Photographer: Diggs Photography
Check out the new song from YBHouston – Pioneer
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
I’m from the southwest side of Houston, TX. Southwest Alief Texas (The SWAT) is where I grew up and will always be the place I call home. I got into music at an early age when my older sister (Kelly) and cousin (Kevin), ages 12 &13 at the time, formed a rap group called Double K. They actually won a contract to sign with Def Jam in their final talent show, but soon after my sister decided it wasn’t for her. Still, that early exposure to the game at the age of 7 is what started everything for me. I learned to play the piano in 3rd grade, played percussion in middle school and when I had to quit the band after my freshman year of high school to pursue football, I started making beats on Fruity Loops. My junior year, me & some football players were freestyling outside my car to some instrumentals I made and it drew a huge croud! At that point, I knew I had to get in the studio.
I dropped my first album called “Cedo da Album,” written and produced by me in my junior year of high school. We still talk about that album almost 10 years later. In college, I went away to The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. There, I was exposed to a whole new culture of rap. I was always good at making hooks/choruses, but in Ohio your worth as a rapper was judged mainly by the content in you verses. I found this out shortly after I released Cedo mix tape Vol. 2 and it didn’t go over as well as I had hoped. At that point, I took a break from songs and focused just on my lyrics. My junior year I came back to form a hip-hop group called The Black Clark Kent with two others. We were a hit around campus and even went on tour in Ohio, performing in cities like Cleveland, Troy, and Columbus. We put out a mix tape called “Enter the Kent” and got 3 of our songs played on Power 107.5 radio station.
Everything was looking up until one member decided he wanted to go solo. At this point, I came to the realization that groups are temporary and staying solo would be my best chance of making it big. I also felt I needed to channel my younger solo days because being in a group can make you lose that confidence to do it on your own. Hence the name Young Boss (YB). I added Houston to always pay homage to where I’m from from today everybody says “Wassup YB.” It has been long road and I’m only getting better. I’m still channeling those younger days and have started producing tracks again. My latest release was “The Itinerary Mixtape” which you can download at Facebook.com/YBHou or YBHouston.com. Stay tuned because there’s more in store.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
I promoting a song called “Pioneer.” This song is a sure fire hit and I want to share the wealth with another hip-hop pioneer whom ever that may be. So here it is! The last verse was left open on purpose, I’m giving $500 to the best 3rd verse, period! If you’re a rapper, record it, post the audio on YouTube and send the link to email@example.com. But it’s not limited to rappers, if you’re a singer and you can come up with a bomb third verse, the $500 is yours! Record it, post the audio on YouTube and send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, if you’re a dancer, make a dope freestyle video to the third verse, post it on YouTube and send it to email@example.com. It’s time that the real pioneers get paid for what they do! So if you’re creative, send me what you’ve got! For contest rules, go to YBHouston.com! Thanks
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
The hardest challenge anyone who has not made it in the industry yet is money! Recording is expensive and so is equipment, so are beats and so is promoting. One way I have gotten around the money issue is I saved and invested in all my own equipment so now I can record and make my own beats and get great quality. Altogether my studio amounts to about $4,000, but now that it’s set up, I can use any money I have towards promotion!
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
Probably the biggest setback for me was having to go to college. Honestly, there’s no degree for what I want to do. I was encouraged to finish college by my mother so I really did it for her. Still, in the back of my mind I feel like it put me years behind so I need to catch up. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of my degree from Ohio State. It proved to me that I can do anything I put my mind to, so now my mind is on music.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Artists need to be careful about who they trust. My motto is, rely on no one but yourself. If you can do that, then you won’t be able to blame anybody, but you for your shortcomings. I know it sound bad, but don’t even trust family when it comes to business. Let them trust you.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Try to do as much as you can on your own. If its making beats, recording, promoting, singing, rapping whatever. The more you can do, the more labels use you and would be willing to give you a deal. Today you have to be versatile, J. Cole & Big K.R.I.T. both made their own beats. Now super producers make beats for them and they can sell the beats they made to other artists.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
My favorite way to promote my music is live and in person. I find I gain more connections that way and word spreads a lot faster!