YB just dropped the video to his new single ‘My Shot’ off his forthcoming album Fire & Desire which drops on October 9, 2019. We had a chat with YB about his music generally and thoughts behind his album ‘My Shot’. Read below to see what he had to say.
What’s behind the name YB?
YB represents the journey. At 13, I got the name from my older brother, and my team and I have been building ever since.
How has your journey been since you dropped the Clarity EP in 2015, than the God Still Has Soldiers series? Plus, how you developed your independent record company, Bold Records?
It’s been an eye opening experience. Regarding the music, I’d say to never kick your feet up. Get some people around you who will be honest with you. Listen to their feedback, process it, and adjust. I enjoy writing and making music, so I look forward to challenging my sound, delivery, and concepts. With Bold Records, things have been picking up in many ways. I’ve learned to never stop learning and always make whatever it is you’re doing ABOUT PEOPLE.
When we started Bold Records in 2014, I didn’t have a blueprint or an outline on how to successfully run a label. I was driven by people coming to know Jesus, and the thought of “what if this actually works”.
How has working in radio helped your music career?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t a DJ or a personality during my time at the station. I sold ads, ha-ha! But, during that experience, I learned to communicate and connect with people. In the time we’re in, those concepts are crucial.
How do you manage to tour throughout the Southeast and Southwest? And, what advice can you give other indie artists who want touring experience?
Relationships. To me, touring is about relationships. Early on in my journey, I made a conscious decision to really partner with people and serve their needs. That’s been my formula since 2014 and by God’s grace we’ve been rolling since. For artists who want to tour, when you are starting out, do not say no. Ha-ha, make sure the situation makes sense, but take every shot you are given. Of course, you have to make sure you are engaging with your set, but if your part is in tact, building out full tours is only a matter of time. Patience is key.
Why the album [title] Fire & Desire? The title sounds like you’re angry, what’s up?
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. I believe we have a generation full of the next greats, but for anything great to truly manifest, we have to understand, it will take us enduring the highs and the lows. We can’t want gold and not experience the furnace. That’s why the album’s titled Fire & Desire.
Tell us about your experiences in youth ministry and merging it with being an artist?
Being in youth ministry changed everything for me. It’s easy to hide under the umbrella of CHH and not truly have a passion or concern for ministry. But, visiting kids weekly, going to their games, truly investing in them, opened my eyes to actually being a servant. To be honest, I would not want to be apart of music, had I not been in ministry. The slope is too slippery for the many pitfalls we face. For me as an artist, it helped me connect with people. It changed the way I do my live sets, music, and the whole nine.
What are your thoughts about the current state of Christian hip-hop music?
Things are picking up in many aspects. A lot of us newcomers don’t know what we’re doing, well at least I didn’t. But, it’s cool to see real leaders extend a ladder of insight and guidance. Of course, there are artists who do ministry the way they deem successful, but it’s not my place to throw a flag on the play. If they are reaching people and pointing them to the one who matters, they have my vote. The culture is shifting, so in due time, I believe CHH will hit a stride, not for dope album releases, or features, but for Jesus.
Which artistes do you look forward to working with in the industry?
Man, that’s a good one. I would have to say Ty Brasel, KB, and Parris Chariz. All of their flows are crazy, and each artist is in their own lane. To work with either of these artists would be crazy.
Watch video to ‘My Shot’ below:
Listen to YB on Spotify