An Interview with $ean Wire + Gibson

By: Eden Bekele

Neither $ean Wire or Gibson (formerly known as Tropicana Bwoy) are strangers to the Boston music scene, as the pair have spent years cultivating their unique sound alongside numerous talents throughout the Boston area. Some may recognize Gibson for his multiple producer placements or even from his former days as a party thrower in his parents Allston garage, whilst others may recognize $ean from his deep discography and collaborations. No matter how it’s framed, it’s safe to say that the two are heavily involved in the local scene.

It’s already been an incredible year for the pair, with $ean having been nominated in multiple categories for this year’s Boston Music Awards, and for the both of them gaining major exposure with a Cousin Stizz placement. It’s without a doubt that they’re both on the path towards great accomplishments.

Possessing a unique and natural bond, it was only right to capture the duo together. I was lucky enough to sit down with these old friends of mine — huddled intimately in their home studio space — to talk about their process, intention, and outlook towards the future.


Where are you from?

$ean: I was born in Newton, and I moved to Dorchester when I was 2. I’ve been a Dorchester baby ever since. 

Gibson: The hospital was in Stoneham, but I’ve been in Allston all my life. 

How did the two of you meet?

$ean: I met you (Gib) through Najee.

Najee’s like the key to a lot of things. He linked a lot of people together.

Gib: It’s so weird how it all happened. I liked to wear — you know my collared shirts tucked into the khakis — you know that’s just what I did. That’s what I liked to do — with the stripes and the flowers and everything.  I’m in the bathroom at school and while I was p*ssing this guy is like “Hey I like your style” 

I turn around — I didn’t know him and it’s Najee and I’m like “Oh thank you man.” And he’s wearing a snapback and a hoodie. 

Then one whole year later he stops me at the bus stop and he’s like “Listen man can I just hug you. I gotta hug you man you’re great” and I was kinda shy but I was touched. No one told me that before. 

And then one day in the hallway he was like “I bet you make music” and I was like “Yeah I kinda do” and I showed him this really weird beat. I was trying to be like Hudson Mohawk at the time and I showed him this beat in that period and he was like “Yo this was the best beat I’ve ever heard” and I was like, “Okay, you’re crazy — that’s mad dramatic, but thank you.” and he asked me to come to his house and we just started hanging out. 

You know a few months later he went to Seans school. 

$ean: When you dapped me up your hand was mad wet. The dap you gave me was mad off. After that dap I was just like iight..you cool. I remember you had the Dark World hoodie on. That was like Super Saiyan 1 Gibby.

Gib: Yeah, and after that we were just coming here every week to make music. 

$ean: Yup, we would be here everyday. It would be hot as sh*t in here. No fan. We would just be going back to back to back. 

Gib: This is like 10th/11th grade and it really picked up senior year. 

I love how organic that is and it even leads into my next question about the music — how was it creating the DEAR project and how was the process similar to or different than working on HIM$?

$ean: The process with HIM$ was really fun. Like I said before, it was really just us having fun in the room. Making beats, jumping around, and acting a fool. Versus

DEAR was done in like two months. It was really like “let’s bang this out”. At the time I hadn’t released music in a while because I had been in a management situation where it was just like they wanted us to write and build. I spent some time ghostwriting and Gib was producing for some other artists.

DEAR was really a sweet process. I was going through a real dark time from 2017 into 2018. I feel like DEAR was the conclusion of a heavy mindset. I lost my uncle, I got hit by a car, I lost mad memory and was forgetting song lyrics. 

I met my girlfriend — well I knew her for a grip, but I got with her and she inspired a lot of the records too. It was just a lot of life changing moments in DEAR and in that whole process. I found out a lot about myself and I just expressed it as much as I could in the music. 

So the difference between HIM$ and DEAR is that HIM$ was just like me having fun versus DEAR I was having fun but I was also giving a real message of who I am to myself. 

Gib: There was a reason for making it. HIM$ was kind of like “huh we don’t have like an album yet”.

How was it being apart of the Stizz project, Trying To Find My Next Thrill?

$ean: That experience was so stressful but so fun. Let me give you the whole story.

Gib: You got the story?

$ean: I got the story. This is what happened. Sebastian Mikael had a tour date in New York at Baby’s All Right and I had to get to New York. At the time it was snowing like crazy and I had to record a Stizz verse and send it to Tim. 

Gibson: No no no you started too late. 

So I was in Atlanta working for Jeezy — I was hanging out with Jeezy and some of his people & making music. 

$ean: Let em know!

Gibson: I was there for 14 days, and I felt I wasn’t meeting a lot of people. I felt like I could get more — so I took a chance. 

I had heard of this guy Tim, Tim Larew, who manages Stizz and I reached out to him just off the cuff completely.  I was like maybe he can help me out I want to meet people. So I DM’d him like “Yo who do you know in Atlanta that I could f*ck with — I’m here for a little while and I’m tryna make it happen”. And he was like “Yo I love you and Sean’s music so much — Stizz is working on an album, please send anything that has an open verse thats you and Sean. Please send it right now.” That was the end of the DM, nothing to do with Atlanta. I was like word I got you. And then like right then I sent him ($ean) a few beats, I told him what it was and he was like okay let’s go. 

