Emcee/producer Yinka Diz recently released the “Hear Me, Tho” video which isÂ the first release in his #ATLBound campaign, as he preps for this yearâ€™s A3C Music Festival in Atlanta.Â Born in Chicago to a mother from the infamous Cabrini Green projects and a Nigerian immigrant father, Yinka spent the early years of his childhood living in and around the city before moving to the Inland Empire, just outside of Los Angeles.
A constant world traveler and student of culture, Yinka effectively canvasses his experiences in what he refers to as a â€˜street-cosmopolitanâ€™ sound. His music propels the listener into his cosmopolitan frame of mind, full of explosive wordplay and nuanced messages. Yinkaâ€™s 2011 mixtapeÂ New Art, New MoneyÂ featured Glasses Malone, Marky,Â Nike Nando, Annimeans, and producer/rapper Dae One and singer Kree as well as production from !llmind. He also released the mixtapeÂ The Radiant ChildÂ in 2013. Yinka currently resides in Washington, D.C.
We had an opportunity to ask Yinka Diz a few questions and this is what he said.
SFHH: What have you been up to since the release ofÂ The Radiant Child?
YD: Just living. Travelling â€“ I just recently got back from Medellin, Colombia. Ibiza and Barcelona, Spain. Milan. Working. Trying to shape the direction of the new project. Working on a few videos for this project with the homie Concrete.
SFHH: How does life compare between LA, DC and Chicago?
YD: Itâ€™s very different, and also the same. I think â€œJus Lyke Comptonâ€ by DJ Quik is a good representation of how it is. Every major city has a hood, a business district, a transportation system. LA is very spread out. We use cars to get everywhere. The night life is different for people who are from there. Itâ€™s not a very club oriented city. The party scene is more oriented around house parties. DC is a public transportation city. Most things are metro accessible. A lot of people live in MD or VA and commute into the city. Itâ€™s a melting pot where you have a lot of transplants (people that arenâ€™t from the city). The nightlife is more club/bar oriented. LAâ€™s industry is Hollywood. Everybody wants to be an artist, model, etc. DCâ€™s industry is politics. Everybody â€œworks on the Hillâ€. Chicago is a little bit of both of those things. Downtown is very business oriented, with gentrification and lots of transplants. As a result of that, a lot of the true Chicagoans have been pushed out to towards the suburbs. Namely the South-side and West-side which is what you hear about on the news.
SFHH: Describe the â€œstreet-cosmopolitanâ€ sound.
YD: Iâ€™ve lived in a lot of different places, both in the US and outside of the US and I think that has influenced my perspective a lot. Each of those experiences that I carry translate into my music, from the way I talk and my slang to my subject matter and the types of production Iâ€™m into. The dictionary definition of cosmopolitan is â€œfree from local, provincial, or national ideas, prejudices, or attachments; at home all over the world.â€ So in this case, itâ€™s hiphop, which is characteristically street music, but it contains perspectives from everywhere Iâ€™ve been and everything Iâ€™ve seen.
SFHH: What do you think Hip Hop will sound like in ten years? And why?
YD: I think as the world gets smaller due to technological advances, music will become more and more homogenized. As we see with mainstream hiphop and electronic music presently being heavily influenced by each other, resulting in what we call â€œTrapâ€. As far as subject matter, there really isnâ€™t much new under the sun except maybe the way itâ€™s packaged so I donâ€™t expect the content to change much. I think the technology will change the way music is mixed so the music will eventually have more depth to it because the loudness war is hitting a ceiling.
SFHH: Which do you prefer, weed or alcohol? And why?
YD: I prefer dark liquor. I donâ€™t smoke.
If you want to hear more from Yinka Diz, reach out to him on TwitterÂ @yinkadiz.