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Nowadays, you can’t have a conversation about West Coast hip hop without mentioning Bino Rideaux and Blxst. Arriving on the scene with their own unique blend of feel-good R&B and rap, the rising stars prove good music goes a long way, and they show no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles comes with its own battles to conquer, and the dynamic duo fortunately found their calling in music.
Talk about full circle. Blxst got his start producing for Bino, teaching himself how to rap, sing, write, produce, and even editing his own videos and artwork. With standout collaborations with Mozzy, Kendrick Lamar, YG, Eric Bellinger, Mustard, and G Perico, you know immediately the song is banger if Blxst is on the hook. His debut EP, No Love Lost, took over the streets of Los Angeles and beyond.
Bino, on the other hand, first exploded on the scene working with Nipsey Hussle — even releasing a collaborative tape called No Pressure with the late legend. Staying true to himself and his sound laced with hypnotic melodies, Bino went on to sign with Def Jam in partnership with Out The Blue. Before the release of his full-length debut, Outside, which featured appearances from Ty Dolla $ign, Fredo Bang, Mozzy, and BlueBucksClan, Bino and Blxst collaborated on their 2019 critically acclaimed tape Sixtape.
Now, fans are ecstatic to be receiving the follow-up project Sixtape 2, which boasts 12 songs instead of the six that the original Sixtape was known for. REVOLT caught up with BLXST and Bino shortly before their Sixtape 2 release event at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Read below as we discuss how Sixtape 2 came to be,
Sixtape 2 out now. How are you guys feeling?
BLXST: I’m feeling good. I’m excited overall.
Bino: It’s up. This is what they’ve all been waiting for, ain’t it? That’s what they be saying (laughs).
Bino: Hell yeah, I get so much shit. I don’t drop a lot, period, but I get so much shit about Sixtape like, “Man, we need another Sixtape. We need more Bino and Blxst.” So it’s here, it feels so surreal.
The first Sixtape was so fire. Was there pressure to top it off?
Bino: Of course there’s pressure. It was so executed so perfectly that now the second time around, it’s tough. But,I feel like we came through.
At what point did you guys decide, “Alright, we’re doing the sequel”?
BLXST: I think it was the momentum of the first one. Over time, people said, “We need a part two.” We always had it in the back of our minds, but it took us time to sit down and actually do it. Right after part one, they’re already asking for part two.
Were you guys ready to make another one? What was the thought process?
Bino: We were new to this new stage we were on. We were trying to figure out our next move and build our own solo legacies in the meantime. Because when we come together, it’s something special. It’s damn near sacred. I like the rate that it’s going and how it all happened, it’s happening perfectly.
Sixtape is named because of the six songs on the tape, correct?
BLXST: Yeah it’s basically a mixtape with 6 songs. Sixtape, mixtape.
Bino: See now it’s Sixtape 2, so it’s six times two.
BLXST: 12 songs.
Why no features? Was that on purpose?
BLXST: It just happened like that, naturally, organically. It’s the formula from the first one so I didn’t necessarily fight it. We considered some features. We weren’t against it, but we kept on making banger after banger. At the end of the day, there’s no need.
How have you guys both grown since the first Sixtape in 2019?
BLXST: Me personally, I accomplished a lot since part one. Off the strength of that alone, it catapulted me to having a name in the city that holds weight itself. Us bringing it back together again, it’s going to make it that much more impactful.
Bino: Since 2019, we were getting a taste of performing and getting a live reaction. It just started for us. Since then, it’s been so quiet. We’ve been so anxious to get back out here. In the beginning, it was hard to even decide what moves to take. “Should I drop? Should I hold my music?” You can’t be outside, there’s a lot of restrictions. At the end of the day, it was a humbling experience. All this shit can be fucked up in a blink of an eye, but at the same time, it gave us time to sit back and really figure out how to control our narrative. How we want to represent ourselves, get the music together, build our catalogues. Now, it’s time to shoot them shots.
