Young Thug's YSL Records: From Blood Relatives To Life-Long Friends & More

BYAlex Zidel16.8K Views
Link Copied to Clipboard!
HNHH/Images provided by 300 Entertainment
YSL Records
Learn more about each member of Young Thug's YSL Records through exclusive interviews with twelve of the artists on the label.

Young Stoner Life Records isn’t just a record label; it's the world’s largest family. The members of the hip-hop collective consider themselves more than peers. They’re brothers and sisters-- some, including Unfoonk, HiDoraah, and Dolly White, are related by blood, while others, by decision. No matter, they have all built a brood away from their respective hometowns, relying on one another to bring a sense of loyalty, respect, and community to their lives and careers.

Over the years, we’ve seen the YSL family grow from Young Thug’s brainchild to a national organization, housing a dozen artists from across the country. Rappers like Lil Duke and Strick have stuck around for the long haul, and newcomers including FN DaDealer, YTB Trench, and Bslime are positioning themselves to take the label farther in the coming years.

The group’s tight-knit chemistry was mainly built at their studio space, which is affectionately referred to as the Snake Pit. Whether there are two people or two hundred people in the room, Young Thug has created his own world at his Atlanta-based recording studio, which, in zoo-like fashion, is lined with glass terrariums that house snakes and spiders, among other creatures.

Following the release of the #1 album Slime Language 2, which formally introduced the latest crop of YSL-affiliated stars to the world, and ahead of Thug’s highly-anticipated upcoming studio album Punk, we spoke with twelve of the artists currently signed to the label to get a sense of how things are run over at the Snake Pit. Read through the highlights from each interview below with T-Shyne, FN DaDealer, YTB Trench, Strick, Dolly White, HiDoraah, Yak Gotti, Yung Kayo, Karlae, Unfoonk, Lil Keed, and Lil Duke.


Hometown: Born in Granada/Raised in East Hampton, New York
Listen to: The Immaculate, “That Go!,” “Warrior,” “Moncler

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: When did you get signed to YSL?

T-Shyne: I got signed in December 2018, or somewhere close to the end of 2018.

Can you describe your sound for anybody that’s unfamiliar with your music?

It’s a big tornado, we just coming in and fucking shit up like we always do. I got different lanes. I can go crazy and turn up, I could sing, we just be bringing the vibes. My album Confetti Nights is coming out very soon, executive produced by Thug and Kevin Durant. Shout out to my boys. We got so many big features, so many good features. It’s a lot of different vibes.

How long were you close to Thug before signing your contract?

Man, we were close for a long time. It took me a longer while to sign because I was already signed to EMPIRE. Once I was able to get out of my deal with EMPIRE, I was able to sign with YSL. We’ve all been friends for six, seven years at this point. 

How did you guys get acquainted?

We know each other through my homie TM88. We were out doing shows and turning L.A. up when Thug and Metro Boomin, who had his breakout year as a producer, they hit us up to do three practice shows and if the shows were fire, we could do the tour. We did three practice shows in different states and it was crazy, just going wild, jumping off the railings, and turning that shit up. Thug seen it and loved it, and he was like, “Yeah, we want you to come on tour with us.” That’s how it started.

Who are your biggest inspirations as an artist? 

I listen to a lot of old-school R&B. I really don’t listen to a lot of rappers for inspiration, you don’t want to sound too much like what they have going on. I listen to a lot of Ronald Isley and Luther Vandross. 

Who are you closest to on the YSL roster now?

Strick. Me and him live together, so him for sure. That’s my guy. We really are all close though. We family. We got a group chat and we all get updated at the same time.

What does a YSL studio session look like?

We call our studio the Snake Pit. It could be a room of two people or two hundred people. It just depends on the night. We could be chilling, we could be figuring out which record to break next. Then we could have 20 strippers in the studio just vibing. The Snake Pit is like its own world. We got snakes, we got spiders, we got all types of exotic things in there that just make it live. A typical session could go either way, but we’re always recording. Ten songs is nothing, we’ll do that in a night.

