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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. 

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$tevoxcv Returns With New Single, “HYPNOTIZED” Feat. David Meli

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Hot on the heels of the release of the Afro-infused rap song, “Long,” Emerging London rapper, $tevoxcv has returned with a brand-new single featuring David Meli. On the chill rap record, both artists reflect on the influence of a bewitching lady on them. Introduced by smooth riffs, the production by Beatzbydb matches the rhythm in Stevoxcv’s witty, raunchy, and braggadocious verses. David Meli adds his tantalizing touch to the record through the enchanting hook powered by his silky voice which has the potential to reel listeners in. “Hypnotized” is a mellow single fit for a breezy summer drive.

LISTEN HERE

Speaking on the single and the creative process of composing it, $tevoxcv says, “Hypnotized is a summer time feel-good song and having already done a song with Meli which was never released, soon as I laid out the verses, I knew who I wanted on the hook. I sent it off to Meli in the afternoon and he sent me back the hook by night on the same day. After giving it a listen, I realized we had just created a dope summertime record.”

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Artist To Watch

Young Fairo Just Unleashed New Single “2020 Vision”

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Self-described as a trap-alternative-hyperpop artist, Young Fairo doesn’t fit into any one lane. That’s characteristic of the whole of Young Fairo’s career— how he goes with his gut, is shaped by his diverse musical influences, and always keeps his listeners guessing. Now 5 years into developing his sound, Young Fairo is releasing another mixtape entitled “Sip In Peace”. His latest drop, “2020 Vision”—a single and the second track off the album—is based on his own experiences, reminiscent of his distinguishable genre-bending, Atlanta trap-influenced style. 4sho Magazine got to chat with the artist about his latest releases, his music, his post-“2020 visions”, and his goals— keep reading below!

Describe your style of music and image. Where does your musical inspiration derive from? 

I’m a laid back playa— a modern day rockstar. My style of music is trap-alternative-hyperpop. I’m a Gemini so I have split personalities. I feel like I’m 5 different artists in one. The diversity is endless— hip-hop, pop, country, rock, and R&B. That’s what makes me different— not many people can do what I do. I’m like your favorite hip-hop artist, pop singer, and country singer all in one. [My musical inspiration is derived from] artists like Ozzy Osbourne, 50 Cent, Young Thug, and Michael Jackson. 

What age and year were you really moved to be involved? How long have you been in the industry, and where are you in your career now?

[I was] 16. I started off in 2015, just playing around in high school. Then once people started telling me I should take it serious, that’s when I began to lock in. [It’s been] 5 years into developing my sound and I feel like I’m an established artist. I’ve been in the industry for 4 years. Now, I want to compete with the big leaguers and have my songs get more notoriety. 

What are your goals— short term and long term?

[My short term goals are to] gain more fans and listeners daily. [My long term goals are to] have a solid fan base and a couple long-lasting records. I’m looking for my brand to become a franchise— to have my fans tune in so when you see them, you’re like, “Yeah, they’re a Fairo fan.” And one day, [I want] to achieve a Grammy.

What are your post-2020 visions? Goals for the next two years?

[I’d like to see] a major improvement from prior years— hopefully gaining a break-out single and a XXL Freshman title for 2022. 

What is one of your favorite highlights/memories from being in the industry?

Being in the studio with Young Thug, Gunna, NAV, and 21 Savage all in one session. 

Who have you worked with and who would you like to work with next?

I’ve worked with my slime Zack Slime Fr and Lil PJ. Next, I want to work with Young Thug, Post Malone, Swae Lee, Lil Gotit, and Milliegolightly.

What advice do you have to youth who want to pursue a career in music?

Never give up, stay working, and keep winning in private. Everyone don’t need to know how you coming. 

When you are not in the studio and/or working, what are some things you enjoy doing?

Traveling or being on the game, locked in on 2k, Madden, or a good story mode game. 

What community events have you contributed to? Why is giving back to the community important?

I’ve given away brand new clothes I couldn’t wear and old clothes I don’t wear anymore to the homeless in Old Fourth Ward. It’s important because your community is a representation of you and where you come from, so if that is well-taken-care-of, so are you. 

Is there a motto or quote that you live by?

The first person to break bread and the last to ask for something in return. 

Stream “2020 Vision” off Young Fairo’s upcoming album “Sip In Peace” on Spotify and Apple Music, along with the rest of Young Fairo’s discography! To reach him and keep up with his work, follow him on Instagram @YoungFairo, Twitter @1YoungFairo, and subscribe to his Youtube! 

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Artist To Watch

Twin Rapper Duo Kenron on Dreaming and Achieving Big

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Ron Roze and Kino, the twin artists from Baltimore that make up rapper duo Kenron, have come a long way since they first took an interest in turning their passion for music into a career. While music was always both a source of joy and coping mechanism for the twins in childhood, Kenron only just started making music in December of last year. Now, they have almost 10k streams on Spotify and 2 hit music videos with over 190k views on Youtube, seeing one of those records, “Getaway”, become viral on TikTok.

