Read hiphopplaya’s short interview with Yankie who is returning after four years with his second full-length album ‘Andre’.
‘Andre’ will be released on online music portals on May 27 and on CD on May 28.
It has really been a long time. Let’s first talk about how you joined Amoeba Culture. It was to be expected, since you have been close to many of the label’s artist, but nevertheless, please tell us how it happened.
It has really been a long time, have you been well …? First of all, even before when we [me and the Amoeba Culture artists] were with different agencies and doing different work, we met often, and now our relationship is still the same. DD [Dynamic Duo] are my seniors from middle and high school, lived in the same neighborhood and are my friends. Planet Shiver was my university classmate, I’ve worked with Primary since I started making music and it was me who introduced DD to him. Crush is my cousin from my mother’s side, I can’t do anything about that relationship (laughs).
Did your first full-length album ‘Lost in Memories’ in 2011 influence you [in your decision to join Amoeba Culture]? Since you were completely independent at that time, maybe you were stretched to your limits and realized [that you needed an agency]. During our last interview, you said that you weren’t sure since you had only released your first full-length album.
My first album itself was something in between Nas’ ‘Lost Tape’ and a mixtape. Afterwards, doing several jobs, going to concerts and doing other musical activities was too much for me by myself. Obviously, doing two or three things by oneself independently is quite exhausting. I needed someone to help me with the non-musical work, someone who knows me really well. I also knew that I need challenges, I wanted to experience a lot and improve myself. No matter if it’s about music or other things. Another thing is, I felt lonely at odd times (laughs).
Has TBNY broken up tentatively or completely?
If there is music, a subject and a message that both of us like, we can always work together. I am against coming back pinning our hopes on the few people who like TBNY. And if we do come back, we will do it just like when we first worked together.
On May 27, your second full-length album will be released. It came very sudden, why are you releasing the album now?
It might be sudden, but I’ve been working hard (laughs). The album actually got pushed back a bit. It is a selection of a few hundred songs I’ve listened to and a few dozens of lyrics I wrote and recorded. I am releasing it now because it is finished now.
It might not be likely, but I thought you might release an album as TBNY.
That is that and this is this. Looking back at my work in the team, I nearly never told my own stories. Which is natural, since we had to find common subjects to talk about. When you listen to my [upcoming] album, you will feel “Ah, this is Yankie’s album.” It is the beginning of my story and there are a great lot of interesting stories coming up.
One news article said “It will be an album that will satisfy your thirst for authentic hiphop.” That was a remark of your agency, so we’d like you, the artist himself, to introduce your album. Is it “authentic hiphop” (laughs)?
I always find the expression “authentic hiphop” very funny. Let’s see … I think it is right that I have always been thinking eagerly and dearly about hiphop more than anyone. I’m a greater hiphop otaku and fan of it than anyone else. Unlike other people, I have a hard time not thinking about hiphop when I do other jobs. It’s not like I’m an independence fighter or something, though (laughs).
I think many fans’ expectations were raised when the tracklist was revealed. It reminds a bit of the ‘Movement’. Did you choose familiarity over novelty (laughs)?
I’m telling you, it is my album (laughs)!! Who made this question (laughs)? Listen to the whole album, [and you’ll see,] there is nobody’s familiarity in there anywhere (laughs)!
Due to your shout-out to BTS on Twitter and Rap Monster featuring on Primary’s single, it was to be expected somehow, but Rap Monster’s participation on your album is a surprise nevertheless. How did that come about?
We are close and talk a lot about music with each other. And he is really good. So I asked him to participate, and he did well.
‘Andre’ is the album’s title and you are planning to use it as your aka, as you mentioned in ‘Burj Khalifa’. What kind of name is it?
It is my Christian name. Clearly my aka.
In our interview next week we will talk more about the album so we’ll stop here. Please say a few words to the hiphop fans who are waiting for Yankie’s new album on May 27.
Since it is my story, most people might not relate to it, but those who think like me will be able to relate to it extremely well. I hope they take heart from listening to it.