North Texas Daily

The Crown rappers are ‘ready to take over’

The Crown rappers are ‘ready to take over’

The Crown rappers are ‘ready to take over’
September 24
11:35 2021

A colorful mural dedicated to the music scene in Deep Ellum is painted across the walls of the new 726 Records office, where the men of emerging rap group The Crown were sat down.

“It was something like dynamite,” said Christian Windley who goes by the stage name P.P., about the group’s origins.

The rap group got its start when DJ and rapper Marlon ‘Malibu’ Jones met up with UNT alumni Donovan Bogney and Windley. They then recruited other members of the group, Travis Kawasaki, Casey Slayton and Colt Matheson  and released their first single “Zzz” in 2019.

After “Zzz,” they released a single “Omlette Du Fromage” and an EP “Redux, Vol. 1,” before releasing their self-titled debut album in 2020 and from there, Kawasaki and Windley both said they are ready to take over Texas’ rap scene.

They were playing shows around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, until they signed with 726 records this April. Since then, they have released another single titled “#FreeKawasaki.”

“[Being singed] takes a lot of group-effort to get there but being signed takes a lot of pressure off producing art,” Jones said.

Matheson, the group’s videographer and photographer, said while he is not the one making the music, being signed to a label adds a flair of legitimacy to the group.

While all the members have solo work and collaborations, 22-year-old Bogney said making music in a group is a fun experience to explore.

“It’s a blast,” Bogney said. “Every time we get in the studio we make magic. It’s amazing.”

Aaron Cunningham, a friend and collaborator of the group, is artistically known as Pretty Boy Aaron and said the group’s rise to artistry is nothing short of amazing to see.

“It’s great seeing the guys just leveling up with every release,” Cunningham said. “I’ve known most of the members as individual artists before they formed the group, so I just love seeing their growth together and you can tell that each one of them are meant to be stars.”

Individually, The Crown members have different influences ranging from Frank Ocean to video game soundtracks, but they come together as an ensemble to create an amalgamation of what inspires them.

“We’re all very different people and do very different things in very different ways, but as a unit our music is like a unifying thing,” said Slayton, 29, who is artistically known as “Uh-Oh.”

When The Crown is not in the studio “telling the truth over beats,” they are taking over the stage with high energy performances, which is their favorite part of bing in the group, Jones said.

“Making art is stressful as hell, but when you get on stage and start performing, it’s like it all pays off,” Jones said.

Members of The Crown love taking command of the crowd, and the powerful feeling they get from live sets influences the group’s music, Slayton said.

“It’s all a cycle,” Slayton said. “You have a good show, and it makes you want to make better music. Shows are almost the final product of all the hard work that goes on in the studio.”

Kalid Abdul, member of the music group CHROMA and friend to the group, said their live performances make The Crown special.

“The Crown is so exciting to see live,” Abdul said. “I’ve seen them twice already this year and I can’t wait for more. They take the stage, and you know as soon as you walk in who is shaking the walls of the whole block.”

For now, The Crown has more music in the works is doing surprise sets around the North Texas area, including the Pop Up Palooza at Andy’s Bar in Denton on Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

In the meantime, you can find The Crown on Instagram @thecrowntx and on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

Featured Image: Rap group The Crown took the stage at Gilley’s Lonestar Ballroom on Sept. 18 for the Kickass Party event. Photo courtesy of Colt Matheson and Donovan Bogney

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Adrianna Barrera

Adrianna Barrera

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