Chicago is a small city in retrospect. And, the Windy City’s music scene? Even smaller.
You’re likely to see the same artists at multiple events, multiple times throughout the month. VIBE first came across Joey Purp and Kami de Chukwu at one of these lowkey gatherings. We were intrigued, yes. Previously, our eyes caught Kami on Twitter and noted his distinctive name — and we knew Joey was legit after hearing his verse on Vic Mensa’s Innanetape, Fear & Doubt.
Now here they were working together in a group they were calling Leather Corduroys. We had so many questions, but mostly what the hell was a leather corduroy? Fast forward some months, and Joey and Kami killed the North Coast Music Festival, and VIBE had a chance to connect with the two via email (much to Kami’s dismay)right before hitting the show too discuss Savemoney, the duo’s latest project, Season, their future endeavors and more.
VIBE: First of all, what’s the story behind the name? What exactly are leather corduroys? Do you rock them? How do you think the name represents you as a rap duo?
Kami: Haha,, it was kind of a random occurrence. I think the concept is just a fusion of two different materials to make something cohesive…and hot
Joey Purp: It was really just a fun idea. We related it to something that could never happen — being that it was two different materials. Something impossible. It’s funny as shit but sounds punk rock.
Savemoney has become a rap collective/brand known mostly for artists like Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. But what about the others who aren’t as widely known?
Kami: Yeah in a sense but we just wanted to figure out the best aesthetic to present our music…
Joey Purp: You could say that. Vic and Chance had the rare gift of being immensely talented as teenagers and had the vision to know they could make something of it. It took them to do it first to let the rest of us know it wasn’t hard. And, now it’s lit
How did each of you become involved with the collective? Was it sort of an organic union that developed among creatives and friends?
Kami: Yeah there was no sign up sheet… Some/most of us have always been homies
Joey Purp: Yea it was like a friends of friends type thing. We all gravitated towards each other as different fresh innovative kids.
I recently read an article that described Chicago hip hop as drill music and Savemoney. I didn’t really agree with it. There are definitely outliers (i.e. Mick Jenkins, Saba, Alex Wiley, Noname Gypsy, etc) and even within Savemoney, but I wouldn’t say that you have one definitive sound. What’s your take on this idea, and where do you think Leather Corduroys fits within the Chicago rap spectrum and within Savemoney?
Kami: We definitely jump around but it’s because I think our collective has experienced every side of Chicago for so long, and just have had had homies we always got down with from every background you think of.
Joey Purp: Yeah man, the whole two sided thing is wack to us. It’s all one city we all know each other one way or another. I don’t think we really fit in any geographical sound border that people try to apply. We’re in the future. Communication and technology is breaking down walls for people to create new sounds.
Can each of you give a brief history of how you came to be a rapper? When did you first realize that this was what you wanted to do, and when did the two of you decide that you wanted to do it together?
Kami: Yeah I’ve ALWAYS liked music.. I think I became a rapper because I thought I had to but now I think we are evolving as musicians and artists…
Joey Purp: It was really just something I did for fun with the homies. Then, recently, I started getting more dedicated to it when I saw I could actually have an impact on people and culture through something I love
Tell us a bit about Season. What was your creative process in developing it?
Kami: We made the project with all the people around us. Our homies THEMpeople really gave us the free space to record and we linked with Knox Fortune to start creating a sound
Joey Purp: It’s us and a producer named Knox Fortune primarily. Then a few songs from other producers. It was really an attempt to show every style and era of music that influenced us growing up. All on one project. To make an album that had no sound boundary but was still cohesive
What are your next moves?
Kami: We’re both working continuously… We’ve been working on our solos… We’re trying to deliver a full experience of what we both consider our individual sound I think that’s our goal this time around
Joey Purp: Yea we’re both working on solo projects. We have a ton of unreleased music together too
Is there anything that you would like to add?
Kami: I hate email interviews
Joey Purp: Man, stay true to yourself