Hip-hop duo, Tribe Mafia is no stranger to the big stage. From sharing it with the industry's big names to performing at SXSW 2020 (now canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic), they have continued to make their mark.
We had a one on one session with guys (real names Chinasa Broxton and Dashawn Daniels) behind the new Triple Double single as they share how it all started to where they are now.
Hello guys, thank you for taking the time to join us today.
Thank you so much for having us!
Tell us about Tribe Mafia, your story and how it all began.
Tribe Mafia is an American hip hop duo composed of two members Chinasa Broxton and Carlos Moore aka (Dashawn Daniels). We are set to put Austin, Texas on the map while bringing other artists up with us that we’ve made connections within our journey.
Dashawn Daniels: We’re from Austin, Texas, the musical capital of the world so music played a huge role in our childhood. Although I was introduced to music at an early age in my household, I really didn’t start getting into it until high school when a classmate of mine complimented the poetry I had written on my notepad. At that moment, I realized that I had some sort of lyrical flow and started to write my own songs.
Chinasa Broxton: For me, my drive for music began during my middle school years. During lunch, I would surround myself with a group of friends who would always freestyle and create beats by pounding on tables. A few years later, I met Dashawn while playing basketball at the park and later realized that he was also deeply interested in making music. We lived in the same neighborhood and ever since the day we met, we decided to make it all happen by being on the same dream team. We had the same vision and knew what goals we needed to achieve in order to make it happen.
How has the journey been since it all started? What have been the challenges so far?
Dashawn Daniels: Our journey since we started Tribe Mafia so far has been an overabundance of surprises. Both good and bad. If we told you the challenges we have faced so far, you’d say we needed our own reality tv show on MTV. We must say, it has been unfortunate on our end to associate our time with artists who aren’t as motivated as we are but we are now pretty keen at weeding out the bad apples from good. We are also pleased to say that we have respectfully orchestrated a cult following of Tribe supporters.
With your debut LP Teepee Gang out now which has a wide array of sounds ranging from Hip-Hop, Rap, and even Dancehall, what was the inspiration behind this project?
Chinasa Broxton: We wanted to give our fans mad energy filled with fun raging vibes. We also wanted to debut our first project as a hip-hop duo, because in the past our previous group members were filled with uncertainty. Now that we have effectively established ourselves as the hip-hop duo known as Tribe Mafia, we felt it was only right to give our fans a project they have been waiting for. The inspiration behind this project was solely for our fans. We have received so many emails asking for a new project with spring break and SXSW coming up we thought, what better idea to give them a project they can get ‘turnt up’ on. With the inclusion of our two popular singles “Triple Double” and “Still The Same,” we knew that this project right off the bat was going to be appraised highly.
The Single Triple Double, off Your latest LP which is now available on VMN Music Spotlight, what was the story behind this new single?
Dashawn Daniels: “Triple Double” is a fan favorite song, in fact, it is basically the song our city recognizes us for which is beautiful. There are some shows where our DJ will let the fans sing the whole song acapella because they know the lyrics verbatim. “Triple Double” is distributed by Sony the Orchard on the behalf of Indie Nation’s publishing company. The story behind the song “Triple Double” is about us entrepreneurs, working our tails off, sacrificing fun, neglecting sleep and food just to accomplish our goals. We use a basketball reference “triple-double” because to us, that means you’re handling your business on your own terms and the results show. To do a triple-double in basketball, a player must acquire 10 major stats in 3 of the 5 categories: Points, Rebounds, Assist, Steals and Blocks. In that mindset, we are applying that in our music routine, to obtain a "Triple Double" you have to ball really hard. So that is what we plan to do, musically.
In the early stages of your career, you recorded songs using your phones in your high school bathrooms. Tell us how that experience was like!
Dashawn Daniels: Recording songs through the phone was easy, I was always very quick to remember songs and able to do it in one take.
Chinasa Broxton: I was always the reason we kept doing take after take. During this time, we weren’t established as Tribe Mafia just yet, we went by different group names “M.B.B” the acronym was short for Mixed Breed Bros. and C3ST. We had a group of 6 members at the time, so you can only imagine everyone’s stress when I would mess up his lines. Those times were definitely challenging but it was beginnings like these that humble us today. We think those developmental stages of our career helped us with identifying our style and approaches when we tackle on new songs.
Sharing the stage with one of Hip-Hop/R&B legend, Akon in the early stages of your career must have been amazing! Can you describe that experience and how that affected your career?
Dashawn Daniels: Sharing the stage with Akon in Sao Paolo, Brazil in front of a crowd of 60,000 raging fans was beyond amazing. In fact, using the word amazing would be an understatement. In Austin, Texas we are now known as “Hometown Heroes” because of this monumental moment. Since then we have won a plethora of contests and awards such as “The Local Artist of the Year Award” presented to us by Magic Video, on live tv on spectrum cable. Chinasa Broxton: The experience with Akon was really fun! We even got to meet some of his family members. I got along with Akon’s dad really well, we were actually speaking to each other in “Igbo” a language from the Igbo state of Nigeria. What we really enjoyed most about touring with Akon, was seeing the differences in stage dynamics. For example, we had fireworks, flares, and dancers behind us on stage. We had two huge screen projectors and were being recorded live so that the audience in the back of the arena could see us clearly. There was a catwalk for us to interact with fans. The stage was huge! During tech rehearsals, we had to plan how we were going to engage with the VIP sections on the far right and far left as well as the center. The stage was just beautiful in the eyes of an indie artist, we literally climbed a huge ladder with this gig. We can’t wait to do more arena shows now. Rolling Loud, Lollapalooza, and Pitchfork festival promoters come holla at us!
