Smash Brovaz
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Smash Brovaz

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Toronto rap duo Smash Brovaz have come together with The DJBooth to bring listeners their digital debut album, Think It's a Game?.

The project comprises 10 original jams from Junia-T and Crooklin, among them previously-featured singles "Be Free," "Casserine," "The Kitchen" and "Paper Planes." Joining the crew on the guest tip throughout Think It's a Game? are Diz Gibran, Rich Kidd, Yancy Deron and Richie Sosa. In addition to boardwork by Junia-T, the set features production by Big Pops, Intricate Sound, Like (of Pac Div) and Slakah the Beatchild. - DJBooth.net


For Crooklin and Junia-T, Think It's A Game? is more of a statement than a question. The Brovaz say the album was ten years in the making — that's commitment in any relationship. Standouts "Cassarine" and "Paper Planes" set the tone off the top, combining old-school tastes with personal idiosyncrasies. The former, an autobiographical ode to hip-hop, basks in its jazzy wispiness. It runs well after Crook's last bar, 'til the final whistle blows. The latter, "Planes," brings that chopped Wu vibe, but unlike actual contemporary Wu-Tang jams, leaves in its drum break. Sinking deeper, "TO 2 LA" bolsters a skittering, trap-y beat the Brovaz nabbed from Intricate Sound at SXSW. It's a fiery epistle for the world market that has both MCs literally horking rhymes about their grind, which, according to them, "don't stop." For a duo that'd roll up to open mic nights at the now-defunct Hootch bar in a drop-top Volkswagen, Smash Brovaz rarely fall for nostalgia's stale trap, which is just further proof of their unbridled commitment. - Exclaim.ca


For Crooklin and Junia-T, Think It's A Game? is more of a statement than a question. The Brovaz say the album was ten years in the making — that's commitment in any relationship. Standouts "Cassarine" and "Paper Planes" set the tone off the top, combining old-school tastes with personal idiosyncrasies. The former, an autobiographical ode to hip-hop, basks in its jazzy wispiness. It runs well after Crook's last bar, 'til the final whistle blows. The latter, "Planes," brings that chopped Wu vibe, but unlike actual contemporary Wu-Tang jams, leaves in its drum break. Sinking deeper, "TO 2 LA" bolsters a skittering, trap-y beat the Brovaz nabbed from Intricate Sound at SXSW. It's a fiery epistle for the world market that has both MCs literally horking rhymes about their grind, which, according to them, "don't stop." For a duo that'd roll up to open mic nights at the now-defunct Hootch bar in a drop-top Volkswagen, Smash Brovaz rarely fall for nostalgia's stale trap, which is just further proof of their unbridled commitment. - Exclaim.ca


For Crooklin and Junia-T, Think It's A Game? is more of a statement than a question. The Brovaz say the album was ten years in the making — that's commitment in any relationship. Standouts "Cassarine" and "Paper Planes" set the tone off the top, combining old-school tastes with personal idiosyncrasies. The former, an autobiographical ode to hip-hop, basks in its jazzy wispiness. It runs well after Crook's last bar, 'til the final whistle blows. The latter, "Planes," brings that chopped Wu vibe, but unlike actual contemporary Wu-Tang jams, leaves in its drum break. Sinking deeper, "TO 2 LA" bolsters a skittering, trap-y beat the Brovaz nabbed from Intricate Sound at SXSW. It's a fiery epistle for the world market that has both MCs literally horking rhymes about their grind, which, according to them, "don't stop." For a duo that'd roll up to open mic nights at the now-defunct Hootch bar in a drop-top Volkswagen, Smash Brovaz rarely fall for nostalgia's stale trap, which is just further proof of their unbridled commitment. - Exclaim.ca


On a new mixtape, the Mississauga duo proves it's not playing around.
BY CHRIS DART


“Real hip-hop” is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in the hip-hop community, to the point where it’s almost meaningless. But it’s the most accurate way to describe Think It’s a Game?, the new mixtape from Mississauga-based rappers/video-game enthusiasts Smash Brovaz. Save for the odd R&B hook, there’s no genre-bending here, no ill-advised attempts at singing or EDM flourishes—just strong, technical MCing, and smooth, soulful beats.

