Interview By: Carrick Wenke
I remember the first time I had randomly stumbled upon ST$ Boys. It was around 2AM when the Mr. Gyros by my house exploded and creased half of Greenwood and shook my house. Wiggy called me because he heard the sound too and after we talked and I realized I had to wake up at 3AM for work anyways, I decided to stay awake and watch all of the videos he’s ever shot and posted on his Youtube channel. The most recent one was a brand new post with no views for a song called “Choosie” by ST$ Boys. Easily recognized it as a banger and kept my eye on the next move. All of the sudden my friend Lil Soda Boi dropped a track with these mysterious figure called “Ice Cream Cones” where Buddah Man states, “She look like she suck a nail out a wheel”. From there I never looked back.
Who Are You? What Do You Wanna Tell The World About Yourself?
Buddah Man: I’m Buddah Man, and we are the ST$ Boys…
JB: And I’m JB, and were city boys, we’re just coming from the bottom, trying to put as much work as possible
What/Who Are Your Main Inspirations For Making Music?
Buddah Man: Everybody really. Anybody that we think is hot and see with a whole bunch of consistency and we see that came from the bottom and rose to the top.
JB: Anyone we seem come from the bottom and make it to the top. That’s what “ST$” stands for.
Buddah Man: Struggle To Succeed. Anybody we see struggling and they make it through and succeed, they make us feel better.
Who Are Some Producers That You Work With?
Buddah Man: We work with any producer that’s fire. If you fire, we’re gonna fuck with you regardless.
Are You Affiliated With Any Artists Or Crews?
Buddah Man: Nah, just the ST$ Boys. We mess with a lot of Seattle artists that are up and coming and doing something.
JB: As in Moor Gang, and a couple other locals that we know.
Who Are Some Artists You Wish To Work With In The Future?
Buddah Man: Locally, everyone we’re working with now is who I wanted to work with. Everything is kind of coming together kind of fast. When it come to mainstream, I’m trying to work with Kevin Gates. Always wanted to work with Kevin Gates, I like the shit he talks about.
JB: Donte Peace, as far as local that’s me personally. As far as mainstream, anyone honestly. Anyone that’s on that level higher than us, we’re willing to do anything to step on that platform just to get seen.
Who is God Blessin’?
Buddah Man: The ST$ Boys. Coming from Seattle, it’s such a small city. There’s not a lot of people that we can watch and trace their steps, we kind of gotta make our own steps and create our own lane. We can’t sit back and be like “He did it like this, let’s just do it like that and remix it”, you know? There’s not too many people we can go off of so we’re seeing something that’s not nowhere near, and that’s how we see it everyday.
JB: We have to open up our own lane. And that’s the beautiful part about it, there’s nothing for us to trace and nothing for us to copy, as far as a way of putting ourselves out there. This is us.
Buddah Man: It’s a lot though, everything came from a lot of places. We jumped from different cities and different places and we were around a lot of different people. We’d catch up on different slang, be around different people, and see everybodies different struggle. That’s really what we see, we love people who are going through some struggle and in their mind know they’re gonna make it.
Who Are You Guys Currently Working With?
Buddah Man: Right now, we got a song in mind with Cam The Mac, we got a song in mind with Mackned, and Choice. Bro just said he got Donte Peace number so we’re gonna try and put it together with him. We don’t really go out of our way to find people to work with because we got each other, but the people we’re working with we’re proud of.
JB: Any collabs that we do are word of mouth. People either talk about that person, or we keep hearing them and it becomes undeniable. That’s the kinda thing we’re trying to build where it’s like you’ve heard about us, and you’ve heard our music so many times that you need to tune in. As far as Seattle goes, everyone we just named, but we will work with anybody as long as you have a good sound and a good buzz. That’s all we’re looking for, we don’t have the time or the money to be collabing with artists that don’t have a buzz, they kinda gotta meet us halfway. To be honest, the collabs that we’re doing right now, we had to meet them halfway. When we tried to get it when we didn’t have any buzz at all, they told us “Go put out something and put in work, and when I see you guys putting that first step forward then hit us up”.
