Fate has an interesting way of working its magic, especially in the lives of Braelon “B Town” McMullen and Marquez “B Boi” Hutchinson. Although both men hail from the Southside of Atlanta, they had to travel across the world — by way of the U.S. Navy — for their lives to intersect. In 2008, the two would form a unique bond while enlisted in the Navy’s ranks, and set the framework for a musical partnership they coined “Mullage.”
Like any artistic collage, Mullage’s diverse musical passions have worked together to craft a distinctive debut that finds its beauty in the uniqueness of their individual styles. As B Town and B Boi placed the finishing touches on The Element of Versatility, the duo set aside some time to speak with Clayton Perry and reflect on the origins of Mullage and the musical influence of T.I and Andre 3000.
Before forming Mullage, the two of you were enlisted servicemen in the US Navy. What led you to join the Armed Forces?
B Town: I had a partial football scholarship, as well as a track scholarship at Methodist College. I was paying $26,000 a year to go to school, and at the time, my mother got a divorce, so I didn’t really have a choice. In the back of my mind, I just knew that I would have to take a leap of faith.
B Boi: Growing up, I had a lot of friends around me that joined the military, so that was a major influence. I would hear stories from them when they come back home on leave and stuff like that. As I got older, I felt the sense of limited opportunity in my environment. I had to make a change and get up out of there, so I joined the military.
Since you were stationed on different ships, how did you find each other?
B Town: We actually found each other through a mutual friend by the name of Jodi Lambert. He kind of brought us to the same label, a label by the name of Final Destination Records in Norfolk, Virginia. We actually met there and the rest is history.
At what particular point did you decide to leave the Navy and focus on the music?
B Town: Well, I never really wanted to make the Navy a career path for me. I just knew that is was something I had to do at the moment. I had the tools, so I knew that I would be good at it, and I had a military background from my family beforehand in the Air Force. I just knew that it was something that I could do. You have all the people trying to influence you to stay in and everybody else thinks they know what’s best for you. But I got out in September 2008. So it’s a recent change.
B Boi: I decided to get out after maybe my first two years in. I decided that music was going to be a part of my life and I felt like if I really needed to do it and take it seriously, I needed to get out of the military. I made my mind up and began the process in November ’07. I got released a year early from the military with the help of my superior, and I actually ended up getting out in March ’08. I wasn’t supposed to get out ‘til ’09.
With your background and travel experiences, what have you learned about the power of music?
B Boi: I mean, just realizing how many people you can touch with the music – that’s the biggest thing. You really don’t know until you’re actually in the music industry to realize the type of power and control you can actually have over people with the music and the people you can reach and touch with the music. That’s been like the biggest thing for us. We want to be able to have people relate to us. We want to be able to relate to the people as far as our music. It’s one of the biggest things that we sit down on and think about. How can we relate this music to the people?