When you sit down to write your music, how you go about telling your story?
It really depends on what I’m trying to do with the song. Like for instance, on “May Day” I didn’t really want to try too hard to be like…clever or witty or anything because I wanted the song to feel more natural. When I’m arguing with my girl, I’m not sitting and thinking up a thousand “hot” metaphors. I’m just saying how I feel, ya know? But then again, on some songs I like to go that extra mile to be original and what not. It is what it is I guess. All I really know is that I never try to make the same song twice, so my creative process has to be a little different with each one.
Why do you call yourself Young Rilla?
Well, basically I like to think that I keep it Rilla-than-most. But yeah, that’s what my niggas in the hood call me ya dig? And I’m the youngest of 4 so…yeah.. ‘Tis watta ’tis.. Real Recognize Real Records baby!
What type of music would you say that you make?
I just try to be diverse bro. I know I have a vocab and some insight into a lot of stuff, so I just try to present it in an artistic way that the averagenigga in Nikes and Roc jeans can appreciate. I’m not really one for all the glitz and glamour. I’m not “swag splashing” on hoes or nothing. I’m just a dude from the hood with a knack for wordplay and an outlook on life that’s easy to understand if you’ve ever lived in a place with more murders than job opportunities. So in a sense, I guess I’m a grassroots sorta guy. I am what hip-hop came from and I sound like where it’s headed.Coolbeans.
How long have you been making records?
Records? About 4 years. I “met” Billboard B at 16 and he’s been my executive producer, CEO, and manager ever since. Really, the man has known me since birth. We go waaaaaaaaay back. But he didn’t know I was a rapper and I didn’t know he was into putting out acts until that time. But fuck that, I’ve been a writer since I was like 12. I used to write raps instead of doing class work.
Who were your biggest influences and music and who’s your favorite artists out right now?
I love this question lol. Man My biggest influences change weekly, but some that always float at the top are Jay-Z, Eminem, Nas, Tupac, and Tip. For a nigga like me, that’s like the “Dream Team” right there. I’ve picked up little nuances and tricks of the trade as far as pure FLOW goes. I can thank Jay and Em for a lot of that. I feel like I can twist syllables with the best of them because I study the best of them. Those dudes go ham on every track. Me and the other Mr. Jones share a lot of the same rebel thoughts, ya feel me? He’s real deep and he pushes the envelope all the time. I like that.Pac and Tip pour a certain passion into their music that you can’t help but to feel, and Tip put me onto punch-ins in the booth, lol. I love those guys’ music man.
I know a lot of fans been waiting on you to drop the mixtape, what have you been up to lately?
Uhh, around lol. Man I’ve been doing so much shit bruh. We’ve been throwing Triple R release parties for the various Steel City Music DVD/CD joints. We’re up to Vol 5. now. It’s been real jazzy. I even got some production on there from some of my NT brethren (Shouts to T.I.M.E.). Gorilla Island Vol 1. has done serious numbers and Vol 2. just dropped like yesterday. So it’s safe to say I done jumped off the porch, I just ain’t made it down the block yet. It’s been a matter of my putting the label first and foremost and establishing that brand, ya feel me? But that fix is on the way this summer. Blee’dat. Young Rilla’s yet-unnamed-first-solo-mixtape…… SOON!
What’s your inspiration behind your calling to make music?
The money. Sike. F the money. I make music because there’s always been a song in my head as long as I can remember. That’s it. It’s not that complicated. It hasn’t always been my song though. Back in the day it was Hammer. As I grew up it was Biggie and Pac . Now it’s me. Ya feel me? When I’m depressed, there’s a song in my head (probably Em’s). Music has always been a sort of therapy to me. It’s always been cool to know some obscure punchline buried in track whatever on that one album. Me and my guys still test each other with random ass bet you can’t finish this line moments. hip-hop is just… me.
What was the biggest situation in your life that influenced your music the most?
There you go startin shit lol… Well, my moms passed away 2 years ago when I was 18 and that’s still really tough on me. Hence the song/screenname Dear Winter (Dearwinter219). She was truly my biggest fan, mainly because she actually knows ME and not just the me I let people see. So yeah, that’s been heavy on me. I handle it like a G though. I mean it is what it is. That’s life. Now I just gotta make her proud, even though she was proud of me a long time ago.
If you could choose one artist to collab with on a track, who would it be and why?
Just one? Damn. Well then Outkast is just gonna have to count as one person then. I’m breaking the rules. These cats are BY FAR two of my favorite rappers ever. I mean, just sonically from album to album — these dudes NEVER cease to amaze me. Their ear for beats is so unique and BigBoi is probably the most swag tight nigga in the industry over the past 15 years or so. That’s real. Dre is Dre. What more can you say? What more do you have to say? I’ll tell you what, put me on Skew it on the Bar B Remix and bet I don’t murk off. I dare you…
What’s the best word to describe your music and why?
Real. I bet you didn’t see that coming did you? I mean, I just keep it real man. I’m a real musician. I play the sax. I’m a real nigga . I’m really from the hood and my lyrics are real life. I don’t bullshit and shuck and jive for attention. I’m not making a dance song. My dude, I don’t even know how to dance! I just like real hip-hop about real feelings and real trials and tribulations. I’m not out here saying I sold 10 bricks on my day off or in between classes in high school (read: fronting like 90 % of the industry). I was too busy skipping class to read the dictionary for all that jazz, to be real with you. I’m a rapper, and I’m damn good. Excuse my confidence. Let’s be real, if you want a trapper-that-raps, I ain’t that. If you want hip-POP music, I ain’t that neither. I’m just that guy down the block that’s seen and done a lot of stuff a few times and figured it would be smarter to just rap.
What do you plan to accomplish in music and what are your plans for this year??
Man I’m trying to do the same thing we do every night Pinky. The mixtape will probably be dropping later June or early July. Right now, there’s Gorilla Island Vol 2. in the streets. I’m heavy on that track list. You can expect another Steel City Music compilation in the fall. We’re hitting in all quarters my man. Outside of music though, a nigga need to get himself back in school and on that nursing path once more. Yeah man, Young Rilla is trying to be a male nurse. Save the Greg Focker comparisons. I’m far from a gay lord.. It’s been one man…’Preciate the interview fammo. I’m ghost… — Rilla
Myspace/Booking info – http://www.myspace.com/foundation_Rilla