Andy Thrasher. DeadMonBernz. Destiny. Loca Legend. Mario Manzi. Meka. Randy Santos. Valentin. These are the creative minds that make up rap collective On God Records. Apart, they're talented rappers, singers, photographers, producers, promoters, video editors, and business people. Together, they've pushed each other to the best of their abilities through collaboration and savvy promotion strategies, crafting well thought out songs and videos with hundreds-of-thousands of streams. I got to see how they move and interact with each other, chilling with them outside of Stardust Coffee & Video, record shopping at Park Ave CDs, and smoking a blunt at an undisclosed location. Enjoy.
matthew warhol: How did On God come together?
Valentin: I’ve known Randy since the fifth grade. We separated and got really close again after the senior year of high school.
Meka: I found Randy in the worst time in my life. He and his family are the most humble people, the most gracious people. I would not want to be with anyone else.
matthew warhol: So Randy, Randy, did you all meet through him?
DeadMonBernz: I met them through [Valentin].
Andy Thrasher: For the most part we all met through Randy. I was fanboying over this kid’s music, and one day he let me produce for his friends.
Meka: The most humble man you’ll ever meet. It’s scary how humble he is.
Mario Manzi: Cocky in his music but humble in his life.
Andy Thrasher: He’s drunk right now.
matthew warhol: When did it actually happen?
Randy Santos: We had a collective before — in high school — called “M.A.F.I.A.” It stood for “Money And Family Is All.” It consisted of me, Loca Legend, Meka right here, and a few other people. After a while, that fizzled out and we were trying to figure out a way to rebrand ourselves, right? I was thinkin’ of putting a collective of artist together and we couldn’t find a name at the time. One day, I called [Meka] up and he answers the phone — randomly he was just like “On God Records, Baby!” [laughs] I was like, “oh shit, say that again!” He’s like, “On God Records, Baby!” And I was like, “That’s it! That’s the million dollar name.” Like he said, I knew [Valentin] since like fifth grade. I heard he started makin’ music.
Valentin: I was already makin’ music. I ran into him at a party and started a fight with one of his close friends. It was weird as fuck! I had just started a fight a bunch of people on some dumb shit. I had run into him and [Mario] was DJing at night. He was there! You were there!
Mario Manzi: Was this Poinsettia?
Randy Santos: You remember that shit!
Valentin: I specifically told him, “Yo bro, I seen you doin’ shows. I wanna do shows too.”
Randy Santos: He was being the hype man for the whole party. [laughs]
Mario Manzi: Three, four months later he’s opening for 21 Savage.
Valentin: The day after that party, the next day, I got my car. As soon as I got my car, the first person I hit up was Randy like, “Yo bro, I need to link you.” And then right then, boom, linked him.
matthew warhol: What all do you do for each other? I know you’ve said there’s a lot of collaboration, but take me through something specifically.
DeadMonBernz: Like, if him and him got a song, they hit me up for the cover, that’s my job.
Randy Santos: He does the covers. [Destiny] handles most of the visuals.
Mario Manzi: For example, he has a camera. He has a camera. I have a camera. We all try to produce content, but what’s dope is that if [Loca Legend] is working on a project he’ll have Randy as an Executive Director. Then I got [Andy Thrasher] doing production, and [Valentin] will do vocals on a track. I’ll be working on the campaign. It’s not like [Randy] is just a rapper, and I’ll hit him for rap shit.
Loca Legend: We just be all over the place.
Valentin: One thing we have though is that we push each other to the max. If something is not good, we’ll tell each other.
matthew warhol: What would you say to him if something he’s working on isn’t good?
Valentin: “Yo bro, that shit fucking sucks.” [laughs]
Randy Santos: He’d be like, “Yo, honestly, this is ass.” [laughs]
Valentin: You gotta be real with your friends. I love him, you know?
Loca Legend: That’s what I tell them all the time, I don’t want a fucking yes man around me. If I got some whack shit, I want you to say it to me.
DeadMonBernz: Word! If you give me something, “Yo, I need art for this.” “I’m not going to make nothing for that shit.”
matthew warhol: Because you know it’s not only his thing. It’s your thing. It’s your thing. It’s your thing. And you don’t want your name on something that’s bad.
Valentin: I feel like music, in general, what one person doesn’t like, somebody else does.
Meka: We all encourage each other. We don’t fabricate anything. I wouldn’t never tell Randy, “Put this song out,” if it wasn’t worth putting out. I could tell him that something sucks, and he’ll come out with something ten times better. It’s not a group. This is literally a brotherhood.
Randy Santos: If I hear something hard from him, I’m going to take that as motivation. Like, “alright, now I need to outdo him.”
Loca Legend: That’s how I be with him though. He sends me some hot shit, I got to outdo him.
matthew warhol: You’re pushing each other to be better.
Andy Thrasher: My favorite part of all of that is that I get to sit back and watch it. I’m producing and making beats, but I get to hear all these tracks.
Meka: Don’t sleep on him.
Loca Legend: I got to watch him now too.
Randy: Yo, [Andy] is fuckin’ spazzin’ too.
Valentin: This man made a song that I listened to for a week straight.
matthew warhol: What song was that? Is it out?
Mario Manzi: Nah, he’s always sitting on so much music.
matthew warhol: That’s good though, until it’s ready.
Andy Thrasher: I’m working on a project. I got inspired by some shit I went through. April was hard. I lost my aunt and some stuff happened with this girl. I was talking to Randy about it. With pain comes some sort of creativity. And I took that as not a burden, but to find a new sound. And I did that.
DeadMonBernz: Facts! Everything with them has made revamp my whole sound. I went on the Curren$y route because it’s what I sound like, smoking music. Listening to them I’m like, “I have to rewrite this whole thing.” It’s all love though.
Destiny: When I listen to their music, it’s actual situations that they go through. Nothing is fabricated. I listen to some of y'all and you be like, “I remember when this happened.”
Meka: As far as the competition goes, we will never be against each other.
matthew warhol: That’s something that I’ve noticed in hip hop more now. It’s more about people uplifting each other. One problem that the old heads have with the newer generation is that everybody is friends. When you hear Lil Uzi Vert, all he has to say is good things to say about Lil Yachty, 21 Savage. Just how you lift each other up.
Andy Thrasher: As much as we take the music as a competition, none of us ever take it as jealousy. If his shit get moving, I’ll never be upset because my shit isn’t moving. I will push their shit more than I’ll ever push my shit.
Loca Legend: The way we see it, if one of us blows, everyone's coming with us. If I get on, I’m putting everyone in a position to eat.
Valentin: If you look at how Odd Future and A$AP Mob got on — I knew who Earl was before I knew who Tyler was, but then I got on to him.
matthew warhol: Did they inspire you to make a collective?
Randy Santos: Some of us had already been in the previous collective. But a lot of people don’t know — my first tape was directly inspired by Tyler. I sounded like a Great Value Tyler.
matthew warhol: What are you working on now?
Valentin: I have a project coming out. The only name I have in my mind right now is Broken Matter. We’ll see what happens.
Loca Legend: And then, [Randy] and I have a party EP coming out called The Party EP.
Randy Santos: It’s inspired by house. It has a more bouncy vibe.
matthew warhol: Does that include that song that was going around Twitter?
Randy Santos: That sound is what you’re going to hear.
matthew warhol: That song is great.
Randy Santos: We just want to take over the summer.
Andy Thrasher: I’m working on an EP, myself. It’s in the range of house, dance, EDM, cool trance-y vibes. It’s called I Thought I Might Get Right For You And I.
Loca Legend: For me, I think I have like 30 unreleased songs that are recorded that are for two different tapes. I want to sit everybody down and have them listen to it. The one is about female problems its called Time After Time. The other one is called Through The Madness. It’s more personal shit.
Valentin: I love his fuckin’ music. He sent me a verse yesterday, and I literally listened to it 50 fuckin’ times.
DeadMonBernz: Yo, that fuckin’ song! That fuckin’ song!
Loca Legend: I always say that we’re not making songs. We’re making music. Shit that’s going to be around forever.
Randy Santos: I’m trying to have that 2023 sound. I want you to have that same feeling like when you first heard it.
Meka: It’s not about Klout. It’s not about Klout. There is nothing we will put above this shit. All of us know that by luck or whatever, we came together and we really built something from nothing, no handouts.
Mario Manzi: Sleeping on the floor, being homeless, not knowing what to do. Bad omens yet so many blessings at the same time.