At first blush, LNDN DRGS's new music video for “Uza Trikk” looks like your typical, by-the-book rap video—there’s a bunch of homies mobbing, a couple fancy cars, and a few random spottings of Gatorade bottles filled with possibly illegal drank. “Uza Trikk” even has A$AP Yams, the behind-the-scene’s leader and official tastemaker of A$AP Mob, talking shit—the unofficial sign that your video matters in the current rap landscape.
But it is what’s going on behind the music that makes this video really pop: a legion of Bloods flooding a Crips neighborhood in LA, a cameo by the creator of crack cocaine Freeway Rick Ross and, possibly the biggest surprise of all, that Jay Worthy—one-half of LNDN DRGS, leader of the hood, the video’s star and the man who brought all of these things together—happens to be the older step-brother to Grimes, the singer behind such safe and sparkly pop tunes as “Oblivion."
Jay Worthy is the hood's LinkedIn.
Along with his production partner Sean House, LNDN DRGS have developed a new West Coast sound beyond the ass-slapping minimalism of fellow West LA natives DJ Mustard and radio-ready rappers like YG. LNDN DRGS is the smooth, cool, calm, and collected counterpart to the hip-hop drum-and-bass-heavy scene, and they’ve brought along fellow up-and-comers Earl Swavey and BG Perico to show their worth. It’s a throwback sound made current with Jay’s very ratchet rhymes. Pour up some bubbly and get familiar. The full album will be here by September.
VICE: So you managed to film a bunch of Bloods partying in the Crips neighborhood.
Jay Worthy: Yeah, it was crazy because in LA there’s so much politics with that shit. You see more people coming together now because this music shit is bringing everyone together. But for the most part you wouldn’t see it. For example,for the video for “Bitch You Broke,” with YG and Nipsey Hussle, YG came and did his part in my hood, and Nipsey did his part in his own hood. When we look at that video it’s two separate scenes.
How’d you get everyone together?
BG Perico is from Broadway Gangsta Crip [BGC], and that’s the homie. BGC is really close to Athens park [a Blood neighborhood], and that’s where Earl’s from, so the Athens and the Broadway crews already have a cool little relationship with each other. Plus, BG Perico had a relationship with my close homie from my neighborhood because they were locked up together, so it was just real comfortable. Perico’s got a lot of respect in his neighborhood, so he can make calls like that from his neighborhood to our neighborhood to do this video. It was a good feeling.
Everybody was having a good time out there. Nobody was on no bullshit, and we really had this shit going up! Everybody was happy and in a good mood. Shit, we were all just vibing out and just going real crazy. The cops did shut down our shit on 52nd, but that’s because we had like 200 people in the street. We just took it down a different block and shot the thing.
So it was just you knowing the right people that brought everyone together?
Me, Perico, Swavey—we’re all friends. I don’t really do music with people I’m not friends with. You’ll never catch me trying to buy a feature. I only collaborate with natural friendships and relationships.
What do you think the police thought of the Bloods in the Crips neighborhood?
They probably didn’t know. They were probably like the Broadway crew runs super deep today. Shit, there were other gangs over there too. I saw people from all different types of neighborhoods over there. It was really crazy. It wasn’t just my hood, Athens and Broadway—it was really a whole bunch of neighborhoods that was over there. When I did this video I really wanted it to be hood and ratchet. Even directing it was hard—you got like 200 people in the streets, and everybody’s loaded and faded. Shit, we just really guerrilla’d the whole thing. We put the song on somebody’s iPhone, blasted it out the window, went in, and tried to wrap it up as fast as we could. We ended up shooting for seven hours.
You mentioned that Earl Swavey almost got killed a couple of weekends ago.
Earl was stabbed in the neck. He’s got a punctured esophagus right now. I had gone out on Friday night with my boy Tommy Kruise. When I woke up at like 3 PM, everybody from Earl’s hood hit up my phone like, “Something bad happened to Earl! Call in!” I called in, and J-Rock, who’s my age, hit me like, “Yo, Earl got stabbed in the neck. He got his throat slit. We don’t know if he’s gonna make it. It’s not looking good right now.” I’m tripping. I was like, Oh, hell no. Later that day or the next day, I can’t remember, he was all good. He pulled through. It was crazy.
Was it gang-related?
It’s some personal politics and some shit that went on. Not no enemy-gang-rival type shit. I’ll let Earl comment on that.
How’d you get Freeway Rick Ross in the video?
I manage Freeway Rick. That’s my best friend. I’ve known Rick since he came out of jail. We were both hustling Indian weaves together, believe it or not. We were selling hair. He just realized like, Dang, you know a lot of people in the industry. I just took it into my hands to start managing him and making him more relevant with the youths and shit like that.
What’s he like?
Rick is the man, for real. He’s like a brother to me. When I had no car, no phone, he would come pick me up at my house every day—thankfully. He’d come swoop me up everyday, and between his meetings and my meetings, we would be in the streets from 9 AM until midnight every day, just cruising around. When I met him, he was so shocked that everybody knew who he was. How much love he had in West LA and how many people really fuck with him. As a person, Rick is probably one of the most friendly, positive people I know. Dude’s a vegan. He got me on my health tip right now.
What does Grimes think about your self-professed hood ratchet gangster lifestyle?
We’re two completely different people, but at the end of the day, I’m her brother, that’s my sister, and it’s family. We’re gonna love each other regardless. We’ll pull for each other whatever shit we’re into. She met a gang of my homies when she had her first show in LA on the Visions tour. I brought my homies from my neighborhood and from other neighborhoods to meet her. She had us on stage and everything. She’s always been cool. She’s a people person too, so she understands all walks of life. She’s understanding of what I’m into and what I represent.
What do you guys do when you hang out?
She’s so busy. We were laughing because every time I’m back in Vancouver, she’s in LA, and every time I’m in LA, she’s back in Vancouver. About four months ago we were together in Vancouver, and we were just linking up and going to movies. She got me into Game of Thrones. I was like, I’m never gonna watch that corny-ass medieval shit. But now I’m the biggest Game of Thrones fan ever. It’s funny, because I was like, nobody from my area is gonna like this shit. Then I came back to the hood and went over to Big Fase 100’s house—that’s the Game’s older brother—and he’s watching it like, “This is my favorite show!” Literally every Sunday he would hit me. One time I’m like, “Yo, I’m in Pasadena,” and he’s like, “I’ma give you one hour to get here. I got the show recorded, but if you don’t get here in an hour, I’m starting that shit up.” I’ve got to thank my sister for really putting me on to that stuff.
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