselves and figuring it out later. Like, they kind of manipulate how they feel in order to appease someone, so they might not eat meals, they might dress a little bit more provocative. It’s a lot of that insecure shit that people hold on to and harbor. And yeah, I’ve definitely met women who… they’re only as amazing as the last nigga they fucked.
I mean, I would say—Ayomari said this once and I can’t remember in what context—but he was like: people only care as much as you do. It’s like the difference between Andre 3000 being able to wear all the shoulder pads with the platinum hair and the fucking crazy shit, and it was weird. A lot of people were like, ‘that’s fucking different’ but he rocked that shit. And he looked comfortable wearing it so we accepted him wearing it. I think that’s like a statement in regards to people. Especially if she’s insecure I’ll be like: people don’t even care; you care more than other people do.
As human beings we have a hard time being objective and seeing how we actually look. We have an idea of how we look and then we have an idea of how we think we look. And then we base our ideas on how we look on how people think we look. And it’s fucked up. It’s like a snowball effect.
I think a lot of that comes from maybe watching TV and watching stars and watching what people “look like”. But really a lot of what we see on the news, like, those are doctored up people. They’re not real.
But we use them as a basis for reference.
And makes that become standard. And what don’t fit the standard that they show you, then you automatically don’t fit.
Like, a lot of the reasons why men are the way they are is because of other men and because of the environment. It was more like, ‘this is the world we live in’. And it’s not necessarily excusing it, it’s sort of like ‘no wonder why you don’t like me!’
It actually reminded me of my favorite Lil Wayne song, “Young'n Blues”. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. But in the song, he talks about issues with past girlfriends and the reasons why they came up as so problematic:
And please consider that
We were taught to love money, ice, cars, and clothes
Love pussy but you dont love them ho's
Love ya niggas love ya children
Now if they got a bitch you could love that
Well, I don’t want women to think that there are literally men—well, there are men literally teaching little boys how to treat women in some cases, but in most parts, it’s that no education is going on at all. We’re learning by seeing someone do an example, we’re learning by example. It’s not like your uncles, and your cousins, and there’s a griot in the middle. It really just comes from seeing daddy do it, seeing uncle do it…
Cause you got single mothers out there, but the woman isn’t necessarily always the best one to raise a man, to teach a man how to be a man. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a single mother, you know, but from a man’s standpoint).
And who it is who ends up being it—like, your homies end up raising you. Your homies end up telling you. You have other boys teaching other boys how to be men. Literally.
Babies making babies.
Basically it’s a collective of all different types of people; its music, production, style, and whatever. Basically it’s creative individuals, so you don’t have to outsource
But in a more immediate sense of the word, it is a group; it’s us, it’s essentially The Basement meets Dungeon Family meets Soulquarians. I feel like there’s so many different types of people who make different types of music, but they don’t make music together. And you know, it’s strength in numbers. So a lot of this shit—how the radio don’t sound the way we want it to, and the reason why certain artists don’t get enough light is because it’s not enough of them. They’re not all in the same room creating this thing. They’re all over the place—they’re scattered. So their fans become scattered. Instead of centralizing that whole sound and that whole fan base, it put them all in one fucking room.
It’s better to show people. It’s like a step up, and a step to the left.
HNGRY, which is their newest option in The Cafeteria Line, undoubtedly lives up to the platform A Sucka For Pumps created. The realism is evident in every track, from T!FF’s “Makes Me Crazy” to T&A’s “Radio,” SiR’s “Easy” and featured appearances of Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and James Fauntleroy. It all pieces together with the threading theme of effortless talent, honest revelations, and incredible results. If their hunger for more is to continue their quest to the top, the feeling is mutual. It’s way too easy.
—Jazzi Johnson, @bubbleMAMI