unsigned hype

Work Fi Mi: An Interview With Yellow Cloud

“We make music. Of course, with a Hip-Hop base but also sprinkled with Jazz, Funk, Dancehall, Rock, Folk, Salsa, etc….

“We make music. Of course, with a Hip-Hop base but also sprinkled with Jazz, Funk, Dancehall, Rock, Folk, Salsa, etc. man. I mean, for real, the list goes on and on and on—and on! We love art…but we hate labels!”
—Yellow Cloud

Washington, DC, duo Yellow Cloud have a cool vibe about them. Former bandmates—and longtime friends—TreeLag and Nick Wood have a 90s hip-hop aesthetic, infused with live jazz instrumentation and contemporary rhyme schemes to great their unique new wave. Their latest record, “Work Fa Mi,” is not that unfamiliar thematically, but the jazzy saxophone kissed instrumental vibe give it an unusually vintage feel; as does the video, which reminds us of classic 90s house party videos, like Notorious B.I.G’s “One More Chance,” for example.

Taking time out from creating, the duo sat with AAHH to discuss their music, their influences, and what they have coming up on the horizon. Check out the video—and their interview—below.

Tell me about yourself — what got you involved in music?

Nick Wood: I couldn’t even tell you. I mean, it must be my family. I’ve been involved in music as long as I can remember.

TreeLag: I think music got me involved in life! I don’t know what got me involved in music because I’ve always been involved in music. I mean, I was born with a song I still jam to today – it was played by my uncle. Music has just always been a part of me and my life.

Coming into this game, who did you look up to?

N: When I first started rapping, I was all about Lil Wayne and Dipset. They made music fun, and my friends and I knew all their lyrics. But my first real personal inspiration to make this music came from seeing A Tribe Called Quest live. They motivated me in a way I didn’t know possible. Q-Tip became my father.

T: [Laughs], for real. I looked up to people like Queen, Journey, Michael
Jackson, The Temptations, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The way these musicians performed and impacted the world is something so powerful to me. Talking about the rap game specifically, though, I was looking up to Dipset, Big Pun, Hot Boyz, TRU, Bone Thugs, the old Terror Squad, and Fugees! I grew up in the 90s with mad older role models who were bumping that fire! I—for real—always looked up to Bone Thugs and especially Bizzy Bone! Then, when we got to go on tour with him, it was like a dream come true! He was even like “Damn, that dude got flow,” talking about ya boy right here after he seeing us perform with technical difficulties and still keeping the place live and bumpin! 

Tell me about your music; what have you released thus far?

N: The releases have just begun. We debuted our single, “Straight Out the Dungeon” back in July, followed by this video for “Work Fa Mi.” Now that we’ve established a groove we can start to release the dozens of singles we have in store. Those are coming up as soon as y’all watch “Work Fa Mi” enough.

T: Oooooooooh baby! Yeah, like Nasty said, the releases have just begun! We got projects with our famo in DC at FHTMG and Les Autres, our international fam in Cuba, Malcolm Beybe, and so many singles, visuals, merch and full-on films for y’all! Get at our Facebook and IG pages to stay updated.

What are you working on right now?

N: Finishing the project, Treezus vs. the Magnificent. I also have a solo EP that should be done in a couple of months; and one of our associates, Brandon Moulden, has a project coming up that I’m producing for. Very excited about that. There’s [also] further collaborations with Alpha Diallo of Les Autres, as well as Pacman Slim of FHTMG. We got mad projects with FHTMG.

T: TREEZUS vs. THE MAGNIFICENT!!! Haha, it’s gonna be amazing! Also, got some more projects on the way, like I said, with our DC famo as well as our international familia! I got a few classics, accompanied by visuals, done with Malcolm Beybe’s Escobar and Saez! (two amazing rappers out of Parraga in La Habana, Cuba). Also got a solo project in stores, with some very different and fun vibes fi y’all! Finally, a project with OJALA. Yellow Cloud will be entirely official and taking over the scene within the next year, baby!

Let’s talk about this video — where was it filmed? Why are you excited about it?

