So I was eating guacamole with a spoon a moment ago and I suddenly remembered that I had told you all that I’d be putting up that text interview with Young Hootie. I realize that this doesn’t mean that much for all you rich-ass Canadians, discount but a lot of us brothers and sisters don’t have access to fast-ass connections, malady which means that it’s kinda hard for people to be downloading a 14mb file on a whim.
(but if you’d rather hear the audio version, check it here).
So, with that said, here is the long-awaited, slightly manipulated, text version of the interview with Young Hootie.
Mixtape Show: Go ahead and introduce yourself, man.
Young Hootie: Yeah, this is Young Hootie. Larceny Entertainment, Heatline, what’s goin on.
MS: So where you at right now?
YH: I’m in Atlanta, man. Actually I’m getting a haircut right now.
MS: Right now right now?
YH: Yeah. Time management is a mufucca, I gotta do two things at once…(laughs).
MS: All right, so let’s just start from the beginning man – how did you come up, what’s your background, you know, all that information.
YH: All right. Basically, man, I’m from Compton, California. I grew up in a red neighborhood, if you know what I mean. I got into rap…probably about 2001, and was basically just expressing my feelings on records, you know? I found out it was a good way to get things off my chest, ‘cause I’m usually a laid back kinda dude, you know what I’m saying?
And you know, my brother went to jail when I was 14 years old, so that was a big thing in my life, so all of these things built inside of me as far as pain wise, and I just used to get it out on wax, and, yeah, here we are today.
MS: So let’s go back a bit though, when you were coming up, who would you say inspired you?
YH: Oh, definitely DJ Quik. Quik was big, man. As far as in my neighborhood – he’s like a hood star. I seen dude perform on my block at a block party in like ’92. Suge and everybody was there, you know, Danny Boy – and Quik just jumped up on the truck and go the mic and was just going crazy, and I’m like that nigga Quick is that nigga, you know what I’m saying? So as I got older I started getting into the Jay-Zs and the Nas’, of course, and of course Pac was real big, cause I felt like he was speaking to my situation. A lot of things he was talking about, I was going through.
MS: What do you mean?
YH: Oh, well, you know how Pac spoke about his mother and the struggles she was having – and my mother, she was having the same type of struggles. And some of the things he was feeling about that, I’d be feeling too. It was like whoa, man – it was like dude was talking about me, you know what I’m saying? So he would talk about his situation, and I could identify with that fully. And he just had so much passion, and you could feel it on records. So that’s definitely my favorite artist, ever.
MS: So you said you started in 2001 – that’s not that long ago, man.
YH: Yeah, that’s like end of 11th grade, going into 12th grade – probably 12th grade was when I first started going into the studio.
MS: Tell me about that first studio experience.
YH: Ahh, that was crazy, man. My heart was beating, I got in the booth – I spit a verse, and niggas was feeling it! You never know, man, I mean, you could be wack, and niggas would laugh at you, and that would be the worst feeling ever! (laughs). But I got in there man, and I spit that first 16, I came up with the best shit I could come up with at the time. So niggas burnt it up, and it was all around the hood. And niggas was like “Yo Hootie, I heard that, nigga, that shit was hard!” And niggas was saying lyrics back to me. And I was like whoa, cause that’s the craziest thing, you come up with something in your head and somebody’s saying it back to you and thinks it’s tight. So I was like yeah, this is what I need to be doing right here.
MS: And wasn’t that first studio somebody’s house or something like that?
YH: Yeah. You know California is crazy man, niggas got home studios all around. It was like one of them garage studio type of situations.
MS: So this was an after school thing, you probably still had to study, right?
YH: Yeah, this was senior year of high school, and this teacher, man, he’d got me like motivated to go to school. ‘Cause you know, in high school, I was really into gangbanging and stuff, but teachers would always tell me I was a bright dude. So this dude named Stanley Johnson, one of my teachers, was like, man, you wanna go to Morehouse? And I’m like man, I couldn’t get into Morehouse, you’re crazy! But he told me I could do it, so we was working it out. So I’d be taking my books over to the studio, I’d study, you know, this was senior year, so I was studying for my SATs, and I’d do what I needed to do, and then get in the booth, and it was on.
MS: So how did things start to jump off for you after that? You’re with Larceny Entertainment now…
YH: Yeah, I’m with Larceny.
MS: So how did that all work out?
YH: Well, as I was doing those songs and getting my name up in the hood, and going into other studios, and me, you know, I’m always thinking. So I’m keeping them joints on CDs. And then I went to school at Morehouse down in Atlanta, and I bought a computer. And I ran into my boy Jerz, we met like first week of school, and he made beats. So me and dude, we invested in some studio equipment, and we just started cutting joints, and I kept the old joints I had made at home, and I just started putting out mixtapes, you know what I mean? I had like a “Street Life” series going, so I put out Volume 1, which was real small, I ain’t do a lot of copies, but that was in my hood, niggas listened to it. Then I put out Volume 2, I put a lot more bread into that because I seemed to have something going, you feel me? So I pressed up a gang of posters and CDs, and when I came home from Atlanta that time, I just hit the block running. And Mark Breezy from Larceny, he was seeing my posters. And they was all over – I was up at like 4 in the morning…
MS: Four? Damn…
YH: Yeah, I didn’t stop, dog. And the reason I was up at like 4 in the morning was, I wanted to go to like every hood in Compton. And you know, I got enemies in Compton. So I can’t be going through they hood at like 1 PM, man, cause they gonna be on my ass! (laughs). So at like four in the morning, I figure anybody who stays up late, stays up to like 2-3 AM getting drunk, and they go home and go to sleep. 4 in the morning, it’s pretty much neutral, you know what I’m saying? (laughs). So at 4, I get myself over there, I got my staple gun, and me and my nigga Eddie, we would just hit the block, man. I was all over the city, man, everybody was seeing me. Niggas would have my number, they was calling me, wanting to know what was going on, and I was like I’m on to something!
It’s funny, though, cause at the same time, I hit DJ Warrior up. I had wanted to get on one of his tapes, cause he’s supposed to be like the West Coast mixtape dude.
MS: Yeah, man, DJ Warrior, definitely.
YH: Yeah, so I had wanted to get on that, man. Anything I saw, man, you know, I tried to tackle it. So I hit dude up, and I guess TK from Larceny had been doing all of his marketing, and Warrior was like okay, hit up TK. So I sent TK my stuff, and TK’s like okay, this dude got some rough talent. So at the same time, he and Mark Breezy had been forming Larceny Entertainment. So between Breezy seeing my snipes and TK already having my music, it was already a wrap, so they wanted to fuck wit your boy. So it was just a beautiful situation, everything worked out.
MS: Yeah. So your first project, that was your Young Compton mixtape, right?
YH: Yeah, I look at that as my debut. That was like my first real thing, you know what I mean?
MS: Yeah – so where can people get that?
YH: Aw, you can get that all over. It’s all over the internet, all over the streets of Compton, in swap meets, you can go to LarcenyEntertainment.com and get some more information.
MS: Yeah, about swap meets – I remember hearing you on the radio a while ago and you had been saying that you had seen people selling your CD at the swap meet. But you weren’t selling it, were you?
YH: Aw, that CD, that was basically like a gift to the streets. That Young Compton CD was free. You know, the swap meets, they getting they money off it. But I found out niggas was bootleggin my shit all over. And that was like…it’s a good thing and a bad thing. Because at first, it’s a compliment, you know what I’m saying? I’m a new artist, nobody knows who I am. So if my shit is that hot in the streets to where niggas feel like they can make bread off of it, that’s what’s up. But at the same time, you know, they bootleggin your boy! (laughs)
MS: Yeah, but at first, it’s gotta feel kinda good though.
YH: Yeah, you know, exactly. I mean, I don’t know about my company’s standpoint, but as an artist, that felt good, that niggas was fuckin’ with me like that. My shit was that hot. My name is good in the hood right now, so it’s a lovely thing.
MS: So you mentioned LarcenyEntertainment.com. Is that probably the best place to get at you, you know, if a fan wants to hit you up or something like that?
