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Pardon The Introduction: The Airplane Boys Talk Breaking Into Music, Drake and The Weeknd's Influence On Toronto

It’s not often that you hear something as sonically imaginative as The Airplane Boys. One second you’re gliding through planes of modern electro synths, and the next you’ve entered a realm of jazzy pop meets lyrical rap/hip-hop. But that’s precisely what Jason Drakes (Bon Voyage) and Mannie Serranilla (Beck Motley) were aiming for when creating their mixtape, Where’ve You Been. For them, it was all about captivating listeners and taking them to places they had never been before, and that's ultimately what lead to them garnering the amount of internet attention they have over the past few months.

Evolutionary in sound and avant-garde in style, Toronto’s genre-mashing twosome has been breaking musical barriers since grade school and is finally embarking on a journey to share their music with the world. With Drizzy Drake now firmly on the map and emo R&B prince The Weeknd closely following his footsteps, it seems as if Toronto is the next to blow, and The Airplane Boys are set to be part of the explosion.

VIBE.com caught up with the dynamic duo to discuss their latest project (executive produced by Weeknd music master Illangelo), as well as their rise as artists in the blossoming Toronto scene and even touring with living West Coast legend Snoop Dogg. With clear-cut ambition and an aim to be remembered in pop culture, The Airplane Boys are prepping to fly high.

Buckle your seatbelts. You’re about to take wing with Toronto’s next in line. —Stephanie Long (@Miss_Long)

Previously ? V Premiere: The Airplane Boys 'Gold Ribbons'


VIBE: To start off, can you guys kind of introduce yourselves to our readers who may not be familiar with you yet? Where’d your names come from, how did you guys meet, etc.?

BON VOYAGE: My parents split when I was 10 years old and I moved to a neighborhood in Toronto called Scarborough. That’s where I met Mannie. One day [in school] I was writing on my desk and he came over like ‘Do you rap?’ and I was like ‘Yeah,’ and we then started this little group for a talent show that was coming up and just kind of went from there doing stuff under the name Rock Steady. [To Beck Motley] Actually, what was the first name? Rap Pack?

BECK MOTLEY: [Laughs] Yeah.

BON VOYAGE: Yeah. And we just kept growing, and over time we changed our name. We had different groups with more people and Mannie and I just really stuck together and built a friendship and here we are today.

My name is Bon Voyage, and that name comes from us two years ago thinking like ‘Yo, we really need to just go forward and make things happen and get names that represent us in the best way.’ I was talking to Mannie and he was like ‘Yo, man, there’s a lot going on and I wanna leave things behind, I’m stressed out, I’m going through problems’ and we wanted something that represented that, and Mannie just [came up with] Bon Voyage for me and I was like ‘That’s perfect.’ I’m going through a possible baby on the way and the family needed a change and it was perfect because we wanted to say bye to everything that was holding us back, and now, finally, we’re here on track.

BECK MOTLEY: Amen, amen. And my name is Beck Motley because [Beck] is my nickname. Jay and all the guys used to call me that. And Motley was this word I didn’t even know – I didn’t even know about Motley Crue, to be honest [laughs]. I was in college and I was taking this improvisation course and I needed to get credits to catch up and I did this whole scene and the professor was like, ‘That was very Motley of you.’ And I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ And she’s like, ‘It’s very colorful. There’s a lot of dimensions to it and a lot of angles that you were bringing to it.’ And I looked up the word and I just liked the whole concept of different dimensions and colors because some days I wanna be dark and some days I wanna be uppity-up [laughs], so the name was Beck Motley.

The name The Airplane Boys came from Jay and I sitting in a room with our band director and making jokes and Jay was like ‘We need something that represents life and we gotta get away from this name Rock Steady,’ ‘cause we were like a jazz band playing jazz festivals and touring down the jazz circuit and I came up with a joke called ‘The Airplane Boys’ and me and Jay looked at each other like ‘Yo, that’s it, that’s what it is.’ And every time we went around and would be like ‘The Airplane Boys,’ people would laugh or be like ‘That’s cool,’ but either way we got a reaction. Negative or positive, it stuck with you, and people would come back and be like ‘Hey, you guys are The Airplane Boys, right?’ It also represented leaving things behind as well, just that whole theme of moving forward and seeing things fly under us. When we were younger, Jason’s dad was a pilot in Guyana and my dad was an aircraft engineer. I remember when I was a kid my dad would bring home airplane figurines and that would keep me in my youth – that would keep us in our youth. So the name represents us moving forward and hanging on to that youth and forwarding our fathers’ dream, you know?

Right, right. I really get that feeling from Where’ve You Been. You put it on and you kind of just escape from reality for a little bit. Was that really the whole concept behind the tape?

BECK MOTLEY: Yeah, Where’ve You Been generated when me and Jay would take walks to write. I watched this movie called ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ [laughs] and there’s a piece where Jack Sparrow was like ‘Imagine finding a place that you never discovered, never found.’ So Jay and I were like ‘Yo, imagine walking in the forest or whatever and finding a place where you knew no one had walked in that spot.’ We were like ‘What if we did that with our music?’ From our stories and our experience, we wanted people to feel like ‘Where’ve you been?’ like a place that they discovered. We wanted them to hold that music and be like ‘Where’ve you been all my life?’ Not so much like a question, but like a word of assurance. That’s why there’s no question mark in ‘Where’ve You Been.’ It’s just a statement for them to ask themselves that, not just about the music, but to ask yourself, ‘Where have I been.’ You’re never gonna be younger than you are today. So that’s just the whole vibe of what we’re trying to do and what we’re going to do.

That’s dope. Tell me about coming up as artists in Toronto alongside artists like The Weeknd and Drake. Is there a really active music scene?

CLICK HERE for Part 2

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Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Wiloughby said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

The Surviving R. Kelly series may be over, but the fallout from it has seemingly just begun.

Director dream hampton took to Twitter during the airing of the Lifetime documentary and spoke honestly about the several celebrity men she contacted in hopes they'd speak on camera about R. Kelly and the years of sexual allegations that have shadowed him. Among them was Dave Chappelle.

The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.

 

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Andre 3000 Stars In New Space Thriller 'High Life'

A new space thriller is coming to theaters this year. Andre 3000 will star in the new film alongside Twilight's Robert Pattinson in High Life, and the first trailer looks pretty intense.

The feature focuses on a group of criminals who are coerced into a mission to travel towards a black hole to find an alternate energy source. They are also forced to undergo sexual experiments while in outer space. The 2-minute preview features Pattinson and Andre 3000 as they struggle to survive on the spaceship.

High Life originally premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 2018. It received positive reviews from numerous film critics.

"High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis," Rotten Tomatoes said of the film.

The film is written and directed by Claire Denis. High Life will hit theaters on Apr. 12. Watch the new trailer in the video above.

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