With 2 albums—including their first, “In My Feelings”, set to be released tomorrow—and new visuals on the way, they continue to inspire their audiences with their music and careers and hope to give back to their families and community in the process. 24HipHop had the chance to speak with Kenron about their sound, goals, and passion for music— everything that makes them next up in the music world. Read our conversation with the twin rapper duo below! 

Describe your sound and musical style. 

Our style of music is melodic and has a reggae type of rhythm and beat style most of the time. This [is] what our fans have told us. We found it ironic because our family is Jamaican. We guess it’s in our blood.

Where does your musical inspiration derive from?

Growing up, we never really had fun like all the other kids. Our mother struggled in the home during the week after she moved us to Baltimore County. She used to play Michael Jackson when he performed on TV, and we would always get so excited, dancing, singing, and running around the house. Our mom used to come home stressed everyday, but our spirits were lifted when we watched Michael Jackson. And on the weekends when we would visit our father and grandmother, we saw violence, mental health issues, and depression. Due to mental health issues and street ties, we experienced and saw a lot of pain and hurt every day. All we saw was sadness and anger in the people that we loved dearly. We studied and understood this pain, and used it to inspire our father. We used to sit in the car for hours listening to Tupac, Jeezy, Dipset, and The Lox with our father while he reminisced on his hardships. Seeing the effect music had on our father emotionally, we started writing music together just to rap it to our father. It would always make him cry and give him joy and inspiration. Eventually, making music for our father’s happiness became our passion because it was a way for us to express ourselves in ways we didn’t know how with a conversation. Music pretty much became our coping mechanism.

When were you really moved to be involved in music?

Seeing our mom be so independent while living in a room the size of a closet hurt us. That’s when we really became ambitious. We said we’d raise money to get a laptop and start recording music on a Macbook. We used Garageband. We realized we needed more money to make it in the music industry, so we made an agreement in 2014 to graduate college to get the funds to take care of our family and pursue music. 4 months after graduation, we hit 195k on our song “Getaway” in December of 2020 and met many big names in the industry. That’s 6 years of having a passion and a promise, and we’re actually fulfilling that promise. We meant what we said and we’re going to accomplish it.

What are some of your favorite highlights/memories that you have from being in the industry?

When we did our second performance in a club, it was a movie. People we didn’t know were singing our song, women [were] screaming, it felt like we were superstars already. Older women [were] telling us their children listen to our songs everyday. Children [were] running up to us in the mall to take pictures. Definitely a great feeling. The last few months have been a rough ride, but we’ve had some great moments. We got to travel a lot, and went to events hosted by Carlos Brown called “Real Network Promotions”, [where] we got connected with good people in the industry and got to speak with and meet some big names. Big shouts out to Carlos. We’ve also been shooting videos in California, traveling with our brothers, and most importantly, learning from a lot of our mistakes. But the best moments so far are after we achieve any accomplishment in music. We see our mom get inspired that we may actually be someone one day. Nothing tops that glimmer of hope we can provide for her and our siblings.

What community events have you contributed to/in?

We used to contribute with the Growing Griots years ago, a program dedicated to the youth of Baltimore city. It was all about learning how to conduct yourself as a Black man and inspire the youth through storytelling. We also used to be involved with mentor programs to help the youth with guidance in school. We also used to have foster children live with us to give them some guidance. All we do is try and help people for the better.

What do you represent? 

We represent being misfits. We struggled with many hardships and insecurities that ended up sparking a level of ambition to prove something to ourselves— starting at the bottom, being the laughing stock at schools for wearing the same clothes for three years, being awkward, not being able to read or write properly in elementary school, teachers telling us we wouldn’t be anything in life, family doubting our dreams, and seeing every father figure we looked up to die, get locked up, or become junkies and alcoholics in front of our eyes. All the people we looked up to were illusions, so now we’re on our own trying to figure out who we are and how we fit into this world. Being misunderstood all of our lives is a part of who we are, and we’re sure most people in the world feel that way too… We are the roses that grew from the concrete. 

What advice do you have to youth who want to pursue a career in music?

If music is your primary passion, go for it! Stay true to yourself and sound, be unique, and block out all the negativity that comes with it, whether it’s from friends, family, or strangers. People will be negative towards your music and passion, but just be fearless and stay out the mix. It’s your life. Do what makes your heart and soul happy. If you’re not passionate, don’t try it. It’s a dirty game and it’s tough. We’ve gotten snaked a few times already. Fearless people can make it in this industry, but only with passion. Passion creates a purpose in your life, so no matter what, it must be pursued.

Is there a motto or quote that you live by?

Our slogan is “Grind now, shine later”, and for good reason. We represent the hard times, and showing that you may have to struggle and sacrifice now in order to enjoy and get what you want in life. This represents our life and message to others. All our life, we’ve been grinding. We’ve had some fun moments, but we’re still not shining. The shining part is what we’re chasing.

Stay tuned for Kenron’s first project “In My Feelings” to be released tomorrow with a new visual! You can stream and watch Kenron’s music and videos on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube, and keep up with them and their work by following their Facebook and Instagrams @Kenron_Roze and @Kenron_Kino!

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