Hey guys! Long time no talk. I have been on a six month hiatus due to starting an incredible new job and a new business venture. But, I’m back! Why now? Well, I was perusing my Instagram feed and I noticed a reaction Tik Tok post that had featured a brother, rap duo. And damn, was I into it. The duo call themselves The Freedom Renegades and you’re about to be impressed.
The Birth of The Freedom Renegades
The Freedom Renegades is made up of two brothers that call themselves Emcee Monkey D. and Holistic Meditation. They are located in Boise, Idaho. They got their start a few years ago when Nate (aka Holistic Meditation) showed his brother Chris (Emcee Monkey D.) some of his lyrics that he had written.
Nate started writing in eighth grade, but he didn’t start to actually pursue a music career until he realized in college, that he was not enjoying what he was doing and needed a change.
When he showed his stuff to Chris, Chris realized that he would like to pursue music as well, and the duo was born!
The Freedom Renegades Interview
Crystal: How do you navigate the challenges of standing out in a crowded music industry where everyone is starting to sound the same?
Nate: Hip hop is missing the love, the “Hippie lyrics”. We write conscientious lyrics that add love to the music, but in a tough way.
Chris: We create inspiring music, but with gangsta style.
Crystal: Describe your creative process
Chris: I like to let it flow naturally, but if a beat hits my heart, I will sit with it and write something on it, taking my time with it.
Nate: I find a beat that I like and I listen to it for about 30 minutes to an hour. Then, I start to see the colors in the beat, the colors that match a certain mood. I match the mood to moments and write a story. The process takes a couple of days.
Crystal: How do you use social media as a form of promotion to reach new fans?
Nate: We use mostly use Tik Tok to reach new fans. It’s the only place that shows your stuff to NEW people and continues to show it to more and more new people dependent on how well it is doing.
Chris: We freestyle live on Tik Tok for about two hours a day. However, we have found that since our Instagram followers have started to go up, our streams are going up too. There seems to be a different kind of audience on Instagram that engages in a different way than the fans on Tik Tok.
Crystal: How have your streams been doing?
Chris: Our streams have started to sky rocket!
Nate: We are distributed on all platforms under the name Holistic Meditation
Crystal: Tell us about an obstacle that you have faced, that affected your music career journey
Nate: Well Chris went to prison on a weed charge. So, I was left here, freestyling on Tik Tok everyday, by myself.
Chris: We knew for about three years that I was going to be leaving, so we had about 800 videos pre-recorded and that made it a little bit easier.
Note: In Idaho, you can still get busted with a small amount of bud and get put in prison! They also have an “expanded” work release program, which allows you to live a normal life while still being under supervision. Still pretty messed up, in my opinion.
Crystal: How do you balance artistic authenticity with commercial appeal to reach a broader audience?
Nate: Just like you said, authenticity. Our music is authentically us.
Chris: We just do us. Hip hop is watered down these days, we stay true to ourselves and don’t look at what other people are doing around us.
Wrapping it up
Crystal: Share your thoughts on collaboration
Nate: I prefer us working solo, but I think that Chris might feel differently. If I did collab with anyone, I would like to work with KRS One or Rakim.
Crystal: Describe a memorable moment with fans:
Chris: We opened for the Ying Yang twins. I remember that when we got off the stage, so many people were taking pictures of us that I had to start asking people to shut their flashes off because their flashes were messing with my eyes.
Crystal: Any shout outs?
Nate: Shout out Brad & Dusty Cook!
Chris: Shout out moms!
The Freedom Renegades: The Music
The Freedom Renegades are known for their covers on Tik Tok and Instagram. Typically, you’ll see them performing their own lyrics on top of famous beats. This is a way to get people to notice them and their orginal music.
The hook on this track is incredible. And Emcee Monkey D. (aka Chris) has this deep, aggressive cadence that just melds perfectly with Holistic Meditation’s (aka Nate) reggae, chill vibe.
I bet that you weren’t expecting their original music to have such a hard funk vibe. “Bish” is one of my favorites in their original catalogue. Emcee Monkey D. brings up the pace and Holistic Meditation keeps us grounded with his smooth style.
Where can you find them?
The Freedom Renegades are EVERYHERE right now, so it’s likely that you’ve already seen them on Tik Tok or Instagram. If you haven’t you can find them on all platforms under the name Holistic Meditation.
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Spread the good word people.