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A Conversation With Pontiac’s @YAKTOWNBOYZ248

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YTB Kaine is one of Michigan’s hidden gems. With recent releases like “Vent” and “Some Money,” he shows a kind of versatility that normally isn’t seen until record labels and A&Rs get involved. He’s got something special to pay attention to and he’s on the rise.

4ShoMag talked to him about some of his music and where he’s at right now to paint a picture of where he wants to go.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

What’s the YTB in YTB Kaine stand for? 

YTB stands for Young Thugs Bussin it was Yaktownboyz which represented our city Pontiac aka Yactown, but it got changed for certain reasons. 


How did you get into rap?

I got into rap at the age 13 after listening to Eminem, T.I., DMX, Ruff Ryders & Nas. I loved the art. I started writing poetry and it turned into rhymes. I took rap serious after I lost my brother in 2013.


How important is authenticity to your message? 

Authenticity is important to me because I can’t tell you about somebody else’s life. I want to give my fans and supporters My Story. I want them to feel my pain understand where my aggression comes from when I rap. 


How has being from Detroit shaped your approach to rap? Who are some of your favorite rappers, past and present? 

I’m from Pontiac. Being 20mins from Detroit making a name for myself most people were scared to travel to those open mics, competitions, and performances. I went every night I had a show with my head held high ready. It was times I went on last bit after I performed I got love and things changed. 


How would you describe the Detroit music scene? 

The Detroit music scene popping right now. Their eyes are definitely on Detroit right now. Michigan has been had the wave they are just now making them pay attention. 


When recording a song like “Vent,” how do you decide what works and what’s too personal to include in the track?

When I wrote “Vent” I showed a side of me I was scared to show or express. I didn’t hold anything back like I usually would. I vented to my fans as I would to a shrink. I just figured they’d understand me more without judging me. 


Who are you looking forward to working with and why? 

I’m looking to work with Styles P. That’s my right-hand man favorite rapper. He got 20 years in prison. That’ll definitely make his bid easier. It’s a lot of artists that’s upcoming that’s hot. I just wanna work with other hungry upcoming artists like myself. 


What do you have planned for the rest of 2019?

I dropped a mixtape on June 22 entitled “Vent” and mid-July I’m dropping again “Still A Menace II Society.” My third mixtape, I don’t have a name for yet but that’s done. That’ll come sometime this October. I plan on putting the game in a choke hold. Bring back that old rap the G’s want to hear. 

Interviews

Illuminati G drops “Everythang” with Polo 2Time$ and tells us about its creation

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Detroit’s Illuminati G is back with “Everythang,” featuring Polo 2Time$, and it’s everything that you could want from someone out of the city doing their thing: hard, tenacious, and a sign that they’re not taking no shit from anyone. In an exclusive interview with 4ShoMag, Illuminati G detailed the song to us as well as what he has coming up.

Check out “Everythang” and our discussion below.

What was the inspiration behind “Everythang?”

Pretty much the same inspiration we used for the whole “Greatest 1-2 Punch” project. We tag team all the beats because 2 heads are better than 1. We had a goal to achieve and I think each song specifically embodied that. When it’s game time, we want everythang. Otherwise what’s the point?

What was the recording process like? 

Ummm basically the day in the studio started off as usual, polo and me smoke a bunch of good weed and the ideas flow. I make like 5 beats then we just go down the inventory & Anytime him or I hear a beat we like, we say “load it up!!” And go in… This was no different, Polo started dropping a few bars and the rest is history!

How does “Everythang” tie into your career journey thus far?

For me being primarily a producer, it’s the first song of mine I attached a visual too. So it’s an important benchmark for me in that aspect because I wanted to make sure the music and visual had the same energy. I’m really picky and Brand Name Visuals brought every idea I had to life. In short, it’s just a taste of what we have in store creatively.

What inspired you to rap? 

My uncle for sure. He started building his studio back in the early 00’s and I’d go over his house and just see everything so professional looking and put together. This is before all the digital stuff so the room was full of studio equipment. He taught me the history, how to structure songs, record, and eventually produce. I was always good at putting words together but having a younger uncle that rapped was just too cool to not to be apart of ,so about 5th grade I started writing raps in a notebook daily. 

How’s the rap scene in Detroit? What changes would you make to it, if any? 