As MCs, the Smash Brovaz (Junia-T and Crooklin) are as talented as anyone in the business. Both of them have dense, polysyllabic flows, and they share a knack for creating smart metaphors and vivid imagery. They’re able to use these skills in a variety of different ways, ranging from a love song, like “You & I,” to a hard-hitting number about trying to make it as an independent rapper (“Chinese Swag”).


The production on Think It’s a Game? is equally impressive. More than half the tracks were produced by Junia-T, who’s as skilled in the studio as he is in the booth. He put together both the lush, ‘70s soul-inspired “Soul for Tomorrow” and the hard-driving “Chinese Swag.”

The highlight of the record is “Casserine,” a cheery, mid-tempo number based on a simple hi-hat and snare beat and a catchy flute loop. T and Crooklin trade dexterous, complex bars, and the female R&B vocals on the chorus hold the whole thing together. (You can listen to “Casserine” by clicking on the sample above.)

With wordplay so sharp you could cut yourself on it and infectious, catchy beats, Think It’s a Game? solidifies the Brovaz rep as one of the local scene’s strongest acts. - Torontoist


Birthday boy Junia-T, one-half of the Smash Brovaz duo, shines bright at the album release party for Think It’s A Game at Toronto’s Revival nightclub. “I think this is the first time I ever really wanted something special,” says Junia-T. “I didn’t know what it was going to be, I just knew that I wanted to do something on my birthday.”
Rich Kidd hosted the event, which featured a lot of familiar faces to the Toronto hip-hop scene, as it was Smash Brovaz’s turn to be embraced. Beat-boxing great Scott Jackson opened up before the duo took the stage performing some of the tracks off their album.
Crooklin, the other half of the group, felt the love the crowd gave back to them. When on stage he said, “It’s all family in here man,” as he passed out countless shots of Hennessy to anybody who wanted some.
“It was us going through time and learning and understanding why we make this music.” – Junia-T
Hands were waving left and right while people chanted Smash Brovaz, during their performance, which is everything the two emcees could have asked for out of their night. “It’s been a long time coming, building the whole vibe, and just to see that the city actually came by and responded to our call is the biggest blessing of it all,” said Junia.
Think It’s A Game features several tracks Junia-T produced himself and also a few collaborations they put together with emcees like Rich Kidd and Richie Sosa. Sosa got on the song called “The Kitchen” simply because he was in the studio while they were recording and felt the need to do a verse.
As one can expect, there were some difficulties they had to overcome to come out with such a project. “Encountering life challenges and dealing with them in a manner where your goal in life was the reason to keep you on path with your goals, because life will always throw a curve at you,” explained Junia, who recently became a father and had to figure out how to juggle the different aspects of his life and still find room for success.
Everyone who came to the event clearly did for the love of the music and Smash Brovaz. Carlos, a resident of the city’s west-end, was more than happy to show his support for the duo. “I thought it was real live,” he said. “I’m always into supporting indie hip-hop. I’ve heard a lot about these dudes and I came here to support them.”
If Junia-T could describe the album in one word, the word would be experience. “You can make it a noun or a verb. That’s all it was. It was us going through time and learning and understanding why we make this music,” he said. “Once we can truly understand then it’s easy to stand firm and plead your case, because you understand what you believe in.” - Urbanology Magazine - Online


