This text beforehand appeared on Audiomack World.
When 18-year-old rapper Yung Kayo beams into our Zoom name, he’s simply gotten again to his home in Washington, DC from Los Angeles, the place he held the discharge social gathering for his debut album DFTK. “I keep out in LA most likely six, seven months out of the yr. I mainly reside on the market,” he tells me. Nonetheless, the sound and historical past of DC permeate Kayo’s music. He recollects a little bit of a christening expertise from when he was six years previous at a live performance held by hometown rap hero Fats Trel: “I went to a Fats Trel present after I was a child, and he motherfuckin’ handed me a joint that he was smoking. I’ll always remember that second. And he ain’t even know me again then—I used to be simply within the crowd.”
In center college, Kayo was a member of native rap group 40 Boyz; it was then that he met his resident producer Warpstr, who’s caught with him since and is credited with almost each beat on DFTK. As early as their breakout 2019 single “Glitch,” you may see Kayo and Warpstr begin to bend the pliable, laser-precise punch-ins of DMV rap towards the studio wizardry that marks their present sound.
Though his manufacturing selections are typically grouped with the sawtooth-driven “rage” beats presently trending within the underground, Kayo’s songs on DFTK really feel extra messy, authentic, and kaleidoscopic, smashing collectively chunks of no matter’s in his attain. On “hear you,” his DC triplet-raps morph right into a Future-ish robotic growl. Then, he drowns right into a membership’s price of synths and palms the observe off to art-pop musician Eartheater, who fills the area along with her ethereal wails. It’s like Kayo is the social gathering planner for a rave that spans the world.
Kayo’s entire profession has seen him join totally different spheres: he’s a child from DC who someway made it into Younger Thug’s tight-knit YSL crew in Atlanta, a globe-trotting mannequin who solely simply turned sufficiently old to legally stroll on many European runways, and, together with artists like Yeat, SoFaygo, and Ken Automotive$on, one node of a wave of buzzing web rappers presently tugging on the fringe of the mainstream.
He takes all this motion and chaos in stride. Kayo’s been rapping since 12 and was excited by trend even earlier. “I at all times had that drip on, since elementary college,” he deadpans. Loads of rappers accepted by the web hype machine can appear contrived, cobbled collectively from rigorously chosen bits of branding. However Kayo was born for it.
A producer you’re employed quite a bit with is Warpstr, who’s somebody individuals may not normally consider after they consider rap producers.
Yeah, however Warpstr could make any sort of beat. I sit and make beats with Warpstr. Me and him be going loopy. I’m on the studio, he received his Moog out, he received his pc out, I’m clicking keys, engaged on my hi-hats with him, taking part in with the 808s with him, all that. Actual hands-on.
What’s your recording course of like? Speak me by a typical day within the studio.
I simply go in, inform him to play a beat, mild up a J actual quick, and report possibly like 5 songs in an evening, and keep up. I prefer to report at evening. I’m going within the studio round 10 p.m., keep ‘til possibly six within the morning, report like 5 songs, knock ‘em out, be having nice vibes, you are feeling me? Then I’ll lock in with different artists, too.
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Individuals like Yeat, or particularly the Slime Pit. It simply be Gunna, Slime, Keed, all of us. Duke, Unfoonk, the household.
With Slime, it’s simply simple to attach with artists, ‘trigger he’s Younger Thug. Different artists at all times come within the studio with us, so it’s simple to attach with ‘em simply working into them and stuff.
What classes have you ever discovered from that atmosphere?
Simply keep targeted and at all times be recording. You may by no means go flawed if you happen to’re working towards your craft. Your artwork. So simply keep locked in and preserve working, preserve grinding. ‘Trigger it’s by no means sufficient. Maintain grinding.
You’re additionally tremendous into trend, and also you’re a mannequin. Speak to me about how you bought into that as a child.
That shit got here simply from having the drip on me: sporting good garments, puttin’ it on proper, the way it matches on my physique… Simply sporting good designers and shit. After which by [designer and founder 1017 Alyx 9SM] Matthew [Williams], my buddy [designer] John Ross, and going out to Paris and strolling for Alyx, it opened up much more doorways. It actually simply got here from placing on drip, and types seeing me like, “Oh, this can be a rapper, he’s fly as fuck, and he’s only a child.”
So once you’re out in these trend areas, are you youthful than a whole lot of the individuals there?
All the time. I’m at all times the youngest, to this present day. I simply turned 18, however after I was in Paris, I wasn’t even alleged to be strolling. It’s simply powerful that I used to be even in it strolling at Alyx, ‘trigger it’s unlawful to do this. No person in historical past has ever carried out that. It’s unlawful to be strolling underage abroad in Paris.
Has doing all this so younger uncovered you to totally different concepts, totally different varieties of individuals?
Like how different international locations transfer, and the tempos of different international locations and stuff?
I’m simply considering—being that younger, shifting round within the trend business…
Oh, yeah. It was enjoyable! I don’t even actually be eager about it that deep, although. I like placing on drip, making artwork, and making music. That’s what comes naturally to me. The strolling and stuff is only a enjoyable expertise. I don’t even give it some thought, for actual. It’s simply enjoyable.
By H.D. Angel for Audiomack.