Robbie Gallo aka Rob Hurt
You might be familiar with their work with Crush Effect, VKCE. Or the recent stellar Album The Good Kompany. You might have caught them at a Music Festival or on Tour. Vokab Kompany, the San Diego based Hip Hop and EDM Band has once again hooked up with the streets. This time on the track Politricks featuring Mitchy Slick and Alfred Howard.
This song we’ve been working on it for about a year. As far as writing and producing it. The music video I put together with a friend of mine from Sacramento named Gianny Torza. He’s an up and coming videographer. We kind of had our ideas of where we wanted to shoot in San Diego, we got Mitchy Slick involved, shot it. I actually flew up to Sac to help him edit that whole thing. You can imagine how long it takes to edit just 1 minute with video, it’s almost an 8 minute song. The whole concept spawned from Burkey. We wanted to get two people in the community that we really respected that had a Black Voice, a side of it that we don’t know anything about. Mitchy Slick being one of them, Alfred Howard being the other. They come from two totally different sides of things. But it was cool, we got a lot of respect for those two guys and in turn showed us a lot respect by getting involved with this Art and message.
Robbie Gallo recalls how he started rhyming.
I grew up in Tahoe, when I started writing the only things I had to go off of were Rap Music. I remember some of my first rhymes, they slanted towards Gangsta Rap. I remember my Mom found them and she was like why are you writing this stuff? We don’t live like this. I mean we grew up poor, my Mom was a cocktail waitress, she’s still a cocktail waitress. My Dad wasn’t in the picture and I got Brothers and Sisters. My Mom was always a good Mom, she hustled just so she could raise us and did good. She taught us good morals. She was like just write about you, you’re interesting. You got a good life and be creative and clever. I then started focusing my energy that way.
I appreciate you guys because you are original. Your music crosses over into more than a few genres. Tell us about these genres that people seem to think you’re in.
We kind of have this funky vibe. When we play, we play with a 6 piece band. Saxophone, drums, bass, guitar and keyboard. When we play live we want people to be feeling the music, to be vibing to it, to dance, so it’s be more like a party. If you have a live show you want the people there to have fun and kind of lose themselves and they tell more people about it and the show kind of builds. That’s where we’ve put our energy into as far as performance goes.
Back to Politricks…
For this song we wanted to touch more of the community and express ourselves politically and let people know how we feel. You don’t have to challenge other people’s politics necessarily if they’re Left or Right, where ever they stand, whether Religion or whatever. This is just how we feel, if you like it cool, support it, if not, it’s okay do your thing and we’ll respect that.
Now we speak to the originator of this epic song, Politricks…Matt Burke aka Burkey. Please tell us what this track means to you?
I was raised by a single Mom on welfare. I was a benefit of social programs and my Mom has gone on to be the Dean of the College of the College Of The Desert here in Palm Springs. I have 2 college educations and I’ve really gone on and made something of myself when I could have been a statistic unto these social programs in shit and the way people are bashing them right now is fucking ludicrous. I was so upset about what’s going on with Trump. I’m literally fighting with muthafucka’s online. Telling Them I will come to your house. That’s not me, I’m a grown up now, I don’t do that. This was with people I knew, I said come say this to my face, just because I identify with the oppressed here. I was one of them. Basing on the system, you’re telling me I was this..? People I knew my whole life, but I’m white. So they look at me like I get their point of view, I don’t! From this shit, I was boiling. I fucking had to pull over one day and steady myself out. I was like What The Fuck! And I just started writing “Fuck the GOP and the DNC my iPhone News and your Fox TV. I just wrote that shit right in my car. Then I called Robbie, I was like Robbie I know you’re not quite as confrontational as me, but I need to make this track. Do you want to get on it, I would love to have you on it. Make it Vokab. He was like yeah of course. Then I was like Bro I’m gonna call Mitchy, get Mitchy on it. You got to think about it, I’m a white school teacher from Boston, this and that. Robbie is kind of a hipster white dude. And Mitchy is legitimately an infamous Gangster Rapper from this town, we know him we’ve done music with him. He’s a real dude, he’s a great human being. With the Gang Injunction, he’s got a real story. He cares about his community, he reps Lincoln real hard. He gives back every year, toys, money to his community. He’s a good human being. He’s like the best rapper no one’s ever heard of. He does all his shit in one take. Mitchy Slick is the best Rapper on the West Coast. The Industry has stonewalled him because of the Gang Injunction, because he’s real. It’s really his life. There’s this big drama that went on in San Diego with the Lincoln Park Bloods, even bigger than you really know. So they’ve been trying to get Mitchy for so long. It’s real deal systematic depression. And so having him spit that verse to start this track, it meant the world to me. I literally had to get this vision of work out of me. To be who I am at this moment, at least because I’ve moved on from my aggression and the anger. Cause I was able to represent this in the right way, with real authentic artists. Another thing about collabing with Mitchy for me personally. To Rap like that, is very rare. You’re not gonna hear a lot of songs where I bust 60 Bar verses.
