The Rap Pack — formed late last year by emcees Dappa, Y. Luck, The Show and K. Gates plus producer Lovel "U-P " Cooper — is a concept supergroup, the concept being that it's loosely modeled after entertainment's most famous and de facto supergroup.
"Basically, Y. Luck — it was his idea," K. Gates says. "He had this idea about having a group called the Rap Pack, a hip-hop group modeled after the Rat Pack."
The group performs, at the very least, in suits and ties, and just as often in tuxedos, as in the music video for the most recent single "Ooh La La La." The upscale "jazz persona" as Show describes it, reinforces the Rat Pack image and the band hopes it will help the group reach a broader audience.
The group already has a built-in local audience. Each emcee already has an impressive resume as a solo artist, hence the supergroup concept.
"I'm definitely comfortable with that," K. Gates says, half-jokingly. "The point is, not only am I comfortable with that, I want to make sure (for) the people that doubt that title, we have to live up to that title. "
That means two things for the Rap Pack.
One is demonstrated skill, which Suit Music Vol. 1 — a mixtape with a few originals but mostly a collection Rap Pack vocals over some of their favorite artists' music — more than accomplishes that with its catchy, radio-friendly singles "Ooh La La La" and "Dead Presidents," and its more cerebral lyrical showcases like "Johnny Blaze" and "Alpha Numerics" — the latter featuring dizzyingly fast, intelligent word (and number) play by Gates, Luck and The Show.
The group also is aiming for national exposure. There are precedents for New Orleans rap groups making it big, most notably the Hot Boys and the 504 Boyz, but Luck says the Rap Pack is aiming even higher than that.
"In my eyes, we can be the biggest group to ever come out of New Orleans," he says.