Substance Abuse is a hot, up-and-coming hip-hop duo out of Los Angeles. The group is made up of Eso Tre and Subz, and they recently dropped a video for their new track ‘Bridges’ featuring Aceyalone. The song and video pack old-school vibes with classic underground hip-hop feels. Lyrically they seem to be a lot more mature and relatable than a lot of artists in the scene today, and are doing things we haven’t heard too much of at this point. The duo is poised for big things, so jump into their music now and become a fan (we promise you will) before they hit it big. Eso Tre talked with us to share some info on the duo’s background and future plans. Press play below and get to reading:
How would you best describe your musical style?
We’ve been called “old school” because we care about lyrics and beats, which I guess are an archaic concept nowadays. The beat has to have a groove and the lyrics have to be clever. We’re not interested in making music that’s substandard or lazy. Too many cats are relying on a name to keep them afloat, and the culture has become boring because of that.
Tell us a little about the creation of your latest song ‘Bridges’ and what it means to you.
We wanted to do a happy, positive song, but one that wasn’t corny. We loved the old school music A Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, and De La Soul did, how they kicked a socially conscious message over a jazzy, upbeat track that made you feel good but still made you think. The recent ATCQ song and video “Space Program” represents the kind of sound we’re trying to project at the present. Trying to go left and not right.
Any other singles or albums we can look forward to from you in the near future?
A new album is currently being worked on. We’re mysterious about our process, but we promise it will not disappoint.
Who or what got you into music?
We grew up in hip hop culture, being products of the L.A.U.S.D. school system. Hip hop was all around us, all the time. The house parties, the freestyle sessions, the dudes catching tags. We loved all aspects of hip hop culture, but rhyming is the one that stuck with us for the longest.
What artist or band inspires you most today?
The same luminaries that inspired us back in the day. Tribe, De La, MF Doom, Nas, Common, the list goes on. Anyone who still puts thought into their music. We like a lot of newer artists like YG and Joey Purp as well.
If you could collab with any 3 artists, who would you choose?
Nas. Murs, Paul Wall.
Favorite way to find new music?
The way I find out about new music most these days is by chilling with the homies and hearing their recommendations, usually on YouTube. That’s how I learned about Tame Impala and a lot of other dope groups.
What will/would be the name of your debut album?
The name of our first album was Overproof. Got four stars in a lot of respected mags when it came out. Considered a bonafide hip hop classic by those in the know.
When you win your first Grammy, who will be at the top of your list to thank?
Layne Staley from Alice in Chains. Had all the mystique, pathos, and stoicism of a rapper, but he just happened to be a grunge singer. Personally think he’s one of the greatest and most underrated vocalists ever. R.I.P.
Which venue is at the top of your list to perform at someday?
Latin Quarter in New York, just because I always used to hear about it as a kid. We’ve never performed in NY, so I think it would a great place to hit if we were to end up doing a show out there.
How important has having a support system been for furthering your career?
Very important. Our main man Waes One up in Oakland has given us strength throughout our career with his dope ass beats and ability to capture the sound that we want. Our good homie Erik Solo who cameos in the Bridges video has supported us from day one. Our homies Philm and Da Stig help us maintain the musicality. Kutmasta Kurt for being a mentor. We don’t exist without any of these great peeps
What’s your favorite concert you’ve been to?
The best memory I ever had of a show was when Common, The Beatnuts, and Organized Konfusion performed in L.A. One of our homies was passed out on the speakers and we were like “damn you must be fucked up to be sleeping through this!”. When The Beatnuts performed “Reign of the Tec” they kept saying “John Wayne…sniffing cocaine!” for the hook. I always thought that was brilliant.
Favorite OREO flavor?
I’m trying to live a healthy life these days. So OREO’s ain’t part of the equation.
Burritos. They’re an integral part of my life.
All-time favorite movie?
Goodfellas. Never gets old to me. I like the idea of a guy with a conscience getting mixed up with a bunch of sociopaths.