How do you guys want to represent yourselves?
BLXST: Shit overall, of course, we want to be known for being a solid individual. Aside from the music, standing on integrity. I want to leave a print in this music shit. I don’t want to be another name, I want to be one of them ones. I’m sure it’s the same for Bino, too.
Bino: Yeah, I agree with that shit.
I want to touch on the “MOVIE” music video. I love that you guys did a whole skit working at the carwash. How was it shooting and acting?
Bino: It was a lot of fun. The cast, a lot of them people out there were seasoned. They do this acting shit. We had fun. We were laughing the whole time, trying to hold our composure and get through the scene.
What does it mean to give car washes back to the city? You guys are born and raised here.
Bino: Man, it’s dope to be that hands-on with the fans. People that really have respect and love for our music, just be in a place where we can have a discussion. It’s outside, me on stage singing to you. Them seeing us together being excited about that project and feeling that energy. It’s going to be lit.
What are your guys’ favorite songs on the project and why?
Bino: It’s going to be hella interviews that drop of us saying different songs. I agree, it changes. I always say it’s different vibes for different times and the situation. Right now, I’m fucking with “Selfish.”
From the first tape?
Bino: I mean not “Selfish”
I was going to say, Selfish” is my shit!
BLXST: He took it back (laughs).
Bino: That reminds me too. People if you’ve been here, you already know. If you’re a new fan, go back and listen to the first one before you listen to the second one. It’s like a good movie. But, no, not “Selfish.” I’m talking about “Beginning to the Ending.” Right now, I’m off that. That’s the outro.
You guys are both fathers. How’s fatherhood? Y’all probably connect on that trip right?
Bino: Hell yeah, Blxst’s a good dad.
Bino: I respect it. It’s dope to be around other individuals that have that same mindset when it comes to fatherhood because it’s almost an immediate understanding. I understand you as an individual because you’ve been taking that step in your kid’s life. Of course we talk about our kids, but it’s a neutral understanding when it comes to that.
How does it feel to be Black men in America today?
Bino: Shit same way we felt as 17 motherfucking [years ago]. It’s tricky. It can go either way. We’re so advanced, a lot more advanced than 10 years ago as far as technology and lifestyle. You see a lot of the same shit, it’s just more broad now. I see protests, all types of shit. For me, it’s still a scary situation I guess you can say.
BLXST: Man, yeah, I agree. Especially us having a son, I be thinking about everything I grew up having to face. I think about, “Damn, what did my parents have to face? What did my grandparents have to face?” It’s subtle changes, but having that uncertainty still is something we’ve still got to work on.
BLXST, how does it feel to sell out your own headlining tour?
BLXST: It’s amazing. I honestly didn’t think I was going to sell out.
You know people pull up for Blxst though!
BLXST: I don’t know, this is my first tour! I hadn’t even put a show together. It’s everything. Really overall gave me that reassurance that I’m on the right path, that people are really rocking with me and I’m doing it for the right reasons. I have to keep that in mind.
What’s next for you guys? Any solo albums?
BLXST: I’m excited for Sixtape 2. It’s crazy because as artists, it’s always a “what’s next?” game. The project’s out so I can’t even think about tomorrow right now. I’m trying to live in the moment. The fans are really going to appreciate this moment as much as we do. We have fun with it, so they’re going to feel that energy through the music.
Bino: Fasho, I’m excited to perform this shit for real. Everybody knows this shit and we up there. It’s us doing what we’re doing back when they barely knew who we was. It’s going to be tight to see that shit grow now.
I remember pulling up to the Constellation Room in the OC, they knew every word! Bino brought Blxst out. Now y’all got another tape together.
Bino: Shit was crazy. Now he finna be in New York killing that shit, ya feel me? It’s crazy.
Anything else you want to let us know?
Bino: Sixtape 2 out.
BLXST: It’s for the fans.