Scumbag Fred: A Different Type of Scum
“Welcome to the Scum show. I’m the main attraction”
Detroit rapper, Scumbag Fred is almost never without a 40oz or joint in hand in his music videos while his deep voice spits absolute fire.
His grimy-sounding stage name evolved with his music.
“I’ve like slowly manifested into a different feeling of scum,” Scumbag said. “People are always telling me like, ‘you don’t seem like that scummy a dude.’ And I’m like, ‘that’s because it’s a different type of scum.”
It’s true that in my short interview with Scumbag, he came off more as a salt, not scum of the Earth sort of man. He was funny, honest and to-the-point in answering my questions. When he spoke about Lunicy Link Boyz (the artistic group he’s a part of), he spoke of brotherhood and a strong force of friendship.
Link Boyz is composed of Scumbag, SeventhLord X, Worlockk, and Larrair. The quartet have been friends since highschool. Each have their own solo careers, but together they push each other artistically. Scumbag explained that making music with Link Boyz comes naturally, flowing out of their pre-existing familiarity with each other.
“We be cooking,” he said of the production process. “And like, whatever is fire, is fire...We’re never going to the studio and looking to make like a certain song. It’s like as we are making it, it happens and it’s beautiful as it happens.”
Larrair even did the production on Scumbag’s latest album, the aptly titled It Only Gets Worse, which came out in January of 2021.
Scumbag said the title refers to the music, but also to life itself. “It only gets worse,” Scumbag said. “Like whatever you go through, it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.”
His own life, like so many of ours, took a turn at the start of the pandemic. He had been in California recording his 2020 tape Liquor Store Loosies, when COVID sent him back home to Michigan.
“It really made me access everything I had as an artist,” Scumbag said of that time. “Like how a big part of the money was coming from being able to play shows, but then when you realize how many fans you really do have supporting you like during a pandemic buying all your merch up — it’s a really beautiful thing.”
It Only Gets Worse features an incredible range of sound. From the flute of a snake charmer on “Dipshit” to the sampled guitar riff from a Slayer song on “Chivalry is Dead.”
If you haven’t already, give It Only Gets Worse a listen. And while you’re at it, check out Scumbag Fred’s whole discography to get an earful of the scum.