Young General

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The day begins at 7:30. An alarm pops, and plays T.I.’s Motivation. After breakfast and a shower, work begins at 9 a.m. Follow-ups with DJs and radio stations, getting the day’s business in line, staying connected with fans. A quick lunch launches him into his daily workout – two hours of pull-ups and dips M/W/F, two hours with the P90X T/TH/Sa – and right into the afternoon’s tasks: a meeting with manager Jason Garcia followed by the day’s writing and recording. Laying down tracks at Berwyn’s Horse-Drawn Productions, doing overdubs and mixing with band FiveSTAR, and always time spent with the pen and the pad, the writer’s favorite tools. What more do you need to know about the man named Young General? We could talk lyrical ingenuity (“I’m so real, I could never spit a fake line/Ain’t nobody from the Chi got this much face time/Not since John Starks went baseline”) and freestyle chops, and I could direct you to the tracks, (including standouts Never Love You and Night and Day) the video clips, the websites, tell you to play this-or-that and look out for such-and-such concert or project coming down the pipe. But that’s the payoff, the net, the long-earned result. If you want to know what the General is really about, know this: the talent is God-given, but the schedule is man-made. It’s a workaday life for this Minnesota-transplant, and he is only too happy to profess his love for the daily grind. “I would sound sill-ay/rappin’ about puss-ay/jewels and ice/homey that’s not my life.” So spit the Minnesota Monster on the extended freestyle cut of Who Dat during the premier FiveSTAR recording session. It was one of the many reminders that hip-hop can be commercial without being commercialized, that MCs can keep it real by actually being real, that for Young General, the game is about combining the flow and the fun with the business and the branding. His talent for writing a strong hook? For riding the beat? For having the sack to jump in any cipher in any town and leave onlookers repeating his lines? That’s why he’s good. His commitment to the craft, the business, the day-in day-out of it all? That’s why he’ll be here for the long haul. Get up early, people. Young General’s doing work

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