The Outfit, TX
Interviewed by Sierra Dennis
I met with The Outfit, TX (TOTX) at Off The Record Craft Beer & Vinyl, a few hours before their benefit show at Trees, Deep Ellum’s premiere concert venue. The environment they created around themselves is nothing less than unique, much like their personalities. The Dallas emcee trio consists of Mel, Dorian (each producers) and Jay Hawk. Although a collective, each member brings distinct value to the group. “Hawk brings the energy, Mel brings the swagger, and I push the envelope as much as possible,” said Dorian.
TOTX debuted in 2012 with “Spaceships and Rockets: Cooly Fooly Space Age Funk The Album,” an introduction to their “Cooly Fooly Space Age Funk” sound. Since then, they’ve released “Cognac / Four Corner Room,” which draws unavoidable comparisons to Outkast’s “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” based on its packaging as two solo albums (Mel’s and Dorian’s) in one double-disc release. These were the first two installments of a five-part series, entitled “The Texan Chronicles.”
They’ve played music festivals such as SXSW and A3C, and gone on tour with Run The Jewels. “We got the opportunity to go to Art Basel in Miami and we took Dallas with us,” said JayHawk. Because of their 2014 run, their unique sound and critical acclaim, TOTX has earned the honor of owning a bit of real estate in COSIGN Magazine’s Watch The Throne 2015 issue.
“We pride ourselves on being eclectic … We feel like our music reminds the good Dallasites of the foundation Erykah Badu laid. We’re as much Big Tuck as we are Badu,” says Mel.
“Our thing is being completely unique, even us producing our own music. I think because we are different personalities we can branch into to many different things and create our own path,” Dorian explained.
Six years in, TOTX felt in the past they haven’t received due appreciation, but all that’s changed since their debut dropped. “To finally be receiving some of that love back, it feels great,” said Mel. The group has since been featured in national outlets such as NPR Music, Complex and Spin, a great look for these three Texas boys. And these guys exude Dallas. “A n**** been swaggin’. If you were born and raised in Dallas you know by 8th grade you had to have your swag right … We stay crispy,” said Mel.
The music, the style and the dedication to their craft have positioned TOTX to makes great strides. “We just want people to appreciate art. Find what’s good out of the art and keep it pushing,” said Mel when asked about the group’s goals. Jay Hawk added, “We really want to put on for Dallas.”
This year looks to be a prosperous one for the group, and we know you won’t be able to avoid them in 2015. For more of TOTX, check out their Soundcloud: TheOutfitTX, and consider TOTX COSIGNed.