In an era where rap collectives are less prominent than ever, Spillage Village carves out a space as rap's best example of all for one and one for all. Get to know the Atlanta crew.
Interviews: Peter A. Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.
These days, musical crews dissipate as quickly as they form, but Spillage Village, a creative collective—made up of a bunch of eclectic rappers, singers and producers—is on the rise. After dropping three well-received albums, the members, which includes founders Olu, WowGr8 (a.k.a. the duo EarthGang) and J.I.D plus artists 6lack, Jurdan Bryant, Hollywood JB, Mereba and Benji, reached a new career milestone after releasing their major label debut LP, Spilligion, on Interscope Records this past fall.
Spillage Village’s latest musical plateau is nearly a decade in the making. The members, five of whom are signed to solo deals with Interscope, have slightly varied accounts of when exactly they came together. According to EarthGang and J.I.D, the story goes something like this: A bunch of early 20-somethings connect during smoking sessions and block parties at Virginia’s Hampton University between 2009 and 2013. After getting bars off on campus, the group of then-five friends evolved into a crew of artists actively trying to succeed in music together. By early 2014, the first five members (minus Mereba, 6lack and Benji, who joined later) now dubbed Spillage Village, headed back to Atlanta and soon dropped the group’s debut LP, Bears Like This, the following year. Their other two albums, Bears Like This Too and Bears Like This Too Much, came out over the next two years independently while J.I.D and EarthGang inked deals with J. Cole’s Dreamville Records on Interscope.
As a clique, Spillage Village is still indie. Sonically, Spillage Village call to mind camps like the Soulquarians, A Tribe Called Quest and the Dungeon Family with combinations of diverse flows, trap rap, disembodied folk, jazz and ethereal vocals that create a sound all their own. In hip-hop, individuality has been king, but this clique believes in collectivism to their core. With their uncompromising, dynamic approach to music, Spillage Village baptizes new listeners into their own church, reaffirming the fans who were already believers. Meet the Village.
Meet Spillage Village
Check out more from XXL’s Winter 2020 issue including our DaBaby cover story, an introduction to DaBaby's Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment label roster, an interview with South Coast Music Group founder Arnold Taylor, who discovered and signed DaBaby, one of King Von's last interviews, how the coronavirus changed hip-hop, we catch up with Flipp Dinero in What's Happenin', we talk to Rico Nasty about rediscovering who she is as an artist, Marshmello reveals the rappers he wants to work with in Hip-Hop Junkie, Show & Prove interviews with The Kid Laroi and Flo Milli, we take a closer look at how rap music gets leaked, producer LilJuMadeDaBeat shares how he made Megan Thee Stallion's hit song "Body," Kash Johns, founder of Winners Circle Publishing, discusses what makes a hot producer, and more.
See Photos of XXL Magazine's Winter 2020 Cover Shoot With DaBaby