The studio has six rooms in there, every room you go into there’s somebody working. It’s easy when you have the whole family in-house.


Hometown: Atlanta
Listen to: Big Deal, “Really Be Slime,” “Explosion,” “Flexin”

Image provided by 300 Entertainment 

HNHH: For anybody that’s just finding out about you, what are you all about?

FN DaDealer: I’m from the Southside of Atlanta, where I grew up my whole life. I’m a cool person. I started rapping last year. I started taking it seriously eight to nine months ago. 

How would you describe your sound?

It’s relatable and motivational, it makes someone want to go get money. I talk about the struggle a lot and where I came from. 

Who are your biggest inspirations as an artist?

I grew up listening to a lot of T.I. My pops put me onto him. My inspirations right now have to be Thug and Lil Baby cause I’ve seen them come up and get to where they’re at now. Plus, they’re from the city so that’s what’s up.

You’re one of the new signees to YSL, how did that all come together?

Through my manager Jackson. After I dropped my video for “Hard Head,” it was going crazy. My manager called me one night and was like, “Thug wants to talk to you.” So I FaceTimed him and was like, “Okay, what we doin?” So I pulled up to the studio and we chopped it up. Then eventually I signed to him. I knew I wanted to sign to him cause I looked up to him growing up since I was young. The way it happened was so unexpected cause I didn’t expect for him to reach out so early. I only dropped two songs and had two or three thousand followers.

Was that at the beginning of this year or was it last year?

Yeah, it was last year.

What was the process like getting YNW Melly on “Really Be Slime?” I imagine it must have been tricky because of his situation.

Melly and Thug are locked in, they real close. So I’m pretty sure it was nothing for Thug to call him up and get him on there. The song was old though, Melly had did the hook like a year ago. There was supposed to be another person on the song, I’m not sure who else but they took them off and put YSL on it.

What’s your favorite memory so far with the YSL crew?

The night of the photoshoot we did for the Slime Language 2 cover. Just the whole vibe was good for everybody to be around. 

What’s next for you?

The first thing is my tape Big Deal [Ed. Note: It’s available now, check it out here.] Other than that, I’m gonna go from there and hit the ground running and drop another tape. Just go hard as I can and see where it takes me.


Hometown: Cincinnati via Michigan
Listen to: Versatalien, Paid The Fine,” “My City Remix,” “How

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: For anyone that’s not familiar with you, can you give us the rundown of who you are and where you’re from?

YTB Trench: I’m YTB Trench. I was born in Michigan, but I grew up in Cincinnati. I’m signed to 300 Entertainment and YSL Records. We finna go crazy.

Did you have any cool hobbies while you were growing up?

Basketball was probably the first thing I was in love with. I played point guard. I actually had a couple of scholarships, but I turned down a couple of scholarships to sign to YSL.

Who are your biggest inspirations as an artist?

Young Thug, for sure. And Gunna. Really just people in my surroundings, you can really only look up to what you see firsthand. I really don’t do social media. I’m always a hands-on kind of guy and I see a lot of hardworking hands-on approaches that I just repeat. You are what you surround yourself with, and I’m surrounded by GOATs.

What did the Slime Language 2 studio sessions look like?

The first studio session I ever had with Thug, Lil Baby was also in the studio. It was a lot of people there, I met a lot of people almost instantly.

Were you being pursued by any other labels when you signed to YSL?

I was literally like a lost outcast. I was found by management, nobody was looking at me. I had no big fan base, I was really a nobody until my management found me and thought I had potential to change the game. They were probably the first people who invested in me and believed in me.

If you weren’t doing music right now, what would you be doing?

Real estate.


Hometown: North Carolina
Listen to: The Machine, Vol. 1 & 2, “Moon Man,” “WokStar,” “Yacht Club

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: You’ve been in the game for a minute but for anybody that doesn’t know, what are you all about?

