Years ago I was hanging out with friends drinking, talking having a good time; when my attention over and over was drawn to the music playing. I asked someone who album was playing and I was told it was Da YoungFellaz Jay Strom and Sho-Biz. This has happened before it is how I became aware that Illmatic was a historical album, that Mac Miller has talent even the fact that I can enjoy Dub-Step. The reason I mention this because I know have gotten the privilege to chat and interview with them. I can now say what I always suspected listen to their music they are humble talented and love to make great music for the love of making great music.
I hope that everyone that is reading this and has not had the opportunity listen to Da YoungFellaz takes the time to listen to the Underclassmen. If you are already familiar with Jay Strom and Sho-Biz, then enjoy reading this interview. This will not be the last time we hear from Da YoungFellaz they are just getting warmed up.
So with the NBA playoffs in reach and before I ask a bunch of Question relating to the group and your music, who do you think will win the NBA Championship this year? Also being from NYC how do you guys feel about Jeremy Lin?
Jay Storm: I think what Jeremy Lin is doing is good for the city, his whole phenomenon, being the under dog, it works well with what’s happening right now, New York being the under dog state. As far as NBA Championship, I’m a KG fan, so Boston Celtics is who I’m going for, if not Boston, OKC looking real good this year, and Miami as well.
Sho-Biz: Well first and foremost I’m from NY so I’ve always been a HUGE fan of the Knicks, but at the same time I’m a realist and this year I don’t feel we have the right lineup to win a ring. So I’m riding with the OKC Thunder for a ring, as far as Jeremy Lin I think he’s dope he’s an IQ player more mental than physical, which means he’ll last a long time in the league.
When did you guys first meet, was there an instant musical connection or did it take some time?
Jay Storm: I can remember us first meeting outside on the basketball court in High School, that’s where we usually would all hang out, on the benches, but shortly after that we met through mutual friends in school at the cafeteria lunch table, he’d spit a verse, then I’d spit verse, that routine probably happened for the entire time we were in high school together. And there was definitely an instant musical connection, it went from writing verses to spit to one another, to writing songs together, all in a matter of months. I want to say since 14 it’s been almost everyday creating music together non-stop.
I have been playing The Underclassmen it has a sound that brings out spring and summer feel. Did that happen on accident or was it part of the plan?
Jay Storm: We really wanted to capture a sound that represented the essence of Hip-Hop, and I don’t want to say we want to bring hip-hop back to that, because we’re excited about the direction that Hip-Hop is going, but when we were in the process of figuring what is something that would stand out, and work well with our styles and personalities, we realized that simplicity is important and quality means every thing. As far as the season goes, I mean I think each song can represent each season well. [Laughs]
Last month was the 15 year anniversary of the passing of the Notorious B.I.G. if you had to choose between Ready to Die and Life after Death which would you say is better and why?
Jay Storm: I think the “real” rapper in me would say Ready to Die because it talks about the struggle, the grind, it shows Biggie still trying to get to a point where people understand his story. But honestly I was fascinated with the person Biggie became on Life after Death, he matured into a clean, polished rapper it was showing his level of success, he even explains that on Sky’s the Limit. So he got better as a rapper as his fan base grew, he died at the top of his game, so I would go with Life after Death.
Sho-Biz: Wow that’s always a tough choice for any B.I.G Fan, But I’m ride with “Life After Death” because its more relatable to what I know, don’t get me wrong I love “Ready to Die” But “Life After Death” is put together so well sonically “Ready To Die” was JUST super Raw.
When making the Underclassmen did the Youngfellaz use one producer or different producers for the album? Also if is there any producers that brings out the best in you?
Jay Storm: We used two producers for the Underclassmen, Ralph Myerz and Bravestarr, they’re two producers from two different walks of life, but they were able to create a sound that complimented each other at the same time, and they did that in separate studios. Ralph Myerz really was the man behind the sound for the Underclassmen, when we sat down in New York for the first time he basically explained to us there was a sound he was experimenting with that he wanted us to create some big records to. It took us a minute to really “get” what he was trying to do, but when we finally did we sent the music over to Bravestarr who fell in love with the sound immediately and started creating records like 5AM, Self Made Soldiers, and Where Do We Go.
Sho-Biz: We decided to use the producers that we created this sound with Ralph Myerz and Bravestarr (New Rich Ent), Mainly because the chemistry is undeniable between us, they know how to bring the perfect colors, and so we can paint the perfect picture.
