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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. 

Artist To Watch

Lvcky Is On The Rise, With New Visuals On The Way

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21-year-old hip-hop and R&B artist Lvcky has so much to say, and he wants the world to tune in for it all. Born and raised in LA’s Crenshaw district, Lvcky, who named himself after the protagonist Ace or “Lucky” in the film Paid In Full, is set on making impactful music that will self-sustain and transcend time, space, and audiences. As the writer of all his own music, the final judge of all his beats, and a veteran piano player, he’s carrying out those visions his way — to bring something new to the table. “What makes me stand out is my sound and beat selection,” he says. “It’s easy to get on any beat and rap, but sometimes artists aren’t really saying anything on their tracks.” 

A self-described melodic rapper, Lvcky started doing music with the piano at just 11 years old. He quickly learned notes and scales, and began writing music at 16. But while he certainly started immersing himself in his craft early, it took time before the independent artist started seeing music as a potential career. “I never knew I would take it seriously because of how short the chances of making it in the industry are,” he reflects. “I just kept pushing forward and maintaining.” He was 18 when he decided to take that leap, and it’s only been up from there. In 2016, he recorded his first song, “No Regrets”, at his first-ever studio session. “On Rimpau, which is in the Crenshaw area,” he recalls. 

3 years later and Lvcky now has a growing collection of projects and singles under his belt. He is currently working on visuals for songs he has in his stash. 4Sho Mag had the opportunity to catch up with Lvcky and discuss his career, goals, musical inspirations, upcoming projects, and more. Read the interview below!

What inspired your artist name? Where did you get the name from?

What inspired my artist name was the movie Paid In Full. I got the name “Lvcky” from the main character in the movie. He reminded me of how I hustle, and to always stay down until you come up– you never know when it could be your turn.

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

I was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in the Crenshaw district.

When did you start doing music? And when did you start taking it seriously? Be as detailed as you’d like.

I started doing music when I played piano at the age of 11. I learned notes, and I started writing music at 16. I never knew I would take it seriously because of how short the chances of making it in the industry are. I just kept pushing forward and maintaining. I started taking it serious at 18.

Why music? 

I chose music because it’s a way I can express myself. Sometimes it’s hard for people to let out what they’re thinking or going through. It’s easy for me to do that when I’m in the booth.

Who/what inspires your sound/music?

I can say J. Cole, Meek Mill, and Drake inspire my sound. I look up to those 3 as they all have different styles of rapping. Knowing I can do all 3 is what separates me from the rest.

Have you been compared to other artists? If so, who?

I’ve been compared to Drake most of the time because of the flow, and how old Drake used to flow effortlessly.

Who is your motivation and why? 

My motivations are my mom, my dad, and my grandma. My mom always kept me straight wherever and whenever. Same as my dad– never a day I never had anything that I needed or wanted. I seen them work and make a way when there wasn’t. My grandma recently passed away, and ever since, I’ve been looking for hope through my music. Recently I just got it back, so I’m always going to be thinking about her.

Any life-changing stories that impacted your music career? 

Losing my grandma, grandpa, and my 2 uncles had an impact on my music. I stopped making music for some months just to get back to me. It was hard because the deaths were back to back. I’m still slowly recovering from that. 

What are your goals when it comes to your music career? What impact are you looking to make with your music? 

My goals for my music career are to push forward and always keep an image that fits me– never change for anyone and always do solid things. The impact I’m looking to make is to touch people in a way where they can always play my music. I want my music to be everlasting. I want to impact the whole world, and I know it’s possible.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on videos and getting visuals out for songs that I have stashed away. 

What message do you want to leave the audience with when reading the article?

I’m 21 years old looking for a breakthrough in the music game, ready to work nonstop to be the best artist out. Stream Lvcky everywhere, and always stay focused and never give up. Keep going, no matter the circumstance. 

You can stream Lvcky’s music on Apple Music, Spotify, and Soundcloud, including his 3 projects “Before It’s Too Late” (2021), “Heavy Heart” (2020), and “The Pack” ft. Jaayy (2020). Look out for his upcoming project and visuals by following him on his Instagram @Lvvckky, Youtube @Lvcky, Twitter @Lvcky, TikTok @lvvckky, and Snapchat @lucky.j1. Stay tuned!

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Judah Shadrach Set To Release A New Visual Soon

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Judah Shadrach Peters knows his name packs a punch. The name, given to him by his mother, has deep religious roots, with Judah meaning “praised” and Shadrach meaning “command of Aku” (“command of God”). Teased for it in his youth, it wasn’t until Judah Shadrach was much older when he realized his name’s true power and impact. With the release of his first album Gravity, the up-and-coming artist is on the rise, striking his listeners in the same way– powerfully and impactfully. 

