Brown Bag AllStars’ J57 Has a Dog Named Suri, Is the King of Finding Vinyl on the Street


[Editor’s note: In Tweets is Watching, Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]

J57 holds it down as part of the Brown Bag AllStars crew, but earlier this week he released a full-length project in tandem with Blame One. Titled Walk In The Sun, the album has also birthed a video for the track “How Much Time’s Left.” Being that the two artists originally met via Twitter, it seemed appropriate to rummage through J57’s timeline. Here’s his vital chat on vinyl hunts with Marco Polo, his all-star hip-hop apartment moving team, and the likelihood of a Brown Bag AllStars podcast.

See also: J-Zone Vs. USPS (and LinkedIn and Russell Simmons)

What’s the story behind the pic of you and Marco Polo and a car full of used vinyl?
“Ha, that literally just happened an hour ago! Marco has been looking out for me for a bunch of years in getting me vinyl once he’s done with it, like he’ll sample a record and then pass it on. It’s been beyond an honor. He’s the greatest dude ever. That’s bean an ongoing thing then, like he’ll say, “You want some records?” So he told me he was gonna scoop up some records, asked if I wanted to roll with him, and I actually had my girl’s car today to do a bunch of errands ’cause I’m moving. So we filled up the trunk with all these crazy crates of insane records. He hooked me up with a couple of incredible records I can’t wait to dive into.

Does your girl know you’re using her car to pick up records and not help moving?
Well, she has a bunch of stuff to do that’s move-related and it really did turn into a last minute thing [with Marco] as I was around his area and it worked out. But, yeah, after that we got some food and she called me to see if I’d hired the movers yet, which I hadn’t… I’m sure she’ll see it on Instagram and she’ll definitely recognize her jeep. So, yeah, I didn’t do what I was supposed to do, but I just did hire the movers right before you called!

Which rappers would make great movers?
You know, I was really contemplating hitting up Torae, like I’ll pay you a bunch of money if you move the entire apartment by yourself. But I would say like Freddie Foxxx too. If I had to get movers and they had to be rappers, I would really get Torae and I don’t know Freddie Foxxx at all so I couldn’t hit him up, but he would be great.

Where did you find the speakers on the sidewalk?
Oh, that was cool. I was taking my dog Suri for a walk like a week ago and doing my rounds, doing the streets she likes to walk down, and I saw that from far away and thought it looked cool, like an album cover. I stopped, took the picture. I live right now on 81st Street in Brooklyn, and that was on 82nd where my dog loves to walk.

Did your dog try and pee on the speakers?
It’s funny, I expected that. I thought she was trying to do that, but she just sniffed them. She’s a good girl.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen left on the sidewalk in New York?
I definitely seen people throw out really weird stuff, but I can’t really recall it. But I’ve definitely gotten tons of records from people just throwing them out. I’m talking about records that I used in ’06 that are coming out now. I’ve found records in the street six years ago and they’ve been golden to me.

Was it the same dog?
Yep! Only dog I’ve ever had. She’s good, like a co-producer on some songs.

See also: Mr. Len’s Guide to Surviving a Catfish Situation and a Zombie Apocalypse

Did you dine at Fatty ‘Cue recently?
I was hanging out over there with my boys. That place was really cool, man, definitely a fun environment. They have an outside with a DJ set up and I ran into a lot of friends of mine. Definitely gonna go back.

Did you try the food?
I didn’t try the food. I definitely tried the beer and the vodka though. It was to die for!

You retweeted someone talking about a Brown Bag Allstars podcast. If it happened, who would tell the funniest stories?
DJ Element, period. DJ Element one thousand percent, there’s no one funnier than him on the planet. Anyone who meets him realizes that within seconds; they fall in love with the kid and know he’s hilarious. He would be the best person to have on the podcast in the history of all podcasts. He wouldn’t be the host, he’d be the go-to guy though.

Who’s likely to be the host?
Soul Khan. He’s born to be a host. It would be all of us, but Soul Khan would be the main host. He’s already talking about us doing a podcast from his crib so it’s inevitable he’d be the host. The rest of us would be co-hosts.

Is a Brown Bag Allstars podcast gonna happen then?
Yeah, I think it is. Once I’m done with this move this weekend I’m gonna write a group email and see who’s down and do the first one. We had a great time on air recently when we were filling in for Dharmic X’s show, which is right before the Halftime Show. Mr. Len was there and came over after hearing us on the speakers on the other room saying we were cracking him up. To have someone like Mr. Len come on over and be like we’re doing something entertaining, we must be doing something right.

Would you script the podcast?
I feel like the move for us would be to do it live, archive it, and put it in our weekly email blast.

Finally, why should people check out your new project with Blame One?
Because I don’t wanna sound cliche but it’s three years of blood, sweat and tears. There were a lot of lows at the beginning of making the album, but luckily I’m now in a place in life where I can do the music. Blame One was definitely there like a big brother to me and gave me a lot of great advice. We’re gonna also have some remixes from like Marco Polo and Exile, and that’s gonna come later, but I’m so proud of the body of work — everyone’s telling me that from beginning to end they don’t skip anything. If you like good hip-hop I think you’re gonna like this.

The A$AP Rocky Drinking Game
The Kanye You Once Loved Is Dead and Gone
The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time: The Complete List