St. Louis City SC Block Party

You could be forgiven for not knowing that hip-hop superstar Metro Boomin claims St. Louis as his hometown. After all, thanks to his work with trap rap mainstays like 21 Savage, Future, Migos and Young Thug, his looming, thunderous instrumentals have become the de facto Atlanta sound. But even though he’s made his mark on the Peach State, he still counts the Show Me State as his home.

And now that St. Louis added a sports team, the St. Louis City SC, is ready to show his support — even if he’s never been the biggest soccer fan. The club kicks off their opening home game with a “CITY Block Party” at CITYPARK Stadium on Friday 3rd March at 6pm. CST and Saturday, March 4, headlined by Metro Boomin with a special DJ set by Anderson .Paak as DJ Pee .Wee (will be supported by local acts Mvstermind, Kennedy Holmes and DJ Mahf).

Metro was kind enough to check in with Uproxx via Zoom to talk about the sound of St. Louis, his connection to his hometown, the cross-regional impact of his music and, of course, his growing football fandom. We also went down an anime rabbit hole and talked about ASAP Rocky’s upcoming album Do not be stupidto which Metro contributed so much that the Harlem rapper named the album Flacko Boomin.

For more details on the CITY Block Party, check out the St. Louis City SC.

CITY Block Party

How did you get involved with City Block Party and what made you say yes to the St. Louis season opener? Louis City SC?

Because of St. Louis more than anything, I was born and raised there and I’m always looking for great opportunities and the right opportunities to bring awareness and shine more light to the city. Definitely excited to be a part of this. This is big. This is historic. St. Louis is getting a football team, that’s important. I’m just grateful they reached out and jumped at the chance.

Yes, yes, I understand. Anything Compton related, I’m into it. Did you grow up a big football fan at all? And if so, who was your team?

Actually, no, I was a football fan, but I’ve always been a St. Louis fan and still am. But I actually started going to a few football games a few years ago. It was just a new experience and I remember after the first one I just kept going because it was just a different excitement — just the fact that you know how in most games, there are pauses between games? It’s just non-stop. This was new to me and really piqued my interest and opened my eyes to this world.

Now that St. Louis has its own team, will you be getting season tickets?

Man, I hope so. I hope so, man, I don’t want it to be just one thing. I definitely intend to be involved with the club as much as I can.

And of course, another name for soccer is soccer. We know the Super Bowl just passed. Were you aiming for the Kansas City Chiefs?

Yes. Even though it’s not the Rams (metro roots for the Los Angeles team), it was still Missouri. I had to go with it to Philadelphia. It’s still like, Show Me State.

Yes Sir. Speaking of St. Louis, I wanted to ask you about how St. Louis has been incorporated into your music, but it occurred to me that for someone my age, if you say, St. Louis, we think of Nelly, St. The Lunatics and Chingy, but when people hear Metro Boomin, a lot of times I think they might associate it with Atlanta, like Migos, Future. How do you reconcile that in your music?

That’s one of the main reasons I jumped at this opportunity and why I wear a Cardinals hat all the time: Just to remind people, you know what I’m saying? I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Atlanta is my second home. I moved there at a young enough age that I grew up there as a man, but I went to school in St. Louis.

And in terms of music, even though I’ve worked with a lot of artists, a lot of my shows have been with a lot of prominent Atlanta artists and I’ve been helping their creations as well… I’m automatically in the Atlanta conversation, but I feel like I’ve done just that with Atlanta artists. Atlanta, the next step for me is just bringing and shining a light on the talent in St. Louis because it’s so big. He is such a raw talent. This is definitely one of my next goals.

What would you say is what sets St. Louis than most other cities in terms of sound musically? Right now, you have Smino who is very spacey, like Parliament-Funkadelic almost. While for yourself, you have the trap, 808 thing. Does the city have a distinctive sound? And if so, what is it?

Man, the signature sound of St. Louis is, more than anything else, soul. We feel. There are no tricks in our music. Everyone always talks to me about my production, how dynamic (it is) and just how wide it can go. And I feel like that comes from growing up in St. Louis. Traditionally in hip-hop, it’s like, okay, you’ve got the South, you’ve got the West and the East Coast, mostly the West and the East Coast.

But man, growing up in the Midwest, it’s like we got the whole East Coast, West Coast, South. I grew up listening to Tupac, but at the same time, Cameron, Dipset, Outkast, Eminem, just everywhere. Back then, people on the East Coast really listened to East Coast rap. People in the West were really listening to West Coast and so on. But through the way the music traveled, I feel in the middle, we just caught everything. And I feel like that has a big impact on my sound, and everyone in St. Louis, because we all listen to everything.

I know you do a lot of interviews. I do a lot of interviews. We both get tired of hearing and asking and answering the same type of questions over and over again. If you were to ask yourself one question for an interview, what would it be? What’s something you’ve always wanted to talk about but never had the chance?

Damn, that’s good. I’m not going to lie. I got a lot of respect for this question. That’s good. It’s the first time I got it. Something I’ve always wanted to be asked. Oh shit, I’m trying to think of something good.

Well, I’ve had people tell me about all kinds of things. Anime, sports, sneakers, clothes, all of it.

As far as anime goes, I just got into it this past year.

Truth? Cool. What were you watching?

My introduction was One Punch Man. I just fell in love with it. It just became an issue for me. And in the process of seeing that while I was working on Heroes And Villains, someone had said to me, “Man, you’ve got to see My Hero Academia.” I had started it. And then as I was finishing the album, I didn’t have as much time, but my little brother, he’s eight, he ended up flying the whole season, and now he’s in season six. I’ve been drinking it for the past two months and just caught up on the fifth season today on the plane. I made it to season five and loved this series. I’m not going to lie, I’ve watched it way too much. I started Attack on Titanhad to come back to it, and someone told me to watch it Death note. I’m supposed to see it too.

These influences are powerful. May it give you lots of inspiration for your next project.

Nah, no doubt. It gave me a lot of inspiration, even in the last one, just about ethics and the duality of justice Heroes and villainsand just watching that stuff every day, it put a lot of things into perspective where I was trying to understand with the album.

You are a truly groundbreaking producer in your own right. And for me, one of the most groundbreaking producers of my generation was De La Soul. Can’t wait for De La Soul to come out tomorrow? And if so, which project are you streaming first and why?

Well thanks, I appreciate it. De La Soul? Will they be streaming tomorrow?

Yes Sir. For the first time in the entire history of streaming.

Damn, this is crazy. It’s crazy that if you really think about it, it’s really a bunch of stuff that isn’t streaming that growing up was so regular. I was always so big on a lot of Death Row albums.

I would probably say, what is this? … I was in fourth grade, sixth grade. I remember it had the blue cover. It was a diary. What was that?

Yes, The Grind Date. I really recommend it. This is really tight. This isn’t actually part of their original deal, so it was already streaming, you can check it out now if you want.

Meanwhile, ASAP Rocky makes a joke call on his next tape Flacko Boomin, which I think is very clever, but also highlights how closely you’ve worked together. Are you able to reveal any details about this project in advance?

Man, it’s crazy. I was talking to Flacko yesterday. I wish people really knew the details of our history and just our brotherhood over time, between me and him, and connecting with him through Yams in high school when I was still in St. Louis. That’s how I first connected with them. I just feel like right now it’s just a build-up of all the parameters to finally make our articulation. We always do so many songs and I feel like once we’re done we just get used to them hiding and piling up and not putting them out. But what can I say, man, you gotta stay tuned. I promise we won’t waste your time.

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