Strick: It’s your boy, Strick. Originally from North Carolina, born in Lumberton and grew up in Chapel Hill. Went to college at High Point University. I started out as a songwriter. I always wanted to be an artist, but I started out writing songs for a bunch of cool people in the industry. After having a lot of success with that, I was able to link up with my long-time friend Young Thug, who already had his record label YSL. 

Me and him were already boys, but once he saw that I was serious about it and really wanted to do it, and he recognized my talent, we were able to lock in the situation. I signed with him back in 2018. 2019 was my first year putting out music. I released four mixtapes which are all super dope, [you] gotta make sure to check those out. 2020 was a fuckin dub for everybody [laughs]. 2021, we back, now we here with Slime Language 2 out. I was on Slime Language 1. I had a song “STS” with Young Thug, still a classic. Two songs on Slime Language 2. “Moon Man” featuring Kid Cudi and Young Thug. “WokStar” featuring Skepta, shout out to the legend. Now we’re working on my new album, which is coming out soon.

Who are your biggest inspirations and favorite artists right now?

Personally, all of YSL inspires each other. That’s a big group to draw inspiration from. We have over twelve artists with us. Besides them, it has to obviously be my fam, Future, Drake, Three 6 Mafia, Kanye, Jay-Z. A lot of those dudes really inspired me and keep me going. I fuck with Future a lot too.

What did you study in college?

I have a bachelor's in English Literature, which kind of helps out with the songwriting a little bit. 

Did you play any sports or have any other hobbies growing up?

I grew up in Germany for a few years, but being from North Carolina means basketball is everything because it’s the home of Michael Jordan. I played both football and basketball at a varsity level in high school. I got more focused on music during high school, that’s really where my passion was. For me, the focus was always on music and to try and make it to where I’m at now.

What were the conceptual differences between the first Slime Language and the second one?

Both projects are incredibly organic. We weren’t as prepared for the first one as we were with the second one. It was the first time Thug had ever done a compilation project. As it was coming together, he was letting us know to pick a song to be on and he’ll get it together. With Slime Language 2, we were cohesively working on it. So we had more time to get ready for it because we knew it was coming eventually. With Slime Language 1 being a classic, we knew we had to come super, super hard on Slime Language 2. 

Do you think we’ll ever see a Slime Language 3?

I’m not sure, I can’t say. I mean, this is just the beginning for all of us so of course there could be a possibility for a Slime Language 3. We could go up to Slime Language 10 if we really wanted. 

How did your Slime Language 2 collaboration with Kid Cudi come to life?

Him and Thug already had a rapport. Me and Cudi had started being in touch with each other through my manager PJ. He set up a session to work on Man on the Moon 3. After that session, I reached back out and sent the record to Dot Da Genius. Dot Da Genius made sure that Cudi heard it, and Cudi cut it as soon as he got it. It was super dope to not only get the feedback that the record was fire, but for him to return the record with his verse on it so fast. It was the first time people heard him and Thug together, I’m glad to have the chorus on it. Linking up with them was really organic, like it was meant to be.

Since you guys were friends before you ended up signing, at what point did you get close to Young Thug?

I moved to Atlanta back in 2011. I had owned an independent branding and solutions company called Foundation 86. I was basically developing apps and websites, and selling merch in Atlanta. So I was already coming across a lot of artists and producers in Atlanta, just trying to build a name for myself. If I wasn’t pursuing music, at least I could have a label that could help up-and-coming artists get to where they need to be. Doing that, I was always meeting people in studios, going to different parties and video shoots, which is how I met Thug. It wasn’t until around 2016 when my boy TM88 became his tour DJ, and that’s when Thug and I got to lock in and become close because we were on tour every day. 

What’s next for you?

The album is my main priority. Making sure people keep tuning into “WokStar” and “Moon Man,” and just checking out the whole Slime Language 2. I’m excited for my album, I’ll probably have the title in a couple of weeks for the album. Then, I’ll probably let you guys start getting some stuff for the rollout.


Hometown: Atlanta
Listen to: “Reckless,” “Gotta Be Careful,” “Expensive”

HiDoraah (left) and Dolly White (right) -- Image provided by 300 Entertainment

Tell me about the A&R wave you’ve been on recently. You’re responsible for a few of the recent signings at YSL, right?

When I’m not doing anything, I listen to underdog artists or however you refer to them. That’s how we discovered Lil Keed. We were on tour with J. Cole and someone called me and said, “You need to listen to him.” I think on an off day when we were going to another state, I started listening to his music. Then I told my brother [Thug] that we need to check him out and see him. My brother flew him to L.A. from Atlanta, so that’s how that went.

Lately, I’ve been listening to artists and helping them connect with others. I was on IG Live and this one girl was so amazing and all I heard was [Lil] Yachty. So, I got in contact with Yachty and exchanged their information with each other.

What’s your favorite memory that you have with your brother?

Right now, my favorite memory was when he first made it. When I knew that this was it for him. 

I just wanna say thank you to my brother, without him none of this would be possible. Thank you Jeff, I love you to the moon, over the moon, and under the moon.

When was that?

The “Lifestyle” video. I had never been to Miami until that point, I had never been on a boat or a yacht. I had never seen the expensive things that I saw. Just the celebrities, and people, and different environments and stuff like that. 

You and Thug have eleven siblings. What was it like growing up in such a big family and going on to do such amazing things together professionally?

It’s a good experience. I see a lot of people’s families torn apart when they enter the industry. They come in together as a family and they just split. I don’t know what comes in between their family. But for me, we still know how to keep that love there, and respect each other, and look out for one another.

As an artist, who are your biggest inspirations?

Tupac is everything to me. Besides him, I would say Lil’ Kim, Cash Money, the Hot Boys, Boosie, Webbie, and Aaliyah, R.I.P.

How would you describe your style as an artist?

My style is just me doing me. I don’t wanna be confused for one of the other girls. No shade, I don’t have any problems with the other girls because I think the other girls are wonderful and amazing. But I don’t want people to expect something else out of me that you don’t see because I am not that girl. I’m really a jogging suit, tennis shoes, might have my hair done, don’t like a lot of make-up, kind of girl. 

That’s what I want people to accept from me. Don’t try to picture me out to be this flashy girl with her titties, breasts, and body out or things of that nature because that’s not me. 

What was it like making “Reckless” for Slime Language 2?

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback because the songs were done last year. Something had occurred the night I did that song. When my brother heard it, he was like, “Oh my god, Dolly you sound so amazing.” I was going to do a second verse, but I’m going to do a remix instead. I’m also going to be shooting the video to it, so stay tuned to that!


Hometown: Atlanta 
Listen to: “Como Te Llama,” “Oh Yeah,” “So Slime”  

Who are you as an artist and what’s going on with you right now?

I really don’t have a set type of what I am. I like to do a lot of stuff, so at this point, I’m just all of the above. Right now, I am waiting for my video for “Como Te Llama” to be shot. [Ed. Note: The video is out now, watch it here.] So we’re still in the final process of that, once we have the video I’ll be dropping another single two or three days after that. Possibly another single a week or two after that one, and we’ll have that one with a feature that’s going to be a surprise. It’s no one in YSL.

As an artist, how would you describe your style? 

I’m influenced a little bit by everybody. My style is unique and has Lauryn Hill, India.Arie, some Ashanti, some Michael, some Prince, some Toni Braxton. Little bits of everybody in it because those people are inspirations to me. My style and personality are all original to me, but I am very inspired. I’m unique and I’m special, I’m not them, but I have a little bit of them in me. I’m not scared to bring pop into the hip-hop world, and I’m not scared to bring hip hop to the pop world.

What was it like growing up in such a big family, with eleven siblings?

