15 March 2012
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Let's begin with where it all started - tell us about your birth place and roots.
[ Young Haitti ] : I was born in 1977 in San Francisco, Ca. My mother's background is Haitian and my father's is African American.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : As far as I know you've been living in West Africa for a minute - please elaborate on that period of your life.
[ Young Haitti ] : Two years after my birth my family moved to west Africa where my mother taught English at a high school and my father taught photography at a university and did lightning studies in the bush. Basically he photographed lightning storms and always had the family with him. We spent 7 years there and vacationed in Europe during the summers, after that we moved to Haiti for about 6 years and that's where I first got my music bug. I didn't start out to be a rapper at first. I wanted to be a rock/pop star like Michael Jackson and Billy Idol, 'cause that was the music I was hearing the most during my time overseas. We came back to the States in the late 80s and moved straight to SF, Ca where my father's family is from. We moved around the Bay Area and Sac for a year or two. We finally settled in Vallejo, Ca.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : When did you first touch the mic? Was there anyone particular who'd introduced you to the rap game?
[ Young Haitti ] : I first got into rap after hearing Eazy-E and NWA and I was about fifteen years old when I entered my first Talent Show. Of course I lost, but it sparked something in me that made me hungry for the music industry and after that I was entering and performing at every event I could in the Vallejo and surrounding areas. Around that time I met James Early - he was a producer for MC Hammer and EnVouge and he put me in the studio where we began working on my first album. It was great though; he was really busy and for me at the time it was taking way too long to get a deal so I moved on, recording with my friends and cousins.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : You debuted as Beteen Idol in 1997 with a solo endeavor titled "Whatz A Thug?". Tell us something more about this release.
[ Young Haitti ] : During that time I put together my album "Whatz A Thug?". My real name is Batin and I thought so people would say it right I should spell it "Bateen". I've added the "Idol" because I was a Billy Idol fan. With that said and done I found an investor to help me print up 1000 units and I hit the streets selling cds out my back traveling on Greyhound from city to city, state to state pushing my music and working with different artists.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Speaking of "Whatz A Thug" I noticed it is available only on some Japanese e-spots - why's that?
[ Young Haitti ] : Somewhere along the way I sold a copy of "Whatz A Thug?" to a Japanese fan who later contacted me about re-releasing the album in Japan. I was already working on something new and agreed for a cool amount of money and that's how that album made it over to Japan.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us about The Circkle group, its music style and members.
[ Young Haitti ] : When I came back from my cd selling / personal tour my mother introduced me to an artist name Kash, who was getting ready to go to Las Vegas with his younger cousin Karon Da Don to a music convention. He invited me and a day later we were on the Amtrak to Vegas. In Vegas, at the convention, I've entered and won a contest that allowed to attend an industry party at a major club on the Vegas strip where the DJ brought me on stage and congratulated me on the win. That's where I met DoeBoy of My World Entertainment and his crew from Louisiana and Texas. He gave me his contact info and told me to call him. The next day we missed our bus home which gave us eight hours to kill, so I called DoeBoy. He sent a cab for us to come to the hotel suite where they checked out our music and offered us a deal and a chance to come to Louisiana. Three days after getting home to Vallejo me, Kash and Karon where flying to New Orleans. On the flight down we came up with the group name The Cirkle and I shortened my name from Bateen Idol to B.I. We began recording out group album in studio all over the South. Our brand of music was West Coast game over Down South slaps. We also got on a 45 Southern College tour where we opened up for artists such as The Hot Boyz, DMX, Destiny's Child, Mase, Diddy, 112 and many many more major artists. The Cirkle album's "360 Degree Of Uncut Game" was released on My World Ent. and distributed through SouthWest distribution. It was a great mix of a southern label with West Coast artists. Our first week sells were awesome. We couldn't lose or so we thought. In a year and a half the Feds broke a label apart, so we came back to Cali, while our CEOs went to the Feds.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How did you end up recording "Kryphy Music" in Atlanta?
[ Young Haitti ] : When I got home I had my money right, so I got married and chilled a little. I was still working on music here and there, when my wife said "Let's move to ATL" after my son was born. I was like "cool"; my cousin was down there rockin' and it seemed like a good move. The music scene down there was poppin' and I fit right in. I had my own all female street team, my wife and 7 of her girl friends selling my cds from Cobb County to the West End and built a nice street name for myself. Upcoming artists and producers wanted to work with me and I was introducing them to the hyphy music before E-40 even singed with Lil Jon, so it only made to name my brand of music "KryPhy Music" since I was mixing Crunk with the Hyphy... but when Katrina hit, my wife wanted to move back to the Bay so we came back home, where I released "KryPhy Music". I printed up units and put it in all the Mom&Pop stores from the Bay Area to Sacramento, Rasputins to Dimples and a couple big stores from Atlanta to Texas and let it do its thing.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What about your first Bay Area release - "The Baydahatian"? What was the acclaim?