The rap scene in Detroit is…… double sided. One side is rooted in the die hard hip hop community and the other side is still kind of reputation based. If you had or are having a good run in the streets, that could catapult you to a certain level of notoriety. Nothing wrong with that but the monkey see monkey do part  as far as support can get out of hand. It’s almost like you need a co sign or to be affiliated with something already familiar if you aren’t rapping something conscious or lyrical.

Would I change it? No, not for me because it made me find my own wave and in a sense get an appreciation for our own sound. But for the ones coming up, I’d love too. Because sometimes this rap shit changes people. They make up personas to fit in and then start mimicking that in real life which leads to them getting jammed up unintentionally. 

What’s next for you? When can we expect a full-length project? 

Next up is like a 5 or 6 song EP. I actually have a whole bigger project on ice, but the musical climate is so single song based that I don’t wanna drop a big project and the anticipation and roll out  isn’t there and it kinda slides under the radar. On “Greatest 1-2 Punch” each song aside from the intro could stand alone. When I make full bodies of work you might get a little of everything. Singles, in depth songs, experimental, interludes etc. So once the hype kinda catches up I’ll have a big project on the way but until then , just expect something small in the next 8 weeks! And more visuals! 

What do you look to say in your music? 

Be creative and be careful out here… literally. I’m used to being big / little brother, so when I’m learning things that better my life or I feel like there’s something not being said out here I say it.  And if it’s any wisdom I had that could potentially save your life I’m going to rap it… I’m really honest and I like to pass all cheat codes along to those who were unaware before.. the bigger project I have waiting that I referred to above is called “Big Brother”. Everything I do has intent so when you hear it, you’ll pick up on what I’m tryna convey quick.

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.@thericardoway talks to us about new single “Back & Forth,” new music, and more

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Rico Slim is one of the hottest things smokin’ out of Kansas City. The rising rapper, on the heel of dropping his new song and video for “Back and Forth,” hopped on the phone with 4Sho Magazine to tell us a bit about who he is, what his plans are, and to give fans some insight on what they don’t see behind the scenes.

How has being from Kansas helped create your sound so far? What about the switch to KCMO has altered it?

To be honest, I didn’t get much influence from where I came from. I feel like we haven’t really found a sound here but I definitely tried to soak in some game from the OG’s. Other than that I latched on to all the artist I looked up to and figured a way to twist shit into my own ya know.

How did you get into music? 

My parents were and still are huge on music and hip hop is what I gravitated to as a youngin. Pops was playing Andre 3000 and Biggie in the car when I was a jit, and I just always fucked with the energy and storytelling that hip hop brings to the table.

What experience would you say has been the most formative in establishing the aesthetic of your music? 

I haven’t had necessarily one moment it’s just a bunch of moments bunched in from personal life experiences as well as musical moments coming up.

How’s your approach to crafting music?

My approach is pretty simple honestly. However I’m feeling at that movement dictates the sound I’m going for and once I find that I just work on the writing aspect. I don’t force anything so I could write a crazy-ass verse in like 5-10 minutes, or I might come back to it days later. 

What does “Back and Forth” mean to you?

It means… We going the fuck up man! Haha nah. But it’s my second single from my next project and my first official video that’s on my page so I’m hoping that I jump off to a good start. Visuals are everything nowadays, for real, and shout out my little brotha Ru! He up next.

What was the process like creating the song? 

The process was smooth. I met Ru through my bro Txylor at a show he was hosting (Label Head, Engineer) and the moment I saw him perform ik Lil bro was special. We finally had a chance to link and what’s funny is we met up at a park. We smoked, chopped it up and got straight to it. We took what we had to the Stu a week later and knocked it out in like 20 mins. Our chemistry is crazy no cap.

What are you working on musically?

I’m finishing up my project right now. “MOOD SWINGS 2” a follow up from my last one. I’m like 80% done right now I’m shooting for a drop in November around my birthday.

Who are you looking forward to working with the most? 

I don’t even know where to start. So many damn names. The first few that come to mind would be, of course, Hov, Drake, Kendrick , and Cole for sure. But after that Travis is a must, XXX and Nip if I could (RIP). And my guy 3 Stacks.

What’s one aspect of artistry that listeners often underestimate or don’t understand?

