Home / Music & Arts / Rap trio Flatbush Zombies blast bodega boxes, aim to open minds

Rap trio Flatbush Zombies blast bodega boxes, aim to open minds

The Flatbush Zombies don’t want anyone touching their bodegas.

The Brooklyn rap trio — Erick “The Architect” Elliott, Dimitri “Meechy Darko” Simms and Antonio “Zombie Juice” Lewis — said they owe a lot to their neighborhood: the music they heard on bootleg CDs from Flatbush corner stores, their homes, and their paths crossing in school.

But they’re wary of changes for the worse, like pantry boxes aiming to replace mom-and-pop shops.

“Immigrants come from their country, to come to this f—-g country, and own a f—–g store so the next generation can have a job,” Meechy told the Daily News after the group’s Meadows Music and Arts Festival set in Queens. “You already have money, and you’re gonna try to eliminate mom and pops? That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life.”

Congrats, ‘Bodega’ tech bros, you invented the vending machine

Erick performs during The Meadows Music and Arts Festival in Queens.

Erick performs during The Meadows Music and Arts Festival in Queens.

(Thomas Levinson/New York Daily News)

The passion for where they come from and where they’re trying to go comes through in their dark, at times weird music, best experienced live and on “3001: A Laced Odyssey.”

Their debut record’s title, a sendup to the cult Stanley Kubrick flick, is no coincidence, said Erick, who also serves as the Flatbush Zombies’ principal producer.

“When we were making that album, I watched ‘Space Odyssey’ seven times,” he said. “The first time I watched it, I muted it, and I was playing piano. Then I watched it again with the sound on. Basically it created the soundscape … I can’t think of that movie without thinking of the album.”

The group recorded and mixed the trippy “3001” completely on their own, mainly in their house in Flatbush.

Tech bros want to replace bodegas, New Yorkers aren’t having it

“We’re not like those guys who say they’re independent and then get their album mixed by Dr. Dre secretly,” Meechy said.

“Erick is our Dr. Dre,” Zombie Juice chimed in.

JAY-Z performs onstage during the Meadows Music And Arts Festival - Day 1 at Citi Field on September 15, 2017 in New York City.

Stars hit the stage at Meadows Festival

Erick said he’s happy to be working with his friends, who all have varied style and flow.

“I think the most fun that I have is bouncing off ideas and being able to hear the timbre of three different voices,” he said. “Whether it’s on the stage or on the record, maybe you like one of us or maybe you like the other two, or maybe you hate all of us. That’s the most fun, we all participate together.”

The Meadows 2017: The 7 best shows we saw at this year’s festival

Erick was particularly excited to open the mainstage hours before headliners Gorillaz, whose animator Jamie Hewlett’s work largely inspired the colorful “3001” album cover.

“Can I say this? Because we’re here? ‘The Jamie Hewlett of rapper music, influenced by Stanley Kubrick, exclusive for my hooligans,’ right?” he said, rapping part of his verse from album opener “The Odyssey.”

Oh, and their favorite zombie movie? “Return of the Living Dead” from 1985, which Juice said the group used to watch “every f—-g night.”

“It’s very funky, got all the ’80s s–t in it, the zombies liked brains, they didn’t run fast back then, they didn’t give you explanations,” Erick said. “It’s a campy, good ol’ movie.”

JAY-Z still runs NYC with triumphant Meadows festival set

Meechy Darko raps Saturday during the Flatbush Zombies' set.

Meechy Darko raps Saturday during the Flatbush Zombies’ set.

(Thomas Levinson/New York Daily News)

At the end of every Flatbush Zombies live show, the guys tell the members of the crowd one simple message: Open your minds.

“That’s what you’ll remember,” Erick said. “We all need to be open-minded and not cast judgment.”

Meechy said a lot of people walk away and don’t get that message: “The people who actually stay and get it, they’re supposed to get it.”

flatbush zombies

Send a Letter to the Editor

Join the Conversation:

Music_Arts Rss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *