Hip-hop group The Underdogs are embracing imperfections, and creating a brand and musical identity that emphasizes on helping others through hard times.
On their latest single “Be About It,” the New Jersey-based trio—Lady Ink, Rafayel, and Butta—go straight to the point on the track, and see it as a gateway for listeners towards the rest of their music.
“We have Spanish records, we have records about the struggle, but I feel like people receive those things better when they know you better. And so that’s why I felt “Be About It” was one of the stronger ones to push as a record and to drop first because it’s very straight to the point,” says Lady Ink. “We’re just trying to engage the audience before we try and convince them of anything. When it goes like the more emotional records or the records that we’re trying to pull out people’s heartstrings we have to get the people engaged first before we drop those.”
The Underdogs met through mutual friends. Butta is cousins with Raf while Lady Ink re-connected with him through Instagram after he moved from Florida to NJ. Lady Ink has experience in the industry, previously signed to Hit City Records at 17-years-old, and Rafayel’s own project has over 80,000 streams on Spotify.
Their music ranges in variety—trap music, Latino rap that represents their Dominican and Puerto Rican cultures, and East Coast-style bars. On their 2022 record Who let The Dogs out? The Underdogs represent all of that, showing listeners what they’ve got.
But that isn’t all that they’ve got. Underdogs are both their sound, and a collective brand and movement. Under the name 360 Underdog, the group sells a luxury sneaker brand handcrafted in Italy. It’s not just about the aesthetic, but a way for Underdogs to help and advocate for others in need
“The whole point in creating the brand was to reach those people who we can relate to, people who come from nothing and those people who have those doubts and kind of hard to believe in themselves to do anything in life,” explains Lady Ink. “I want to be the advocate for comfortable living, basic human needs, and giving back to the communities in ways where it’s consistent […] We buy into so many things and we support so many things and there seems to be little to no return in doing those things. And I really want my brand Underdog to be that one where I invested in this brand, I’m wearing it, and I can really see how it’s putting structure in my life or affecting my life in a positive way and it’s not just for show or for glamor. It’s really helping people at the end of the day consistently.”
Underdogs want to connect in-person with fans once they begin performing live, and getting their energy out there. But there’s no rush—the group wants to create as much content as possible for listeners to see and for them to understand how serious they are about their work.
“I don’t want to go out there and try to connect with people and they search us and we have one video and an album. I feel like I really want to get a good amount of content and product out there that when we do reach the consumers and we do get our energy out there, they have something to go off,” says Lady Ink. “We’re really just taking our time and really putting our best foot forward and making sure that everything we put out there is 100%.”
Make sure to stay connected to The Underdogs on all platforms for new music, videos, and social posts.