[ Young Haitti ] : "The Baydahatian" album was an album I've started and stopped, then started again. I went through a divorce and it held the album up a little but I eventually finished it up. It was accepted well on the streets from the Bay and Sac and sold pretty good out the Rasputins and the Dimples record stores. The iTunes downloads were also good. I believe that had greatly to do with the big artists I had on there featured with me.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us about your collaborations with B-Dub (Gorilla Milk), PBoyWill (The HeatRocks) and Lil Dank. What are your other plans for upcoming duet / group releases?
[ Young Haitti ] : In 2010 I was at a show in Marin, Ca where I met an artist and producer B-Dub. We hit it off immediately; a couple weeks later he called me to come feature on a track he was doing. After working together we got into real talk and came up with the idea to do a group album and began to do it just like that. After 8 songs in to the album we still didn't have a name for the group when one day I've noticed his label's name and remembered a drink I used to drink when I was younger call "Gorilla Milk". I asked him what he thought. He loved it and that became the group name. Our first album "Not For Human Consumption" was a blast to make, 'cause we could do anything we wanted and we wanted to do everything. We've recently added Vitani Vanquish to the group and have started working on a new Gorilla Milk's album that should be ready late 2012.
I also released another group project called "The Heat Rocks" the same year with my younger cousin PBoyWill. We've been doing shows and music together for over a decade and I felt it was time to put out an album of all brand new music; my cousin was in agreement. We've recently also added another member to the group by the name of Tay Swerv and have began recording the new album that will also be released in late 2012 or early 2013.
The project I did with my older cousin Lil Dank - "HaitianDank" - was recorded in Atlanta, but was done in 2 and half days. Dank had the tracks ready so all we needed to do was write our verses and come up with the hooks. I'm really proud of the project; it came out so good in such a short time. It's like it was meant to happen... ya dig.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Last year you dropped two cds - "Amen" and "Grafitti" - what can you tell about it?
[ Young Haitti ] : In 2011 I dropped 2 solo projects: the first one was early in the year and was my rock alter ego album "Amen". It's a rock album with me rapping over a live rock band, just going in the way I feel Wayne should have done, but with my brand of flavor. The second release - "Graffiti" - came out on 11-11-11 and it is my brand of graffiti all over this music industry; like the industry is a blank wall and sprayed painted all over it. That's what the "Graffiti" album represents.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What are your other plans for 2012?
[ Young Haitti ] : My plans for 2012 is to hit you with 2 more videos off "Graffiti", drop the new Gorilla Milk album, the new Heat Rocks album and another solo - no name yet for that, but I have started working on it, ya dig...
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Anything else you'd like to add?
[ Young Haitti ] : I would like to share my bio with you.
Young Haitti biography:
Discovered by producer James Early in 1995, artist Young Haitti began his lyrical journey in the hip-hop game. He released his debut album "Whatz A Thug" in 1997 as Bateen Idol from the rap group The Cirkle. The Cirkle soon went on tour and performed for over 45 southern colleges, sharing the stage with artists such as Lil Wayne, 112, Destiny's Child and DMX. Having lived many years in West Africa, Young Haitti shares with us the soul of a young traveling man. His songs will move you, make you think, and give you something to bounce too. In 2010 Young Haitti remained a force to be reckoned with as he dropped his 5th album and re-released his 4th album literally back to back. Recorded in ATL, "KryPhy Music" (03/27/10) recorded in Atlanta, brings you the hard rawness of Bay Area rap mixed with the soul of the south. "The Baydahatian" (04/03/10) delivers a Texas/Louisiana feel meets Bay Area swag, both available now in most major record stores in the USA and Japan. Now teamed up with B-Dub forming the group Gorilla Milk, dropping its debut album "Not For Human Consumption" in December 2010. Also be on the look out for his Seventh project "Haitian Dank (Young Haitti starring Lil Dank) available now on iTunes. Also check out his third group and Eighth project "The HeatRocks", teamed up with PBoyWill, set to be released in mid 2011 along with his solo Rap/Rock album "Amen". Haitti's next solo and tenth album, "Graffiti" was released 11-11-11.
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