Keystoners: United – The Rising Stars of Central Pennsylvania’s Rap Scene

In the world of rap music, cohesive groups are few and far between. But when they do come along, they can be truly special. These groups produce amazing songs, highlight amazing artists, and create an aesthetic for which fans can grasp on to. And when a rap group is able to stand the test of time, they become truly legendary. Today, we are highlighting a new and incredible rap group based out of Central Pennsylvania: Keystoners: United. This group was started during the COVID-19 pandemic by James Zero, Rob Boland, DeVaughn Royalty, and ST. Punk. Inspired by groups like BROCKHAMPTON, Black Eyed Peas, and Gorillaz, Keystoners: United have a sound that is both very new and very familiar to the palette.

We had the opportunity to sit down with DeVaughn, Punk, and Zero from Keystoners: United to learn more about their group and their music.  With two singles out now, and an album on the ways, these young men had a lot to talk about. In our interview, they discussed their influences, their goals, and their hopes for the future.

Q: Can you guys each introduce yourselves?

PUNK: I’m ST PUNK, a twitch streamer and entrepreneur. I was born in South Carolina and now live in Central PA. I’m an asshole but only because Assholes Live Forever.

DEVAUGHN:  Yo it’s your boy DeVaughn Royalty. Just tryna bring back meaningful lyrics to hip hop and rap music.

ZERO:  I am James Zero.  I am the hardest-working producer in Central Pennsylvania, and I like to party.

Q: Which artists or groups inspired you to make the music that you do?

DEVAUGHN: I been a music guy my whole life. It’s shaped the groundwork for my entire life honestly. It’s on all the time. I couldn’t survive without it. It’s like water or air.

PUNK: My first overall influence to make music was Marshall Mathers, but it was James himself who helped me finally record music that I don’t immediately discard. Rapping is a passion and this group is making this dream a reality.

ZERO:  I was always very inspired by hip-hop groups like Black Eyed Peas, Beastie Boys, and now today with groups like Gorillaz and BROCKHAMPTON.  I think KeyStoners is really similar to those groups in a lot of ways.

Q:  What are your thoughts about your first two singles?

PUNK: These first 2 singles are some major bangers in my opinion, and I’m super excited to see how our fan base starts at this base level. It’s from here that we as a group and individually can create our empire under ABK (Anything But Kountry).

DEVAUGHN: These first two singles are freaking dope but St. Punk already touched on that! The album is gonna be a movie too! I’m excited for all the fans to hear it.

ZERO: The first two singles are some of my favorite songs to ever make and be a part of.  Both songs are heavily inspired by BROCKHAMPTON.

Q:  With the album on the way, and outside of that, what else can people expect from your group?

ZERO: I think you can expect to hear more from us individually.  Making these songs felt like catching lightning in a bottle, but coming to terms with finally releasing it was hard.  Now, we have a space to release our own music.

PUNK: MORE MUSIC, from all of us as a group and individually! Stay tuned!

Q: What was the hardest thing about making this album?

DEVAUGHN: Well with us all being adults and having our own lives it’s just hard to get together to bump ideas off each other and record.

PUNK: Making this album was tough because it being my first music release. Getting past the self-criticism and self-consciousness of thinking everything I make is trash and realizing that I’m actually able to make an awesome addition to the group was hard for me.

ZERO: I agree with DeVaughn.  It was always hard for me to be in a band and be as productive and creative as possible.  While the COVID-19 Pandemic brought us together with more time, we don’t have as much time as we did before.

Q:  Can you give a word directly to your fans?

PUNK: Never give up on your dreams, no matter how long it takes, don’t loose hope and keep pushing, it’s what life is about!

ZERO: Aliens exist, music keeps you young, weed cures cancer, always dress like you’re going to be fighting in a giant robot suit later on.


Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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