Born in San Antonio and raised in Kissimmee, Florida, Judah Shadrach began making music at 12 years old as a hobby between him and his friends. His talent and passion for football landed him a scholarship at Arizona Western and brought him to Orlando, where he played in college, penned football-themed songs on the side, and owned his own security company. Through this time, he proceeded to indulge in his love for music as a way of coping with the loss of close family and friends, including his brother, who was shot and killed on Judah Shadrach’s birthday in 2015, and the arrest of his cousin; however, it wasn’t until his cousin XAN first heard his music that the artist began turning his love for the craft into a career. The rest, he says, is history. 

As a musician, Judah Shadrach’s sound is unique, shaped by his Jamaican heritage, his upbringing in Orlando, and his love for all music but especially hip-hop and reggae, naming Lil Wayne, Jeezy, and Bouju Banton as some of his greatest inspirations. He recorded his first record, “Cocaine Dreamz”, in 2013 and 2014 while on break from college, but the journey since then wasn’t always so steady. In 2019, Judah Shadrach co-wrote a song with Swave on Tee Grizzley’s album “Locked Up” and was given no credits. He took a break from the craft that year, grappling with the decision to give it up entirely until XAN moved out to Orlando. Often compared to Pop Smoke and the “Hood Drake”, Judah Shadrach has now added his 2019 album “Gravity” and latest release “The League” featuring Wavo to his growing repertoire, and has performed at various shows with a list of other artists, including his 2016 performance with King MIZ and XAN at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucky; his 2021 Pro Bowl Performance; and his opening performances for Troy Ave, Lil Uzi Vert, and Bryson Tiller. 

As an artist who writes all of his lyrics, Judah Shadrach describes his style as laid back and easygoing. He cites music as a way for him to express his emotions, and he aims to deliver conscious and relevant music to his fans. He believes that stories told through music can touch people in an especially deep and meaningful way, hoping that when his fans tune in, they can tap into his story and find strength in their own. That’s Judah Shadrach’s goal through and through– to inspire, and to speak to new and old generations alike. His music speaks to that objective. After the release of his first full project “Gravity” in 2019, he is now working on a mixtape to be released this fall, and with the release of his newest record, “The League”, a song inspired by one of his close friends who passed as a result of gun violence, it is clear that his roots and story remain tethered to that drive. Through music, Judah Shadrach pushes to pay homage to the greats that came before him, and to give back to Orlando and its youth. He attributes this drive to his larger community and family, his primary source of motivation. “My family believe in me so hard and so much,” he says. “They wouldn’t let me give up, even when I wanted to.” 

With his passion for storytelling, unflinching drive, and family by his side, his fans can rest assured that they have someone real– someone who is just like them. “I always treat people the way I want to be treated,” he says. “I like my fans to know that I am someone that will support them the same way they support me.” While he never wants to rush to put out work, he aims to release more music and videos, and his insistence to stay grounded is what will continue to set him apart from the rest. “There is a lot of fake BS and gimmicks,” he says. “I don’t care about chains or grills– can’t wear it, so it’s not needed.” For Judah Shadrach, everything lies in the music, and he plans for it to stay that way. With his upcoming project and newest record “The League”, out now on all streaming sites, it’s only up from here for Judah Shadrach Peters– in power, in impact, and in his unrelenting authenticity. 

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Interviews

Xion McKnight Drops Two Fire New Tracks “Aliens” And “Dedication”

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Xion McKnight is an artist on the rise. The Atlanta native gained his love for music from an early age and as he got older, he channeled that energy into creating his music. As an artist who not only writes, but also produces, and engineers his own music, he is inspired by his everyday experiences. It could be something as simple as driving, going to a movie, or taking a walk. Basically, being alive is what inspires Xion McKnight. His two singles “Dedication” and “Aliens” are out now, and you can listen on all streaming services! Get to know Xion McKnight below!

What is the meaning behind you name?

The word Xion means the highest point. So for me, that means I want to reach the highest point of myself as a human being. The highest point of my career. The highest point in life. 

Can you describe your genre/sound?

My Genre is life. I make music for a living. I call it life music. Genres are so stereotypical. I don’t want to be stereotyped. Hip Hop is too conscious. Rock is too dark. Everything else is irrelevant. 

Why is music a passion of yours?

Music keeps me out of trouble. It keeps me focus on the most important things. Besides God when there’s nothing else to fill my spirit. Music is always there. 

Who do you hope to inspire?

To inspire the world in a way nobody else has done it. Don’t need the awards or money to validate me. I wanna be the voice for the real, who are repeatedly being blocked by the system. 

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on my next EP titled Kartel 

What is next for you?

Direct Films. Invest. Own a trucking and clothing company. But I’ll always be doing music. 

Word of advice to your younger self

That anything is possible. Never stop believing in what you do. 

Instagram: xionmcknight

YouTube: Xion McKnight 

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