Buddah Man: We appreciate everyone hitting us up and saying that they seen us, it only made us work harder. We do get advice from some people that are doing a lot of stuff out here, and the ST$ Boys are moving fast out here so we’re gonna keep working hard to put our city on.
Where did your names come from?
JB: JB are my initials, I make it up in certain songs. Weezy be like “The F stands for…”. That’s what I do with JB.
Buddah Man: I got “Buddah” that passed. When I was a kid she was like “You look like a Buddah”. I just added the “Man” on it because I’m the man. Right before she passed I just changed my name so I could keep her in my heart. When people say my name it actually means something, my grandma gave me that. I always wanted to keep her with me somehow. I used to be called “Slimmy” so I took that shit out and added Buddah Man, and it just went. My whole family calls me Buddah, so I’ve been hearing it since a kid. It’s natural.
How did you guys come together to form the ST$ Boys, and what does ST$ Boys stand for?
JB: We had a mutual friend as kids, and I met him and he came over with his laptop and he had like 4 or 5 songs he used to play so hard, he thought they were gonna make him a million. Back in the day when he used to go by “Slimmy”, because he’s real skinny. He used to always come around and we both had a mutual friend and love for the music, this was when I was only freestyling and couldn’t write anything down, he noticed it. He was like “Man let’s do it together”. Off the music we built a relationship.
Buddah Man: We wasn’t like “Let’s do this together”, we would always have the three of us together and turn on the beat and be like “Fuck it, let’s all get on the beat”, and then it started being everytime me and JB were on the beat we were killing it. It got to a certain point where the ball just started rolling for us and it became more non-music. We were going through some real shit and seeing hella and just growing up together on the street trying to get some money. We wasn’t really in school, we dropped out hella young, we had a whole bunch of people in front of us that we had seen get money so we had to figure out how we were gonna get some too. Real life happens, and struggles happen, that’s where Struggle To Succeed came.
JB: It only gives us more to talk about on the track. From there everything that we were going through at the time, there was no outlet for us. As far as me being broke, as far as us getting in trouble, anything, it was stuff that I feel like we couldn’t necessarily change. Things that you can’t change are things that make you go crazy. So from there man, we just put our all into our tracks, and we started getting a response. When we started getting a response, I wasn’t trippin’ thinking it’s only me, people are really responding to this! From there we just kept working and building these songs. Recently within the last 6 months to a year, that’s when we started making all the connections we have now. They just noticed our grind. We used to catch people on the street and just rap for them.
Buddah Man: We’d see up and coming artists and we’d just spit to them and they’d be like “Yo, I see you”. When they see us now they’re like “I remember when these niggas used to rap off an instrumental on the phone!”. It got to a point where the whole Struggle to Succeed thing, we used to always say it, and one day this nigga came back from Minnesota and he had it tatted on him. So from there, it just became a lifestyle, it was butter. For one whole summer we sat in the room and every beat that came on we wrote to it, we didn’t leave the house. We got up, showered and ate, waited for Mom’s to cook, and we’d be in the room all day just writing, smoking and drinking. It got to a point where when we got our first studio we were selling a little weed, nickels, dimes, bags, and shit trying to rob people out their phones that way we could buy studio equipment. We got a camera, shot our first little video called “Deep Waters”.
JB: It’s still online to this day. It looks horrible, but we shot it ourselves. I wanna say the name the ST$ Boys didn’t come ’til recently. The video “Choosie” had already been done. It came because the quote “Struggle To Succeed” was very meaningful. We didn’t know how to put it into a title for us, we can’t be Struggle to Succeed, that’s a quote.
Buddah Man: We was in the car with my older cousin and he was like “You know y’all the STS Boys”, and we were like “Yeah we are!”. That was right when bro (Wiggy) was editing the video, it was perfect.
JB: We came with STS, because we can’t be saying “Struggle To Succeed” anytime we’re talking about ourselves.