$ean: He sent me like three or four beats. I was kind of stressed out because I was having like the illest writers block and that is the worst thing when it’s crunch time and an opportunity comes. Still, I was in my room and I wrote at least eight verses. 

Gib: What?!

$ean: You know how I be. 

Gib: There was a deleted verse for Soso?

$ean: Plenty. So I did that & Gib came back and we recorded it with Christian Yoon. and the next day I had to go to New York. 

Gib: It happened mad organic. 

$ean: Tim and Stizz are just cool and genuine dudes and they’re about the culture, making good music, having fun with it and being smart with your decisions. 

How does it feel being in Boston — in your hometown, after putting out two full projects and having this Stizz placement?

$ean: It feels good. It’s definitely a boost of confidence. It was so many days we would be in here like what are we doing. We would get frustrated. 

Gibson: I was frustrated,  but I would fake try to hype you up. 

$ean: We’ve had multiple conversations where its just like damn sh*ts not moving cuz Gib was in school at McGill and I don’t blame you because shit wasn’t moving and we weren’t getting exposure like that.

So that’s really the difference now.  It’s a lot of love, people are seeing the growth in the music and me as a person and Gib as a person. It just feels more welcoming — the love is immaculate. 

Gib: Everyone says congratulations. I’m mad humbled. I get emotional. A stranger will be like “Ohh you’re gib I heard you got that shit on Stizz’s album.”

$ean: My cheekbones are hurting. 

It was dope for me to see really. I saw Stizz’s story and there was a billboard in my neighborhood. Me and my boy Nick went to go see it. So being part of that has just been an amazing experience. 

Have y’all been doing music full time or are you planning on it?

$ean: I’ve been doing music full time since 2016. I’ve only had two jobs in my whole life. 

I was really trying to force myself to be great at what I do. I didn’t want to come in second place, I don’t want to ask for handouts — I just wanted my work to speak for itself. If I walk in any door and they ask me to play them three songs, I know I have three songs they could f*ck with. And I never want to be a miss, ever, ever, ever. That’s definitely the mission.

Gib: I’m not in school anymore — I left, but I do some teaching and lecturing at the ICA for music, and some catering. 

The lecturing is fun, and teaching. It’s just like these free classes for the teens who want to learn music, and want to make beats. It’s pretty fun. Teenagers are hard to engage but I think I might’ve got it. You know you can learn sh*t from anybody and I learned sh*t from these kids. 

So whats next? It’s already been disclosed to me that yall are working on a new album is that safe to share?

$ean: I’m so proud of this upcoming project. I’ve never channeled this much energy into a tape before. It’s just great, great music. I’m very confident about this one. Both the delivery and timing are perfect. Now we’re just trying to get some videos out and get shit going. It’s an exciting chapter right now.

What impact are yall looking to leave? If any?

$ean: My whole end goal is to inspire the world — not even just the city but the world. I want to reach as many people as possible and for them to be like “Remember when Sean and Gib did that?”  I just want to inspire because there’s a cycle of love in that. 

Gib: I want to inspire people too.

If I can leave an impact I would say… patience is boring, but if you’re not thinking about it being boring — it’s fun. 


Stream $ean Wire’s music and Gibson’s production below:

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[PREMIERE] Sleeping Bela – “Tidal” (Official Music Video)

By: Shamus Hill

The Graduation Music staff is thrilled to present our readers with the official music video for Sleeping Bela’s brand new track, “Tidal”.

Simply put, this video consists of some of the best visual work that I’ve seen in the last several years. Daymian Mejia does a truly wondrous job at accurately capturing the precise feeling that can be derived from this track, as the video assists Sleeping Bela in making her already meaningful song mean that much more to the listener.

Sleeping Bela’s “Tidal” may be the first time you’ve heard of the young artist’s name, but it will most definitely not be the last. Not only is her vocal work top-tier, but her abstract lyricism hits its mark every single time. I’m a huge fan of her discography, and if you haven’t yet, definitely set aside some time to listen to Sleeping Bela’s music. For now, enjoy “Tidal”.

Watch the official music video for “Tidal” below:

CLICK HERE TO STREAM SLEEPING BELA’S MUSIC

Donald Grunge – “Cantaloupe” (Prod. Jonny Doobs)

By: Shamus Hill

Chelsea’s Donald Grunge makes his long-awaited return to the Graduation Music site today with an incredibly hypnotic offering titled “Cantaloupe”.

Serving as the first addition to his discography since the December 2018 release of his ‘Cowboy Talk’ project, “Cantaloupe” features a soft-spoken, poised Grunge who makes use of some highly meticulous wordplay and melodies. Jonny Doobs was tasked with production here, and similar to their collaboration on “Time After Time” — “Cantaloupe” aligns as a solid example of Grunge’s multi-faceted artistry. Capable of making both boisterous, high-energy records alongside tracks that can accurately depict some of the more somber moments of life — there’s truly no telling which direction Grunge will take with each new addition to his musical catalog. No matter which path he takes, one thing remains consistent, and it’s that Donald Grunge simply fails to miss. Hopefully “Cantaloupe” is proof that the Chelsea native has more to come as 2019 comes to a close.