N: It was filmed in Philly, where I just moved away from. I’m just so excited about finally putting it out! It’s our highest quality video to date. That’s why I only mentioned two songs before because this new stuff is really on a whole different level as far as professional quality. I also love the team we worked with, Unchained Media, and their director Dan Foster. I love their style that they brought to the video; it’s very cinematic. And retro. It reminds me a bit of how Goodfellas was filmed.

T: WATCH THAT SHIT! [Laughs], for real! Nasty explained most of it, shoutout Unchained Media! This is our very first single released off our upcoming album and comes with a visual… I’m just excited as shit it all happened! Can’t wait for y’all to see all the rest!

What have been your biggest accomplishments to date?

N: Staying alive [laughs]. Nah, but I’m always proud to be putting out music that’s constantly improving. Every project I put out is better than the last. I teach music as well, so I’m happy to be able to have that balance. I practice what I preach. As a team we’re building a very solid footing, so to speak. We have so much in store we’re just focused on how we present it right now.

T: [Laughs] I don’t like to talk personal. What I will say, is that I feel my biggest accomplishment has been getting to where I am right now! I’m alive, healthy, in love, and making music with all the homies. Yellow Cloud is coming along, and I can’t complain. I feel pretty accomplished; so much more work to be done, but I’m psyched that I’m here!

What do you want people to ultimately take away from you as an artist?

N: Authenticity. I mean that’s what’s always important in art. That and the effort. Both are evident in this video. That’s why it’s a good starting point for y’all to get to know us. Yellow Cloud is real; we represent the people.

T: JUST MY ART, Leave me alone! [Laughs]. I ultimately want people to
get any feeling at all. I make my music when I’m happy, sad, mad, feeling fun,
groovin’, etc., and I just want to keep making more for people to explore themselves and possibly gain some sense of understanding; and if they
don’t, at least just bop their heads playing one of our jams over and over again. Then I can die a happy artist!

What’s next for you professionally?

N: See question number 4. We have projects; we’re working on putting them out. And we’re still working on new projects. I have a growing base of
people I’m mixing for and producing for so that all leads to more collaboration.
It’s all just getting started.

T: I explained a lot of the work in progress and shit that I/we got in store, but y’all ain’t hip to my eyes baby! Once the money gets up and I can get my hands on a decent camera, y’all ain’t even gonna be ready! YELLOW CLOUD PRODUCTIONS IN FULL EFFECT! The shit I see, and how I see it, ain’t something you see on the daily. Even without a cam of my own, I still manage, though, and we’ll be releasing some Treezus produced material soon. I also have a lot of design work I’m working on, so keep a look out for Yellow Cloud and Treezus gear!

Speaking of, Yellow Cloud tees will be available no later than Nov. 10th, and pics will be posted on our FB and IG pages. If you are interested in any merch or have any questions about booking, featuring, etc., please feel free to contact us.
email us at yellowcloudproductions@gmail.com.

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
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New Music, unsigned hype

Chianti – “They Don’t Know”

Today East Texas bred rapper Chianti releases his new single, “They Don’t Know.” Using his poetic words over classic Texas…

Today East Texas bred rapper Chianti releases his new single, “They Don’t Know.” Using his poetic words over classic Texas sounding production, Chianti uses his music as a therapeutic way to cope with the trials and tribulations of his life.

“I have always been a poet and whenever I wrote something and said it out loud it made me feel better, so I use that for therapy. I saw guys putting music to their poetry and as I started doing that, I started reciting it to my peers and I started to express myself and just went with it,” Chianti said. “Music-wise I mess with the music scene in Dallas, I am from Marshall, TX but I go do my music in Dallas, so as far as the music scene goes, I’m on that scene and the majority of my life I spent a lot of time in Dallas and that’s the music scene that I can speak on. East Texas is the community that I’m a part of right now.

From three stints jail to a nearly fatal car accident, Chianti uses his experiences throughout life to paint a poetic picture of the situations he raps about so that he can find his way through the problems of life.

