If you’re an AO! local, you’ve seen the name YE Ali pop up for quite some time now, and for good reason. The guy makes quality music. Although the forward-moving Moroccan-born vocalist/songwriter only stands at five feet seven inches, he towers over others with his talent and it’s been shown thought the years. After the past few years grinding and steadily releasing new content, YE dropped his debut street album TrapHouseJodeci.
We recently got a chance to chop it up with the Los Angeles-based, Indiana groomed artist about the album, his love life, days spent in college and more in our latest AO! Exclusive Interview. Check out our conversation with YE below and do remember, his TrapHouseJodeci project is available now on iTunes!
Those songs are from an old project I dropped under the radar over a year ago called Private Suite. I had re-uploaded them and re-released them as if they were new.
Probably my man Jazz Cartier on “Ring 4x.”
I’ve been watching my brother Jazz since 2009 when he had the lisp and low hair. I had found him on MySpace and he was one of my favorite artists. I wasn’t making music at the time just school and the party thing, but I would always big him up. When I started making my music he would reach out to me from Toronto like, “Dude I’m hearing your shit everywhere, you’re blowing up.”
Fast forward, the reason why that record was so special is cause that was our first record and the original “Ring 4x” I had some issues with. The original featured artist felt like he didn’t get enough credit for his part in the record and tried to finesse it. Me being me, I didn’t take offense to it I just handed my business and put Jazz on it and took him off. I did it in front of everybody to let people know I’m not the one to fuck with.
People have approached Jazz about the situation and he’s always like, “YE my nigga so I’m with YE.” I respect Jazz for that, not putting his 2 cents in. He’s a real one. That’ s another reason why this feature is so special. Bro didn’t have to do it. He didn’t have to hop on something that was controversial but he’s a real one. It’s not too many, but he’s one of them.
Back in 2010-2011. I got the name from a DJ friend before I started doing music. We use to have crazy parties at our frat house, which we called the ‘Trap House.’ I would pay a lot of Jodeci, chopped and screwed R&B and Trap; Gucci, 2 Chainz, Waka Flocka, that kind of music. Because of that, the DJ gave me the name.
When I started to do music I kept the concept of TrapHouseJodeci – to reference back to that situation. I never got to use the name outside of the nickname at school so I thought this project would be a great place to do so.
Damn right! I crossed in 2008.
I had no prior knowledge of Greek fraternities until I got to college. That’s where I met someone in KAP who knew my sister. He’s a Mexican dude from Gary, Indiana in a black frat. He embodied what being cool was to me.
Kind of. I had to do all of the greetings for my line brothers. That was the first time I was in charge of writing songs or writing material for other people. That was also the first time I realized I was good at it, plus I liked hearing people recite the things I wrote. I didn’t care much about the credit I was more so happy to help my brothers and myself get through our process. Because of that and the whole process we went through I have a great relationship with all my great frat and line brothers.
Yeah. College had an impact on everything I do. I was always doing something positive in school; the House parties, traveling, internships. When I joined my frat, I was the guy they would reference to prospective members on why they should pledge.
As I started making music, I would premiere it at our parties. My first time on WorldStarHipHop my bros helped me to get my video posted. Everything I did in college I used as a stepping-stone. I met so many people in college that put me in touch with someone else or helped me get discovered.
Yeah, it was definitely a story behind it. I wanted it to serve as a timeline and go through several moments in front of people.
“Ammunition,” “Fulla Diamonds” and “Oceans.” All of those songs were moments that happened at the top middle or end of the album. They kind of set the landscape for everything around them. “Oceans” was created towards the end. I was in L.A. when different environments surrounded me.
I could’ve never made “Oceans” a month go or 2 years ago. It was of the moment in my life. It was fun to make but it took a long time. I had people consistently telling me to drop a project but I had finish going through what I was going through. It’s hard to elaborate on an experience or go into detail about it when you’re still experiencing it.
Yeah. I talk about a few girls on there but my song “Songs About You” is about my on-again-off-again girlfriend back in school. We knew each other prior to that; we were friends and our circle of friends know the same people so we dated here and there until she moved to D.C. and started working for the Obama campaign. We had a crazy up and down relationship.
That’s so funny because I just spoke to her not too long ago. She’s had a boyfriend for a longtime now so I make sure I’m respectful and keep everything real platonic. But we talk like once a year and she always ask me if made songs about her. I let her hear the project and she likes it cause the music is good.
No, but I did have my heartbroken once. Every guy has one girl that fucked the homie. This girl and I weren’t even dating the time so It wasn’t a huge blowout or nothing like. I just felt disrespected. I thought we had established mutual respect for one another. I didn’t fuck her homies. Later I did but its all good though.
“Oceans” and “Ammunition.”
“Oceans” was the first time I ever danced while recording a song. I felt so happy making it. I actually made everyone leave the studio so I could just jam out. I did the record in 15-20 minutes then had everyone comeback and listen. They loved it. “Oceans” was very much a pop record to me. I created other songs like it but that was the first one that felt good to me.
There’s nothing out there that sounds like “Ammunition.” There’s no sample. The way that me and my homie cut the live guitar and saxophones coming, it has an old school feel. It’s one of those things that I knew my dad and everyone one would love. You could rap on it, you could sing on it, the drums and additional production are crazy. The song just turned out perfectly.
Yeah I would definitely say that.
Everything is perfect. Like every song on here. The homie Cardo and I have a song that didn’t make the project because it wasn’t done in time but we’ll be dropping that soon. But the project is perfect. I got out everything I wanted to.
I want them to walk away knowing that they’ve just heard an incredibly well written body of work. It doesn’t matter who I am or where I’m from, you’re going to feel some type of way by the time you get to track 12.