ROSELLE, NJ – The legend of the hip-hop duo that calls themselves The Peanut Gallery is one filled with ironies. One half of the duo is made up of Orlando – a college and prep school graduate who enlisted in the Army, dresses like the cartoon character Arthur and enjoys bboying (breakdance). The other half of the duo is Flee Jones – a heavily tattooed gangster from the inner city streets of New Jersey who uses music as an outlet.
And their story is one told not only through music, but through comics.
Their unique blend of perspective, sound and artistry in many forms is so unusual that it’s been turning heads across the East Coast. And their new project, “Tales from the Basement,” is an album that is sure to have their fan-base growing by leaps and bounds.
According to Orlando, the two became best friends shortly after Flee Jones began dating Orlando’s little sister. That relationship didn’t last, but after the two broke up, Orlando still hung out with Flee and by 2012 the two discovered a mutual passion for music.
“I was never a music person, but I heard him rap at barbecues and stuff and always thought he was really good,” Orlando said. “He was really deep in the streets at the time and wasn’t about getting into the studio and recording stuff. Before I left for basic training in 2014, I encouraged him to start recording some of his music. When I came home, we grouped together with some others to create a group called Party of 5IVE.”
The hip-hop group started off strong, creating a 26-song mixtape and booking some shows locally with a quickly growing regional following. But the group soon began to face differences, and one after another abandoned the group. Eventually the only two left were Orlando and Flee Jones.
“That’s when we decided to re-imagine ourselves,” Orlando said. “We decided that our concept would be to create ourselves through comics. That’s just one way that you can see that we’re very unique. You can also see it in our music and talent and just about everything that we do. We’re trying to create our own lane of hip-hop by being producers and rappers instead of jacking other peoples’ beats. We want our music to reflect who we are, and we know that people get a taste of it they’re going to want to hear more. And ultimately we want people to be happy through our music and to bring people together.”
One single from their upcoming album is slated to be dropped over the next two months, while another has already been released and should have a music video to go with it soon. That single is a solo from Orlando called “DEEP THOUGHTS.” It’s a 44-bar song with no hook that explores various aspects of his life through poetic, image-driven lyrics. Orlando said the song is brought to life by using unique background effects and a more harmonizing melody unlike the up-temp beats that many within the hip-hop world are used to.
The second single, which is slated to be released later this month, is a solo project from Flee Jones called “Go.” Orlando said it’s a good representation of a song that’s completely produced and developed by the duo in a way that aims to bring respect to their craft and to highlight the talent of producers within the industry who often don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Eventually “Tales from the Basement” will launch in the fall of this year. The album is titled as such because, as Orlando said, all of the music between the two of them started in his basement many years back.
To listen to The Peanut Gallery’s music, or to follow them on social media, please visit the following links: