Yella Beezy is one of the artists putting Dallas on the map and he’s gearing up to release “a lot more hits.”
During an exclusive phone interview, the “That’s On Me” rapper spoke about a slew of topics in a 30-minute conversation.
Yella discussed his upcoming album, Blank Checc, opening up for Beyonce and JAY-Z and a possible collaboration with the Hip Hop couple, and the current state of female rap.
But some of the most surprising parts of the interview is that Yella Beezy plans to open an assisted living facility for mentally disabled adults, he tried smoking a few times but never liked it, and he’s a pescatarian.
Check out the full Q&A with Yella Beezy below:
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity)
So although we were quarantined for most of last year, you were really working hard. You dropped a number of projects, including a joint project with Trap Boy Freddy called My Brother’s Keeper. What was the creative process like behind that project?
We were just bored going to the studio and recording songs and we thought ‘f*ck it’ and came out with a project.
Were there any like COVID restrictions while you guys were going to the studio or you were able to just do your thing?
It was but we weren’t paying attention to that sh*t.
One of the standout records is the intro song, “Racks.” And I liked the way that you broke down the things that can be done with different amounts of money throughout the song. And finance has been a reoccurring theme throughout the whole quarantine, and we see more and more black people getting into entrepreneurship, investing, trading, etc. Did you get into any new investments during the quarantine?
Yeah. I got my trucking company way stronger. And I’m trying to get into like a government assistant job, like group homes for mentally challenged.
That sounds dope. Can you tell me more about that government assistant program? What is it for exactly?
It’s for a group of special needs adults.
Okay. I think I know what you’re talking about. I work at, um, I worked for the department of education with special needs students. And most of the times when they do become adults, you do need those programs to, um, help them transition or to just to continue being adults. Cause you know, they can’t get regular jobs. But what made you get into that?
My family been working with them like my whole life. So growing up, that’s what my mama was doing. [inaudible] so it was just something that I already looked into. You know what I’m saying? Then? Like, it’s very beneficial to the other person who owns the half in the daycare. You know what I’m saying? So my family already showed a passion for those people for years like. Bring them to church with them and to like, family outings and all type of stuff. It be more than a job with them. So I always like, okay, that’ll be a family business. A lot of people always open up restaurants and sh*t like that for family business and my family already know the ins-and-outs of this so why not?
That’s so cool. You learn something new every day. I’m like surprised. Yeah. So moving on to another song on my brother’s keeper, you have a song called Hoe card. What does it mean to have a Hoe card?
Hoe card basically mean you have some type of hoe in you. If you’re from the streets, you can’t have that. So I’m telling them like, you can try me if you want to, but you know, what’s up. You know like a lot of people be out here woofing and bluffing, like, uh, like trolls or even like bullies until they meet their match.
Your protege Jose Bodega was featured on the project and I’m a firm believer that you have to open the door behind you. If you want your legacy to last longer, what made you believe in him as an artist?
Because he actually has talent. He’s actually talented and actually can rap. We’ve been rapping since we was in school, but I was the one who kind of like took it serious. Everybody else was letting their life situation come between them. I was the one that was like ‘man, I don’t care. This is my way out.’ So a lot of time it just take a person to, to get motivated, show that you really can do it. You know what I’m saying? For others to get motivated. And I think that just what it was, you know what I’m saying? He actually got motivated. You, ain’t got to tell him, get up and go to the studio or go chase after nothing. Like he ready to do everything on his own. I was the same way. Like you got a lot of people that got the talent, but don’t got the ambition or the drive behind it. Like it just be just like a waste of talent. Like they be waiting for a person to book studio time for them. They waiting for people to get beats for them. Like basically just babysit him and he ain’t got to do that. You know what I’m saying? That makes it easy on you. You know what I’m saying? So it was just one of those situations and he’s hungry for it.
Speaker 2 (08:42):
You also linked up with Rubi Rose to hit your dance last year. Your verse it was very simple but effective. And it makes me interested to know like, how is it when you get into the studio? Do you write your records in advance or do you just punch it in? Like most artists are doing now?
Yeah, I’ve been, I started punching in like probably 2014-2015 like I ain’t wrote since then. Like I had a roommate, he was rapping too. You probably know him: Lil Ronny F Mothaf*, he had that song “Throw That Assin a Circle.” So that was like, that’s actually like my, one of my partners partners. He recorded down the album Light Work and some of Broke Nights, Rich Days. But he used to punch in and I used to write and he was like, bro, you gotta learn how to do this and one day we were just playing around and I kinda like started counting the grooves and didn’t write ever since. But he kind of showed me how to do it.
That’s definitely the wave now, like writing is like, non-existent your record “Star” feature. And Erica Banks has been all replaced since it dropped last Friday. And I know you guys are both from Dallas and the video looks like it was a lot of fun. How was it working with Erica?
It’s cool. What’s crazy. I’m going to bring bro back up again. That was my partner Lil Ronny, that was his artist at first and he’s always used to try to get me hip on her. You know what I’m saying? He was like, I got this new girl artists. But I guess they split their way in the what not, you know, they still got a good relationship and she had got down with 1501 and he, and they were like, yeah, that’s, that’s who I was telling you about. But like I had been hearing about her a little bit, you know what I’m saying through Ronny, but I didn’t too much. Like another person that’s mutual friends with me and Ronny kind of brought it to my attention. Like, Hey bro, that’s Erica. So like it just me, I like working with Dallas people period just on the come up. Cause we ain’t got too many artists that came out of Dallas. I made it. I feel like, you know, you got to, always link with the home team for sure.
Yeah. There’s definitely strength in numbers. I interviewed her, I think two weeks ago or last week. And um, she told me about your record before it dropped. And then she said that she like knew you before in Dallas when she was coming up with an independent group, but you, she really made herself known after she broke through in the industry. So that’s what’s up. So there are more female rappers out now more than ever. Well, than it’s been in the past 10 years. How do you feel about that?
I feel like they been out here they just weren’t getting their proper due diligence. Like they want people wasn’t taking them serious like that. Its been a gang of artists, like women that I knew like coming from, from Dallas.
We got Asian Doll bubbling from Dallas.
She’s texting me right now. We have a video shoot.
So an Asian Doll and Yella Beezy collab is in the works right now?
Oh, for sure.
Okay. We’ll be on the lookout for that one. It must’ve been such an experience opening up for Beyonce and Jay Z. Did you get a chance to connect personally with the couple?
Uh, nah, not personally, but that’s that’s coming for sure.
Confirmed or you manifesting?
It’s both. It’s both. It’s both.
Are you on clubhouse?
There was an interesting conversation about the way YouTubers and bloggers like Akademiks, allegedly instigate beef between rappers, but 21 Savage raised an interesting point. When he says that rappers are giving these content creators, the ammo with their explicit incriminating lyrics. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Yeah. It both worked hand in hand. It still play a part. It do gotta start with the rappers too. I do believe like learn how to ride on way, bruh. You ain’t got to diss no rappers get on. Just make some good music. You know what I’m saying? Because people be feeling like when you beef with somebody, like that’s how you get their attention, but you’ll get the attention that you, you know what I’m saying? That you really don’t want, like, you know what I’m saying? Like it really come like with a whole bunch of drama and bullsh*t behind that sh*t. Not even just in the streets, but business wise too.They can’t tell if every song is a diss, but the song that you know, where a person is actually dissing a person, those are the ones you can stay away from, you get what I’m saying? Everybody’s talking about shoot ’em up, bang, bang, killing and all this in their music but the songs that, you know, like for show that they dissing people, like you can try to stay away from, you know what I’m saying? Or just don’t instigate the beef if, you know, if you know, like they going back and forth on Instagram, you ain’t gotta post that part.
Yeah, definitely. We need more variety. Like we’re in, we’re indoors anyway. We need some more music with different topics. So you’re working on your upcoming mixtape Blank Checc. Do you have a release date for the project?
Uh, it’s actually an album, but nah, I don’t, I don’t, uh, that’s something we’re going to discuss here just a week, but it’ll be soon though.
Oh, it’s an album. I read EP. Okay. And I’m assuming that your collabs with Erica banks, 42 Dugg and Gunna will all be featured on it, right?
Yeah. For sure.
Out of those three artists, which one did you have the most collaborating with and why?
Probably Gunna because we actually got in the studio together. But it was dope working with all them. But probably me and Gunna just because we were actually in the studio cooking up with each other. Like Erica, that was like an over the phone thing and email, same thing with Dugg because he was on house arrest. But me and Gunna actually got to vibe and pick our songs we wanted to f*ck with and all that.
It’s always a different experience when it’s in person, you guys transfer energies and ideas and all that good stuff. And I love y’all song “On Fleek,” you know, as a woman in hip hop. But it took me back to the time when people were writing think pieces on “WAP” or even more recently, when Chloe Haley was somewhat slut-shamed for embracing her body on her personal Instagram account. Why do you think that guys get the pass for rapping about explicit lyrics about women, but women get shamed for doing the same to men?
I just feel like the world is just too sensitive on certain subjects. And um, it’s a different time in the, in the music industry in a different time era, just period. So a lot of stuff that people wasn’t able to talk about back in the day is very accepted now. Even the standard of living and the way that people carry their self and the way they dress. Like it’s just a different time. Like, you know what I’m saying? Like time has changed. So a lot of stuff that wasn’t accepted, then it’s cool now. And most of the people talking about it, you know, grew up in another time.
Congratulations on becoming a father again.
Oh, appreciate it. I appreciate.
How was the experience like during the COVID-19 pandemic? I know like during the thick of it, a lot of parents, like the father, wasn’t able to be inside the delivery room and a lot of different restrictions. How was it for you?
So, you know, Texas is open. So it could only be me and the mother though but I was there. I cut the umbilical cord and all that.
I read that your weight loss is due to your new pescatarian diet. What made it, what motivated this change?
Seeing me getting too chubby and just barely can breathe, putting on socks and moving around how I used to move around and not being able to doing the things I used to do when I was slimmer. I gained weight like 2018. I’ve never been that size in my life. I was never no husky dude at all. I always was skinny and that just came from just being on the road and just grinding really. I kinda got lost in that and had to shake back.
Yeah. And that metabolism hit different once you start knocking 30. So I’m happy that you’ve got your health and diet on the right track. But I was surprised to read that you didn’t smoke because weed is such a staple in the hip hop community. So when someone doesn’t do it, it’s like a shocker. Did you quit? Or you just don’t like it?
I tried a couple of times, but I just don’t like it. I never was a smoker. I ain’t never roll a blunt in my life. Never knew how to roll a blunt. None of that.
Okay. And of course I wouldn’t be a good journalist if I don’t address what the people want to know. And that of course is that viral video of you exposing your manhood. And you said that your child’s mother accidentally leaked the video, but can you add more context to what exactly led up to that moment in the video?
She recorded it for her own personal use from the security camera. We was f*cking in the kitchen and we were walking to the bedroom. That’s why you see me grab my gun and back pack and she actually recorded that part. But she was jokingly acting like she was going to expose me and while she was showing me the video she accidentally uploaded it when I grabbed her phone. She reset her phone thinking it was going to stop it from uploading but it was too late.
Can you reflect on how much you’ve grown as an artist and or a man since your hit single, “That’s On Me” blew up?
You have to see the sh*t that I been through and where I came from. It’s not a short answer. I grew a lot personally, I grew as a man. I think that’s just what comes with living.
What can your fans expect for you moving forward before we head out of here?
A lot more hits.
Well, I’ll be on the look out. Make sure to send it over so that I cansupport and good luck on everything with Blank Checc and that JAY-Z and Beyonce project that you didn’t want to tell me about.