Two of Hip Hop’s most talented up-and-coming artists, Wonder Gang, recently dropped their new single ‘OTC’. The duo chopped it up with us as they prepare to make their mark on the culture.
Zimbabwe born and U.S. raised, Keith Wonder and TK Savage, are two brothers who escaped political destruction and poverty. The duo have been using their voice for good and to show the world that they’re up next.
As the world continues to fight racism and police brutality, Wonder Gang have launched a platform called #beheard talks. The platform gives an opportunity to anyone with a voice in response to the recent George Floyd tragedy. The daily Instagram live hour session gives the community a chance to strategize, have dialogue, and make peaceful thinking.
The Dallas Texas native group has opened for Post Malione, T.I., Lil Uzi, Kodak Black, and Young Thug. While they have performed with many more top artists, the duo is gearing up to perform live as they continue to inspire and use their voices for good.
At what age did you guys decide you wanted to be involved in Hip Hop?
Keith Wonder: I just remember imitating Hip Hop music videos since I was knee high but I started writing lyrics at 15-years-old.
TK Savage: I moved over from Zimbabwe when I was seven and my bro was around 14 or 15. He was rapping before me with his friend. I used to just produce for them until it was just him and I.
How big is Hip Hop in Zimbabwe?
Keith Wonder: The love for Hip Hop is 5x bigger there because people over there show more genuine down to earth type love and they embrace the Hip Hop Culture more. Most likely because they don’t get to go to concerts like we do. So, if any major artist from here pulls up over there they go crazy.
Have you been able to perform in Zimbabwe and if not is that a goal of yours?
Keith Wonder: Haven’t yet. So actually early April before Covid 19 hit we had been in talks with promoters who booked Burna Boy in Zimbabwe when he was doing his Africa Tour. Thing ceased so that a was bummer, but in future we plan on doing a huge festival fa sure it’s gonna be lit.
How did the duo Wonder Group come about?
TK Savage: We were always around each other making music in the bedroom. We turned my big brother’s bedroom into a studio basically. I use to produce on a small keyboard and he’d be writing raps. Eventually we both started rapping as my production got better and started releasing. We’ve always been big fans of music. Grew up on a music influenced family. My dad always payed stuff in the house for us and my mom too.
Keith Wonder: My Pops plays a good role in my musical background. I remember when I was little he had a shelved closet filled with record discs from Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, UB40, Peter Tosh, Lucky Dube, Bunny Wailer. A lot of Reggae for sure.
Was the goal always to become a rapper, or is there other avenues in Hip Hop you wish to explore?
TK Savage: We just wanted to make the best music, but we’re always influenced most by Lil Wayne Kanye West, J Cole, Kendrick, Drake, etc. All of them to us made the best music so we just wanted our music to mean something and last forever. Rap is just the avenue to be most relevant in today’s times but we are very versatile, we have something for everyone, even some rock stuff (laughs), really though.
Residing now in Texas, how has that affected ‘Wonder Gang’ musically?
TK Savage: Texas plays a huge role man. Like just being from here and being around the whole Dallas and Houston scene it’s just different. You can just feel it in our sound. Travis Scott is an influence for sure and like Big Tuck, just the south.
How serious are you guys venturing into Rock music?
Keith Wonder: It’s Green Day Serious (laughs). But, fasho we do have some pretty solid rock song ideas on our drive. My bro is a great producer and has mastered manipulating and tweaking all kinds of sounds to his likeness.
Speaking of today’s times, what are the emotions going through your head as the fight against racism and police brutality is at a height that hopefully will bring change finally?
TK Savage: We are all hurt right now and I align with everyone’s emotions while we are going through this pain again. We’ve been here before it all seems too familiar and it is. Just this time I think we are fed up completely, change takes time but I think we need faster action, the people are knocking on systematic doors and saying we need that now or it’s gonna be bad times.
I stand by everyone and me and Keith will use our platform to help always. I love seeing fellow artists like Drake, Travis Scott, SAINt JHN, Lil Baby speak out and help take action on stuff like this. Donating money setting up funds, strategizing, all that is a step in the right direction. I don’t condone looting though, but I understand that is what happens when you poke at the pit bull for so long, it’s gonna bite.
TK Savage: We ourselves are doing what we can and me and Keith even started a platform on our Instagram page @wondergangofficial. We are giving an opportunity to anyone who wants to voice their opinion in response to police brutality and what should we all do next to start the change. Everyday on Instagram for an hour people join to strategize, have dialogue, and make peaceful thinking with the community.
I think that is awesome! More positive dialogue, giving everyone a chance to vent and express themselves is vital during these times. We all more than ever need to check our own mental health as well, as we get through this time in history.
Keith Wonder: Yes mental health is extremely important to me and is probably one of the main reasons we make music. I’ve had a couple of friends/ family who committed suicide because of depression and mental health. Be heard is just a platform for now and the purpose is to hear each other out and to help each other understand that we are not alone. At some point everyone goes through mental hardships. Especially with everything going on today we have set plans to expand on helping people reconstruct and maintain a strong mental health.
Aside from rapping, TK Savage, you mention you produce as well. Which one do you prefer?
TK Savage: I enjoy both, but I prefer rapping. Words have an ability to make someone feel something directly a beat might not reach. It’s more direct sometimes. But, they both play a part and need each other. I look at it like the beat is the body and the words are like the brain. All connecting to make people feel something.
As a duo in Hip Hop, what is your take in what is a lack of groups in the genre?
TK Savage: I think there should be more honestly. Rae Srenmurd and Outkast are also some lit duos I like. We one day want Wonder Gang to be a label or a group like Asap Mob or Odd future or Pro Era. We are a collective of music innovators. We are gonna sign artists, work with ether individuals or duos, we just want to help other artists as well in the future to join Wonder Gang, but for now it’s me and Keith. We got a lot planned for the brand.
OTC was released in May, with a global release this past Friday. Tell us about the new single.
Keith Wonder: OTC is mostly a play on your way to the club/bar or even work song. Its raising social awareness on what’s happening in our society today. How have always be mentally ready for bad situations. How you will always have to be the best at what you do and how you have to be aware of your actions it also digs deeper on watching your steps to success. In my verse I gave more insight on some of my top role models Kobe Bryant (RIP) & Cee Dee Lamb who just got drafted to the Cowboys.
TK Savage: OTC is a vibe man, Keith and I trade verses back and forth discussing current situations in culture right now and stories of how we plan on executing our success in life. It has a bravadoesque rap style, and a heavy bass that cuts through, as me and him the trade ideas rapping about relatable topics and present day issues.
We plan on being here for long time and be Iconic, It talks about the lifestyle that comes with that as well. The cover art is me and Keith posing with a Lamborghini, which sets the tone and displays aspired wealth and temptations in life. A vibrant cross hangs over us in the background, and the I think we managed to once again deliver a hit with this one.
Keith Wonder: Towards the ending of OTC when TK points out, “Tell her bring her friend yea a dark skinned”, that line was very significant and important to us because we want to embrace our dark skinned women and through out the years they have been left out in many conversations.
Are you guys a fan of the Verzuz battles? If so, which has been your favorite thus far?
Keith Wonder: Yes I definitely enjoyed Verzuz they need to get it as a show on Netflix. I definitely enjoyed the Erykah Badu and Jill Scott that was soul food. Also Nelly and Luda one was up there.
TK Savage: I’m a huge fan of the Verzuz battles. I wish I thought of that myself (laughs). It’s been some good ones on there. The Ludacris and Nelly one was a movie man both my favorite rappers of the south.