Brooklyn Bound: In the Ring With World’s Fair

For this installment of Brooklyn Bound, we hung out with six-deep rap crew World’s Fair in an old-school workout room.

Photographer Roger Kisby
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    The six dudes that make up NYC-based rap crew World's Fair have known each other forever; some of them go all the way back to grade school. Listening to their rowdy, free-flowing Bastards of the Party mixtape, which Fool's Gold released last fall, you can sense that they've collaborated – in and out of the studio – since they were just punk kids. Now in their 20s, they probably bicker like brothers.

    For this installment of Brooklyn Bound, we let the guys blow off stream in a wrestling ring before setting them free in an old-school workout room. After, we spoke to Remy Banks and Nasty Nigel about group activities, their favorite dive bars in NYC, and the advantages of rolling with a huge crew. World’s Fair will stop by Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn on February 24th. Stay tuned for a video and a free download from their time in the borough, and check out other Brooklyn Bound treks —featuring SZA, Potty Mouth, GrandeMarshall and more – right here.

    Was it fun to pretend to be wrestlers? REMY BANKS: We all grew up watching the sport, so it was fun to dig up childhood memories, you know, like fucking around in the ring. We did a workout segment too. That was crazy. I haven’t been to the gym in years.

    Other than music, what do you guys do as a group? NASTY NIGEL: We always get together, watch some TV. We actually used to get together a lot and watch a shitload of wrestling. If we’re out of town, we’ll just do touristy shit. BANKS: One of us will randomly meet up with another one and we’ll go to a museum or an art gallery, random things like that. We’ll go eat together in Manhattan, Queens, or wherever. After a big show, we’ll all go eat afterwards. I think it was after the Fool’s Gold five-year anniversary — we went to Best Pizza in Greenpoint and had a family-style pizza dinner.

    How do you unwind after long hours of writing and recording? BANKS: We get drunk. We roam the streets like hooligans. NIGEL: That’s pretty much what we do. That’s the saddest thing in the world. People get together and they’re like, we’re gonna bowl today, and we’re like, "Yo let’s go to Prince’s house and have some beer." BANKS: We go to this bar called Parkside in the LES; that’s the hangout. It’s a dope spot. We’ve got another spot called Beloved in Greenpoint, that’s where Nigel has his party.

    What makes a good bar? BANKS: It's very chill. The vibe is dope. The people that go there are great and the bartenders are great. NIGEL: We always try and aim for the diviest bar. It’s a completely different feeling than to go to the lounge or club that’s “in” right now. You get to just be yourself and not really deal with bullshit. It’s the same people all the time anyways, might as well hang out at some no-name dive bar where there’s mad shorties.

    Describe a typical Friday night. NIGEL: Let’s say we’re DJing over at Beloved in Greenpoint. It will start out with the regular Friday crowd, and then everybody comes in one by one, and it just becomes a madhouse. Let’s say you have multiple women you’re talking to at the moment; it will be one of those parties where they all just decide to show up. Once that’s done it’s like, “Alright cool, let’s go to the after hours.” Then we’re looking for the afterhours in the middle of fucking Bed Stuy and completely forgetting that it’s after hours so when you walk out it’s 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning and then you just regret everything because you probably blew all the money you got paid from DJing. That’s the typical night. Or we could just be recording until 10:00 in the morning.

    You’ve made some pretty great videos. Do you guys collaborate on the concepts? NIGEL: We’re definitely all hands on with the video process. It’s pretty hard being as there’s a bunch of us in the group. Mostly, like two people will pitch an idea to the rest of the group. If it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, then we go back to the drawing board. BANKS: “Sammy Sosa” was pretty tight. That song gives you a very eerie vibe. So when we were trying to figure out which direction we should go in, we were like, “Blade Runner meets Big Trouble in Little China.”

    What’s the best part of rolling with a big crew? NIGEL: The possibilities are endless. You can split up and it would still be a hefty group. Let’s say I want to go to a bar that plays nothing but The Smiths and shit — I can pick out my dudes from the group and the other [dudes] can go to another bar, and we can eventually meet up. When we’re all together we tend to get into shit. It helps that we have a giant group of dudes because you can never have too many people when it comes to a fight. We’re a bunch of dudes, and we roll with a bunch of girls. Other dudes will try to holler, which is cool, whatever, they’re not our girlfriends. But once they cross that line and start acting disrespectful, we do have to get in their face.

    Do you guys ever fight each other? BANKS: We did get into one brawl, one time, on the Lower East Side. That was the last time we had a group altercation. We argue it out, and if it ever did escalate it would just be a little tussle. Like a Making The Band style tussle.

    Brooklyn Bound: In the Ring With World’s Fair