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Raleigh, North Carolina, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Raleigh, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Solo Hip Hop Experimental




"Indy Week Covers "Fun""

“Fun” is the new single from Raleigh rapper BrassiousMonk. With enticing calls to let it all hang out, “Fun” only clocks in at a little more than two minutes, yet it’s the cool startup cog for the new Raleigh label Youthful Records (BrassiousMonk, ZenSoFly, Jodi, SpaceMan Stuu, and Supreme Kalif). If Schoolboy Q were to groom his noggin with Digable Planet’s Blowout Comb, “Fun” might be the audio result.

While the song isn’t weighty enough to sustain any long-term mood, its flickering youthful undertones are great all the same. “Life moves fast/we grow slow,” BrassiousMonk chants. It’s straight-up millenial generation philosophy—live in the moment, worry about it later. That's appropriate for a wide-eyed and stylish record label that already seems to be about stepping out on faith and fun. - Eric Tullis

"The Durham Beat: The Post-Show: Brassious Monk, “Working…” Album Release, June 23, 2018"

I’m one of those pieces of shit that you never see at shows, one of the ones who “has to get up early” but really just wants to hang with boo. Don’t get me wrong, I only want the most for local musical artists, but I suck at going to their performances.

The Editor asked me to attend Brassious Monk’s release of Working… and I was definitely into it in theory. Local hip hop artists at a new music venue, an intimate setting in which to appreciate what still (unfortunately) proves for me to be mostly-unknown genre territory. But like,


Goddamn, the shit starts so late and has four openers that you’ve never heard of, and you’re tired and you live in Durham and shit. Without traffic, you’re looking at a 25 minute drive one-way, not including looking for parking. Then you have to risk your life (or freedom) driving whilst towing the forbidden .08 back to the Bull City, because lord knows if you’re going to get through this night, you’re gonna need a few drinks. You start to make up other things to get upset about just to give you more reasons not to go. Netflix and chill looks more and more tempting…

But fuck it. You said you would, so you will. This is what I, the aforementioned piece of shit, had to tell myself to attend what turned out to be one of the most inspiring performances I’ve seen in Raleigh thus far.

The Wicked Witch is a cash-only venue on the outskirts of South downtown Raleigh, kind of on the edge of the warehouse district. You walk up two flights of really sonically-intriguing stairs and end up in one of those spots that you never would have guessed was there if you looked at the building from the outside. I bet this joint is gonna have killer Halloween parties for the rest of time. I bought my first drink (a dark and stormy, for you gingery bitches who were interested), sat down, and spilled my petty bullshit to The Editor, who is somehow always down to go anywhere to see local live music. DJ Aston Martin was dope, I knew, but I needed a little more warm up time (and a few more drinks) to truly begin to vibe on what was happening.

BluHouse Band’s groove-rooted psychedelic hip hop was followed by a terrifyingly real performance by Durham’s own JooseLord that made me just about, how do you say, “break [my] fuckin’ neck.” Granted, I got really, really excited by BluHouse’s bass/drums rhythm section who held it DOWN in the face of guitar solos played from back-of-neck, but seriously. Joose is one of those artists that everyone loves to hate but everyone needs to listen to if they want a real peek into the minds of Black men who’ve been tortured by systemic racism for their entire lives but still, somehow, have a sense of humor about it. Later in the night, Joose told me that he loved the Durham punk band Pie Face Girls and that he’d played on bills with them in the past, which seemed to me to be one of the most profoundly fucking perfect lineups that I would ever get to see. Someday.

So, at this point, these openers became more than just openers to me. In the words of Brass himself, “I hate when people don’t come to see the supporting acts. Like, if you respect me enough to see the show, you should respect my choices in artists that I want to support me.” True. Each performance played a role in creating a sounding board for Working… to grow from; they were all imperative for both the audience and Brass to feel the full impact of the release. Joose called us all into the room, where eventually Brassious Monk, the perfectionist, meandered on the stage, sat down at a card table equipped with a desk lamp and a laptop, and inconspicuously made his project available online for purchase. He performed the first track, left a sign that simply said “Gone Fishing” on the card table, and disappeared.

Alright, cool. Another track starts playing, we’re all out here looking like content pitbulls, smiling about nothing, slightly confused, tongues hanging out (nah I’m just playing). A voice comes out of nowhere. A few cues from the audience lead me to look along the mirror-lined walls to find Brass, decked out in a fishing vest and cap with fairy lights running down his arms and torso, spitting rhymes while circling a plastic crystal ball on the floor.

This has got to be the point when I realized that I had completely gotten over myself. Like, I was SO glad that I was in this room, arm’s-length from the artist who had brought us all together that night, on the edge of the small group who had made it to the end. Yes, the aforementioned piece of shit made it to the END because of the sheer power of community and hip-hop! Brass’s set was perfect despite his own disclaimers, filled with intimate narrative about his life and beats to match. After what seemed like no time at all, it was all over, and I found myself wanting so, so much more.

So let this be a testament to us all. GO TO SHOWS. SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS. Even when you’re a piece of shit like me. The artists will definitely be grateful that you came, and hopefully you’ll feel better than you did before you left your bed. - Genevieve Palmer

"Famous Last Words: Let's Talk Music!"

It's a podcast interview. - DopeBecauseWeSaid


RegionalPass(beattape) 2013BrassExpansionEP(BEep) 2016Working... 2018



Hailing from Raleigh, NC; BrassiousMonk, the self-proclaimed, “Keepah of the Flame”, is a skilled producer, rapper, and songwriter. Monk’s family originated on both coasts; his mother from Brooklyn, NY, and father from LA. Before the age of 6 he’d already lived in both California, New York, Spain, and finally settling in North Carolina. Due to this fortunate culture-shock, his music and style influences were broadened at a young age. Mama was on Anita Baker, Sade, and Shirley Caesar; big sweaters and nikes. While Papa was Pac, stand up comedy tapes, and Funkadelic; leather and chucks. All that makes for quite the gumbo pot. The blend of musical/artistic tastes only became more evident as time passed; easily going from reciting Mos Def verses to blasting No Doubt; throwing up the Wu, to bumping Kirk Franklin. All these influences, while also growing up in and through the early 00s to the changing of the guard that is the late 00s, mixed wonderfully together to form the “monk with more funk for ya trunk” himself. One thing that is/was present in all of his influences/influencers even today are: originality, spirit, and an introspective wittiness; things he now holds himself to provide through each extension of his art. Think if Pharrell, Mos Def, and Flying Lotus had a kid, then let Dave Chappelle raise him. you’d get Brass.

Since his emergence onto his local scene, Monk has been lighting up stages, curated his own series of themed events(ExpansionPack), designed merchandise(AtomBrass) that can be spotted throughout his state’s ever-expanding social scene, and collaborated with an array of talented artists from diverse demographics. The idea being that you don’t just provide opportunities for yourself to grow, evolve, and elevate; but you give your constituents and fellow man a chance to build themselves up then we all win.

“Hand the glow out” as Brass would say.

As a result of laying this groundwork, he’s been able to share billings with Solange Knowles and Run the Jewelz in Raleigh’s own Hopscotch Music Festival 2017, Durham’s Beats n Bars alongside acts Dumbfoundead and Dead Prez, as well as being chosen to participate in Atlanta’s annual A3C Festival 2018, which hosted headliners Lil Wayne, Wu-Tang Clan, and J.I.D.

He is the embodiment of the renaissance man, pushing creativity and positivity through thought provoking, energetic music.

His latest release, the 13 track EP, “Working...”, mixes elements of house, jazz, and hip hop can be heard on all streaming platforms.

Band Members