Introducing: Sanctioned Boyz… New York’s First Drill Collective.

We chopped it up with three of Sanctioned’s frontman, talking UK ties, musical influences and more.

August 7, 2020 Rehana Harmony

It’s an exciting time for the East Coast’s sound, especially since Drill decided to make a return to the US. It’s departure saw the genre go from breaking through borough’s in London to running miles on radio station’s in New York. 

It’s arrival has allowed the rapper’s steering the sub-genre – like the Late Pop Smoke; Fivio Foreign; Sheff G; Sleepy Hallow and (last but certainly not least) the G4 Boyz – to spearhead a movement that bares great global influence. 

However, one thing all the artist’s aforementioned have in common, is that they have undisputedly been influenced by the UK; when listening to NY’s Drill approach is it clear that elements have been imported from the UK’s gritty sonic to enrich their own sound – from subject matter to beat selection. 

So it comes as no surprise that a group like Sanctioned Boyz (who’s moniker pays homage to South London’s Section Boyz) have caught the attention of many even at the early stage of their prospering career. 

A month has passed since the collective debuted their first record, ‘Pull Up’ – a uniquely hooked offering, anchored by a moody UK-inspired instrumental. And, I think it’s safe to say they are definitely onto something and we’d like to think the 44,000 viewers (all amassed on their own channel, might I add) would say the same! 

So, we caught up with three of the frontmen of group to ask them some questions…

Hey Sanctioned Boyz! How are you guys doing?

Groove: “What up!” 

Tada: “What’s craccin!?” 

Sobers: “We all doing good. Can’t wait till the world opens bacc up so  we could turn the city up.” 

I’m curious to know how you guys met and realised that you’d become the rap collective you are today? I know the majority of you hail from Brooklyn but one of you comes from South London?

Sobers: “We grew up in the same hood for the most part. Going to the same schools, playing ball, talking to girls, going to the same parties”. 

Tada: “Argyle and Cortelyou to be exact. I grew up with Foxx and Wubenz on the same block. I met Sobers the day he turned Crip. *Laughs* Which is another story, I met Groove after I came back from London one day in Foxx’s crib. Which was like our hang out spot. He was with PGbaby who I basically knew since he was knee-high he’s the leader of the young homies lol. He (Groove) was quiet and mysterious and I took a liking to him. I was born in South London and most of my cousins come from the Mitcham area that’s where the connection came from.”

Groove: “Sobers and Wubenz knew they would be some kind of collective and started rapping before I did but together we knew we would have a sound, song and vibe that would be hard to come across” 

Tada: “We all rap but they took it more seriously and actually use to drop videos and do performances but we always had the same goal which was to shine light on our neighbourhood and to feed our families off our talents.” 

You recently debuted your single, ‘Pull Up’. Talk to us about the inspiration behind it and how the track came about?

Groove: “Yes, “Pull Up” came about because I started playing around making freestyles for Instagram and one of them was the pull-up hook. Originally it was to a different beat which was a little slower, strangely the beat didn’t download so we turned on the next beat and it was so fire. I said the same thing I said before to the last beat and Sobers jumped in right behind me & added a special touch. Wubenzz and Foxx demolished the verse, The inspiration of pull-up was people lying saying they were going to spin blocks so it’s like you tryna pull-up to my blocc or suinnnn? You want my Choppa to choppa suinnnnn ….”  


The track has done really well, did you expect that response?

Sobers: “We knew people would love it. We also knew people might have a negative response. We were ready for whatever but we knew it was undeniably lit.” 

Groove: “We expected the track to do well but maybe not that fast if that makes sense , it’s a great track nobody ever disliked it that I know of.“ 

You all have a super unique sound, how would you describe it and what would you say influences your work? 

Sobers: “Our sound comes from just growing up and maneuvering in our hood. Trying out new shit and experimenting and having fun with it. That’s our main thing having fun with the process.” 

Groove: “Thank you and not the sound itself but the energy we were going towards was like WuTang, Outkast and the sound now I would describe as very unique and maybe a mix of a little Swae lee and a little Young Thug.” 

Tada: “I would agree and I spent a lot of my developmental period overseas in The Gambia and London I was influenced by Giggs and grime music a lot, also Max B, Styles P and I’ve told I sound like Roc Marciano. A lot of people didn’t like me getting the auxcord cause I was determined to make them like Giggs and fellow London artist’s but they finally seen the light.” 

Sobers: “Haha, yeah basically the group is made up of different artist’s and we all have different influences that range from Vybz Kartel to Young Thug and Future to Biggie to Skepta.”

Tada: “Facts!“ 

Are there any underground artist coming up from Brooklyn that you think we should know about?

Sobers: “True say there’s so many new dope artists coming from brooklyn right now. Probably too many to name. We got Rome streetz, Curly Saav, Rah Swish, to name a few. You gonna be hearing from a lot more too. Brooklyn is taking over right now.”

Groove:“I would say PGbaby who is also apart of the sanctioned boyz movement.”

Tada: “I’mma keep it on some block sh*t and say Dondr333 and whoever else is coming out of AG (Argyle) they don’t call it Art Gang/Anointed Garrison for no reason there’s bare talent coming out of there.”

What’s next? When can we expect the track from Sanctioned Boyz? 

Sobers: “ We have some new heat in the chamber ready to let go. Gonna be dropping that very soon. Before the summer is up. We gonna take it to the next level with this one.”

Tada: “That’s a fact baby December rain!” 

Where do you see yourself within the industry in the next 5 years?

Tada: “I was the type to live in the moment and was infatuated with chaos because I felt like it was pure. So I never cared about a five year plan but I’ve grown and I would say my five year plan would be to tell my story. I feel like a lot of people would relate to it and it would help others to know that they’re not alone. Also to bridge the gap between New York and London we’re a lot more alike than most would think.” 

Sobers: “Within the next 5 years. We will make ourselves known as a power house in this game. Sanctioned boyz will be a platform for dope artists from the hood to make it out. We gonna keep this going forever.” 

Tada: “Everlasting ! And facts a label is a must!”