The last guy Al Howard, he’s a hipster. Really smart, he’s got 3 books out. He’s an African American spoken word Artist. I’ve known him for 20 years too. He did his poem on Instagram when I saw it and I was like damn! Everybody’s effected. I don’t know but I just assume you were affected by the song otherwise you wouldn’t have hit us for this interview.
Well it’s a powerful message from a gang of Artists that you would never expect they would be doing a song together.
But it’s authentic. Because these are real human beings going through different phases of the same type of “We Won’t Push Back”. I’m done fighting with people online because they weren’t getting it, they weren’t listening. So the only way we really know to express ourselves, me in particular is through Art. I don’t express myself entirely well. I react a lot like many people. I’m emotional and I react. But with this I was able to really think my personal thoughts out from start to finish. In my verse, I literally wanted to like a School Teacher, cause that’s what I am. I wanted to start somewhere and have it read like an essay. Like, this is way I think the way I do. It’s oil, money, the big lie. I studied History, this is a big lie, this whole thing I’m talking about. This deception..I say “Don’t take his message, plan an inception” that’s talking about how they saw Bernie Sanders on the rise. The Trump Campaign pulled that message, they stole a whole message, nobody even talked about that shit. They literally took Bernie’s message and acted like it was theirs. The Rich 1% took the voice of the people and changed it to theirs.
In Politics, they’re masters at this. The masses seem to only follow Headlines and Key Words, as if we are robots, drones or simply sheeple.
It’s crazy shit, that’s what my verse is really about. Culminating in all these people that think that they agree with this. Like the end of my verse I say, “You aint one of us and never gone be boy.” Like they’re not gonna let all these fucking want to be millionaires into their club. The Trillionaire Club. These people are trippin dude, everyone’s like “I’m a business owner, I’m a fucking get a tax break.” Like dude, no you’re not! Our kids are watching, that’s all I can say. I work at the High Schools and I heard shit this year that I’ve n ever heard before. Never in my life, all these talking points are penetrating down through the parents who watch these programs to their kids. And White privileged is like crazier than you’ve ever seen right now. With the kids at some of these schools. Blatantly they think its ok to have White Pride. “Why can’t I have White Pride if they have Brown Pride?” Then you explain what oppression is..”Oh but we’re not oppressed, we just had a Black President. Like, man there’s a disconnect. You heard about Kanye West, it’s the same shit as the Kanye thing is what is being spread around. Kanye is just an echo right now of a mainstream thought process. Our little Underground asses are the echo of the other side of that.
We really appreciate your energy, time and effort for this conversation. Be looking out for everything Vokab Kompany does, cause as you see they put their Heart and Mind into it, and it shows!
“This open wound that’s so divisive, we addressed it the only way we know how, with our words and to Hip Hop Music, we were raised on Hip Hop.” – BURKEY