Thank you, Y.T. for agreeing to answer some questions for our magazine, we really appreciate it. First of all we’d like to know something about your background as we read that you grew up in Texas, after which you moved to Delaware. Can you tell us more about your past and about where you grew up? And what are the things that influenced you the most about those places ?
ALL HAIL Y.T.: “Peace, I grew up in the city of Killeen, TX. It’s the town right outside of the army base Fort Hood. Which is the largest army base in the “free world”. Growing up there was cool. When we first arrived, I lived a pretty normal life on the base with my mom, siblings and stepfather who was in the army
When my mom and step dad divorced, We moved to the roughest area in the K called “4-1” or “Evil Side”. That’s when my mother told me I was the man of the house at 11 years old. Shortly after, I started to fall into the streets. I learned how to shoot dice from the local hustlers who used to hang out in our apartment complex. I started to steal and smoked weed.
I call that the time when I was “Street Poisoned”. I didn’t have a name for what happened to me then. I didn’t come to realize It until after reading IceBerg Slim’s biography, in which he coined the term. I also loved music and that’s where I started writing my first raps.
What was it like moving to a place so different from Texas as Delaware (at least as we imagine it) and how did this change impact your music journey and your life?
All Hail Y.T.: “When I moved to Delaware I was 17 at the time. I pretty much considered myself grown. It was a major culture shock. Where I came from we had a car culture and way of life of our own. Dover, Delaware had Amish people with horses and buggies, It blew my mind. It was East Coast, and the music was different. I stood out like muh-fucka haha. But, In most cases kids were still kids there and I liked that. I had gone through and saw so much in Texas, It was kind of a. relief to be somewhere that didn’t seem so dangerous. But, eventually I found my way to the streets there”.
When and how did you start rapping and who introduced you to the music business? Is it true that you were early discovered by the legendary Scarface of the Geto Boys? At some point, at the beginning of your career, you were also connected to DJ Clue, isn’t it? How did it happen and how has this situation evolved?
All Hail Y.T.: “My uncle put the mic in my hand when I was around 4. He would write raps for me to recite and I would perform for him and his friends. He had a group in the 80’s and I would go to his shows and practices. My mother was also an aspiring singer herself. So, you can say I was born into music. Fast forward to my time in Killeen, I was rapping and people started to know me for It. In middle school, I joined a local rap group from the K called Green City. These were homies that I had known since elementary. After I moved to DE, I kept in touch with my Killeen friends and would go back to visit. When I was there we would record music.
A boxer from Killeen was signed to J Prince’s management company. He was working out in the gym and listening to our music. Scarface walked into the gym and heard It and asked the guy who It was. The rest is history, Scarface signed the group and we dropped an album under SMC / Universal Records called “Brand New Money”. Shortly after, I inked a solo situation with Dj Clue and his Desert Storm imprint”.
Congratulations for your last album, “Player Mode”, that you recently released. It’s super fire. Can you tell us how this album was born and how was the process that led you to its realization? What importance do you think it has in your musical path?
All Hail Y.T.: “Thank you, Player Made was the culmination of my time here. If I never made another album, I wanted people to have a piece of me. Something they could listen to and have a good sense of who I am. I believe it’s my most important work to date because It embodies all of my life experiences. It was also a great release to talk about some of the subject matter on It, almost therapeutic. As far as the production, Cedar Law$ laid the canvas. I went through more than 100 of his beats trying to find the right ones that spoke to me. At times It was frustrating for us both. But I believe It got the best out of us. I treated this album like my “Chronic” by Dr. Dre”.
In Player Mode you also had some really great collaborations from Boldy James to Young Roddy and Jay Worthy, in addition to the Left Lane Didons, Chris Skillz with whom you often collaborate. How were these collaborations born? What ties do you have with them?
All Hail Y.T.: “I gotta give a major salute to my homie Dough Networkz. Being from The South and Delaware, me and the homies are kind of “outcasts” in this underground music scene. It kind of feels like if you’re not from NYC, you tend to get looked over by the traditional media outlets and gatekeepers. The homie Dough being from Cali himself saw something in us and “stamped us” in a way. I linked with Worthy (Jay Worthy) and Roddy (Young Roddy) through him.
The homie Boldy is super personable. I reached out to him through email and he shot me his direct contact. We chopped It for a bit and did the record not too long after”e”.
This year we have already really enjoyed the third installment of the Deluxe Drugz series with Benji Socrate$, can you tell us about how the idea for this series was born and how did your collaboration come about?
All Hail Y.T.: “I linked with Benji (Benji Socrate$) through my bro Left Lane Didon. I’ve always followed the homie Curren$y and his movement. I love how he treated his music like “packs” and called It Audio Dope. Deluxe Drugz was just my homage to that concept. I took It a step further by naming all the tracks on each project after actual drugs. That series along with Benji’s production is actually what cemented All Hail Y.T. as a thing. Benji is a young legend””.
Besides these projects we just asked you about, what do you think are the other most important projects in your deep catalog or the ones you would recommend to start with to our readers and why?
All Hail Y.T.: “If you want to get to know me. Start with “All Hail Y.T.”, “Street Poisoned”, “The Spoils Of Babylon” and “V-12 Soul”. These are my most important projects to date outside of “Deluxe Drugz Collection” which is parts 1, 2 and 3 on one album remixed and mastered with a couple bonus records. I feel like the music speaks for itself”.
Through your albums we can hear different musical influences both in terms of instrumentals and flows. What do you think have been the greatest artistic influences in your career?
All Hail Y.T.: “I just love music man and I do what the beats tell me to. I’m obsessed with live instrumentation though. So, funk and jazz are my favorite genres to draw from. My favorite artists have varied but 2 Pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop, Nas, JAY-Z, Outkast and U.G.K. molded me”.
And where does your name All Hail Y.T come from?
All Hail Y.T. : “When I came from Texas to DE, everyone started to call me “Texas”. Back in Killeen, I was going by my initials “D.C.”. I decided to take on “Texas” as a rap name since everyone was calling me that. I added “Yung” to It and became “Yung Texxus”.
After a while, I felt a change come over me and didn’t quite feel the same. I needed a new name, one that I would choose for myself. I wanted a name that commanded respect and would never age. So, I transformed into “All Hail Y.T.”. All hail simply means to welcome or to greet.
What can we expect next? What other collaborations can we expect in the future?
All Hail Y.T.: “All I can say is stay tuned. Every year since 2018, I’ve stepped It up and grown exponentially. Exciting things are on the horizon for me and all the homies affiliated with me. I appreciate you guys sharing your platform with me, and I’m grateful to all the readers. Go buy that “Player Made” album or stream It continuously, Love y’all!”