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Woodhaven, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Woodhaven, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Hip Hop Soul




"@85th_ChurchBoys – “Church Boys”"

85th hails from Woodhaven, New York and originally started as a large group of friends hanging out on the steps of a local church. As they grew up, 6 members started consistently creating music together and thus the long road to recognition began. Through multiple artistic outlets, the group has been able to perform on many stages through out New York including The Knitting Factory, Stage 48, The Apollo Theatre, The New Amsterdam Theatre, The BAM Theatre, B.B. King Blues Club and have even been blessed enough to be flown out to Germany for the Bronx Berlin Connection program. As a whole, the group is able to personify a brotherhood unique to only them, but at the same time create something relatable to anyone. With infectious flows and a message in mind, 85th becomes much more than just music; they become a sign of great things to come within our generation. - thedjnamebrand.com


Queens hip hop collective 85th drops visuals for their newest single “Infinity.” The group flows seamlessly about the everyday struggle, inner-city enivornment, and staying true to self over some dope boom-bap drums and serene Marvin Gaye vocal samples. Watch as the guys play chess, buy liquor, record in the studio, and randomly hang out in the woods. The group consists of members DC, Ken-I, DGoD, Eleagle, 21 Quest and Matt Cronin. Look out for their next project Churchboys dropping on their site A True Underdog Story. - Mass Appeal


85th, also known as Church Boys, is Queens’ latest, most heartfelt, and positively thinking hip-hop collective coming up from Woodhaven, NY. A family, an empire, and a group of friends, 85th is bigger than music—it represents friendship, energy, and love. Opening up for Slick Rick as well as performing in venues all around New York, the group caters to the epitome of NYC youth. From the fun of being young to embracing the woes of what comes after high school, creating music is not only therapeutic for Eleagle Being, 21 Quest, DGoD, DC, Matt Cronin and Ken-i-Produce, but to their listeners as well. The Queens collective were donned 85th by outsiders since the group takes much pride in their Woodhaven neighborhood. Church Boys , their latest mixtape, unravels the roots of where the group is from and the struggles of growing up in New York. “I also feel like there’s a song on there for every person” says Matt Cronin, touching upon a variety of issues. “It’s so personal that it’s universal, and that’s the beauty of it” adds Ken-I, referring to the steps of the church where their meeting place was and where it all began.

The J train stops at 85th street in Woodhaven, and I step off feeling the embrace of a typical NYC hood. Meeting with Eleagle Being, we slowly make our way around the neighborhood and find the other members of 85th. We make a quick stop at the infamous Blue Moon deli on the corner of 85th and Jamaica Avenue, chit chatting and cracking jokes before heading towards Matt Cronin's house. Parked outside is 85th’s rap-mobile, a badass van spray-painted with characters that represent their exciting and mysterious energy. Church Boys is written on the side with "A True Underdog Story" painted on the back. The group meets and we all head into Cronin’s kitchen. Filled with the warmth of a cozy household, we sit around the table and talk about the beginning of 85th, their Queens influence, and what projects we can expect from them on the horizon.

How do you guys represent the true underdog story?
Matt : Yo, if you see us [laughs] we do not look like what we are.

21 : When we were kids we used to make home movies, like little skits. At first, we were trying to figure out what we were gonna call the movie, and someone said, "A true underdog story," because we were like the little kids of our neighborhood, ‘cause there was all the older people from the block and we all used to chill. We were basically the little niggas. We were basically the last to get put onto anything or the last to be heard, so we felt like the underdogs.

Matt : It’s rooted even deeper than that. We were all the kids in school in the back of the class—well except for El; he was bouncing off the walls.

Ken : We were always like the quiet, low-key ones.

Matt : The weird kids, like there was something about each and every one of us. If you meet every individual 85th member, there’s like over 30, and every single one of them has a certain element that they bring to the family.

DGoD : Like a black sheep.

Matt : Yeah, we're all black sheep. That’s always how I felt growing up.

Ken : There’s 30 of us, and it’s to the point where we all relate cause we're the black sheep from wherever we're from, but all of our races are different.

