The idea of what it means to be an independent artist in Hip Hop has changed drastically within the past ten to fifteen years. With the exceptions of rap pioneers such as Pastor Troy and Master P, being an independent rapper used to only be seen as a means of gaining the attention of a major record label. A sort of musical purgatory in which your creative and financial successes were limited.
Modern Indie artists have completely unraveled these ideologies by birthing some of the greatest talents in popular culture. With record labels cutting funding and the rise of social media, many artists have now developed the means of both branding and marketing themselves. As a result, these generation of artists are re-defining rap by putting the “hustle” back into Hip Hop. Not only are they making good music, but people are noticing. With the click of a mouse, I can go download an entire mixtape. This sort of accessibility is critical in creating a strong buzz. While many of these things can be said for other genres of music, Hip Hop differs from its musical counterparts in that at its core, Hip Hop is passion. Hip Hop is triumphant. Like water, the freshest source can be found “underground.” Un-tampered with and not prepackaged for mainstream consumption, independent rap artists are capable of making much of a contribution to the culture as much as any big name rapper. The future of Hip Hop can be described in three simple words: Young. Business. Mind.
I was ecstatic to hear that I would be interviewing YBM music group due to my admiration for the young and overtly ambitious. Aside from making incredible and infectious music, this rap duo has a story to tell. A story that combines both passion and triumph-one that I am sure will be heard by the world someday.
Making one half of the pair is Efficial. After serving our country for over eight years as a service technician, the Albany native decided to pursue his passion of music. Since then, he has preserved through the passing of his wife, as well as the birth of two beloved children. Reecialago, who was born in Germany, moved to Oakland California as a teenager. The Al Paso, Texas based group was formed after a studio session in where both rappers just clicked with one another. Since then, they have gone on to create smash hits such as their latest YouTube success “I Do,” as well as touring.
Upon conducting the interview, I had no idea what to expect from two rappers with seemingly everything going for themselves. I opened the interview by breaking the ice with a corny joke about the weather and immediately braced myself for a wide range of responses.
What struck me right away was how down to earth the two gentlemen were.
“What does YBM stand for?” I asked.
They both let out a chuckle before replying with, “Young Business Mind.”
For the next 40 minutes we discussed what seemed to be everything. From their upbringing to their taste in music.
We also discussed exactly what would they do if music was never an option for them. Reecialago shared that he wouldn’t mind being a barber, while Efficial has his former career in the military to fall back on.
Meaghan: “Given that you both have such a diverse from all over the United States, what other artists inspire you musically?”
Efficial: “Growing up, I would always listen to my step dad’s music. We listened a lot of people-like T.I and Nas.”
Reecialago: “I remember going to visit my dad and listening to Boosie. It was such a different sound than what everybody was doing in California. I loved it. “
Both rappers agreed that these influences have a huge impact on their sound. Their infectious hooks and southern style beats give YBM a distinct sound that is hard to ignore.
Meaghan: “Musically what have you guys been up to and what new projects can we expect from you in the near future?”
Reecialago: “We actually just performed in Albuquerque New Mexico. And we have a self-titled mixtape set to be released August 22nd of this year.”
Meaghan: “What does YBM contribute to the Rap Game?”
Reecialago: “Substance! “
Another observation I made throughout the duration of the interview was how focused these two were. They knew exactly what direction they wanted their music headed in as well as what would get them there.
“We can separate fiction from reality,” said Reecialago.
“We know ourselves, “added Efficial
The many key points that I gathered during my interview with YBM revolved around “being real,” or authentic to one’s self. These two have managed to use their diverse backgrounds as a catalyst in their success.
Efficial proved this as he opened up about the suicide of his wife just a year ago.
“I’m a father so I have to carry on. It’s not about me anymore.”
Meaghan: “Where do you guys see yourselves 1 year from now?”
Reecialago: “We have a good team so I have no doubt that next year the world will know YBM is.”
Despite hardships and adversity, these two gentlemen continue to maintain a focus that is hard to find in many artists in their position.
Not to mention, their music is unbelievably good.
Be sure to keep an eye out for YBM music group.