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For B-Lovee, Drill Music Is Worth Fighting For

New York rapper B-Lovee speaks with Audiomack World about the importance of fighting for drill music in the city.
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This article previously appeared on Audiomack World.

Music has been a constant presence in B-Lovee’s life. Growing up, the 22-year-old Bronx rapper fell asleep at night listening to his iPod. He was introduced to drill music through Chicago stalwarts like G Herbo and Lil Durk in the early 2010s and even recorded a few one-off songs in 2015.

Lovee wouldn’t feel the urge to do it again until Brooklyn drill rose on the backs of artists like Sheff G and the late Pop Smoke, which inspired his 2020 debut project Courtlandt Baby. Still, he didn’t take it seriously until he and friends like Kay Flock and Dougie B began spawning local hit records like 2020’s “Shot Down.” “We knew each other before the rap,” Lovee tells Audiomack World. “When everybody started rapping, we [saw we had] good talent.”

Lovee didn’t truly realize the power his music had until “My Everything” leaked. Produced by Cash Cobain, the song’s prominent sample of Mary J. Blige’s “Everything” and his relentless flow pushed it to wild heights: it received two remixes from fellow Bronx rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and his idol G Herbo and netted him a spot performing with Meek Mill at his Expensive Pain show at Madison Square Garden last year. Lovee admits the song wasn’t initially his favorite but chalks its success up to fate: “God works in mysterious ways,” he says with a laugh.

His star is rising fast, and Lovee is already concerned with using his expanding profile for good. Immediately after our call, he left to meet with Hot 97 to help organize a peace rally in order to combat New York mayor Eric Adams’ recent attempts to restrict drill music’s presence on New York radio and, somehow, on social media. Adams has deemed the popularity of drill throughout the city as solely responsible for an uptick in gang violence, a false equivalency that rappers like Lovee, Brooklyn drill frontrunner Fivio Foreign, and rap veteran Maino hope to rectify.

Admittedly, the subgenre has been through peaks and valleys since Pop Smoke—its most prominent figure—was murdered during an attempted robbery gone wrong while staying in Los Angeles in 2020. Lovee knows drill is worth fighting for all the same. He sees music as a way out for people trapped in lose-lose situations designed to either send them to jail or to an early grave, especially in the Bronx. He hopes that the mayor and the rest of the city will meet his perspective halfway: “I hope a lotta people will follow this movement and help us feed our families and feed our fans. We’re just trying to save the culture.”

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As someone from The Bronx, what about the current wave of Brooklyn drill was attractive to you?

We’re all from New York, but I remember when Sheff G and Pop Smoke went viral. I remember watching them rise and once I caught the narrative and saw what was going on, I just tuned in. It was a funny, different sound. But it was wavy, though.

Some of your earliest hits feature fellow Bronx rapper Kay Flock, with whom you have great chemistry. What’s your relationship like and what’s your favorite part of working with him?

We knew each other before the rap. When everybody started rapping, we [saw we had] good talent. When I heard him rapping, I was like, “Say no more.” He was on my time, too; he wasn’t taking it seriously at first. But even though he wasn’t, I was telling him that he gotta take it seriously because he was nice. He was telling me the same thing.

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We were in the stu’ and there was chemistry already. No worries, just let the beat play and go about it. Certain people just get that work because you click, like my boy Dougie B. The way we each move, it was a perfect match.

What was it like recording your song “Shot Down?”

We had just finished making the video for “Opp Spotter.” We had a big video shoot and shut down the block. We went to the studio, boom, and made “Shot Down.” We were jammed up in there helping each other with our verses. We didn’t think we were gonna finish it, but Spike Tarantino and them were in the studio with us. They heard the verses the way we left them and they were like, “Nah you gotta finish that.” Then we end up fixing the song. It took us five hours to make that song, no cap.

Talk to me about recording the original version of your hit “My Everything.” Where did the initial idea to flip the Mary J. Blige sample come from?

We were in the stu’ and [Producer] Cash Cobain sent some beats to my A&R. I was listening to it and I heard the vocals and thought about how it was something my mom used to listen to. It bumps automatically. You know the type of music we make with the drill and my mom wanna be listening to music too, so I’m making music for her at the time. I record it and then it got leaked. Somebody got their hands on it and it was over. TikTok got it and it was just over after that.

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Do you feel like the sample wave in drill is gonna crest any time soon? I’ve seen a lot of mixed reactions to it.

Sample drill is sample drill. I’ve seen people saying that it’s been done before, but people have been rapping over samples forever. People been doing this, like remixing an old song. A drill 808 and bass just adds a different taste to it.

I think it’ll last a long time because so many people fall in love with a beat before they fall in love with the words. I gained a lotta older fans because of the samples, too, because I remixed their favorite song. It’s definitely timeless.

You’re also in the process of organizing a peace rally with Hot 97 to speak out against Mayor Eric Adams’ attempt to curb gang violence by restricting the radio airplay of drill in New York. What compelled you to be on the front lines of such an important protest?

I consider myself one of the beginners of Bronx drill. They trying to bring it down and take away the radio play. We’re about to do a Stop The Violence walk with Fivio [Foreign]. We’re just trying to save the culture.

They say things are getting wild, but if you cut off the radio play and leave these kids where they at while it’s wild, it’s never gonna be no change. We’re trying to keep it alive so people can move away from what’s bad and toxic for them instead of forcing them to stay there. I hope a lotta people will follow this movement and help us feed our families and feed our fans.

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