Fresh of the release of their latest project, Definitive: A Year in the Nebula – Spring, Glass Bottom Boat recently chatted with Armando Urena Jr from about their group, the Spring album and their approach to both music and the hip hop industry among other things. The questions were able to pull a good deal of information out of the duo and is worth a read. What follows is an excerpt of the interview, check it out:

Q&A With Rising Hip Hop Duo Glass Bottom Boat
Posted by: Armando Urena Jr June 3, 2017

Hip Hop duo Glass Bottom Boat! Much love on that group name!!! Definitely one of a kind for the underground scene!!! Tell us a bit about the group, how/when/where was if formed? Who is the better Rapper amongst the two? Where are you guys from?

Haha, yeah the name was kind of an accident. It was a name I used for the SP-808ex sampler I created our first two albums on. So I always labeled the projects as”The Glass Bottom Boat Presents:” and since we didn’t really have a group name, when we started performing it was kind of the thing people identified with so it stuck and we were cool with it as it has kind of come to symbolize what we do together for sure; the Glass Bottom Boat aka the Window to the World, aka the Pens-Men Ship.

As for the group, we formed it while we attended high school together in Irvine, CA (Orange County). Tone and I (along with Rico, who was an on and off third member) would work with beats I pieced together on the 808 and before on my computer. Tone moved away after our freshman year to North Carolina and really polished his rhyme style while at the same time I would get more and more into producing the beats and when he moved back to SD when we were both seniors, we had already dreamed up several tracks that became the first album that utilized the 808 after my computer crashed where I was originally using Fruity Loops.
I’m originally from the Irvine growing up amongst the cow pastures and track homes. In contrast, Tone grew up all over the US since his Dad was in the Marines. So we bring different flavors to the mix for sure.

Tone Dogg Raw
I’m originally from Roswell NM, and like Cal said my dad was a Marine, so I grew up moving around from base to base. The most significant time of my adolescence was spent on El Toro Marine Base, (during that time I met Cal, being bussed to school in Irvine), and Jacksonville NC, where the name “Tone Dogg Raw” was coined.

Haha, who is the better rapper? I’d say we each have our own style and talents when it comes to song writing. I think we push each other to be better composers and think of lyrics, cadence and syllable counts. I’d say we make each other better MCs.

Haha, Tone’s being modest! He’s the more natural writer out of the two of us. He writes albums as fast as I write songs! Haha. I’m only semi-joking, but no, honestly, I tended to gravitate toward the production and composition side the more we worked together when I was primarily making all the beats we were spitting on whereas Tone usually brings the flow and verses to life. Captain Hooks and shit.

It’s extremely difficult to rap with someone else, let alone form a duo or a group.. That being said, what’s the spark,or motivation to make Hip Hop as a duo? Any pro’s or con’s in being a duo?

Tone and I began to write rhymes together even back when we first started. Like he’d take 4 bars and then I’d take 4 and back and forth it’d go on the same page in the notebooks. So we’ve just kind of continued that when we’ve worked on tracks as a group. Building together we always found that while there might be compromises on individual ideas at times, the collaborative effort usually resulted in something with much more depth and perspective given our individual tastes and perspectives coloring our rhymes differently.

Maybe the only con I can think of is that scheduling and strategy can be a little more of a challenge with more people to consider, especially since we got families, day jobs, schooling, etc. that we must work around.

Tone Dogg Raw
I agree. I think there is compromise, but that lends itself to making something truly unique. Especially when both of us want to feed-off of the energy of the other or inspire one another with an idea or melody. And we been doing this for more than a decade, when we start making something, it just flows and is natural.

Yeah, I guess we do talk about it how there’s not many groups any more that we are hearing and really seeing making moves. I mean I was watching Dilated, Living Legends, Project Blowed, Stonesthrow and all that kind of during my formative years and I don’t see that as much nowadays. We definitely take it as a source of pride that we are determined to build something bigger collectively than we could individually.

However, we’d encourage you to visit their site and read full interview as it is quite well done and thorough


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