Buddah Man: The “Boys” came because we’re city boys. We’re city people. We take this shit for granted. You go out to the wildnerness and you don’t have good food like this and don’t have good weed like this. There’s a lot of opportunities in Seattle, and there’s a lot of down falls in Seattle, but Seattle is a great place where we can craft our art, we can sharpen our pen here. We can sit here and work, and it’s beautiful. There’s a lot of bullshit going on but that’s our struggle. There’s two sides of Seattle. There’s a hood side, and there’s another side. You got your University District crowd, your college crowd, and you got your people that ain’t really got too much, thing’s everybody goes through. You can go to the richest part of America and you’re gonna find that.
JB: In Seattle, I think it’s hard to conquer large area’s of people because it’s so diverse. We’ve got so many different kinds of people, so it would be a lot to takeover all of Seattle. It’s different than Atlanta where they got 50 Million niggas, and as soon as you put it out, everyone is showing support and showing love. In Seattle, you kinda have to prove yourself. A lot of people are judgemental, or have their own opinion, or just hating.
Buddah Man: At the end of the route, talents gonna shine. We’re noticing that right now. We have people talking to us now that we didn’t even know were looking at us. We’re not putting shit out trying to get “this guy”, we’re putting shit out cause it’s what we love. Even if we had one person in the crowd, we’re gonna put this shit out and we’re gonna give it our all.
JB: Not to mention we got no management, we’re unsigned.
Buddah Man: Every dollar that we spent came out of our pocket, we spent over a thousand dollars at the studio. It all came from hard work out our pockets. From the videos with Wiggy to everything.
How did you guys link up with Lil Soda Boi to do the track “Ice Cream Cones”?
Buddah Man: So, one day I was on Facebook looking for shows, going through the newsfeed looking hard. Open mics, anything, any show, we’re about to do it. I see this guy named Nolan, and he was throwing a party and I holla’d at him saying we needed a slot there, and it was in a garage, like a parking garage. There was like 20 people there, but they were all weird. We were kinda skeptical, but we didn’t give a fuck, man. We met Soda Boi, he had a grill in his mouth, and he’s there with Yung Bruh, from THRAXXHOUSE. We got up there and Soda Boi was like “Aye bruh I’m fucking with you”. We saw his Soundcloud and saw he had good followers so we exchanged numbers, and one day he called us up and was like “What’s up with you guys? I gotta show you should come slide”. So we must’ve went there and recorded the verse the same day we did the show. It was turnt. That’s how we met him, just being us. Anything we can do we’re gonna do it. I don’t care how big we are, I wanna spit. I didn’t do this shit to try and be better than anybody, we’re gonna get up there and spit.
JB: We don’t do this for a billion dollars, we do it for the craft. The billion dollars is gonna come with it.
When Can We Expect Your Next Project To Drop?
JB: I’ll give it a month, 30 days.
Buddah Man: Somewhere between two weeks.
JB: It’s gonna be called “The Butter Tape”. We’re gonna drop it with our fourth video, we got 2 out right now, “Choosie” and “Babe Ruth”. Shout out to Babe Ruth.
Buddah Man: Shout out to Wiggy.
JB: Yeah shout out to Wiggy, man. Shout out to E-moe, too, our engineer.
JB: I just wanna keep working and stacking up songs. That’s what we did before we got any kind of a buzz, that’s what got us in this position to even be here.
Buddah Man: We’ve got a thousand songs.
JB: We’re gonna make it undeniable for the streets. If you didn’t like those 2 songs, you’re gonna like these 3.
Buddah Man: These 40.
JB: As far as this next year, I see myself not being in Seattle, to be honest with you. I see us having two more tapes on top of The Butter Tape. We wanna get out and see people face to face, that’s when they’re most responsive. They see you’re a real person who’s cool in real life, not just a person on a computer that’s got these bars. #1 Goal: get out move around.
Buddah Man: Struggle To Succeed, everything else is gonna come with it, honestly. The talent is gonna show, the energy is gonna show and our work ethic is gonna show. Right now, whoever fucks with us, we fuck with you, once we ht a certain limit, the people who wasn’t fucking with us, we aren’t fucking with you. The people who have reached out a hand, we’re gonna shake it, because it’s all love a the end of the day.