Budding Tampa Collective, Barely Legal, Talks Manifestation, Innovation & More In Exclusive Interview

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Rolling Loud in New York is a weekend full of not only generational rap superstars, but also some of the best upcoming artists in the underground scene today. I had the chance to talk with the upcoming Tampa collective, Barely Legal, the day before their Rolling Loud set about how they came together as a group, their collective creative process, goals for the future and more so make sure to check out the Barely Legal interview below.

All having started making music at different points in their lives, Barely Legal’s formation happened fairly quickly and seamlessly as they all had similar visions of forming a collective. With Jø and Miguel being the earliest to start making music, they were the catalyst to the others’ creative endeavors, and after meeting with Band$ in the tenth grade the rest was history.

“Once I first linked in with Jø we came up with the idea of doing a collective so I put up a post about it which led to Dre hitting me up. I linked him up with Jø and we started clicking it off, our current manager was already managing Miguel so when Dre brought him in it all just came together perfectly.” – Band$

With collectives bubbling back up in hip hop with names like Brock Hampton, AG Club and others alike, Barely Legal appears next in line to be hip hop’s next collective. The moment I met with them they were clearly in sync, and I could see the chemistry so I can only imagine how it’s delivered on stage, and having that organic connection is the first step to becoming an iconic collective that stands the test of time.

“We’ve all got the same goal, all of our inspirations are people that are really top of the game pillars, innovators, people that changed the game and created a whole new niche. We’re all coming with different influences, and we’re all trying to be as big as possible not because we want to be bigger than everybody but because we just want to innovate.” – Jø

Not only are they on the same page mentally, but all coming from the same city of Tampa they can share similar values and experiences leading to a dynamic skill set but common goal. Although there may be countless opportunities in a city like LA or New York, there is value in coming up in a smaller city where you have the time to hone in on your craft and cement a strong foundation which is exactly what they did in Tampa, eventually leading to an opportunity to play their first festival in their home state of Florida.

“Tampa made it easier because we’ve learned the ropes of how to deal with a lot of different situations just by living in Tampa.Whether it be starting a community from the ground up, having to deal with people who don’t take you seriously, booking your own venues, we just gained a lot of experience because we had to in order to do anything in Tampa. There was no competition in Tampa, it was just about proving that we’re capable.” – Dre

With some stating their musical path only two years ago, others beginning as engineers, and some knowing music was their future for years now, everyone in the collective had a different start but they found themselves sitting at the same table only two years later. With breakout releases like “Dat Way”, multiple festival performances under their belt, and experience in all aspects of the music industry Barely Legal has been able to manifest themselves past any expectations they’d previously set and are now just taking it one day at a time.

“We’ve in a sense manifested ourselves to where we are now. We all viewed ourselves as big artists and talked about it, then it really happened. We were talking about doing festivals five or six months ago and now we’re doing Rolling Loud. There was some bitch that was hating on us for tweeting about one day doing Rolling Loud and now we’re doing it.” – Dre

It seems nowadays that music isn’t always enough with multifaceted artists like Tyler, The Creator, Kid Cudi, Pharrell and others running the game, and Barely Legal has no plans of breaking that mold with plans of branching out far past music. Some hope to go into fashion, others acting and one even plans to sell cars in the future, so we can definitely expect Barely Legal to expand in years to come and will one day be known as much more than a music collective.

“We’re more than just a music collective, we do skits, sooner or later our clothing brand’s gonna go crazy. We have very talented people in our collective, and we’re definitely more than just music. We all like different shit so we all want to branch out and do different shit. Our original goals and dreams for this collective are beginning to pass, and now that it’s confirmed that some people love us we’re just gonna keep building it out.” – Miguel

Make sure to check out Barely Legal’s latest EP “Daytona”.

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