Like Radio Raheem Mixed With The Goonies: Meet Flatbush Rapper Archie Bang


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

Representing Flatbush Vietnam, Archie Bang dropped his Never Say Die Vol. 1 (’80s Babies Edition) mixtape earlier this week. The 15 track project introduces the rapper who’s cast himself as “Radio Raheem resurrected” and showcases Archie’s ability to spit flames over ruggedly-wrought but crisp production. Building on the buzz of the tape, here’s Archie talking through his Twitter timeline references to The Goonies, collaborating with Troy Ave for the “Hey Luv” remix, and revealing his guilty pleasure Williamsburg dining spot.

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When did you have the idea to base the mixtape artwork around The Goonies?
That was inspired by a situation I went through after my last tape dropped where it was a lot of personal and legal issues I was going through and I was at a point where I was almost done with the music altogether. It was a late night in the house and the movie came on; it’s been a favorite of mine since childhood. The whole theme of the movie is about never giving up, never saying die no matter what obstacles are thrown at you. So that’s what inspired the tape and got me back to making music.

What did you think of The Goonies the first time you saw it?
The first time I wished I lived in their town ’cause there’s nothing like this going on in Flatbush! I wanted to be a part of that adventure.

Which character did you most identify with?
Chunk really ’cause I was similar to him physically as a child. He was the character I related to the most.

If you could re-make The Goonies today but with rappers playing the roles, who would you pick?
Well, I think since my physical appearance has changed I’d probably be Sloth. I think Joell Ortiz could be Chunk even though his physical appearance is different too. I would say Mouth would be Uncle Murda. Who would be slick-talking Mikey? That would probably be Big Sean.

Moving on, you have Troy Ave on the “Hey Luv” remix on the tape.
Yeah, quiet as kept, we grew up together. We ran with the same circles and it was just a thing that he was bubblin’ up and I reached out to him to make the song happen. He had his version on his own mixtape last year, and I went in the studio with my in-house producer 12Keyz to give it a new feel.

That ’96 Puff Daddy vibe, as you tweeted it.
Yeah, ’cause it’s like you don’t really get too many remixes these days and the type of remixes you get are the same track with new artists on it as opposed to that P. Diddy style where you go in and you get a new track and it’s a completely different record. I wanted to bring that vibe back.

What’s your favorite Puffy Daddy remix from that era?
I would say 112’s “Only You” with Biggie and Mase.

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You called yourself “Radio Raheem resurrected from the grave” on your Instagram account.
Yes, that’s my new alias, my new alter-ego persona. I am Radio Raheem.

Why do you identify with that character?
Aside from the tragic ending, he was just like a real stand-up person. He was the epitome of hip-hop from the style to the fashion to his demeanor. Sometimes I do carry that demeanor, that very anti-social demeanor. I’m working on it now.

Did you have an over-sized boom-box as a kid?
You know what? I didn’t. My parents wouldn’t give me one.

What would Radio Raheem think of hip-hop in 2014?
I think Radio Raheem would feel like I feel now. I think especially for New York artists it’s been going through an identity crisis but now it’s starting to come back and you have a lot of artists being original and being proud to be from New York. They took shots from other artists from other places, but it was effective.

Finally, I take it you’re a fan of Pies ‘N’ Thighs?
Oh, yeah, I do, that’s like a guilty pleasure, the waffles and the chicken. It’s dope, man. Matter of fact, that picture was my first time there, about two weeks ago. I don’t know what they put in those waffles but it’s like you eat the waffles and it looks like the average waffle but by the time you get half-way through it, it’s like it expands in your stomach and you’re done. I guess it’s the buckwheat.

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