Homie from the crew schooled us on this duo a while back. I remember listening to The Neighbors off their A Sucker For Pumps album and wondered why this song wasn’t on the radio… We caught their show in San Jose last year and will be sure to catch it again tonite at The Pagoda in Downtown San Jose where they will be performing with another cool cat, Blu. If you are doing something already be sure to cancel those plans right now cause nothing is going to be better than this tonite for sure. And if you don’t have plans, well then my friend you have no excuse. With tickets being super cheap, you’d be a class A fool to miss this performance…
I had the pleasure of catching up with these guys over coffee and cigarettes minus the coffee and cigarettes. A charming pair out of LA equipped with smarts & creativity, we found out how these guys met, their experience with one of the top female producers, and some challenges they face when filming their videos. With a well balanced diet and appetite for perseverance and progression, TiRon & Ayomari are one of the few rap duos that you don’t want to be the last one to know about…
Now you can’t say we have never done nothing for you…
RR: How did you guys start?
Ayomari: I started writing raps in sixth grade, but didn’t get my first recording program, Cool Edit Pro, until between eighth & ninth grade. As far as actually pursuing music as a career, that didn’t happen until 2008 when I decided to move to Los Angeles from the Bay Area.
TiRon: I started off playing the viola and studying with my uncle. He had a studio in his basement so I used to go down there a lot and just hang out. Then I moved onto the trumpet, then drums then keys…always wrote but never really thought much of it. I always had aspirations to be a singer/songwriter and eventually just fell into poetry which lead to me rapping.
RR: How did you guys meet [and] what inspired the name The Cafeteria Line?
Ayomari: We actually met on Yahoo!Chat maybe around 2003-2004 I’d say. There were these ‘freestyle battle’ rooms that we’d both go in. Almost everyday after school I’d go home and hop on Yahoo!Chat to chop it up with the small community of rappers that frequented the ‘freestyle battle’ room to battle, crack jokes, and talk shit.
TiRon: The Cafeteria Line was a name that I came up with because I always had this idea of forming a crew of different walks of life, different attributes but all with a similar goal; to eat.
RR: How has living LA influenced your guises music vs. living in Milwaukee or Louisville?
Ayomari: Well, I’m not sure how much affects people in Milwaukee or Louisville, I can’t say that I’ve been to either place lol. As far as myself, I come from Smyrna, GA by way of Chicago, IL. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household where music played an integral role. I also had the influence of living in different cities from Chicago, Pennsylvania for boarding school, and Georgia where I was raised. So I suppose those type of circumstances made me more susceptible and open to different types of styles and music. Not until I moved to California did my exposure to different forms of music really explode. Aside from having a thriving music scene, California, north and south, is just a diverse, ‘liberal’ minded state. Living here, you’re bound to be affected in some way.
TiRon: I’m not from Milwaukee or Louisville either….so, I cant really answer the question lol.
RR: Who gets more girls?
Ayomari: LOL, that’s a good question. We were actually talking about this the other day and to be honest, I’m not sure. I get girls, he get girls, we get GIRLS, lol.
RR: WHO ENDS UP TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM?
Ayomari: I’m the worst and best wingman, because I’m down, but I’ll draw a line. I won’t take down the ugly chick for the team, but I might help keep the conversation going.
In Sync & On Time
RR: Who have you guys enjoyed collaborating with most?
Ayomari: For me, I’d have to say I enjoyed collaborating with Yummy Bingham. I’d been a fan of hers for a long time and it was honestly one of those experiences where you’ve followed someone for a long time and met them just to find out they were just what you imagined but more. She was very chill, down to earth, professional, and great at what she does. She literally came in, we pressed played for like 40 minutes, told her what we wanted, she fucked with it, went in the booth and knocked it out super fast. It’s always amazing to me when someone can provide missing puzzle pieces for your puzzle.
TiRon: Probably enjoyed working with Yummy the most. We just got drunk and cracked jokes then made music. Super chill session…no egos.
RR: Who would you like to collaborate with next?
Ayomari: Salem Al Fakir, Yummy Bingham again, D’angelo, Thom Yorke, James Blake, Mark Ronson, Ceelo Green to name a few.
TiRon: Yukimi Nagano, Jai Paul, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Frank Ocean, Pharrell…everybody dope.
RR: Tiff Gouche produced some of your guises tracks. There aren’t really that many female producers out there how would you compare a female producer vs. a male one?
Ayomari: I wouldn’t, I’d compare a good producer vs a bad producer. T!FF for instance is incredibly talented. She’s a musician and was raised in a family of musicians, so her ear for notation and feel are out of this world. T!FF is honestly one of my top five producers and I’m fortunate to know her personally. I’d put her up against almost any producer, male or female, but that’s just me.
TiRon: Agreed. Tiff is murdering most of these so called producers out here simply because they aren’t producers, they’re beat makers. Producers can guide an album and do vocal design..beat makers just make beats.
RR: Being an on again off again sometimes social smoker I can relate to Cigarette off the MSTRD album. You guys smoke cigarettes?
TiRon: Used to….that song was my farewell to buying packs of cigs.
