FYI Interview @fyipsalms

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Check out I2G’s exclusive interview with FYI.

I2G:
All right, we’re here with FYI. How’s it going, man?

FYI:
Hey, how’s it going?

I2G:
Good, good. Let’s get right into it. You just recently dropped your new single entitled “These Are The Times.” Tell me a little about the single and how it came together for you.

FYI:
“These Are The Times” is basically like the lead-off single from my new album “ameriBLAKKK,” that’s coming out May 19th. Basically, how that came about was I got the track from the producer, Sir John Lee. He’s out of Compton, real dope producer, up and coming. I worked on a record with him called “Digital Lies” from my previous album, “Age, Sex, Location.” Basically, just got a new wave of beats and he sent me that track. I was just building on it. Sonically, has a real soulful feel. Kind of blue-blackish but yet it’s really soulful. Then, I just came with the hook.

The inspiration behind the record was a lot of people see the glorification of drug selling, trapped life, gang-bang life, whatever, you know, it’s like the . And it’s not just a rap, but hip-hop really perpetuates that. Sometimes, just the everyday person, just the person going to school, working, a person trying to raise their kids or live out their dream, no matter what age or stage they may be in in life, they see that and the hook like a thought that you may have, “Hey, these are the times, I feel like selling drugs, don’t judge … ” Well, is that what it takes to be successful? To cut corners, to sell dope? It’s not a judgment call on those that live that lifestyle, have maybe profited from it, maybe not because they want to but because that was their option given to them. It’s not an indictment, anti-gangster, nothing like that. Its just more a thought process, the hook, and the concept behind it is this thought process of, “Do I take shortcuts in life or do I just try to go down this path and try to do things the right way?” You know what I’m saying? Slow motion better than no motion but still trying to get where you need to be without cutting corners.

I2G:
Absolutely. Now, parts of the artwork for the album; how did you come up with that? That’s very … I wouldn’t say controversial, I’ve seen other artwork similar to it, but it definitely gets your attention quickly. So, how did you come up with the concept for that?

FYI:
Well, that’s the first thing that you need: you needed it to get your attention. Visually, in the “Internet Age” where everyone’s attention spans are really short, I needed something that was going to be effective but also, when people hear the album, that cover is going to make even more sense. Even the way that I spell the title of the album, “ameriBLAKKK”. At the end of “BLAKKK”, instead of in the “ameri-” part, which most people have seen before, the three k’s is the representation of black people or general people of color not being in this society, in American society, since the beginning. It’s pretty much built into the identity of the culture because it’s really … not the main defining thing of black Americans, but it is a part, the history of oppression or struggle or rights clemency, racism, whatever people may want to call it nowadays, is really part of that linchpin. Like I said, it shaped to a certain extent the culture, the conversation and how the community gets down. So that’s why the triple k’s in the “BLAKKK”.

But the artwork … when people look at it, it’s there for conversation, it’s there for interpretation. My interpretation of it when I see it, it just struck me right away because you have the imagery of George Washington and all that, which basically symbolizes America. You can’t get no more American than George Washington. And it kind of looks dollar bill-ish, so you can go on for days about this-that imagery, but when you look closer, you know for a fact it’s not George Bush– I mean, George Washington– it’s a boy. His skin tone doesn’t look like the skin tone that you would typically see on the features of someone with those type of features, very African with the features, but the skin tone is crazy. It’s all types of stuff going on in there. And then, of course, the rope … that’s kind of the whole gist of when I just look at the artwork.

The title, “ameriBLAKKK”, as far as the community I come from, the black community, we’ve been basically defined or labeled various terms throughout the centuries of American society. When we first got here, of course, we were called “niggers”, then it turned to “Negroes”, then it turned to “colored”, then it turned to “black”, then it turned to “Afro-American” for a little while, and now we’re at “African-American”. I’m saying, we got to, “Ameriblack”, that’s the new language and pretty much that’s scrapping everything else. A lot of times, we’re talking about different things and how, in this society, how we’re all going to be together, but I just feel like the system that we have is broken. We can reform, we can try to change it, we can improve it, things can … there can be glitches, but the reality is we need to scrap it and do a whole new society. From that we’ll be “Ameriblacks” and rebuilding a nation to that. If you’re white, you’d be “Ameriwhite”, “Ameribrown”, “Ameriyellow”, “Amerired”. That’s basically where that’s coming from.

I2G:
All right, as far as visuals, do you have any upcoming videos about to drop from the album?

FYI:
Yeah, definitely. I look forward to people seeing the video for “These Are The Times”. I really like it, it’s definitely movie-like. There’s some other joints on the record that I want to do visuals for. So, definitely going to be some visuals coming from the project. I’m excited about it, I always try to think outside the box and be creative with it.

I2G:
All right, we’re now four months in to 2017, being the title “ameriBLAKKK” and your music, and having a very socially conscious vibe. What’s your thoughts right now on hip-hop and the music that’s coming out right now, and maybe some albums or artists that you currently listen to on your playlist?

