Interviews

Published on September 14th, 2019 | by Jerry Doby

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Who Is Rising Hip Hop Artist YB?

Back Story – YB originally hails from Pine Bluff, Arkansas and is 1 of 8 children raised in a single parent home. While enrolled in college he attended the Passion Conference, an experience that changed his life forever. There, the Sarasota, Florida based artist was introduced to the word of God and quickly became involved in youth ministry. His love for the art of rap never wavered, so he decided to spread the gospel through creative lyricism. YB debuted his first album Salvation and made headlines in 2017-2018 with his album God Still Has Soldiers 2 which peaked at #20 on the iTunes Christian & Gospel charts.

His music has graced national music outlets like Hip-Hop Since 1987Rapzilla, and Earmilk who describes him as “an artist with a critical eye and the heart required to toil over the smallest details.” As good as rap artists like Lecrae and Andy Mineo, YB defies the notion that Christian rappers aren’t dope. His recent visual for single, “Clark Kent” (WATCH HERE) has gained over 30K views through YouTube and forthcoming album Fire & Desire digs deeper into YB’s transition into his faith, marriage, fatherhood, and growth as an artist.

YB’s latest single “My Shot” is a great introspective and explanation of why he chose the path he did. Staying true to himself and not selling out to gain the fame and fortune has kept him on a path which maintained his self respect and more importantly as I understand it from the joint…his soul. What do YOU think?!

The Hype Magazine got YB to weigh in on a few things:

Give us a quick rundown on the artist, YB.

YB is a passionate leader who’s focused on engaging and leading this generation of youth.

What brought you to the entertainment industry, music specifically?

I’ve been involved with music in some form or fashion since age 8, but it was my early teen years when I started to really calculate steps towards a vision. I grew up watching Ludracris and many other rappers plastered all over tv, so as a kid, you felt the presence and influence of music. Early on, my drive to rap was of course to attain the “dream”, tour all over the world, and have this crazy life. But as I’ve grown, music more than anything has become an avenue to fulfill a responsibility. To speak truth and encourage a generation.

How have you managed to overcome the stereotype that Christian rappers aren’t dope?

That’s actually been a launching pad for a lot of organic growth. I know when people hear the title, Christian Rapper, they automatically check into a mindset of what they think they’ll hear. But, when they actually hear the music, not only are they surprised, but they have typically become lifelong listeners and supporters of what God is doing. I have my faith, what I believe, and what I stand for, but it’s presented like a conversation and not an ultimatum of “this or that”.

Tell us about your current project.

My new album is called Fire & Desire. Fire & Desire came from me embracing the “entire” process of doing something worth taking the stairs for. Rapping for 10 years at this point, I approached it with a by any means mindset. When I started making music, I used it as an escape. The pressure I felt growing up as a child fueled my desire to take on the “happy ending” approach to my music early on. Experiencing my reality led me to writing about what I wished life was like. The journey on this album included the mountaintops and the valleys. The parts when the sun was out and things went according to plans but also the times when it rained and it really poured. I think expressing that side of the journey has become more crucial than ever before.

Touring and being in the studio can create some big challenges as regards to balance, how do you manage it?

Strategizing and being intentional. I think that’s my favorite part about being independent is that you have to constantly calculate your next step. So I’m always looking down the road and seeing how I can be efficient in my process. If I know a tour is coming up, I’m already working out the next few releases and opportunities.

Tell us a bit about your work and passions OUTSIDE of music…

I’m a family man. If I’m not creating in some facet, I’m with the family. The life we are privileged to live as artists expose us to a lot of cool moments, cities, states, and experiences, but eventually the lights dim on every good moment. So I aim to invest time in where it matters most.

Last but not least, HYPE wants to know…What’s your CRAZIEST “Where they do that at?!” aka WTF?! moment…

Man that’s a good one. I think the craziest moment I’ve had so far has been this past summer. I had just bought some all black Fila Disruptors II for the Summer. I had a gig coming up, so I booked a rental to drive up and had the rental for 72 hours. I got to the event and I changed my shoes, because I knew I would do a lot of walking and etc. So I change out of my Filas, put them in the trunk of the rental and put on my Chuck Taylors. I go and do the set. After the set, I’m hanging out with friends, catching up and etc.

The next morning, the team that booked me, was going to drop the rental off for me. At this point, I’m thinking I’ve already cleared the rental of anything of importance. They drop the rental off, the next day I get on a flight headed to FL and in the middle of the flight, I realized my Filas were still in the trunk of my rental! That drove me crazy!!! I’ve tried for weeks to get them shipped back but that never happened. Literally wore them 3 times. The worst!

YB Socials: Instagram | Twitter |  Facebook | Website


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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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