YH: Yeah, LarcenyEntertainment.com. I mean, I’m all over the net right now. You search “Young Hootie”, you’re gonna find some shit. But LarcenyEntertainment.com, that’s the home for your boy, man. You can get info there, you can email, all that type of shit, you know. I holler at the fans.
MS: Right. So what should people be on the lookout for then?
YH: Aw, I got Prince of the Bity coming soon, man. Like, Young Compton, that was basically the introduction to me, you know what I mean? Like, I gave you Compton from a young nigga’s perspective, you feel me? So I took niggas on missions with me, I let you read a letter to my brother, you know, young niggas in Compton is really going through that type of shit. So that was the whole theme of the tape, and I thank God that it was received well. People really fell in love with it. But the Prince of the Bity is next, right, and that’s really where I’m showing niggas that I’m a factor on the West Coast. As far as lyrically, as far as appeal, as far as whatever, you know what I’m saying, I’m a factor on the Coast, and I feel like there ain’t too many niggas out there fuckin’ with me, as far as this rap shit. And not just rap, I’m talking about the total package. So be on the lookout for your boy.
Mixtape Show: All right, let’s just start it off from the jump. People have been talking about this “New West” thing for a minute. What’s that all about?
Young Hootie: Well, basically, you know, it’s like…the West, man, we been down for a minute. All the other regions, they been doing their thing, and it’s beautiful, it gotta go everywhere. But it’s coming back to the West Coast. It’s like a renaissance going on or some type of shit, man. And it’s a lot of niggas out there that’s doing they thing. They got the situations, the appeal, the spitting ability to really make it in the mainstream and make some noise, and bring the West back, you feel me?
YH: So that’s basically the New West movement. Not to disrespect none of the legends, we respect them to the utmost, but it’s like it’s the new West Coast, and we’re here, you feel me? So that’s basically what that is, man.
MS: So you’re trying to be a part of that as well?
YH: I’m instrumental in that movement already! It’s not what I want, it’s already what it is, know what I’m saying? It’s basically like me putting out my tapes, and me doing my thing, niggas are looking at me like I’m one of the dudes on West Coast though. Whether or not I like it, I’m part of the new West movement, so I’m basically embracing it, feel me?
MS: Right. So we talked about the response to Young Compton the mixtape a while back. That was available on the internet as a download and all that. Do you know how many downloads you all got from that?
YH: Aw, it’d be impossible for me to track how many units we moved of that thing, man. It’s just like I didn’t even expect the response that we got from that, feel me? I mean, it wowed me, man. I’m getting so many looks, industry looks, street looks, it’s like, it’s not a one-sided tape as far as the response I got. A lot of niggas, they might put out something, you might get street love and no industry love. Or you might put something out and get industry love and no street love, feel me? But my tape, man, it was received by everybody, man, so that was basically a blessing from God for me. I loved it.
MS: Yeah, cause that’s the tape that got you featured in The Source, basically.
YH: Right. And that’s the tape that got me where I’m at – and this is off mixtapes. Who on the West Coast is putting out mixtapes, know what I mean, and getting in the Source and doing all that, you feel me? Young Hootie.
MS: There you go. So speaking of the whole West thing, I know you’ve been getting a lot of love from WestSideRap.com. What’s been your relationship with them?
YH: Aw, man, Larceny Entertainment got a lot of love for WestSideRap.com, let me say that. Because…they not not dick-rider site, you feel me? They fucked with me from the first time they had a chance to get a whiff of Young Hootie, just based on my talent. You know how the industry is, man, it’s a dick-riding game, you gotta deal with it. But they fucked with me just on the strength of my music, and the movement we had going on – they saw it early, and we got love for them, you feel me?
MS: Since we’re talking about WestSideRap.com, I’ve been seeing Larceny Entertainment doing a lot of things on this new media kind of thing. How is your marketing game working on the internet and whatnot?
YH: The internet been great to me, man. I got a lot of people on the internet that are showing me love. So I got street love, but the internet’s showing me a whole lot of love – it’s like people from other countries, other regions, that get a chance to figure out who Young Hootie is, know what I’m saying? Even before I’m signing a major deal. Know what I’m saying? It’s like, I’m not even signed to a major, and it’s dudes that are on major labels that don’t get love like me on the internet. So the internet been good to me, dog.