In case you have been hibernating, or you just totally lost track of the date, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which means many of you will be spending time in the kitchen mashing potatoes and basting that juicy, scrumptious turkey. To celebrate your time around the stove Smash Brovaz have released yet another single, following last weeks Casserine, appropriately titled The Kitchen. While the T-dot duo’s kitchen is probably void of stuffing or pumpkin pie, it will most certainly satisfy your Thanksgiving-sized appetite. Cooking up the hazy production is group member Junia-T, whose chime-sprinkled boardwork is the main ingredient for the dish. The duo and two time DJBooth guest artist, Richie Sosa, sprinkle the beat with their own blend of spices, giving the song a gritty, underground feel. For more quality hip-hop recipes, please check out the duo’s Think It’s a Game LP, available for download on 12/13 via DJBooth.net. - DJBooth.net


Smash Brovaz

“It’s rare to see two emcees click like Crook and Junia T. Playa do,” commented Pound magazine publisher Bascunan. “This T.Dot duo inject a raw, rambunctious energy into their music and shows.” - Toronto Star


Avant les gros bras de Meyhem Lauren, un peu de fraîcheur made in Toronto avec l’excellent duo Smash Brovaz et leur Think It’s a Game ?. Autant éviter tout suspense inutile, j’ai adoré cette première mixtape ! Junia-T et Crooklin, ce sont leurs noms, développent un son smooth totalement revigorant, et moi, j’adhère complètement. En prime la production précise de DJ Wristpect et de MC Sir Lancelot tient grandement la route, glop glop glop !


Dès Casserine, on se dit que ces deux-là ont été biberonnés à grands coups de Hieroglyphics, beats sensuels, mélodie hypnotique tout simplement sifflée pour un rendu jazzy parfait. Arrive ensuite Paper Planes, autre tube et celui qui ne bouge pas la tête dès l’entrée de ce titre est mort ! Le beat rugueux est excellent et ouvre une voie royale aux flows de Junia-T et Crooklin, les deux MCs n’ont alors plus qu’à prendre leur envol lyrique et ils y arrivent superbement. Je ne vais pas détailler tous les titres mais quel plaisir d’écouter Be Free, Chinese Swag, The Kitchen ou Daydreamers Theme avec des vrais bouts du Juicy de Notorious B.I.G. dedans. Et ce plaisir se développe tout le long de Think It’s a Game ?, les Smash Brovaz sont assurément à suivre de près ! - IndieRockMag.com (France)


Avant les gros bras de Meyhem Lauren, un peu de fraîcheur made in Toronto avec l’excellent duo Smash Brovaz et leur Think It’s a Game ?. Autant éviter tout suspense inutile, j’ai adoré cette première mixtape ! Junia-T et Crooklin, ce sont leurs noms, développent un son smooth totalement revigorant, et moi, j’adhère complètement. En prime la production précise de DJ Wristpect et de MC Sir Lancelot tient grandement la route, glop glop glop !


Dès Casserine, on se dit que ces deux-là ont été biberonnés à grands coups de Hieroglyphics, beats sensuels, mélodie hypnotique tout simplement sifflée pour un rendu jazzy parfait. Arrive ensuite Paper Planes, autre tube et celui qui ne bouge pas la tête dès l’entrée de ce titre est mort ! Le beat rugueux est excellent et ouvre une voie royale aux flows de Junia-T et Crooklin, les deux MCs n’ont alors plus qu’à prendre leur envol lyrique et ils y arrivent superbement. Je ne vais pas détailler tous les titres mais quel plaisir d’écouter Be Free, Chinese Swag, The Kitchen ou Daydreamers Theme avec des vrais bouts du Juicy de Notorious B.I.G. dedans. Et ce plaisir se développe tout le long de Think It’s a Game ?, les Smash Brovaz sont assurément à suivre de près ! - IndieRockMag.com (France)


Crook & Junia; we see you. Keep making that good music. - Redef.ca


Crook & Junia; we see you. Keep making that good music. - Redef.ca


Man this is what hip-hop should sound like... that sample and lyrics are real dope.. the duo Smash Brovaz consists of Junia-T and Crook, who I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of times, and they always show love. For this track they've got Zaki Ibrahim on the hook, and she always brings so much soul. Junia-T also getting behind the boards on the production tip for this one. Definitely gotta check this track out! This is off their new EP called "Junia T & Crook Are... Smash Brovaz" which is available for purchase at their website or e-mail them at info@smashbrovaz.com - maincourse101.com