FYI:
Yeah, “A hundred, a hundred, and a hundred, and a hundred” is hard right now to listen to a lot of artists just because I have so much work on my plate as far as music that I’m creating. I know that there are some artists out there that, of course, I’m familiar with that I’ve heard previous works of, that’s all we’re doing. Things that I feel just wasn’t with the culture. At this point in time, I try to be very thoughtful before I speak on the culture and where hip-hop is, because someone like myself, who I feel is a lyricist, and I like to try to talk about different concepts and be creative … those types of artists in general get boxed into the “bitter box”, they’re “underground”, they’re mad, they’re haters, or they just need to write-

I2G:
Right-

FYI:
This and that, you know what I’m saying? For me, if I start going on a tangent about this artist, these artists, or this is what’s wrong with it, then we’re already losing focus on what the positive is and what I feel that I’m trying to contribute, which is positive. Positive music, inspirational music, creative music. Man, I think there’s other artists out there that’s doing it right now, of course, there’s certain artists that are signed but they have a bigger platform, but I think great minds think alike. There’s nothing new under the sun, so I would say, truly, inspirationally, just coming up, artists that always gravitated to have lyrics that were meaningful. You feel what I’m saying? And even if sometimes I don’t agree with the message, if I know it’s coming from a genuine place, I can rock with it. You feel what I’m saying?

I2G:
Right-

FYI:
So, just coming up, Dead Prez or Public Enemy, Mos Def, Outkast to a certain extent, those kind of people try. They always have jewels in their music, and of course, that tradition is being carried on today from certain artists like Kendrick or Jerry Cole I think are trying to do that. I see David Banner’s, he’s woke now, so that’s nothing new.

I think the push should be from our standpoint is more artists should try as much as possible in general to push their creativity and have fun. I’m all about fun, I’m all about partying and doing that, too. Those are good things, and I like to make music that’s engaging and people can still enjoy, but again, I think the issue now, the more reason to be real is soul. I think the music now, a lot of it, lacks soul. I think for the most part hip-hop is architect by black people. Black people got soul, and I don’t know if it’s because inside we’re losing the soul, or we’re trying to censor the soul or whatever just because it’s like, “Ah, that might be a little bit too much,” but that’s where the world meets up. That’s what makes the world love hip-hop. You know what I’m saying?

If something soulful, no matter what angle, no matter what little box the rapper may be putting themselves in, if it’s soulful, if it touches my soul, I rock with it because … but just naturally, we have this being a student of the game, there’s always going to be certain artists that I gravitate to because they say something in their raps, because I like to say stuff in my raps. I just don’t like to rap just to be rapping. So, speech is all with that. Yeah, put soul in the music, I think soul is lacking in the music. So, hopefully with this new project, “ameriBLAKKK”, I’ll be bringing or putting a piece to the hip-hop house. Baller, you know.

I2G:
Most def, most def. All right, do you have any upcoming shows or tour dates for anything coming up here you want to let people know about?

FYI:
Yeah, right now, I’m trying to put together just a cool release party out here in L.A. so people can come and rock with me, and then, within New York, once the project drops … talking to the team, getting things together. It’s prime time. The record comes out May 19th and then it’s summer, so I’m going to be definitely trying to hit as many cities as possible. I need to some out to Vegas and do some stuff, with Vegas gotta show that I’m going to holler at.

I2G:
Definitely, definitely. What’s your website information for people looking to check out your music and seek what you got going on?

FYI:
Yeah, my website is fyipsalms.com, so that’s fyipsalms, all one word, dot com. And when they go there, all of my social handles are there. All my social handles, the Twitter, the Instagram, the Facebook are all at fyipsalms.com. People can check them out there, but if they go to the website they’ll see it all. And then they can pre-order “ameriBLAKKK” on iTunes right now.

I2G:
All right, well, that’s all the questions I have for you. I appreciate you getting down for the interview. I’m definitely looking forward to your album May 19th. Actually, you mentioned David Banner earlier, he’s also drops May 19th, so that’s a lot of good socially-conscious music. And May 19th is-

FYI:
Yeah-

I2G:
Malcolm X’s birthday.

FYI:
Oh, dang! You know what? That’s crazy. I really didn’t know that, I just felt like May 19th was a great date, it felt good in my spirit, but now this is really making sense, right?

I2G:
Oh yeah. It’s all full circle.

FYI:
Yeah.

I2G:
All right, do you have any last words or shout-outs you want to get out there to the people?

FYI:
I want to shout-out pretty Sir John Lee, the producer on my album, one of the main producers. Rich Kid from Toronto, you have beats on there. A producer by the name of Two-One-Two from New York, he got beats on there. All the artists that contributed on the record, that’s front page. A home from Connecticut, Sir John got a verse on there. Kay Fox from Chicago, you’re all over it. J Cole, the album, “For Your Eyes Only” I think the last three or four records that came out.

Who else is on there? Dermot Crawford from the Wild Bunch, a band out here in L.A. Real dope singer. And that’s pretty much a shout-out to all the artists … oh, and Vic Dream, a female trumpet player that’s on “These Are The Times”. A female playing that horn on “These Are The Times”. Like I’m saying, just stretching my wings. But yeah, shout-out to them, and shout-out to everybody that’s rocking with me. And of course, shout-out to you and the Illuminati 2G for having me. I appreciate it.

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