Some people don’t understand the time and hard work we put in day in and day out to get to where we wanna get. From tryna build an image to just trying to get your music out is tough as it is. There’s a lot more than just recording music. 

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Interview: Slim Mason Is On The Rise And Wants You To Know It

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At 4ShoMag, we’re always looking to connect with the hottest artists in Detroit. This time, we’ve been fortunate to have a conversation with Slim Mason, one of the city’s most energetic up-and-comers looking to make a name for himself in the lucrative rap scene. Check out our exclusive interview below.

Who is Slim Mason?
Slim Mason is just a bipolar, hungry, young ass monster that’s ready to take over his city. I’m bringing Detroit into a new era and wave because my generation (Mid 90s-Mid 00s), which is the next generation, needs a voice. Because most of the niggas popping in the city is late 80s-early 90s baby’s, like Sada and Tee and them. They holding the house up before I tear that bitch down…

How did you get into rap?
I mean I’m from the east side of 8 mile and of course Eminem is the first rapper I saw that came from where I’m from. He lived on Dresden Street, which is 2 blocks from where I lived (Hamburg Street) so I was like if he could do this, I knew I could too because we came from the same place. He’s the biggest motivation for me and the main reason I been wanting to do this since I was 4, when my dad snuck me in the Bel-Air movie theater and I saw 8 mile when it came out. I STILL watch that movie when it comes on TV.

What’s the Detroit rap scene like in your experience?
It’s cool for the current generation which Dz, Sada, and Grizzley but my generation (the next generation) needs someone for OUR scene so I’m the one that’s gonna step up, it’s a huge challenge but I LOVE challenges because when you accomplish that shit, it’s the greatest feeling on earth

How important is expending energy when you record? Do you make sure your records are lively?
I make sure it’s live as fuck. I bring hype ass energy when I’m in the booth fasho. The studio is literally my favorite place to go because I get away from all my problems and spit my problems on the mic. It’s a “Therapy Funhouse,” that’s what I be calling it.

What do you hope to bring to the music industry?
Fun. 100% fun. Like rappers in the city right now is so serious, I HATE that. Like loosen the fuck up and turn up nigga. That’s where I come in and THAT’S why I’m different from any other artist from Detroit because I can out-energize a kid half my age but out-rap someone twice my age..and that’s RARE…

What’s one thing you would change about the Detroit rap scene?
Like I just said, make Detroit fun again, like I feel like ALL generations cabnfuck with me because who can seriously hate a young ass nigga having fun and doing what he always loves doing as a career..right no one..

Do you like being an underground prospect or are you ready to make the jump to the next level? Why?
I’ve been ready since I came out of my mama. Like I feel like I’m MEANT to do what I do, not just a “Rapper”, or a “Hip-Hop Musician” but as an overall artist in general, because I literally love and do all types of music, like R&B and Rock and shit. That’s another thing that’s different about me from other “Detroit Rappers”, I’m ‘All-Around’ and versatile as hell, one track I can spit a hot ass ‘16’ (BARS), one track, I’m yelling shit over a hard ass distorted beat, one track I can be singing to your bitch on some young Chris Brown shit, man you never know with me..it depends how I feel in the studio that day…

What’s your recording process like?
I write songs pretty much everyday, so I already got lyrics and I go in the studio and form the beat, cause I Co-produce all my songs, and I just go off the beat I’m hearing in my head, or sometimes I be voice recording on my phone of the sound of the beat that’s in my head. I got like 40 beats or even MORE on that bitch right now, no cap..

What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
Keep making noise on the Internet til I get that ONE break and when I do see an opportunity that possibly can make me blow even more, I’m gonna take that bitch fasho. ANY opportunity that’s reachable, I’m GRABBING that bitch with no heso…

Give us a good closing statement.
This is Slim Mason, if you never heard of me, now you do, and your Great-great-great-great-great-great grandkids will too…I’m gonna take over Detroit whether anybody likes it or no not, I’m coming nonstop at WHOEVER is on top, whether that’s Grizzley, Sada, Dz, Bandgang, Damedot, Cash Kidd, WHOEVER, I’m gonna take over the city and be on top sooner than later. Why? Because I’m the next big thing thing and ‘if I say something I mean it’…AIYHAH!

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