Quote Highlight: The Wonder Broz. are positioning themselves to be the new youthful leaders of the LBC hip-hop sound. They are welcoming listeners into the emerging, multi-layered, urban youth music marketplace with banging beats and fun lyrics.
Kia O. Moore, AXL Staff Writer
I am a ponderer, researcher, & empathetic soul always seeking to create harmony. I cover Communication Studies, Pop Culture Studies & Advocacy.
They Just Love Our LongBeachStyle
Twenty years ago, hip hop was introduced to the sound of Long Beach California hip hop by a slim rapper with a laidback flow. Snoop Doggy Dogg dropped his calssic debut album "Doggystyle" in the fall of 1993. Now that Snoop Dogg has become Snoop Lion, he has let go of his LBC rapper past for a more Rasta-influenced reggae sound.
The LBC hip-hop top dog title is up for grabs.
Two youngsters are positioning themselves to pick up the reigns of the Long Beach Cali Hip-Hop sound Uncle Snoop leaves behind. The next generation of LBC rappers with confident rap flows and quality hip-hop production are ready to introduce the next generation of hip-hop listeners to a new Long Beach Cali sound.
Meet the Wonder Broz., two teenage brothers signed to Nick Cannon’s youth driven label--Ncredible Entertainment.
GETTING TO KNOW THE WONDER BROZ.
The LBC duo is composed of the Castle Brothers: Akoye Castle, 14, and Omari Castle, 15. They are better known by their stage monikers Tool and Gennis. These boys have the baby faces with ages to match, but they are not kidding around when it comes to making it in the music industry. Tool explains, “We don’t like to be on some kiddy stuff. When you look at our faces, you think we are just some kids. We don’t want you to think that.”
Although they may be perceived as a couple of young kids on the verge of stardom, they could lay claim to music biz veteran status since they have been in and around the music game for a while now. “We grew up in the studio watching everybody record and stuff. We loved it. That is how we got in the [rap] game,” says Tool. Big bro Gennis continues the thought, “My dad made us want to be in music. My dad did everything in music from a sound engineer to a manager to producer—basically everything. We saw the [music industry] lifestyle and that made us want to be in the music biz.”
These two have been in the recording studio since the ages of 5 and 6. Now as teens backed by the entertainment business-mind of Nick Cannon and the industry professionals that make upTeam Wonder Broz. these brothers are ready to give young, millennial-born, hip-hop listeners a full helping of the multi-layered musical stylings they have to offer.
Back in December 2011 the Wonder Broz. dropped their mixtape Countdown 5 on Power 106 FM's website, the Los Angeles radio station known as a powerhouse in Rhythmic Top 40 Radio. “'The Countdown 5' has songs for the girls, songs for everybody who loves hip-hop. Up-tempo dancing songs… Basically, everything that you can think of,” Tool tells AmericaXL.
The first single released from their mixtape, Yao Ming, has that distinct Cali synthesizer production sound, along with that summer fun, girl-watching lyrical vibe. They are now working to put the finishing touches on the official music video for the single. With "The Countdown 5" the boys wanted to treat their fans to some free music, who they affectionately call Team Wonder. “The mixtape is an album. At first, we were thinking about selling it, but then we was like Naaawh,” says Tool. Once the mixtape dropped, the Wonder Broz. went into full throttle promotion mode. Tool said in anticipation of the mixtape release, “After we drop the mixtape we are just going to promote—around the city [of Long Beach] and over the internet.” Gennis elaborates, “Yeah. We are just gonna promote, promote, promote. Shoot videos for the mixtape, and then get in the studio and work on the next mixtape: 'Countdown 4'. And—of course—keep doing shows for our fans.”
INKLING OF FAME
The Wonder Broz. are no strangers to the music industry promo grind. With Nick Cannon, aka Mr. Showbiz, as your CEO you are always going to be doing some form of promotion. Being that Cannon is the President of the cable network TeenNick, he has plans to get the Wonder Broz. into acting. However, Cannon has already introduced the boys to the business of endorsements.
The Wonder Broz. are brand ambassadors for Ncredible Headphones, the Ncreadible Entertainment/Monster Cable venture. Gennis goes into detail, “Right now there are some Ncredible headphones out with Monster…When you buy the headphones and flip the box around on the back you see me and Tool on it. So that is pretty cool.”
Cannon also gave Tool and Gennis one of their biggest music industry moment to date. “The biggest moment in our career was when Nick brought us on BET’s 106 & Park. We were so nervous, but after the show first went to commercial break, we started loosening up. We were thinking about all the millions of people watching us on TV,” says Gennis. He continues, “We were told when the episode came on TV we trended worldwide on Twitter. So that was great to see.” With a hint of excitement in Gennis’s voice, “That happened both times we were on 106 & Park. When our video 'Chitty Chitty' premiered and when we came on the show.”
When it comes to the Wonder Broz., these teens definitely have the trendsetter mindset and confident demeanor that is necessary if they have plans to be counted as leaders of the Cali Hip-Hop New School.
The Wonder Broz. are definitely not the follower types. What really makes these boys unique is that they are very aware of how to present themselves to their target audience and pull listeners into their music as independent artists.
So, how do these youngsters keep listeners wanting more?
They say they don’t let themselves become musically type-casted. Gennis explains, “When you think of the Wonder Broz. we don’t want you to think we have one particular sound. We want to make sure we can do all types of music, and not just one particular genre of music.”
The boys’ musical influences ensure they don’t get trapped into one particular urban music sound. Their musical heroes span the urban music spectrum. “We look up to all the greats: TuPac, Biggie, Jay Z, Bob Marley. We also look up to the new artist that are going to be greats like: Lil’ Wayne, Drake, Nicki Minaji, Kanye West, and Vybz Kartel,” says Gennis. The Wonder Broz. also look to their musical peers for inspiration. They cite their musical big brothers the New Boyz, underground Jerkin' Rapper YG, and even the Disney Channel “Shake It Up” star Zendaya Colemen as some of their current musical muses.
The Wonder Broz. are positioning themselves to be the new youthful leaders of the LBC hip-hop sound. They are welcoming listeners into the emerging, multi-layered, urban youth music marketplace with banging beats and fun lyrics.
As the Wonder Broz. say in their fan favorite song "Chitty Chitty": "She like my grooves. She like my moves. She like my style. She like my cool. She like me Gennis. She like me Tool. Baby girl, guess what we like you too. She like our Chitty Chitty. Chitty Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
Or maybe they just love your Wonder Broz.’ LongBeachStyle. _
Kia O. Moore is a public relations scholar holding a B.A. in Communication Studies and a Certificate in International Public Relations with a minor in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/kiaomoore