“It’s the therapy side of it, it’s my outlet. A lot of things that I want to do I am limited by my actions and I feel like if I can talk about it or express it verbally, I can do it. It’s like action, I’m not doing it, but it feels like I’m releasing anger and releasing tension. It takes me from where I am to a whole ‘nother place. I guess it’s a high man. If I get pissed off about something I’m gonna address the situation. I’m gonna talk about it and I feel better when I do that,” Chianti explained.

“There have been a few near death experiences that I went through and a lot of trauma. I’ve been locked up and wrote a lot in prison. I got in a wreck and I almost died. When I came out of that car wreck, I found out I went to sleep and hit a car on the shoulder and I hit my head on the windshield and they had to reconstruct my face.”

Continuing to draw from real life experiences, Chianti’s new single “They Don’t Know,” addresses the frauds and fakes in the music industry. Inspired by a time when a fraudulent promoter got away with some of his money, Chianti knows that he can’t risk time behind bars over a small amount of money.

“They Don’t Know – was inspired by this music industry. I was dealing with this guy and he had ran off with some money and it was some little money. But it’s just what I have done to people for wayyy less than that. It was someone who ran off with some money and they didn’t do what they said they was gonna do. It was the principal and my thing was bro – I done been to prison three times. I can’t send my whole team to war over a piece of change over something like that and so I came up with the song,” Chianti reasoned.

In anticipation of his upcoming project in September, Chianti says this project is for real music fans and is “square business.”

“In the industry today its one of the realest projects that’s gonna come out as far real music. Everything I say in there is for real, it’s nothing in there that’s entertainment. I did it, I’m doing it. It’s square business, everything is square business about this album man. I’m just after a core group of people that just like real music. My experiences, it’s a lot of Hard Feelings and all my feelings I’m just releasing it,” Chianti added. “You got a lot of guys that are coming out of Dallas that are product of a sound that’s been developing for years and there’s a sound that has finally been perfected. These guys are reaping the benefits of a sound that these producers and engineers have put together over years and years of making music. If you have your stuff together image wise and you got your mind right with the proper financial backing, its a nice time to be around. Dallas is extremely saturated with artists, East Texas has some artists out here too though and that’s where I’m coming out of.”

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unsigned hype, Video

Erreon – “Check Way” (Prod by Jayanalog)

Today rising Texas rapper Erreon drops the visual to his song “Checkway ” from his upcoming EP Better Late Than…

Today rising Texas rapper Erreon drops the visual to his song “Checkway ” from his upcoming EP Better Late Than Never.

While some Hip-Hop fans might not be familiar with the term, “checkway,” Erreon defines the word as, “living by a limitless mentality,” and he does just that in the visual.

Kicking off the Jeff Adair directed visual by jumping in a helicopter for aerial views of Dallas, Erreon makes his way across the country visiting Bun B in Houston and eventually making his way out to Los Angeles where he walks the beaches of Venice with a few ladies.

Erreon explained, “Checkway is a single off the project that talks about me enjoying some of the fruits of my labor by living by a limitless mindset.”

It’s only fitting the visual depicts Erreon in a trip around the country as he will be performing at club dates nationwide in June and July. In June Erreon hits Las Vegas, Phoenix, LA, and San Diego for various spot club dates at which point he will perform at Houston Holiday June 27th, and then a spot date on July 14th in El Paso, TX.

Who could have predicted that Erreon’s budding career would kick off with a response record after a fellow classmate dissed him in 9th grade with a song on CD? From there combined with a big influence from Jay-Z, Erreon has used the ups and downs of life to motivate people to win through his music.

“The best is yet to come, I promise always to motivate, inspire and be the voice of the people – so let’s take this ride together!” Erreon said in a message to his fans. .

Going forward in preparation for the Better Late Than Never EP, fans can listen to his tracks “Nobody Knows” and “Locked In,” which were previously released leading up to the release of the project.

