yogi yogi

Interview: Yogi Talks Working With Pusha T And Gives #EZOO14 Deets

With a debut EP out May 5 and a single aside G.O.O.D. Music recording artist- Pusha T, not much is known about new trap/bass group, YOGI. Breaking things down about the trio, VIBE got to chat with 1/3 of it to figure out more than the 5 things we found out about them late last year.

Consisting of Blake, i/O and Yogi- the up-and-comers are here to make some killer moves with their hip-hop background and distinct tastes. Believe us when we say this- these dudes are the epitome of the-next-big-thing. Find out some crazy stuff about where the guys are headed next (Electric Zoo?!), their Pusha T collaboration and whom they’re targeting to collaborate with next. Hint: It’s probably your favorite rapper.

VIBE: Because the tracks you produce surpass normal trap and bass, how would you describe your sound?
Yogi: The best way to describe it is just to take different elements of everything and kind of just tear it up. It’s like ransom-ness. Because like ransoms, it’s like taking letters off of a newspaper and a different magazine- that’s what we’re trying to do with our music. It’s like taking different elements and making things out of it.

So for example the track, ‘Christian Bale’… where did the name come from?
When we made it Christian Bale did this thing, I think he was filming on the Batman set and went off on somebody so that was the inspiration for that beat.

Speaking of original tracks, you guys only have two aside from your remixes and already such a huge fan base. What’s next for you guys?
We got a few big tracks coming, another remix at the moment and a big single to follow that as well. We can’t wait for everyone to hear that as well.

Everyone freaked out over the Pusha T collab, how did that come about?
I made the beat a couple of years ago and when we were doing the deal with OWSLA, a guy from OWSLA took it and said he could get rappers on it so he took it to Push and Push was feelin’ it and he did his verses and sent it back. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the studio with him so we just kind of made the beat and sent it to him and he sent his vocals back and I had some changes that went back to him and then he made some and sent it back again.

So is working with rappers something you guys want to do more of?
Definitely. 100%.

Are you trying to have your foot in both the rap and dance music worlds?
I want to manage the two worlds together. I feel like the whole electronic trap thing has come from hip-hop anyway so it makes sense to kind of try and mold that back, get rappers on it and blend the two worlds together.

There’s not much people know about you guys. Did you start out wanting to be a part of the dance music industry?
We just wanted to make music. I’ve been making music here in London for a while. We had a couple of hits out here in the hip-hop kind of world where we were kind of merging the trap world before it was happening there and then it just made sense to kind of make some ties in America and take our sound over there.

Having just come back from a mini-tour, when can people see you next?
We’re trying to sort out Electric Zoo in New York so definitely some gigs around there.

What do you deliver in your live sets?
In the live sets I’m basically taking a lot of electronic stuff and I’m mashing it together with a lot of hip-hop stuff so it’s like taking a lot of hip-hop vocals and mashing it up with a lot of dance music. Trying to merge those two kinds of worlds, taking loads of acapella’s and putting beats in it.

What are some rappers that you guys would want to collaborate with?
Kanye, Kendrick, Jay-Z… you could throw Drake in there as well and Lil Wayne.

Having already worked with Pusha T, these guys may be working with any one of these rap gods next. Check the lyric video for ‘Burial’ below.

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Man Exonerated After Serving 45 Years Forced To Sell Prison Artwork For Money

A Detroit man who served 45 years behind bars for a crime that he didn’t commit, is forced to sell his personal collection of artwork that he made in prison. Richard Phillips, 72, doesn’t have steady income at the moment, and his lawyer is currently battling the state of Michigan to get him compensated for the wrongful conviction that stole his freedom.

"I don't have an income right now," said Phillips while showing off his paintings to Fox 2 Detroit. "This is my income."

In the early 1970s, Phillips was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Gregory Harris. He was sentenced to life in prison but always maintained his innocence. “I would rather died in prison than admit to a crime I didn’t do,” Philips said.

