Flight School Preps know all about delays. They know the so-called "New Miami" hip-hop party started a few years ago. And their follow-up to last year's breakout Expensive Dreams mixtape was set to drop in March.
Now, two months after the planned street date, FSP's Jay, Sly, and Reese have finally arrived with BlackMarketED, just in time for the summer.
Better late than never.
Crossfade: How do you guys know each other?
Sly: We all went to Dade Christian and played football together and it just flourished into music after that. Jay and Reese went off to college in Chicago and I was here at FIU and we would just send each other music. Jay always did the beats, Reese was the rapper, I came late. We just formed the group back in '09.
You guys have different personalities. How does that work out?
Jay: I think the fact that we have different personalities makes it all work. Because where I would lack in one area, like I'm real laid back and stuff, Sly is real on everything. He has to be organized, sending emails, like, "Hey, listen, we have to finish this," and me and Reese are chill. At times where he's getting to much into his stuff we're, like, just vibe.
You guys got recognized more when Expensive Dreams came out. What is that mixtape to you now?
Jay: We did projects before that, but you can say that was pretty much our first project because it was the one that got the most recognition and notoriety. We actually got active in trying to make it in the music business with that.
Reese: It was the first one we took musically, like we're on top of what we're creating. At that point, we did one previously before that called Original Soul and was not strategically put together. But Expensive Dreams we sat back and really focused on the music. We wasn't going out. We was just in the studio creating the music.
Jay: I think Expensive Dreams caught us in our developed stage. Everything else was kind of real premature.
What's the meaning behind the title BlackMarketED?
Jay: BlackMarketED is basically the next step we're on. Expensive Dreams was, "Hey, we're here. This is what we do." BlackMartketED is, "Hey, this is where we're at now from Expensive Dreams." That's why we put the "ED" at the end of it. Expensive Dreams is still where we're at, but this is the next step.
Being a part of the New Miami hip-hop scene, what is your relationship to groups like ArtKlub, Da Camp, and Raider Klan?
Jay: It's all love. That's why it's so easy to call [Da Camp's] Prez P and say, "Hey, come down to the studio. I need a hook. I need a verse." He's like, "Alright I'll be there. What time you going to be there?"
Sly: I always say we were late coming into the movement because that was something that started two, three years ago. And then it really started when we got in the studio with RansomNote and he did "Vibe," the first record off Expensive Dreams. Through me talking to Prez and meeting Ransom, they met all the people they met. It was brought in with love. It was perfect timing.
Some say Flight School Preps doesn't sound like Miami rap. Do you feel that may hinder what you are doing, because it's not dope or trap music?
Sly: The number-one thing that we hear is, "Y'all don't sound like you're from Miami. Y'all sound like Northern rappers." People from down here are like, "Y'all are mad different from everybody."
You think about the "dope" and the "trill" records, that's what "Hold Up" is. That's that beat. On this tape, there's a record for everybody, but just in a way that Flight School Preps would do that record.
BlackMarketED was set to be released in March, but it was pushed back. How did you use that time to further work on the project?
Sly: In that break, we probably made six more songs.
Reese: And with those six, we made changes to about four songs we already had, like the beat on the "BlackMarketED" track. It goes from a six to a 10 when it goes to Jay's verse. "Dolla and a Dream," that beat, if we played the original for you, it sounds nothing like that.
Sly: You know when a project is complete. It was like 75-percent done at that time.
Reese: And at that time, we had like 20 tracks. I was like, "Hell naw. We're fucking done." But "Free My Niggas" was a track that came after that and it was like, "That's a solid track." "New Shit" with Phresh James came after that.
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Jay: Expensive Dreams we made it in two months. We said, "Hey, we're working on a tape." This one, we were really kind of like, "It's not done yet. I don't know what it is, but we need certain type of tracks." So we went in there and we really just sat there and brainstormed and said, "Hey, what is it missing? What do we need?" and we just kept creating. I feel like when you keep creating, you give yourself a chance to really make something great.
-- Lee Castro