By DJ Louie Styles
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
The West Coast is back popping again and their run proves good things do come if a person is patient enough to see it through. Los Angeles has many of the hottest hitmakers on the mainstream and grinders in the streets. Because of their recent success, many wish the “New West” tag would no longer be applied to them.
Understandable, as Los Angeles continues to dominate the game and guys like F.Y.I. begin to make their mark. Also known as Foreshadow, F.Y.I. is currently working on his new street album, Yo! The Places You’ll Go. The album title came during a time when he needed motivation the most.
It’s been a while since Hip Hop Vibe did On The Rise, so it felt right to start it back up with a hungry talent from Los Angeles. F.Y.I. proved he is just that, as he explained how he got to this position in the game and everything he is working on. He told Hip Hop Vibe exactly what fans should expect from him all the time.
Read the entire interview below:
Right now, Los Angeles has a lot going on with their hip hop scene and a lot of stars blowing up, does that give you more confidence in your own rise? It’s a dope time to be from Los Angeles and the entire West Coast, because people around the world are checking for what we’re doing out here. It’s coming back full circle from when the west coast music scene was dominating back in the 1990s.
So to answer the question, yes, I’m super charged about putting new music out to add to the new legacy. Before I became a solo artist, I was able to help add to this new legacy with my group, Those Chosen. The L.A. hip-hop scene started picking up more steam again around 2008 and my group was a part of that first wave of artists from that time period that created all this energy that people are feeling now.
But, I’d like to add that God is good and I keep my confidence in Him as far as when He says it’s time to blow up.
Seeing how your name is beginning to pick up momentum, do you find yourself understanding the struggles established stars mention in their earlier music? Yes, I do. I’m a part of the culture, so I keep my feet are firmly rooted on the ground and I have had my own share of tradegy, transition, and triumph on this journey we call life. I can relate to other artists’ stories because in one sense everyone’s different, but in another sense we are all the same in regards to striving towards getting our artistry heard by as many people as possible.
Some artist’s struggles seem harder than others, but let’s be honest; I’m a black male born in America to a working class family. For those that understand what I am saying, that should explain the path taken thus far for me to reach a certain level of success and what it will continue to take in order for me to reach the full potential of my vision. Because the goal is to become as successful as the legends that influenced me to push the culture forward like NaS, Ice Cube, Common, Kanye West, The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, and so on.
Your music, however, is definitely rising and has a growing fan base and Yo! The Places You’ll Go is the title, can you explain how this project came together? I’m going to give ya’ll the short story (laughs). Like I mentioned before, I was in a group called Those Chosen. But, for whatever reason, the other two members of the group did not want to continue to pursue the dream we started together. I guess the drive and determination that it takes to make a splash in the game was not in them anymore. So, I made the decision to continue on my own. At the same time, the group was going on hiatus, I got into trouble with johnny law.
All these issues put me in a dark space and I had to make some hard decisions as an artist and as a man coming into my own. Fast forward a little bit, an associate of mine gave me this book to read as a form of encouragement because he could tell I was going through some shit. The book was called “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” and it was written by Dr. Seuss. I almost threw the book at homie because I was not trying to read no baby book when I had some real things going on in my life. But he was like “just read it” and once I read it, I was like “yo, this book is deep!”
To me, the book is not a little kid’s book in the truest sense of the word. In reality, the book is about life and all it’s ups and downs. You have to have lived though some things in order to fully understand what the book is trying to say. Interestingly, it was the last book that Dr. Seuss wrote before he died and it’s definitely his most introspective one. But don’t get it twisted, ain’t no nursery rhymes on my record at all!!! I liked the book so much that I decided to freak the title and make it my own.
My project is audio literature because I’m not only telling my story, but everyone’s story; so the title and the music go together. When people sit down and listen to the record, they are going to be inspired to keep moving forward towards their destiny and not look back at their defeats. So make sure to download the project off the bandcamp page or support it by purchasing a copy on iTunes when it’s released on May 7, 2014.
In terms of production, Rich Kidd is known for helping make stars, most notably Drake, do you feel as if he will help make another one with you and your project? Good question! Lord willing. God is working! He linked us up musically for a reason and we’ve worked on several records together in the past, and he’s on this project heavy as well. We keep growing together musically, just getting better with each song that we complete. So, I continue to look forward to the future as this connection gets bigger and stronger. It’s that “C – A” connection from Toronto, CAnada to Los Angeles, CAlifornia! In general, niggas shouldn’t sleep, I got bangers on my project from other talented producers as well like IZ Avila, Dual Output, and Boonie Mayfield. It’s been a honor to work with all these talented people.
Ab-Soul will also be contributing to your new project, with a verse, do you have a preexisting relationship with TDE or did you two recently come together for this collaboration? I’ve crossed paths with the TDE camp over the recent years and an opportunity presented itself to get a record done with someone from the camp. It happened to be Soul. I thought of the concept and sent it to him. From there, creative worlds combined to form a new universe the listeners know in song form as “Dopamine” and the rest is history as they say.
Have you taken any pointers from the TDE squad, within itself, and applied it to your own movement? Yes, their business model is solid. It’s obvious from that camp that organization is key and making sure to surround yourself with the right team of like-minded and driven people. Two minds are better than one, but as it is written; a three cord rope is not easily broken and that’s what I see over there at the camp, unity. So, with that being said, I would like the world to become more and more familiar with the collective (I call “huemans”) that surrounds me as this journey continues. This extends not only to my immediate team, but anyone that hears what I’m saying and knows that they are hueman too. Basically, a hueman is a person that is colorful and wants to add color to the world because the world tries to us to trap us into black or white scenarios. This or that. But, we are so much more than the labels that the world puts on us.
On Twitter, you have mentioned having the support from the DJs, who are some of the DJs who have been supporting you? I’m feeling the support from internet DJs out there that follow me on Twitter and have played singles that I’ve released. Of course, college radio shows support and I’m going to continue to service more DJs with records. It’s all about the fans and the DJs and the DJs are one of the most important people to spread the message to listeners about the music.
Definitely, shout out to B-Real (of Cypress Hill), who also spins records under the name Dr. Greenthumb. He has played my video on BREALTV and interviewed me on the Dr. Greenthumb Show. So, props to BREALTV and staff. I’ve gotten love from Mick Boogie with records that I’ve made. Lastly, I chopped it up with DJ Drama and put him up on the music. So, it’s been positive energy and support coming from DJs.
You have a lot going on as a solo artist, but will fans be seeing you pop up on projects from some other artists? Yeah, I’m open to collaborations with other artists that are passionate about their craft like I am. They can hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org if they’re trying to collaborate. If it’s dope, then we can take it from there. I did a record with Rich Kidd, it’s not out yet, but it’s going to be fire when y’all hear it. I got some records out with a fellow hueman named Early (The MC). Check out the songs that I featured on from his project. The songs are called “Otherside of the Moon” and “Westcoast Pass.” Me and Early also got a record out with Hollygrove Mikey, who’s down with YMCMB. That song is called “Are We There Yet (A.W.T.Y.).”
Can you let the people know where they can find you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Y’all can stay connected and get added to my mailing list for upcoming news at http://www.fyipsalms.com/, or “like” my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FYIpsalms or tweet or RT with hashtag #hueman on twitter at https://twitter.com/FYIpsalms.
I want to also say much love and appreciation for Hip Hop Vibe for speaking with me.
Watch “Incense” by F.Y.I. below:
Follow DJ Louie Styles on Twitter @DJLouieStyles.