Represent is the single out right now with KQuick is there a remix in the works for the future? (If yes) Is anyone you would like to invite on the remix? (If no) what is the next thing we can expect from Da Youngfellaz?
Jay Storm: Remix sounds like a good idea [Laughs], but we just released a single called Cruisin’ and we do have a remix to that song with a very special guest. And the next thing to expect from Da Youngfellaz is just more quality music, can’t stress that enough.
On the Underclassmen you worked with Phil the Agony and Talib Kweli on the Real Deal how was it working with them. Can we expect to see more collaboration with you and either these artist?
Jay Storm: We didn’t really get to feel the vibe in the studio because the feature worked out through e-mails, but he did respect the verses and hook so salute to Talib Kweli and Phil the Agony for showing love. We definitely want to do more work with both artists.
Sho-Biz: I remember the day we got the email from Ralph with the Talib and Phil verses on our joint it was crazy, I’ve always been a fan of Talib, Phil S.A.S and the whole Blacksmith Movement. We would definitely love to work with them again on future joints.
The Underclassmen has KQuick, Devo-D and L. Michele giving vocals to some of the tracks on the album will we see Da Youngfellaz on any of their upcoming projects?
Jay Storm & Sho-Biz: Our hard drives are full of records with all three of these artist, there’s definitely YF collaborations happening in the near future.
Are there any tour plans in the works, to help promote the Underclassmen or other new material?
Jay Storm & Sho-Biz: Yeah, we’re actually currently going details and setting up. We’ll release information as soon as we have dates.
Throughout the 90s there were many Hip Hop artist out of Brooklyn and the Bronx that were a influence but never got the wide recognition such as Masta Ace, Lord Finesse, O.C. Jeru the Damaja do either of you have any influence like that.
Jay Storm: I don’t think we do, I feel we work hard to be both an influence and also receive worldwide recognition for it, I think the process is longer when your doing the way we are– which is building a foundation, going against the grain and staying true to who we are and what we believe in.
Sho-Biz: I’m young so I know who those artist are, heard a couple songs from each but I’m more the Jay-Z Biggie Pun Era. Those are my New York Influences.
Da Youngfellaz are always coming out with good, all around music for Hip-Hop world is it as easy as it looks; or are you guys always working hard and just good at knowing what is not working at the time?
Jay Storm: It’s all about good vibes, and always being honest with our selves, I think that’s why we’re able to deliver the amount of good music we’ve been putting out, we really write about what we may be feeling at the moment, or about something that happened last week, or even last year, our story is authentic, it’s real and that’s why I feel it becomes so relatable to our listeners. I believe if a sound is so good that you feel it, then that’s something that’s ever lasting.
Sho-Biz: I mean we LOVE music we love creating we have dope ears for music as well so we just go with what feels good to us, we are dedicated to our craft and getting better each project.
I know you recently opened for Snoop overseas, now have a little international experience under your belt. How do you feel they received you and your music?
Jay Storm: They embraced us with open arms, there was so much love shown when we went out there, Snoop showed love, Chace Infinite from Self Scientific showed us love as well. It was real, the fans in Norway are amazing, I really appreciate Europe and everything it’s been doing for us thus far.
Sho-Biz: The whole overseas thing was amazing they showed love and appreciated the music like crazy, we opened for Snoop and they welcomed us like we were from there. We also did the Nordic ski Championship which is like the Super Bowl in Europe. We performed in front of 60,000 people and 120 million On TV. Overall it was great experience.
Also have you thought of working with any of the MC’s from overseas?
Jay Storm: OnklP is a dope MC coming out of Norway that we should be working with soon, we’ve been collaborating with a few underground artist and producers from Europe throughout the years– so yeah, we’ll should be doing more work with MC’s from overseas in the future.
Sho-Biz: I’m not familiar with a lot of overseas artist but I’m definitely willing to work with some. Dope music is dope music anywhere your at on the Globe so If your dope and you love your craft we can definitely work.
Finally what can be expected from Da Youngfellaz over the next year?
Jay Storm & Sho-Biz: More visuals for the Underclassmen EP, a few bonus remixes and features, this project is going to be followed up with our new mixtape so make sure you guys look out for singles off that project as well, we’re working on our debut album also, just staying on our toes, we’re going to just keep pushing these projects and delivering quality music, hit after hit, summer after summer, for 10 years straight, learned that from Hov’. Check out www.Newricheffect.net & Twitter @Dayoungfellaz For EVERYTHING YF!!!!