Danger Incorporated is hardly dangerous. Boothlord and Louie Duffelbags met in Atlanta (way back in elementary school) and eventually came together creatively when they hit their teens. Given their coming of age in the early days of the internet, it’s no surprise to learn that they idolise Yung Lean—a commitment immortalised in the form of some very real and very permanent Sad Boy themed tattoos. The pair are eclectic with their influences, citing musical references from J. Dilla to King Krule to Arca and Smerz. Their sound doesn’t feel derivative of one genre, which is perhaps the reason they caught the attention of rapper and Awful Records founder, Father. Running the next wave of Atlanta youth culture, Awful Records is home to hype artists like Abra, Ethereal, and Faye Webster. Collectively, each of these artists are building, and making plays for territories outside of their hometown. For Boothlord and Louie Duffelbags it’s been a steady build, solely focused on writing music. They want to push sonic boundaries, and judging by their new Danger Incorporated track ‘Ashley Olsen’ and their forthcoming album Birds Fly By Night, it’s already very future for these old friends.
Had you worked on other projects before you formed Danger Incorporated?
Boothlord: Yeah, we had mad projects. We were in the cut but unplugged for a while. We were making tracks with acoustic guitars, accordions, and violins. Low key there were some bangers there, but I don’t think they still exist online. They’re mad goofy young boy demos, but all essential to building the vibe.
Louie Duffelbags: We’ve been making music together for about eight years now. The first time we ever kicked it was to make tracks. We went to the same elementary, middle school, and high school. But Danger Incorporated is the most progressive thing we’ve done yet.
I found it weird connecting with people creatively in school, because l was so self-indulgent. I felt like I was so unique and so alt, that nobody could possibly be on my wave. Was it like that for you?
Boothlord: It was in a sense. It was obvious that almost everyone was not on the wave. But that was okay—they could do them and we just did us.
Louie Duffelbags: Literally there were only a handful of kids on our wave, and by that, I mean in love with, and dedicated to music. There wasn’t much to do, so we would just make music, get drunk, sneak into corn mazes, and hit parties.
You both have Yung Lean tattoos right? Talk me through your infatuation with Yung Lean and the Sad Boys.
Boothlord: Honestly, I can’t fuck with you unless you fuck with Yung Lean. This man Yung Lean, when he first appeared he had such a rare grasp of the vibe. Truly. This homie had based DIY internet hip-hop tracks, and fucking wavy video edits ahead of his time. Those sounds, and that wave hit us so hard. I’ve got 2003 tattooed on my rib, and 2001 on my fingers.
Louie Duffelbags: We do share two Yung Lean tattoos, Boothlord and I share about five tattoos I believe. Yung Lean was the most futuristic artist of my youth, and had a big impact on me sonically alongside artist like Jai Paul and James Blake.
How did you connect with Father and the Awful Records team? Did you know any of them before you started working together?
Boothlord: We knew of them. Father and Awful Records had a huge influence on the youth when Duffel and me truly started making moves in the city. Awful created a lane that previously didn’t exist for rappers in Atlanta—like you didn’t have to be a trap lord or a shooter to find success. It was crazy to see. One of our homies booked us for a show he was putting on, and he also booked Father. They saw our set, the energy, the vibe therein and were sold I guess. Working with awful has turned our shit all the way up.
Louie Duffelbags: We probably had mutual friends because the Atlanta music scene is connected for sure, but we hadn’t met them until we did that show with Father. It was lit as fuck, ever since then it’s been Awful. We’ve gotten to know everyone way better now, travelled the world with these people. Father, really the whole Awful Records crew, has been a blessing.
Talk to me about ‘Ashley Olsen’. The subject matter of the song seems obvious but I’d love to hear you explain it.
Boothlord: Haha, I mean the subject matter is pretty classic for us at this point. These are yung boy anthems. Ashley Olsen as a phrase is a representation of a princess, or an ideal shorty.
Louie Duffelbags: It was the first track created for what would later become our new album Birds Fly By Night. I love the Olsen twins and think they’re very beautiful. My two sisters had their You’re Invited VHS movies at my home when I was younger, so I have these images and songs they would sing burned into the back of my mind. Maybe the creation of this song was inevitable.
What are some of the themes you are exploring with your new album Birds Fly By Night?
Boothlord: “Birds fly by night to free the stone”—this phrase came from a very specific night when we were out making moves. This tape is filled with theme ideas from our adventures that we go out and experience, and the tracks directly reflect that.
Louie Duffelbags: These are definitely the hottest sounds we’ve released yet. I’d say it’s just a reaction to our situation, Booth and I’s friendship, and environment. We produced every single song using the same synthesizer. I suppose it was a fun challenge to see how far we could utilise that instrument; it really ties the album together sonically.
How does this release differ from your World Wide Web EP? It’s only been a year, but do you feel you have grown as people and as artists since then?
Boothlord: Duffel and I are growing musically. As people, every day it feels we’re out here – young as fuck, collecting experiences in the city. Every project is like a bookmark on this never-ending journey. Birds Fly By Night is definitely an evolution of the wavier sounds found on World Wide Web.
Louie Duffelbags: We have grown as musicians and creators so much since our last tapes. This is probably the largest amount of creative growth I’ve been able to see in my life thus far.
Why should people listen Danger Incorporated?
Louie Duffelbags: I love the music; I don’t give a fuck if anyone ever listens. I do it for myself.
Boothlord: We are out here making sounds for the love of the sounds beyond anything else. That shit is increasingly rare. We love music, and are truly out here working on music and making tracks and listening to music every day. 1000 years ago, this is what we were on, and 1000 years from now this is what we’ll be on.
- Photography by: Chris Orzel