The Scumbag Boyz (TSB) is a collective based out of Bowie, Maryland, comprised mostly of musicians and artists. Co-founded by rappers Zachkary and Marc Bravo, TSB has taken cues from successful crews such as A$AP Mob, by including members who represent the brand, who don’t make music, such as promotion, branding and even desginated hypemen. The Scumbags, or Scums, hail primarily from Bowie, MD, a quiet city in Prince George’s County that is known more as a place to raise family, than as an incubator for TSB.
The Scums are a relatively new crew, working to make a name for themselves in the ever-increasing rap scene in the DMV. Their most notable releases include Bravo’s “Black Tape,” Zachkary’s “Bape Tape,” and their joint mixtape “The Black Bathing Ape,” featuring Zachkary’s enthusiastic self-affirmation, juxtaposed with Bravo’s comparatively subdued and nuanced flow. Currently, TSB stands at nine members, focused on playing shows across the D.C. area, and spreading the word about the scums.
Zachkary and Marc Bravo discuss the origin of The Scumbag Boyz, what it means to be a “scum,” and how the music provided an important outlet of expression.
Q: Why makes you “scumbags?”
ZACHKARY: We are “scumbags” because we appear to be scumbags, or as if we aren’t shit.
MARC BRAVO: You see the tatts, you see the dreadlocks, and all of that –
ZACHKARY: It’s the way we talk. In reality, we’re here for the youth, for the kids, for everybody. We want people to embrace who they are. We want to embrace a word, even if it is bad, and turn it into something good.
Q: What about Bowie made you who you are today?
ZACHKARY: We grew up in Bowie, but we weren’t the way everyone else was. We’re not like our peers – we had our own lives.
“We want to embrace a word, even if it is bad, and turn it into something good”
Q: How did you two meet?
MARC BRAVO: We met a couple years back. He was doing his shit, I was doing mine. He had his own name, I had mine. We did a couple of songs together. He had a vision of the Scumbag Boyz, and wanted me to join.
ZACHKARY: I put the piece of the puzzle together and we became brothers.
Q: Describe your most recent works.
MARC BRAVO: I put out the Black Tape in February, and it did numbers. Before that, we did the Bape Tape, and the Supreme Tape. Right now, we’re working on something that will be out in September (Editor’s note: The aforementioned “Black Bathing Ape” Tape).
Q: What was the concept of the Black Tape, and what you wanted to get out?
M: It was a really bad time in my life. The first few songs you’ll hear “An Eye for an Eye,” it was real dark. By the end of the tape, it gets to the light. I call it the Black Tape because that’s how I felt at the moment.
“All my emotion went into that tape, I’m proud of it”
Q: Was there anything specific that made you feel that way?
M: I was about to go to college, but I didn’t really want to go. I wanted to be a [full-time] musician. Then, my girlfriend broke up with me, because I was at the studio every day. At that moment, I was just like “fuck, I don’t want to go to school,” and I wanted to work on the tape. All my emotion went into that tape, I’m proud of it.
Q: Do you think that’s the thing that helped you with everything that was going on at the time?
MARC BRAVO: Yeah, I think so. She came back, said a few things to me about it. I feel good about it.
“It’s going to be more personal, a glimpse into my life and what I do: the drugs that I’ve done, the shit I’ve seen, the shit I still see”
Q: For the next project, what do you want to different on your next project?
ZACHKARY: It’s going to be more personal, a glimpse into my life and what I do: the drugs that I’ve done, the shit I’ve seen, the shit I still see. It was at a time in my life when I was low too. I was [supporting Marc] when he had the Black Tape. He’s my teammate, the backbone.
Q: How do you become a Scumbag Boy?
ZACHKARY: You can’t just become the shit, but we reach out to people who embrace they’re disgusting-ass ways. They love the filth, they don’t want to get clean. You embrace it and make it greatness, that’s what all of us did.
[We’re] intelligent as fuck. They hate that shit because we’re us no matter what. The Allen Iversons of hip-hop, that’s what we’re bringing.
Q: How do you all move and coordinate?
ZACHKARY: Most of the time we move at the same pace, but it’s hard as shit. It all comes together perfectly. We are professionals first and then playful second, until we mosh and then you get to know us. After that, we got back to us and focus on us.
Q: Where will you be in 5 days, 5 months and 5 years?
ZACHKARY: In five days, we’ll be in the studio. In five months, we’ll probably be in another show out-of-state. In five years, Complex Magazine, on the front cover.
MARC BRAVO: In five days, we probably will be at the studio or another show. Five months, we’re going to be eating from this project. In five years, we’ll be at the Grammys.