RR: Good Food. Good Song. What’s your favorite food right now? Favorite place to eat in LA?
Ayomari: I’m kinda on a vegetarian binge right now, so I’m all about tofurky sausages, avocados, and spinach leaves.
TiRo: I’m juicing a lot these days. But, I still enjoy the occasional steak here and there.
RR: What’s Brapple?
Ayomari: LOL, that’d be brandy + apple juice. The drink of choice, or the one we used to fuck with, is Brimonade (brandy + lemonade). It’s pretty tasty, creeper, but sweet.
RR: Ever read or hear each others raps and secretly think WTF? How do you tell your boy you’re not feeling his flow?
Ayomari: Naw, honestly, 9 times out of 10 we nail it on the first try. If not, we’re comfortable enough to be honest. We operate under a certain standard that was established based off of our working relationship, so you kinda know when it’s not right based on how it makes you feel.
TiRon: Yeah, when its right its right. It’s a feeling…we usually can tell ourselves if its right or not.
RR: Did you guys vote? How important do you think it is to vote especially as young black men?
Ayomari: No, I don’t believe enough in the system enough to be informed enough to vote.
RR: What’s in your IPOD, walkman, radio, cd player right now?
Ayomari: Been listening to JT’s 20/20 Experience, Atom for Peace’s AMOK, and most recently James Blake’s Overgrown
TiRon: A lot of shit. Stuff that I dont even wanna tell folks about cause I dont want some would-be producer sampling it and destroying it. But, I’ve been listening to Thriller a lot.
RR: The PRTY’S you guys throw for donations, clothes & shoes etc… how fast do those lists fill up and how often do you guys throw them? What was the motivation behind it?
Ayomari: We don’t throw them often enough, but maybe that’s a good thing. The motivation is to create an environment where people can come and have a good time, doing what they’d typically do at a party, turn up etc., all the while promoting a good cause. Basically, it’s a good cause packaged in party wrapping. Perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. I feel as if people like giving back, but aren’t always down to go out of their way to give back, so if you provide a opportunity for them to give back with little effort, then that’s a win win.
RR: How excited are you guys for Game Of Thrones?
Ayomari: TiRon doesn’t watch it. Although he should, it’s the BEST!
TiRon: I ain’t with television like that. Music and philosophy is my shit.
RR: What do you guys think about the new Jordan’s?
TiRon: I don’t. Stopped throwing my money years ago.
RR: A lot of folks out there say you guys are some of the most underrated rappers out there right now. How does that make you guys feel?
Ayomari: Indifferent somewhat because being on the inside looking out, I’m not sure enough people know about us for us to be ‘rated’ let alone ‘underrated’. Based on our online presence it certainly may seem like that but the internet doesn’t always translate to the offline world. In any case, I feel as if the work you did only matters as much as the work you do. So we just gotta keep putting out quality work and eventually the dots will connect. Before you know it, people will be like, ‘ohhh, I get it now.’
TiRon: Makes me feel like I gotta keep working harder and smarter…thats it.
RR: How was shooting underwater for a whole video? Who’s pool did you guys use? Who came up with the concept?
Ayomari: Cold as hell. We used the homie’s pool in Santa Monica.
TiRon: I came up with the concept. Shot the video like 3 different times with different directors and none could pull it off… kind of a difficult video to shoot.
RR: I can really appreciate the videos you guys produce because of the artistic quality they possess. With the What You Waiting On Video, I seen it took 15 takes – was that 15 takes each running in one shot? Who got tired first?
Ayomari: Each take was one shot, but in each take we didn’t make it the entire way down the street. We probably made it all the way down the street, I’d say about five times.
TiRon: I think we both got tired at random times simply because we were still trying to figure out how to pull it off. Trial and error until eventually it just worked and it got easier and easier and easier.
RR: How did it feel when you heard your video was on MTV? Who let you guys know?
Ayomari: It was very exciting, but not as exciting as it would’ve been 10 years ago when MTV, or the music industry in general, was less geared towards the internet and more towards television programming for promotion. But exciting nevertheless.
TiRon: Still never seen it on TV. My cousins back in Illinois let me know…took photos and stuff.
RR: What was the first big show you guys did?
Ayomari: We rocked Paid Dues last year, that was pretty big.
RR: What’s your favorite city to perform in?
Ayomari: Probably VA, the love there is out of this world!
TiRon: Hmm….I have fun everywhere I perform to be honest. But, I think I’ll always enjoy VA. The people there are just a great bunch of folks.
RR: If you could tell the world one thing what would it be?
Ayomari: Stay woke.
TiRon: Unfollow the uninspiring.
RR: What’s Next for you guys?
Ayomari: We recently dropped ‘The Wonderful Prelude pt. 1′, a short EP in preparation of our upcoming album ‘The Great New Wonderful’. Folks can expect a pt. 2 soon followed by the proper album. People can also catch us on the road with Blu, dates here.
Download The Wonderful Prelude Pt. 1
And be on the look out for new music and visuals from yours truly, TiRon & Ayomari!
W H O O P S !