HHS: What’s up man? Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
yU: Yeah, one third of the group Diamond District and also one half of the 1978ers with myself and Slimkat78.
HHS: Just peeped your new album, Before Taxes. Can you talk a little bit about that?
yU: Yeah, it’s features Grap Luva, I made about half of the beats on there, and Slimkat produced the other half. Oddisee did one on there, Kev Brown did one on there.
HHS: As far as promoting your album, are you doing a lot of things in the states or are you going more overseas? Where are you focusing more to get your buzz going?
yU: There’s no specific place really. We went out to New York and got a lot of love at Fat Beats. But I also get a lot of love overseas. People flew in from Switzerland and France to see us. So I have to go wherever the influence is. I just do my music, and let people find it and then see where it reaches.
HHS: The Diamond District Album, In The Ruff dropped about a year age. Can you talk a little about the group?
yU: It’s me, Oddisee and XO. I met Oddisee at a beat event at a spot called Mirrors. My boy Slim Cat was there, Oddisee was playing beats and Roddy Rod was playing beats. I came up to rhyme over some beats and I met Oddisee then and there. We were both using the ASR-X, the red one, and it took him forever to load beats (laughs). It took me a long time to load beats too, so I asked him questions about that. We started talking mainly off of that [topic] and slowly but surely we started building.
HHS: How’d you hook up with XO?
yU: I met XO at this spot called Capitol City Records, at this Friday night open mic thing and he started rhyming over one of my beats. And it built from there. Oddisee just said for us to both kick a verse for “Foot In The Door”. The track we did ["Gully"] ended up on his album and got a nice response.So while he was out in Europe he said he’d bring us out as long as we finished the album. And we did.
HHS: What kind of response have you gotten on the album so far?
yU: It’s been a good response so far man, can’t complain. It was actually supposed to be an EP, but as I was recording, it went from a 20 minute EP to a fifty six minute album. A couple cats out in Europe remixed the track “Fine”, as both a house and dubstep track. It’s wild how you can just freak a song different ways and give it a different feel.
HHS: The scene in DC has gotten a lot bigger over the years. I remember going to an EPMD show a few years ago where Kev Brown opened up for Black Sheep and EPMD…
yU: You were there? I performed at that show with Kev. The track “It’s Almost Time” on Before Taxes is all about that show. Kev called me the day before and asked if I wanted to drop a 16, we met up the next day with Roddy Rod, Cy Young and go the show tape together. The song is about that whole day.It’s funny that you brought that up.
HHS: It was a dope show, man. It was great just seeing known artists from this homebase out there.
yU: There needs to be more of that. I see it happening a little more now with Wale and Tabbi Bonney, so it’s happening. Let it keep happening.
HHS: So what are you doing now, just out touring, promoting the album?
yU: Yeah doing small things now, but will be touring with Oddisee in the next couple of weeks. There are few things in motion right now with In The Ruff and Before Taxes being out.
HHS: Any last words?
yU: Yeah, just trust in yourself and don’t allow the populous to affect how you think. I do things that work for me and let people know that it’s cool to be yourself. People think you have to be glamorous to get somewhere and you don’t. But on another level, there’s a lot of good music coming out. Slimkat put a beat tape called Sound Freakers, google that. Oddisee [just dropped] Odd Spring, which has a new Diamond District joint on there. Kev Brown is putting out a new album with LMNO called Selective Hearing Sean Born, Ken Starr and Roddy Rod are dropping new projects. You can find them all at Fat Beats and online.
HHS: Thanks your time man. We appreciate it.
yU: Good rappin’ with you man.
In the Ruff and Before Taxes are available on Amazon.Com, iTunes, ughh.com. Or contact yU directly to purchase.
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