Man this is what hip-hop should sound like... that sample and lyrics are real dope.. the duo Smash Brovaz consists of Junia-T and Crook, who I've had the pleasure of meeting a number of times, and they always show love. For this track they've got Zaki Ibrahim on the hook, and she always brings so much soul. Junia-T also getting behind the boards on the production tip for this one. Definitely gotta check this track out! This is off their new EP called "Junia T & Crook Are... Smash Brovaz" which is available for purchase at their website or e-mail them at info@smashbrovaz.com - maincourse101.com


Discography

Smash Brovaz - Be Free (Single)
Smash Brovaz - Casserine (Single)
Smash Brovaz - The Kitchen (Single)
Smash Brovaz - The Kitchen (Video)

Smash Brovaz "Think It's A Game?" Album

Photos

Bio

Smash Brovaz are live! Junia T & Crook are the easy going, weed smoking, rhyme-kicking, video gamers
that make up this dynamic duo. With musical sensibilities referencing hip hop’s golden era, they infuse
a youthful brashness creating a unique sound that can be described only as new school nostalgia. With
a name that pays homage to one of their generation’s most recognizable video game series, they are
similarly playful yet competitive. Not underground, just with their ear to the ground, Junia T & Crook
strike a chord with the young at heart and wise in mind. Delivering music that moves you and a stage
show that shoves you across the room, Smash Brovaz brings the ruckus.

Born out of house party ciphers, Smash Brovaz have been manifesting memorable musical moments
since before they were officially a duo. And it’s that ability to capture the essence of a moment in time
that gives their music life. The spontaneity of their characters is channeled through their knack for
freestyling and generously donated to every audience who comes to their shows.

Smash Brovaz boasts a rich performance history that began at Toronto’s longest running open mic In
Divine Style as the youngest artists on the grand finale’s bill and has continued to this day. Their stage
show leads the way in terms of local notoriety and is a product of a very natural stage presence and MC
aura. The Toronto Star named Smash Brovaz in their list of top 5 indie hip hop acts from Toronto, once
again pointing to their “raw, rambunctious energy.” Junia T also recently achieved national exposure as
winner of MuchMusic Rap City’s “hash tag freestyle” for five consecutive weeks. They’ve opened for Rah
Digga, Sean Price, J. Cole and performed at every Manifesto since the festival’s inception (including the
first ever Manifesto in New York).

“We consider ourselves performers first, before recording artists,” explains Junia T.

Over the last two years the performances they pride themselves on have been anchored by a series of
solid singles including: “What You Need, What You Want” featuring Blake Carrington achieved rotation
on MuchMusic, MuchVibe and Aux TV. In 2008, they released “The EP” and are now looking forward to
the 2012 release of “Think It’s A Game”.

Throughout their rise, they’ve achieved 360 degree perspective on their sound by honing their
production skills as well. Junia & Crook cite influences like Foreign Exchange, Little Brother, Boot Camp
Click & Slum Village when discussing the origins of their sound. With a clear sense of self, they are
maturing into men and bringing the mic with them.

Smash Brovaz have organically grown into a tight knit duo with a chemistry that transcends songs or
stages but instead lives as they live.

“We pull each other into places on songs that we might not have gone if we were on our own,” explains
Crook. “I might jump off a concept or a train of thought on a song and Junia will be inspired by the
results of my inspiration and pen some raps to fit the vibe but from his perspective or from his life. The
give and take of our creative process is what makes us strong.”

With a wildfire of true school hip hop burning inside them, Smash Brovaz embodies authentic
showmanship and style. They are not bound by charts or demographics or even the title “MC,” but

instead let the chips fall where they may by making music defined by their tales and their tastes. Smash
Brovaz are two of a kind.