Listen to “Cantaloupe” below:

King Kade ft. Yelohill & Hit-Town – “Hot Topic” (Prod. Mike Hector)

By: Shamus Hill

Quincy’s King Kade returns to the Graduation Music site today alongside Yelohill and Hit-Town with a highly-energetic track titled “Hot Topic”.

While the majority of his discography may be rooted in exceptional vocal work, King Kade utilizes “Hot Topic” to showcase his ability to rap. He’s proven to be one of the more versatile artists to hail from Massachusetts, and tends to bless his listeners with a little something new on each release. Both Yelohill and Hit-Town compliment Kade seamlessly here, as the group glides effortlessly over some well-structured production at the hands of Mike Hector. Show King Kade some love as he’s showing no signs of slowing pace anytime soon.

Listen to “Hot Topic” below:

BoriRock x CAEV – “Out My Business” (Official Music Video)

By: Shamus Hill

The combination of BoriRock and CAEV proves to be formidable as the pair recruit Henry McGowan to bring the official music video for “Out My Business” to life.

Not only do the both of these artists hail from Boston, but they’ve constructed highly-unique discographies that are entirely based in authenticity. BoriRock has been featured on the Graduation Music site a handful of times this year, and as each new song is released he exhibits tremendous growth in terms of his artistry. CAEV has been a relevant name within the Boston music scene for quite some time now, with 2019 being one of his most prominent years to date. He was actually responsible for putting me onto BoriRock in the first place, so I was extremely happy to see that they had collaborated on this release.

While I had always enjoyed both artists’ music separately, the duo prove to be even better when rapping side-by-side. “Out My Business” is one of the Graduation Music staff’s favorite releases up through this point in the year, so if you haven’t, be sure to give this video your undivided attention.

Watch the official music video for “Out My Business” below:

Connis – “Ditch the Function” + “Planets”

By: Shamus Hill

With a mere two weeks being left in the month of August, the realization that the Summer is essentially on its way out has become apparent for many. To help compliment the softened sensation that often comes paired with this time of year is Connis, who recently recruited Lord Felix, Notebook P, Ricky Sour, and Rilla Force for the delivery of two new tracks titled “Ditch the Function” and “Planets”.

“Ditch the Function” serves as an ode to introverts from all walks of life. Both Connis and Lord Felix have proven to be two of the most advantageous artists out of the Bay State in 2019, and the pair continue down this route as they bounce off of one another with true grace on this release. Connis makes use of his verse to relay some messages surrounding both being alone and working on oneself. He’s not afraid to speak on what it took for him to reach this current point in his life — something that has ultimately attracted a large flock of fans toward Connis’ direction. Brockton’s Lord Felix helps build atop Connis’ verse by reinforcing both the development of a secure temperament and the abandonment of remorsefulness. Nobody is perfect, but it’s the combination of holding one’s head up high and learning from mistakes that Connis and Lord Felix want listeners to know and understand. Ricky Sour, who was in charge of the production on “Ditch the Function”, has had a long history working alongside Connis — with the sonic chemistry exchanged between the duo being one of my favorite aspects of this track.

“Planets” is the second single that Connis released, which features Randolph’s Notebook P on the hook and Rilla Force on production. I was beyond enthusiastic upon seeing that these three talents had finally joined forces, yet still surprised as to how wonderful the output ended up being. Much like many of the verses included on Connis’ debut album, Conn(is), that dropped earlier this year, the Cambridge native continues to rap with a relentless energy. Each line holds a vast amount of weight as the listener is quite literally kept on the edge of their seat throughout the entirety of the listen. In a truly intergalactic fashion, Rilla Force’s usage of synth-rooted 808s help make this instrumental sound like something that’s out of this world, which assists Connis in delivering his thoughts in an unparalleled fashion.

If you still haven’t found yourself within the depths of Connis’ discography up through this point in time, then there’s no better moment than now to begin that journey. Take some time out of your day today and dedicate it towards some of our area’s most refined talents.

Listen to both “Ditch the Function” and “Planets” below:

[PREMIERE] Kleo – “Live Dirty” (Official Music Video)

By: Shamus Hill

Gearing up for the release of his debut album on August 25th is 2020’s very own, Kleo, with the official music video for “Live Dirty”.

I’ve been a huge fan of 2020 since Graduation Music’s interview with the Boston-based collective nearly a year and a half ago. Kleo’s “Toyota” was actually responsible for my introduction to this group, and it’s been highly pleasurable being able to witness his growth as both an artist and an individual throughout this period of time.

“Live Dirty” works wonderfully as the first single off of Kleo’s upcoming project due to the fact that the entirety of the album contains a ferocious temperament that’ll have any listener ready to sprint through a brick wall. From start to finish, this is precisely what “Live Dirty” provides. While it may be true that Kleo has taken a bit of a hiatus with respect to the release of new music, it’s safe to say that he’s back and more focused than ever.

Watch the official music video for Kleo’s “Live Dirty” below: