Jam The Hype Jam the Hype
“YB is a leader who makes music to inspire his listeners and supporters to take action.”
Hip-hop was a massive influence on YB’s formation as a child. Growing up in a fatherless home, the Pine Bluff, Arkansas native looked up to artists as role models. “They were a breath of fresh air for me.”
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He started rapping at age eight in the company of one of his three older brothers. “To me, rapping was so cool. I remember being in my older brother’s room, and he had all of his friends in the room, and they were all hanging out.” The group was freestyling with a tape recorder. “My brother handed me the mic, and he was like, ‘Man, you [should] rap.’ My heart was going at least ninety miles per hour.” It was an incredible experience for him, and YB’s love for hip-hop continued to grow from there.
This month, YB released a new album, Fire & Desire. “I want the listeners to walk away knowing that when life gets hard, no matter how low the valley , that they are going to make it out.” He wants to dispel the misconception that God is not present during tough times. “We can make it out because of who God is.” To YB, the album title means embracing both the ups and the downs of life.
“If you let God mold you, break you, and build you back up, you’re going to be thankful that you held His hand in that process.”
YB traditionally writes and records his albums over months, but this project was completed in a matter of weeks. Most of Fire & Desire was recorded and mixed by YB in his home studio. “Being involved in the entire process of this album definitely changed the way I want to do albums.”
The album’s introductory song, “Fire Emoji 2,” starts the project with energy and passion.
“This album is nothing like my previous releases where I was experimenting… I was way more intentional about capturing the energy of each song.”
“Dear Soldiers” addressed a potential fan’s perspective that YB “has it all together.” He seeks to pull the curtain back, sharing the struggles that he experiences, including worrying about his family’s finances, attempting to be a leader, and suffering from depression. “It’s being transparent with my supporters saying, ‘Hey guys, I need God too.'”
“Worth It” is another song seeking to share humility and openness. “I’m not special. God isn’t giving me the GPS to exactly where I’m going.” YB is sharing with listeners about how he has experienced God’s grace when having stepped out on faith.
“I want that to be an encouragement because I believe God is calling us all to something great, but it’s going to require us taking baby steps towards him.”
“She won the best dressed with her costume, and I was the photographer. I turned around, and she was right in front of me. I took her picture, and the rest is history.”
Outside of music, YB enjoys photography, playing basketball, and spending time with his wife and daughter, Kylie. He is also a coffee addict. Whenever he travels, he finds the best coffee shops in town and gets a cup. His favorite coffee drink is called “Up All Night” from Zetêo Coffee in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“Every artist can relate that what we do isn’t easy, but to see my music connect with one person means the world to me.”