Matt : Yeah, we’re sitting at a table color-wheel right now.

How did the 85th group become a hip-hop group?
21 : When it comes to the music, first we started doing poetry, and then we slowly started picking up the mic.

El : It was before that, we used to freestyle on the block. I've noticed that in NYC if you're a male, you usually pick up freestyling.

Ken : We were just a bunch of kids that were obsessed with music and came together.

Matt : Honestly, we're all hip-hop nerds, and just our love for hip-hop made us absolutely obsessed with it, to the point where I’ll call 21 at midnight like, "Yo I got this new verse!" We used to have three-way conversations on the phone just to spit 16s back to each other.

Ken : Me and El starting recording. DGoD and I bought a little set up and El pitched in and got a microphone, and we were just playing around in my basement in the boiler room. We were working with an Mbox and Pro Tools 6 and I had this shitty ass PC that'd turn off after two hours.

Matt : I remember we were in the boiler room and it was so dark that I used to have to take Ken's phone as a flashlight to read my rhymes.

When it comes to Queens, what is that you’re all representing for the borough?
El : The biggest thing that we represent is diversity, and that’s something that shines through Queens.

Matt : We're a reflection of Queens.

El : You look at the group and we're all different in styles and interests, not only race-wise.

Matt : I would also ideally hope that anyone from Queens that’s doing the music thing would like to continue the legacy of all the legends that came out o - Frank 151

"85th - Punch Drunk"

Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today?
We are all from Woodhaven Queens and share many childhood experiences. Along with other things such as our common love for Hip Hop. Although we come from different realms of the genre, it all started from freestyling together on the block. As time went on our desire for more led us into different worlds, including poetry, spoken word, Battle Rapping and music showcases. All of these experiences have molded us into the group we are today.

What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see?
Currently we are working on releasing free music through our website www.atrueunderdogstory.com as well as performing at local venues and colleges. You can expect video, performances, artwork along with our music and a dope mix tape dropping late this year.

What is one of the most drastic changes you’ve made about yourself in the last year?
Officially becoming a group was the most drastic change for us.

Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
Getting noticed is the hardest thing we had to face to date. Everyone is a Rapper nowadays.

What was one of the biggest setbacks in your career and how did you bounce back?
Out biggest setback was staying on the same page. It has always been hard to stay on common ground as a group. Although this has been a problem in the past, the fact that we are good friends has made it easier for us to communicate and discuss our differences.

What are some things artists need to be careful of?

What would you spend a million dollars on?
The days of recording in a closet are over.

What was your biggest risk taken in your career?
Our biggest risk is putting what other people find important to the side. Such as school, work and girlfriends.

What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
We suggest artists to work hard, stay humble and keep an open mind. Remember you were a fan first.

What are the best ways to sell your products as an artist?
The Internet! How else will kids from Queens get fans from Japan!

What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
Spiting whether it be in a booth, a train, a porch, a cypher, a stage or at parties. It’s one thing to post links on a person’s page. It’s completely different feel the presence of the 85th Movement.

Any last comments or statements?
Atrueunderdogstory.com, don’t say we didn’t warn you. - WWSMag.com


Album: Church Boys


Album: One Nation



85th hails from Woodhaven, Queens in New York City. The group consisting of childhood friends spent their time hanging out on the steps of a local church claiming the nickname "Church Boys".

When hanging turns into working the members of 85th are able to create memorable lyrics and captivating beats that shape the ever growing sound of 85th. When performing 85th is no stranger to a classic a capella, which shows their unwavering skills and everlasting passion for their crafts.

As a whole, the group is able to personify brotherhood.. With infectious flows and a message in mind, 85th becomes much more than just music; they become a cultural staple of the millennial generation.

85th has been able to perform on many stages throughout New York City including The Knitting Factory, Stage 48, The Apollo Theater, The New Amsterdam Theatre, The BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), House of Vans, SOB's, and B.B. King's Blues Club. 

Currently: 21Quest's Where I'm From Tour 

Band Members