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Reviews, unsigned hype

Chughey’s LP “Lost In My Mind” Is An Emotional Rollercoaster

I’ve been quite vocal in the past about the importance of album sequencing — especially when it comes to the…

I’ve been quite vocal in the past about the importance of album sequencing — especially when it comes to the narrative arc of a project’s storyline (no matter How loose). This is something that came into play when I was checking out this fascinating gem from Gladstone, Michigan, MC Chughey. Lost In My Mind is unique in that out of context, some of the project’s lighter fare, such as the age-old money chase of ”Casino, ” create a fresh, grind-savvy impression of Chughey. However, a top to bottom listen to his LP is, to say the least, a journey through the mind of a man dealing with more than he’s able to handle himself.

 

Starting off as a testament to the hustle he’s diligently dedicated himself to, “Maneuver” and “Nothing New” absolutely sparkle. Self-produced, the project has pretty tight production, and Chughey’s cadence really pulls things together nicely.

It’s when we hit “Feels Right” that things start to take a turn for the dark. What plays out as a complicated relationship that he’s unable to have fully reciprocated — despite deep emotional investment — plays into the next track “Deepest,” which sees him seemingly professing the stranglehold that love has over him, and how his aforementioned emotional investment simultaneously makes his object of affection a remedy and a weapon. “Off Of You,” is an uncomfortable confession that his demons destroyed the relationship he was in, and he is now struggling to exist without her engulfing his thoughts.

What stands out is “Fine,” which is a quintessential theme song for checking in on your friends. The song is a heart-wrenching confession that though he — though his exterior is hardened — is experiencing a crisis on the inside. We also learn as this portion of the tracklist progresses that he was numbing much of his emotions with alcohol; he later finds his way, and songs like the sunny “Wasted Days” feels like sunshine cutting through the haze that we’ve been taken through.

 

What happens when the plans change, and we get into a dark place? Many people go through it, and for Chughey, sharing his experience — whether or not it’s genuinely autobiographical — is brave and necessary in a landscape where mental health has proven to be one our generation’s greatest threats. While it definitely escalated quickly and probably isn’t a casual listen as a whole, it’s a worthwhile slice of honest, self-produced artwork.

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New Music, unsigned hype, Video

@mryolay4l – “Abandon Me”

Recently rapper Mr. Yola released his new song “Abandon Me” which is now at over 130,000 steams on Spotify in just a few months. On…

Recently rapper Mr. Yola released his new song “Abandon Me” which is now at over 130,000 steams on Spotify in just a few months.

On the track Mr. Yola has the ladies in his thoughts as the song examines the role that women play in our world and how they are often mistreated.
“I wanted to rap about this issue because we don’t give the females enough credit for what they do in the world.  To see women being abducted, misused, mistreated and every other thing in the book it shows what kind of men we have in this world. Then what makes it worse is the issue is being ignored,” Mr Yola explained.

Where did Mr. Yola get this keen understanding of women’s rights and need for equality? Rapper Mr. Yola was born in New York and raised in Kentucky aka “The Bluegrass State” where he honed his rapping skills and developed a passion for music recording, engineering and producing.

Drawing musical inspiration from Cassidy, J Cole, Lil Wayne, Drake, rock outfit The Frey and dubstep music, Mr. Yola says his musical interests and inspiration is “all over the place.” But what really got things going was the gift of a laptop from his older brother. From there Mr. Yola kicked off his rap career with a group called Y4L and penned on of his first song, “Pretty Thangs” to critical acclaim locally.

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“As a kid I used to listen to my brother make lots of music until he handed me a laptop said ‘I need beats,'” Yola explained.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Yola joined Big Heff who puts together a quarterly tour called the Streets Most Wanted Tour. Traveling nationwide and bringing artists to radio stations and clubs, Big Heffbrought along Mr. Yola after believing in his message and his sound while it is still growing and developing.

“Mind you, I’m just starting to grow my followers and streams are not even up yet ’cause we was still learning. One year later form when I started, we drop Abandon Me and in one-and-a-half months it gets over 100,000 stream.” Mr. Yola said.  “So many people love the song cause you can feel it, you can hear it, not someone talking trashy, just some old school vibes and a new generation wave. That’s what I call it, you definitely gotta check Abandon Me out.”

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