Phillips was convicted through an eyewitness account implicating him and a second man, Richard Palombo. In 2010, Palombo admitted that Phillips had no involvement in the murder and that he didn’t even know him. A new investigation was launched in 2014, nearly 20 years later Phillips appealed his murder conviction.

Last March, Wayne County Prosecutors Kym Worthy dropped all charges against Phillips, officially freeing him from prison. “There’s nothing that I can say to bring back 40 years of his life. The system failed him. There’s no question about it,” Worthy said at the time. “This is a true exoneration. Justice is indeed being done today, but there’s nothing that we can do ... to bring back those years of his life.”

Art played a big part in helping maintain his sanity through the sentence. Though he remained optimistic, Phillips admitted that he never truly believed he would be released. To pass the time, he began painting. He pulled inspiration from everywhere: his favorite artists, photos and even tapped into some of the loneliness that he felt in prison. "It was created in a harsh environment. But it goes to show you that beauty can come from something ugly."

Last year, Detroit's Demond Ricks was awarded $1 million for spending 25 years in prison on a wrongful conviction. As it stands, Phillips is the longest-serving wrongfully convicted former prisoner in U.S. history.

Phillips' artwork will be on display at Michigan's Ferndale's Level One gallery beginning Jan. 18.

See more on his artwork in the video below.

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Gladys Knight Defends Decision To Perform National Anthem At Super Bowl Amid Criticism

Glad Knight says she wants to “give the National Anthem back its voice.” The music legend released a new statement defending her decision to sing  the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Atlanta, next month, amid criticism from fans.

Several artists turned down offers to perform at the Super Bowl in protest of the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Knight clarified that her choice to sing has nothing to do with Kaepernick, and she doesn't exactly agree with the anthem being "dragged into the debate."

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight said in a statement to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The 74-year-old singer also noted that she has been on the forefront of social justice issues for much of her career. "I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words,” Knight said. “The way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good.

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it,” she continued. “I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Knight isn’t alone in catching heat for joining the Super Bowl lineup. Travis Scott and Big Boi, both of whom will perform with Maroon 5 at halftime, received backlash as well.

Earlier in the week, reports surfaced claiming Scott had a meeting with Kaepernick that ended with “mutual respect” and “understanding.” Kaepernick’s girlfriend and Hot 97 DJ, Nessa Diab, denied the report tweeting, “There is NO mutual respect and there is NO understanding for anyone working against @Kaepernick7 PERIOD. #stoplying.”

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Wendy Williams Postpones Show Return Due To “Complications” From Graves’ Disease

Wendy Williams is promising to get back to The Wendy Williams Show by the end of January, after delaying her return two previous times.

Williams announced another extended hiatus from her talk show as she continues recovering from a shoulder injury and recent “complications” brought on by Graves' disease, according to a statement posted to the show’s Instagram account Friday (Jan. 18).

“Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment,” reads the statement. “Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being.

“Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time.”

The statement included a message of support from Debmar-Mercury, the company that syndicates The Wendy Williams Show. “We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready.”

Williams will return with new episodes the week of Jan. 28.

 

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A Note from The Hunter Family As Wendy Williams Hunter previously shared, she fractured her shoulder and has been on the mend. Over the past few days, Wendy has experienced complications regarding her Graves’ Disease that will require treatment. Wendy will be under the strict supervision of her physicians, and as part of her care, there will be significant time spent in the hospital. Despite her strong desire to return, she is taking a necessary, extended break from her show to focus on her personal and physical well-being. Wendy thanks everyone in advance for their well-wishes and for respecting her and The Hunter Family's privacy during this time. Statement from Debmar-Mercury For over ten years, Wendy has been a vital part of the Debmar-Mercury family. We wholeheartedly support Wendy in this decision to take the time she needs and we will welcome her back with open arms the moment she is ready. The Wendy Williams Show will air repeat episodes the week of January 21st and will produce original episodes with a variety of hosts starting the week of January 28th.

A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:34am PST

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