MS: Have there been any areas that kinda surprised you, that were digging your stuff?
YH: Yeah, like England, man, I think I got some love in South Africa, Australia, just people hitting us up, and wanting to get stuff, and man, it’s just been wild. I’m just along for the ride, man, I’m just taking a ride (laughs).
MS: Speaking of a ride, man, it’s been a hell of a ride for you recently. I mean, Whoo Kid, Sirius, talk to me about that.
YH: Yeah, like I said, I’m just here for the ride. I mean, Whoo Kid, they took notice over there, man, and they fuckin’ with your boy, I feel like I’m one of them dudes on the West Coast. And also I heard that Whoo Kid feels like it’s coming back for the West Cosat, know what I’m saying, so it’s not just us on the West Coast talking like we coming back, know what I’m saying? Niggas know what’s happening! So I’m one of the dudes that’s instrumental in the movement, and Whoo Kid took notice. It’s all love – shoutouts to Lil’ Shawn, my boy El Dorado Red, and it’s all good, man.
MS: And you can be heard on XM Channel 66: The City, right?
YH: Yeah, yeah, man. XM radio, they showing me some love too, man, like I guess I got this two hour spotlight on there. Some dude hit me up about it, just off the strength of my music and the movement we got going on, they wanted to connect with us. So that’s another thing that was all love for me, man.
MS: Yeah. So there’s a mixtape that Whoo Kid’s working on as well, right?
YH: Yeah, if I’m not mistaken, it’s a West Coast mixtape.
MS: Yeah, the “New West Movement”, something like that…
YH: Right, right. And so I got a spot on there. And you know, that’s big, man. Let me stress that to everybody out there reading this interview. That’s real big. Whoo Kid, as far as the mixtape scene, come on, man. That nigga’s one of the…he’s hopping out of Bentleys on them niggas out there (laughs). You know what I’m saying? He’s that dude out there, so for dude to show me love, like he’s feeling me, man, I appreciate it.
MS: Yeah, you know when that’s coming out?
YH: Man, I have no idea. Soon, though.
MS: Yeah, that’s what I had heard. So let’s talk producers, man, what producers you worked with?
YH: Aw, man, producers… Let me see. See, cause I don’t really want to let the cat out of the bag, cause I got joints, man. This joint we been working on, Destroy and Rebuild, I just wanna let the people know, it’s gonna be my debut album. Like Prince of the Bity, it’s coming out. That’s my next mixtape. And anybody who heard of Young Hootie’s mixtape will tell you, my mixtapes is like albums, man. Know what I’m saying? But Destroy and Rebuild is gonna be that thing, we looking at 2006, it’s gonna come out on a major and everything is gonna be love, so…I don’t really wanna let the cat out the bag, but…I got some producers on that thing, man, it’s gonna be hot.
MS: It’s all good, we can let people wait for it. So Prince of the Bity, man, when’s that coming out?
YH: Prince of the Bity is definitely coming out in September, man. I think we’re looking at late September. And that shit is gonna be crazy, man, I’m telling you.
MS: So what’s the concept behind it? I know that Young Compton had a concept, you know, that was obvious. What’s Prince of the Bity about?
YH: Yeah man, that’s what we do over there at Larceny, man, we got that quality control. We put out a mixtape and it’s not just me going in the booth, doing a whole lot of rapping and putting shit out. Everything is calculated. So Prince of the Bity, like I told you, Young Compton was like an introduction. So now Prince of the Bity, I’m showing niggas that I’m one of the niggas on the Coast, I’m next up, you feel me? I’m like, man, I feel like ain’t nobody can fuck with me, really, know what I’m saying? But I got my niggas in the rap game, no disrespect to none of my niggas, but I feel like I’m one of them niggas over there, so Prince of the Bity is that.