Sometimes it was cool, sometimes it was nerve-wracking. Everyone has their own personality and everyone is their own person. It could be rough, it could be therapeutic, to be honest. We were in the hood, so it was a lot of stuff we would see. Sometimes it could be traumatizing, but being in a house with so many brothers and sisters was comforting and it was easier to sleep at night. We didn’t feel alone or traumatized by the harsh things we would see. A lot of the really harsh things that we could have had PTSD from, we confided in each other to move forward. At the end of the day, we’re all different and all love each other. I’m the youngest, actually. The rest of my brothers and sisters are older than me, so Jeff and Unfoonk were my best friends because we were closer in age.

You’ve got a really close relationship with your sister Dolly too. What’s it like working with her?

Dolly can be very complicated at times [laughs]. That girl is crazy, but we bring the best out of each other. I enjoy working with her all of the time, although she can be very complicated and very stubborn. She’s still the big sister so she tries to little sister me sometimes, and I have to remind her that we’re grown. Our energy is unmatched and I love it to be honest with you. 

Dolly asked me to ask you when your guys’ project with Lil Duke is coming out. 

Man, that project is so old. We might as well record some new songs. To be honest with you, it’s been that long. We’re waiting for Duke to drop his solo album. We don’t want to get in the mix of him trying to get his solo album dropped. Once he drops his solo album, we’ll probably come in behind him a couple of weeks after that. [Ed. Note: Lil Duke dropped his album "Duke Hefner" a few weeks ago, check it out here.]

You were on I’m Up and Slime Language 1 with your brother, now you’re on Slime Language 2. What has it been like watching your brother evolve as an artist? 

It’s like magic. I’m learning right along with him. He’s been ahead, it took him a while for his fans to catch up. They wanted that hardcore, blond Young Thug. I evolved with him, it really taught me that people in the studio are fans. So when they say, “Do it like this,” I’ve learned to take the critique because they’re not trying to step on your toes or make you feel small. There would be times when Thug would be rapping and he would ask me, “Should I spit it like this Doraah or spit it like that?” And I was like, “What? You’re too good of an artist to be asking me!” It makes me nervous and my adrenaline runs. I’ve never described the intensity of working with me and him. My anxiety level be through the roof! I think you’re the first person I’ve ever told. He doesn’t brush me off because I’m his sister and a female artist. 

What’s going on next with you? 

For the rest of this year, I just want to drop singles. By next Spring, I want to drop my first album. I also got to get used to shooting videos, that part of the music world that I have to do eventually. So I’ll be shooting the videos to go with the singles that I’m dropping.


Hometown: Born in Miami/Raised in Atlanta
Listen to: Gotti Outta HereTake It To Trial,” “Slatty,” “GFU

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: For anybody who doesn’t know, who is Yak Gotti?

Yak Gotti: I’m Yak Gotti, born in Miami and raised in Atlanta. If you don’t know me, you've been asleep under a rock. Yak Gotti is YSL and signed to 300 Entertainment. Yak Gotti was in the streets, but he made it out the streets.

For the people that are still sleeping, how would you describe your sound?

You’ve got to understand who my label brothers and sisters are, their sound is so crazy. You gotta know how to keep switching it up and not get locked on one sound. But when you listen to that Yak, you know it comes from that struggle. You know it’s authentic and real, no fakeness because we come from there. I’m coming raw.

I’m coming on that ‘08 Wayne, that 2014-2015 Thug. They were so in their bag at that point. Everything about them from features to their other songs, people were standing up.

What was it like growing up in Miami, and later on in Atlanta?

I left Miami young, like a baby. I grew up in Atlanta, but I always go back to Miami where all my brothers at. Each one of my brothers is on my shirt right now. One of them passed not too long ago.

Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

Growing up, I gotta say it was my twin [Thug] just cause he was the first person who made it and the first to show us that this could be real. I grew up on that Boosie. Wayne of course. Pluto and Guwop. Got Pac and DMX too, that straight gangsta rap. My mama used to clean the house to DMX. Trick Daddy too.

What would you be doing if you weren’t rapping?

