at the same time to get her Ph.D.. She was like a teaching assistant, I think. We were at 46th and Spruce in West Philly and then we needed a bigger place to live cause we lived above a doctor’s office or something. So we moved to Mount Airy and I grew up there. When I was 18 and wanted to live on my own, I lived in South Philly. So between West Philly, Mount Airy and 13th street in South Philly, I’ve lived in a lot of places in Philly. I have a very deep connection. I didn’t even want to go to Drexel. I didn’t even want to go to college. I went to Masterman for high school on 17th and Spring Garden and they were like the best magnet school of the public schools. So they were like, “Everyone in here is going to college. We have, like, a 100 percent going-to-college and graduation rate.” But I never wanted to go to college cause I wanted to work on music. My mom was like, “You know, you should go to Drexel. You have a scholarship. It makes sense and you might meet some people. You might find some more people to make music with.” I had plenty of kids to make music with but they didn’t want me to be in their bands. I was just their recording engineer. I recorded this rapper Theodore Grams, who taught me how to make beats and stuff. But I didn’t have my own project. So my mom was like, “Maybe if you go to Drexel, you’ll have your own project.”
Photos by Colin Kerrigan.
I lived in the dorms at Drexel on 34th and Arch. I lived in Towers on the 8th floor and Chiddy lived in the next one over, Calhoun, from the start of freshman year in 2008.
his manager kind of gave me the olive branch to get back in the group. They didn’t extend the same olive branch to the other kids in the group, which is something that sucks and is shitty - but it’s real life.
the music thing as long as you take a couple of classes.” I did that for a while until I was like, “No more.” I went to class for like a month then I eventually just stopped going. It’s been music ever since, full time.
I wanted to stay in school at this point. I was like, “I don’t know if everything’s all good with this Chiddy situation. Like, Mom, maybe I should stay in school another year.” My mom was like, “You’re miserable and clearly talented and know the right people to get started so get out of school.” And I was just lucky enough to have a mom who knew when it was important to be in school and also knew when it was the right time to leave school. So that’s my advice… if your mom’s smart, trust her. If she’s not smart, then don’t.
Your album had been in the works for a while. I heard rumors it was coming out last year, and then a few months ago. What's the story? Noah: We did half of it in West London, in a studio called Wendy House Studios. I would walk over around 11 a.m., lay down piano and work on the string section. We did the other half in Los Angeles at Moonwine Studios, which is the craziest fucking studio. They got a nice backyard. It’s really simple. It’s really cheap. The space is the nicest thing about it. We did one track in Philly at this dude’s studio in Fishtown called Cedar Street Studios. Then we put the finishing touches on it at Stadium Red in Harlem. So we went from Los Angeles to UK to Philly to New York. So your album is called Breakfast? How did you guys decide on that for the album? Noah: It started out as me and Chiddy realizing breakfast had so many meanings. We would always have something crazy good happen to us while we were eating breakfast. We found out that we went platinum in Australia when we were eating breakfast. Then breakfast came to mean another thing. It came to mean to provide for people around you, to rep where you’re from and to make sure everyone on your team is eating, and everyone in your family is eating breakfast.
We were a four or five-piece band when we started out. In May or June of freshman year, I think Chiddy was deciding if he wanted to be a Chiddy: When I broke the world solo artist rapper or have a group record (for longest freestyle), MTV of us work with him. Nothing was asked me if there was anything I certain and he was going off with needed. I said I needed breakfast his new manager who we never met in the morning (he laughs). It’s and it was terrifying. So we didn’t just a key theme for us in terms of know anything that was going on. BANGING BREAKFAST: Chidera “Chiddy” Anamege (top image, on whenever something good happens. Chiddy went away to tour with De right) cooking eggs and Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin eating. La Soul for a little bit and we were This is a cheesy question, but what’s Chiddy: For me, I drifted. I got Nigerian not included. I went and got a job at a summer your breakfast of choice? parents so I know how they are with the school camp. I was not a good camp counselor cause thing. I knew in my heart of hearts what was everyday I would be dipping on the phone Noah: I put him on eggs Benedict. He didn’t gonna happen and what was gonna occur. I just like, “Yo lawyer, what’s up? How’s everything know about that. sort of held on to school for as long as I could. going?” Cause I single-handedly produced When the summertime came, it became more all of Chiddy’s stuff. The other dudes didn’t Chiddy: I didn’t know about that. But now I and more apparent that I wasn’t gonna go back help. Chiddy didn’t help. I would just email love it. there. I enrolled part time at a state school him beats and he would go to the studio and near my house. They (his parents) were cool come back. His manager realized that I owned Noah: My dad makes breakfast in our family. with that since they saw stuff happening with half the publishing to all the songs since I He makes toast, eggs and coffee, and somehow the music thing. They were like, “You can do produced them. So in the fall of 2009, him and it manages to be the best shit ever. JUMPphilly.com