And not to disrespect none of the Crips out there that’s doing they thing, when I say Prince of the Bity, you feel me? That’s just like, it’s like Spider-Loc putting the “Loc” at the end of his name, you know? That’s just real niggas representing where they from. So everybody knows what side I’m from. And I’m just giving you the reality of where I’m from. Prince of the Bity. That’s what it is. So any Crips out there, feel free to call me Prince of the City if you like (laughs).
MS: So while we’re on that, man, you’ve been getting a bit of a label, the whole “gangster rapper” label.
MS: I mean like it or not, being real…how do you feel about that?
YH: I…I guess it is what it is, ‘cause I’m from Compton, and I dealt with the gangbanging, a lot of my subject matter deals with the gangbanging. So if I’m labeled as a gangster rapper, it is what it is, but I definitely have other dimensions to me and my character, and that’s gonna be expressed on wax too because I’m not one of these dudes that has a manufactured image. What you getting from Young Hootie is what you getting, it’s me. So a part of me is a gangster, man. I mean, I’m from a hood in Compton. But I got different parts of me, and people are gonna be able to see that, and be able to get in touch with my character as my career goes on. So for now, if you wanna call me a gangster rapper, I don’t mind, man, it’s nothing.
MS: So there’s other things going on with you, then.
YH: Oh, yeah, man, people are definitely gonna get a chance to see that, man, as my career progresses. They gonna get a chance to see who Young Hootie is. Cause I’m a unique type of guy, man, and it’s gonna be expressed through my music, and in any other outlets fans choose to get in touch with me, you know what I’m saying?
MS: Yeah, so we gonna see some of that on Prince of the Bity? Cause I know that we saw some of that on Young Compton, too.
YH: Right, right, right. It’s just me, like when I do my music, it just comes from my heart, so whatever comes out, that’s what you’re getting. It ain’t like T.K. and Breezy is telling me to do this or do that, know what I’m saying? Everything is organic over here, and that’s why I think it’s been received so well. Cause a lot of people…like the West ain’t been poppin’ for so long, man, people are trying to get that one formula down, trying to do this or do that. I’m doing Young Hootie, man, and if you like it, you like it, and if you hate it, you hate it, that’s you, man. This is me, though.
MS: Yeah. So let’s talk about some of this DVD stuff, man.
YH: Right, right, I got some of that DVD shit, man. People gonna get a surprise, when the DVD come out. Cause I mean, we do street videos, nobody out there doing that. And that’s really what’s going on, man, like it ain’t no set. So fans is really gonna get a chance to really see what’s going on with Young Hootie, man. The DVD is gonna be poppin’, we got street videos on there, we got a lot of footage, and we gonna get more footage for it, from Atlanta and around the country, man. NYC, everywhere. The DVD’s gonna be poppin’.
MS: Right. So you’re also gonna be on QD3’s next Beef…
YH: Yeah, my boy QD3’s showing me some love. He feels like I’m one of them dudes over there, so that was definitely a good look.
MS: And then Smack, and what’s up with this Daddy Bill?
YH: Oh yeah, that’s like our director at Larceny.
MS: He was Director of the Year at New York Film Academy, right?
YH: Yeah, man, and he does other work, and he works for Larceny, he’s with the movement. So that’s like our in-house director, that’s my nigga.
MS: So what’s the project, is that gonna be a video, is that gonna be a film, what is that?
YH: Aw, we workin on all types of shit, man. I mean, we got Director of the Year over there. So our minds just get creative, and we just run with stuff. So that’s why I got a lot of videos poppin’, we got a whole lot of other shit poppin’ at the same time. It’s gonna be a beautiful thing.
MS: So we done touched on most of this stuff, man. Is there anything else you wanna talk about, let your fans know?
YH: Yeah, man, Larceny Entertainment, man, that’s the movement…any of you little rap niggas out there that’s trying to get on, if you from the West Coast, you better come through the L, you feeling me? It’s poppin’ out there! (laughs). Yeah, but on some real shit, man, I appreciate all the love I been getting from my fans out there, like the response has been crazy, and I only put out one mixtape. This shit’s been hot. There’s more to come, know what I mean? And just look out for your boy Young Hootie, I’m having a fun ride.
MS: All right, man, thanks for joining us.
YH: Yeah, no problem, man, thanks.