Probably something to do with fashion.

What’s happening for you next?

I’m working on an album. It’s really done but you know how it be when you’re in there with the GOATs and this shit keeps getting harder [laugh]. We working every day, you can’t really rush it. That’s what Thug says, you can’t really rush it.


Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Listen to: work in progress, Proud Of You,” “GFU,” “bstroy socks

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: Are you the only DC representative on YSL right now?

Yung Kayo: As of right now, but we getting bigger. YSL about to take over.

For anybody who is not yet familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

Futuristic. I be experimenting with everything I do. There ain’t no beat that I’m not gonna hop on. I hop on everybody’s beat. I’m gonna sound different across all different genres across all different beats.

Who would you say are your biggest inspirations?

Young Thug and all of the YSL members, and maybe Sade.

How did you first link up with Thug?

Two and a half years ago, he linked with me after I released my song “Messi.” He seen that and was fucking with it. First time I seen him was after a show in L.A. We chopped it up and been locked in ever since. Shit is genuine over here. I see Slime all the time. If we not on the phone, we probably in the studio or some shit.

What does a typical YSL studio session look like?

We probably one of the only labels that all get together and be bonding and be lit. We all recording with each other. We got snakes in the compound, video games in the compound. We just be lit. We be doing everything together. We be going out to eat, playing basketball, and we don’t play about our bowling shit. We be making mad bets, shit’s crazy.

What’s happening next for you?

Album is coming soon, tape’s on the way. I’m having this shit by the end of 2021, videos, all of that shit. You dig? Slatt.


Hometown: Born in North Carolina/Raised in Atlanta
Listen to: “I Like,” “Trance,” “U Ain’t Slime Enough," "Pockets"

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: You’re a huge piece of the YSL puzzle. Who is Karlae and what are you all about?

Karlae: Karlae is a multidimensional woman. Somewhat new to music, but not really new to music. I’m an entrepreneur as well. I sort of feel like I’m a renaissance woman, I’m a woman of many talents.

Could you describe your sound as an artist?

I don’t even know what to compare it to! I would say it’s rap with a dash of urban pop. I feel like there’s a lot of layers to my sound. I can do hardcore rap, R&B, more melodic stuff. I would say my sound is versatile.

Who’s your biggest inspiration?

Chris Brown is one of my favorite artists. Of course, Thug is one of my favorite artists. Nicki as well. Too many to name! I really go for sound, what inspires me the most are the people who have made it through tough times and never gave up on their craft. 

Obviously, you and Thug go way back, how did you first get involved with him?

I met him a long time ago. We were friends for a really long time and then we started dating. We got engaged and I was on the road with him for a long time. I picked up a lot of my musical sense from him. We’ve been together for 7 years and I’ve known him for 7 years. We linked up in Miami and have been attached at the hip ever since.

Besides Young Thug, who would you say you’re closest to on the roster?

Me and Keed are close. I would say me and Duke, Dolly, and Doraah. We all have this pact where if we need each other, just holla. Me and Keed call each other best friends. We are always on the phone talking about whatever. He really inspires me not to give up, so I’ll say me and him are the closest.

After all of these years, what would you say is your favorite memory with the crew?

It’s definitely touring. We went to Miami like 6 years ago and we got on jet skis and literally got thrown off. I was talking to Duke and we were saying we need another fun trip like that. We had so much fun, we made every day work. It was crazy.

What’s next for you?

My EP is dropping any day now. It’s my first body of work for my supporters and fans. From there, it’s up because it’s all bangers. I got some dope features. Me and Yung Miami worked on something, I’ll drop that hint [laughs]. I’ve been in the studio working hard. It’s definitely coming soon.


Hometown: Atlanta
Listen to: Trapped On Cleveland 3, Snake,” “Warrior,” “Wavy (Remix),” “Came Out” 

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: For anyone who’s been sleeping, who are you and where are you from?