How do you think you differ from other artists?
Dashawn Daniels: Our creativity is endless, and we are nice and caring people. We are always asked “why do we help others?”, and our answer always remains the same “If we don’t, who will?” We know what it is like to have a passion to do something but can’t find the resources to make it happen. We also believe our versatility plays a huge factor for us standing out, we kind of hate making music that sounds like our last track. We want every song to have its own shine. I think that’s why people love our music, you can’t put us in a genre when we touch almost every field. Based on the literature of Earmilk, they stated “endless sounds, creates endless opportunities.” In short, we believe we can’t bore our fans away if we keep producing refreshing sounds.
What do you think of the music industry in 2020 and beyond?
Chinasa Broxton: Before, it was all about in-person engagement and online engagement. We think due to this covid19 outbreak, 2020 and beyond is going to reveal to the music industry which artists really have a pull in their influence and how they are able to monetize off of their engagement online and offline. The music industry is molding solely to the world of virtual reality.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic hurting concerts which saw the cancellation of your performance at SXSW 2020, how are you spending your time on quarantine? What message do you have for your fans out there?
Dashawn Daniels: We are definitely a bit on edge due to the cancellation of SXSW 2020. We are taking this time to promote our latest project Teepee Gang. Also, because time is a luxury right now due to the government home restrictions, we are taking this time to respond to our fans on social media and really connect with them on a personal level. You can watch us giving live performances and answering intimate questions via Instagram and Facebook Live. We are also working on completing our next two projects that are set to release this year "It’s a Tribe Ting", our Dancehall EP and "Wampum" our debut album.
Chinasa Broxton: A message for our fans is please stay home as much as possible, because this virus does not discriminate. Health professionals are saying they’re expecting hundreds of thousands of casualties during the process of finding a vaccine. So please stay isolated, for yourself, for your friends, and love ones, we love you all, and can’t wait to get back out here with you guys!
Who are your favorite musicians and how have they influenced your music and style?
Dashawn Daniels: Lil Wayne, Travis Scott, Drake, Swaee lee, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert, Trippie Redd, J. Cole, 2 Chainz, Omarion, Young Thug, Chance the rapper, Lil Flip, Z-Ro, Big Moe, Tupac, Frank Ocean, Russ, Tyler the Creator, and many more. Chinasa Broxton: We have so many musicians in our catalog that have influenced our style and sound. I really appreciate their freedom and carefree style to say what’s on their mind. Expressing yourself in music should always be limitless, and I think the artist we listen to do that exceptionally well.
Are you currently working on any new music at the moment?
Dashawn Daniels: Currently, yes. We actually have a new Dancehall EP coming out this summer of 2020 titled, "It’s a Tribe Ting". We’re collaborating with a huge line of artists such as Hitta Castro (Orlando, Florida), DJ La Moon (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Jay Honest (Ottawa, Canada), Sam Sage (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico) Justin Case (Houston, Texas) and to top it all off, we are currently inquiring for the international superstar Swaee Lee from Rae Sremmurd to be apart of the project.
How do you define success as an artist?
Chinasa Broxton: Success is very subjective, but we do feel that we are accomplishing new goals daily, so every day feels like a success to us. In short, success is defined for us in completing, learning, and improving from every mistake made. If we’re making progress, this is how we define success as an artist.
Outside making music what else do you enjoy doing most?
Dashawn Daniels: Aside from making music, you can most likely find us chilling at our favorite hookah lounge spot in Texas, Hookah Buzz Lounge & Café. That’s our main spot for getting away, it's peaceful, and the owners are basically family to us. Chinasa Broxton: We also enjoy watching live theatrical shows, since I have a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts, seeing live shows is kind of our thing. We favor more contemporary shows. We know what you’re thinking, but don’t knock it til’ you try it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Dashawn Daniels: In 10 years, we can imagine that we will be well established internationally, collecting Grammys, doing Sprite commercials, and possibly signing other emerging indie artists and teaching them developmental skills. Chinasa Broxton: Mainly, we see ourselves becoming of service to others whether its in music or their social lives. I have a passion for helping others in need, such as the less fortunate and the elderly so we hope to do so once we blow up!
Do you have any tattoos?
Dashwan Daniels: No tattoos… Yet. We both agreed that once we reach our ultimate goal, we will both be at a tattoo parlor getting our “Teepee” logo tatted on our chest. And we can’t wait, because we are almost close to accomplishing our goal.
Just so your fans know, Are you guys single or in a relationship?
Dashawn Daniels: I’m single.
Chinasa Broxton: I’m in a relationship. Ain’t nobody’s business but our own!
Where can we find you online?
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you so much for having us!