Something is brewing in the streets of Toronto, Ontario, and it won’t be long until it spreads out to the world at large. Hip-hop duo 88GLAM, comprised of 88 Camino and Derek Wise, made a lasting impression in the Spring of 2018 with their debut mixtape 88GLAM RELOADED. Originally self-released and reissued under The Weeknd’s XO Records, the drop signified the emergence of two striking new voices in the world of hypnotic hip-hop. In the months that followed the reissue, 88GLAM has outgrown their roots in underground hip-hop, amassing tens of millions plays, while never comprising on the distinctive sound that has come to define the duo.
A duo keen on moving forward towards inevitable hip-hop world domination, November saw the release of their hotly-anticipated follow-up to 88GLAM RELOADED, the aptly-titled 88GLAM2. The sprawling 14-song collection is a mesmerizing demonstration of every facet of 88GLAM. From dexterous rapping feats to pensive, alluring production, this is 88GLAM at the top of their game. With 88GLAM2 fresh in our speakers and soon to be played on repeat throughout the new year, we caught up with the 88GLAM to delve into how they began making music together, signing to XO Records, and more.
OTW: How did you two first meet and start working on music together?
88glam: We all met while partying in our city and being involved in the downtown Toronto nightlife. We were already aware of each other’s music prior to meeting, so working together was a given, and a relationship that grew organically.
OTW: And what’s the story behind finding a home at The Weeknd’s XO records?
88glam: I (glamboy) was originally signed to them first as a solo artist through management, so the relationship was always there. While I was signed as a solo artist, Camino and I were working on music together organically as friends. After XO heard a few of our collaborations, we gained their attention and they suggested we pair up as a duo as a bigger force and sign to the XO label.
OTW: Did you expect 88GLAM RELOADED to take off it like it did?
88glam: We didn’t expect it to do the numbers that it did. We just wanted to put out music that we like to listen to and something for our city to really enjoy. I believe the organic nature of it all really resonated with our listeners and allowed us to get to where we are.
OTW: How has the city of Toronto affected 88glam’s sound?
88glam: The city of Toronto’s affected 88GLAM’s sound greatly because of the lifestyle and different perspectives of multiculturalism. The experiences and people we talk about stem from Toronto.
OTW: How would you two say you’ve evolved from your breakout debut album 88GLAM RELOADED to 88GLAM2?
88glam: We’ve become more confident with our live performances, and we know what we would like to accomplish with our music. We’ve gained more experience and have grown our skillsets and network.
OTW: If you had to choose a single song off 88GLAM2 to start a party with, what would it be?
88glam: “Kitchen Witch.”
OTW: Does 88GLAM2 have an overarching theme or vibe?
88glam: To be young and unenthused by rap stardom.
OTW: What’s 88GLAM’s ultimate idea of success?
88glam: Delivering music at a high taste level, the freedom of traveling, financial freedom, and family security.
OTW: One thing you would say to everyone out there trying to make it?
88glam: “Follow your dreams, kid” haha.
OTW: Who are your Ones To Watch?
88glam: SP Badu.