Lil Keed: Lil Keed is an amazing rapper from Zone 3, Southside of Atlanta. I always knew how to rap, so I took that and made it big league.

Who are your biggest inspirations as an artist?

Slime and Gunna. Before the pandemic, I had never seen Gunna miss a show. You see him, every day he’s on a jet to a different show. Slime is very family-oriented, just like me. I’ll say Lil Baby too.

How did you first get involved with Young Thug and YSL?

I was always YSL just from being from the same hood. One day, Thug came to the apartments that we used to hang around. I was about to go to work when my brother called and told me to pull up because Thug was here. It was actually his mom who told him to sign me.

What is your favorite memory with YSL?

When we be in the studio and everybody is dancing and shit when we play “GFU.” Yak gets to trippin’ and be dancing and everybody starts dancing. He don’t give a fuck, he’ll turn everybody up. He’s the best dancer in YSL, on God. 

What’s next for you in your career? You’ve got Keed Talk To Em 2 coming, right?

Not too much singing or melodies on there. I put my mindset back into my old music, on the same grind. Fuck being comfortable, because I didn’t really go nowhere yet. I thought back to what really made certain songs. I’ll have a few songs for the girls, because that’s what I’m good at. I’m keeping it hood for my core audience, the ones that been with me since the first one.

When can we expect it?

Most definitely before the end of the year, most definitely during summertime.


Hometown: Atlanta
Listen to: Duke Hefner, Blue Devil 2, “Slatty,” “Pots N Pans

Image provided by 300 Entertainment

HNHH: Where are you from? What was it like growing up there?

Lil Duke: I’m from Atlanta, from Jonesboro Road. I grew up there but spent a lot of time all around Atlanta. 

Can you describe your sound for anybody that isn't familiar with your music?

I would describe it as pain and motivation music. You can hear everything in the music; I make music for people that are going through things in life, trying to better themselves.

Who are your biggest inspirations as an artist?

I get inspiration from a lot of artists. I like to spend time in the studio listening to other people’s music, having them send me their favorite tracks, reaching out to people and tapping into their worlds to help inspire my own music, especially during the process for Slime Language 2.

How did you first get involved with Young Thug and YSL?

We go back way before music. We’re from the same side of town. Where he was from was only about four minutes away, so we spent a lot of time in the same spots around Atlanta. 

What's your relationship with Young Thug?

He’s like a brother to me - he’s not like a CEO, I see him as a brother figure. He has always given me the freedom to do my own thing. I was one of the first artists signed to YSL, so in the beginning, the main goal was to sign a lot of artists and have a group of loyal people around us. We always knew it would come together one day. Since I was the first signed, I had to make sure that we found great artists, brought them in, and made them get better and Thug always told me to trust my instincts.


Hometown: Atlanta
Listen to: My Struggle, Real,” “Mob Ties,” “Trial”

Image provided by 300 Entertainment 

HNHH: Tell me the story of how you got signed to YSL Records.

Unfoonk: I got signed to YSL after I dropped “Mob Ties.” When “Mob Ties” hit 2 million views, I received a little surprise party and label contract and they told me to go big, so that’s what I’m doing.

Can you describe your sound as an artist?

It’s perfect. I got a sound that I sound like myself. I’m trying to create my own lane.

You collaborated with your brother Young Thug on “Real.” How many songs do you think you have in the stash with him?

I got like six. We always wanna do something, and we’ll just do something. Same thing with Gunna. It’s like, “Okay cool,” and then we go.

Who are you closest to on YSL?

We all equal, I'm close to everybody. We all trying to uplift each other every day. That's our goal: to get the other person to the spot they need to be at. So I’m close to everybody because everybody give me knowledge, give me game, give me the speech that I need to hear every day. 

About The Author
<b>Managing Editor</b> <!--BR--> Alex Zidel began working at HotNewHipHop as a Staff Writer in February 2018 before becoming the Managing Editor in June 2019. <strong>Favorite Hip Hop Artists:</strong> Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Young Thug, Frank Ocean.