About 2 months ago I heard the first single off of Ghost’s latest Apollo Kids LP. It was a song titled “Together Baby”. The horns were big, the vocal sample was soulful as all outdoors, and the drums were knockin’. It felt like Ghost was back on some Supreme Clientele vibes and I was in metaphor heaven. I had to find out who produced this banger. After 0.38 seconds, Google had an answer for me. Yakub is an MC/producer from Minnesota that has beats. Did I mention he got beats? Anyways, I had a chance to ask him some questions and thought I’d share it with you nerds. Enjoy!
FreshNerd: Whats the meaning behind your name? Is Yakub your government name?
Yakub: Not really a meaning behind it. In a sense it is my gov name.. My gov name is Jacob and yakub or yakov are the arabic and hebrew translations.
FN: You MC and produce….which came first and which do you prefer more?
Yakub: I was rappin before I made beats.. I’m 20. I been rappin since like 10 (or before) and makin beats since like 14. It varies but usually I enjoy rappin more than beat making.
FN: What’s the last personal goal you set for yourself?
Yakub: My last personal goal I set is to make a classic first album in 2011. One that’s revered in the future.. Somethin true to myself. And also to get more beat placements !
FN: How did the Ghostface placement come about and what were you doing when you found out you got it?
Yakub: That ghostface stuff came about from my mom having the dopest musical taste in the universe and puttin me up on sooo much old music.. And from me makin beats out of songs and passin beat CDs out to artists when they stop in my city on tour.. Another thing that played a part is me entering redbull bigtune in 09. Bigtune is a huge producer battle in which producers battle head to head to rep their city in the national finals. But by jus havin my name/beats out there, things jus alligned. Someone who knew me , knew someone else who knew someone else. Shoutout to G MO (MN producer) and J Moore (BigTune). But Ghostface liked that joint (2getha baby) .. The rest is history. I was sleeping and woke up to that phone call.
FN: Tell us about your equipment list and if you have anything on your wish list.
Yakub: Right now I use a macbook , mbox 2 for protools, reason(software), m audio axiom 25(midi keyboard), audacity (for sample chopping) , an old technic b202 turntable.. My brain.. That’s about it.
FN: How many beats do you do on average per week (rough estimate)? And how many of those do you throw away (if any)?
Yakub: Back in 07 08 I made like 10-15 beats a week not throwing any away .. Recently it’s round 3 -4 a week. I got lots of beats that I started before and I go back n touch em up.. I’m getting into gear now though so more and better beats are comin!
FN: We all have recurring dreams, tell us about one that you have.
Yakub: Most of my dreams are pretty random. But In some dreams I can understand/talk to animals.
FN: What’s your favorite Ghostface song (you can’t say the one you produced)?
Yakub: “All That I Got Is You” ft Mary J
FN: Name a beat that every time you hear it makes you say “F*CK, I wish I would’ve made that.”
FN: Do you remember the first beat you ever played for someone? What was their reaction?
Yakub: I dont know exactly what beat it was, but it was for my older sister and she was prolly like “that’s a good start but u gotta make it do somethin else”
FN: What’s your stance on free downloads, for or against? Why?
Yakub: I think like anything it’s good and bad. Bad because it almost devalues music and artists don’t get as much money, but it can be good too. If an artist wants to give his fans some good music for free that’s wassup if his/her presentation and integrity is respected.. But if music is leaked or released and D/L’ed against the artist will thats bad.. Music needs integrity. Fans really hurt themselves sometimes when they listen to a work that’s not completed or out of context.. Patience!
FN: What’s an obstacle (if any) that you have recently faced in regards to the business side of the industry?
Yakub: I think that with business the main thing is to realize it’s just that. Business, you can’t expect personal sympathy or consideration. You gotta be on your business. Put emotion and ego asside. I think that’s why artists get all type of business personel beacuse that shits alot! And it lets the artist focus on art. I’m tryna do as much as I can for myself. Let’s see how it goes..
FN: Have you ever thought about getting shot 12 times so you can be the 50 Cent of producers?
Yakub: no. Not at all b *cam voice*
FN: If you could go back to the past from the future to deliver the young “you” a piece of vital information, what would it be?
Yakub: Be original, do what u feel, be careful!
FN: Lets talk big picture, long term goals…..what are a few of them?
Yakub: I want to have my family living comfortable.. Make music that makes people think and smile. Laugh and cry. Get hype. Live. Try to make the best music which is most true to me. Have fun. Make a mark on this earth. Teach the youth. All that
FN: Name two of your main influences. And if both of these people were trapped in a burning car and you could only save one….which one would you save and why?
Yakub: My mother and my father. I would save my mother because she is my world.
FN: What non-essential item do you always carry with you?
Be sure to stop by Yakub’s Bandcamp and as well, go cop that Ghostface album.