New Rules: The Doppelgangaz
It starts at the ankle.
For this installment of New Rules, we sat down with EP and Matter Ov Fact, also known as The Dopplegangaz. This rap super duo hails from Orange County, NY, representing for the 845. These kids are wild on and off the mic, as our interview proves, they have jokes for days.
Mass Appeal: How long have you known each other?
Matter Ov Fact: I’ve known this man right here, since probably second or third grade. We didn’t have any hair on our bodies, except our scalp and maybe some knuckle hair.
MA: How did you start off rapping?
EP: Just wanting to do music. We used to speak about doing it, and then we started doing freestyles.
MOF: We started buying tapes and rapping over them. We started making beats on a keyboard, just high-pitched, low-quality type shit. I think there was some gun talk on there. EP was dropping them n-bombs, [Laughs] I’m kidding around, he didn’t drop any n-bombs then.
EP: [Laughs] I do now though.
MA: Off the record? [Laughs] I don’t want him to get jumped. So, how did you guys come up with your name?
EP: For me, it was when my college roommate saw a kid that we thought was our other roommate and it wasn’t. So he called him “Cloppelganger” and I was like ‘What are you talking about?’ And he goes “He looks just like Clint, it’s his doppelganger.” I was just like that’s such a weird word. And the fact that it represents a kind of ghostly duplicate. We view ourselves as the same, obviously you can tell we look the same. But it just reinforces everything; having the same views on music, strong ankled women, things like that. We just look at it all the same.
MOF: You know how some friends tell you about an attractive female, and you can trust their judgment? Other friends their judgment is suspect. I had a friend, no disrespect, but he was talking about this lady, I mean she’s a successful and accomplished woman, but she’s just not my cup of tea [Laughs]. With EP I can trust his judgement.
EP: I look at the ankle first, he looks at the ankle first. We both know that if it’s strong, it’s a good foundation.
MA: So all that, and that’s how you came up with the name The Doppelgangaz? Strong ankled women? [Laughs]
EP: [Laughs] Yeah, it’s just the idea that we’re on the same wave length. Let’s say we’re working on a track, and there’s a weird pop in it. Whoever gets to the computer first is probably going to erase it. We both know, it has to go. We’re the same. Sometimes when I get tired of dealing with some annoying chick, her ankles might not even been strong enough for me to really like her that much, I just have him fill in. And honestly, she can’t tell. This is my doppelganger twin, he takes my place and vice versa.
MOF: The stereotype isn’t even true, because you know, I think some women expect me to have some type of stereotypical attributes, and I don’t live up to them [Laughs]. So, if shorty’s messing with him, then messing with me, it’s going to be the same thing. There’s no difference.
EP: Unfortunately, I live up to the stereotype. It helps that he doesn’t, so she gets the same feeling.
MA: Without even knowing any difference [Laughs]. Alright, so when you guys were first starting out, first making music, how were you able to book studio time and things like that?
MOF: We used to use blank tapes, just horrible quality stuff. Then we started using the mic on the computer. I’m talking way back. And, then we started messing with Pro Tools free edition, that was like our introduction. I felt like I just discovered that the earth was round.
EP: Thankfully when we started getting involved in music, we were still young at the time. At an age where it started becoming easier to do home recordings, a lot of things were software based. If we were older dudes trying to get involved in the game, we would have had to save up for studio time. But for our generation, you could get a free demo of Pro Tools and get Reason, at the time you could manipulate the demo for Reason and do everything for free.
MOF: We tried going to a studio once and it just didn’t go well. There were old dudes smoking, and with the time limits and the money it just wasn’t organic. But we did research and now we have a nice little set up. We pride ourselves on making sure we sound good. It’s hard to listen to music that sounds super shitty. It kind of hurts our ears. We try to do the best we can to make our music sound good.
MA: And music videos?
EP: It was the same thing. But really, seeing Lil B doing his own videos and realizing that you could just get your own camera and do it yourself. ‘Cause we’ve payed for videos before, and you just don’t get the result you want. Unless you’re working with big time directors that literally can see your vision and then carry it out. But, we saw Based God and he was coming out with new videos every week because he has his own camera. Why pay the amount to the director when you can invest that in a camera and software. Again, just being in a software age. We got ourselves a camera, we got ourselves Final Cut and the rest is history.
MOF: For our first videos, it wasn’t the best look. But, you learn as you go. Looking back on some of our earliest videos, it’s funny, the sound is off, the color’s all messed up, but you learn as you go and it gets better.
MA: How did you book your first few shows? Especially being from Upstate New York, there’s not really much in the area.
MOF: Our first show was down here. We would just harass people, and we used to hit up open mics crazy. But basically, we’d just harass people. We got two shows that way, opening up for Joe Budden.
EP: When we didn’t have any stage experience at all.
MOF: You know, our area isn’t the type of area that has this type of stuff going on. So, we wanted to make moves and go to where shit is popping off. But really, it’s just straight up harrasment, and annoying the shit out of people.
MA: So, you just jumped into the New York City scene?
MOF: Yeah, people move here from across the world, across the country. We live 45 minutes away, so…
EP: People up and leave Milwaukee to come here. We’re like damn, we’re only 45 minutes away, we better get our ass down here.
MA: Do you feel like the reception you get in the city is different since your from upstate?
EP: It’s always like “Oh, interesting” but now I’m used to it. I’ve got cousins and stuff that live in the city, so I can just act like I’m from here.
MOF: I think people don’t understand that there’s deer up here. You can’t be driving all willy nilly up here. We got, bucks and all that. Dead ass, I done hit like three deer.
MA: It’s real in those upstate streets.
MOF: Hell yeah, I seen a deer in the Bronx, they cross the bridge. I seen a deer crossing the Tappan Zee [Laughs].
MA: Alright, so how about your first tour? How did that come about?
EP: Our first big European tour, we again, harassed a contact that we were given. As a matter of fact we spoke to her, and she must have added our email to her email list. So, we started getting all of these emails that were saying they were looking for shows. I didn’t realize that they were being blasted on to this huge contact list. So, I hit her up like ‘Yo, we’ll do the show!’ And, she was like ‘Nah.’ When there’s a language barrier there’s no way to tiptoe around or sugar coat things. So, it wasn’t like ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t think we can do this tour right now.’ It was like ‘We can not do this tour. You will not make any money if we did it. As a matter of fact we will lose money.’ We were just like ‘Oh shit! That’s how you feel?’ But when numbers started talking, we ended up selling out all of our vinyl that we put out in Europe. Word got around that that album, Lone Sharks, sold out. The minute that happened she hit us up and it was on, we’ve been going back ever since.
MA: What advice do you have for people who are trying to come up in the music industry?
MOF: You gotta work hard, you can’t dip the toe in, you gotta cannon ball into the lake. You gotta get some leeches around you and all that. Some nasty ass fish gotta bump into your ankles and all that, seaweed and all that. You gotta get down and dirty. Dead-ass we just keep it rugged and we devote all of our energy towards this. If you do it half way then you’re going to get half the results. So you gotta go all in and let it fly.
Be sure to check them tonight at Littlefield performing with Michael Christmas, and #NewRules alum Aaron Cohen, and Bitches Is Crazy. For more info on the show and to find out about tickets head here.