Off the Radar
North Hollywood, CA
Statistically, growing up in a single parent home doesn’t bode well for the child. But for Bennett “Laze” and Justin “Royal City” Talmadge Armstrong, two 16-year old twin brothers who also double as the West Coast group 2XL, it was their mother’s heroics that pushed them to beat the odds stacked against them.
“When we were younger,” Royal says, “we were like, ‘Ma, can you get us a microphone?’ She bought us a cheap 40-dollar mic, but we couldn’t even use it that month because we didn’t have electricity. Instead of paying for the bill, she bought us the microphone.
It was faith such as this, though, that actually makes the release of the brothers’ debut album, Neighborhood Rapstar, bittersweet, as their biggest fan, who at press time, currently lies in a hospital bed paralyzed from her third bout with terminal cancer. “She was never the kind of mom who would follow you into the studio,” Laze says. “Everything that’s happening now is because of her.”
And everything that’s happening now is pretty big. Signed by Tommy Boy Records (Coolio, Naughty By Nature), and with a hit single, the party friendly, “Kissing Game,” the two brothers have a fan base that is growing,
But whether their success lasts down the line is still unknown. What is known, though, is that they won’t give up, no matter how high the odds are against them. They are their mother’s son, after all.