Hip Hop, is going thru an identity crisis..Purists, who believe that it should look or sound a certain way versus what it looks and sounds like today. When what we should be, is proud when future and the past intersect to create something we all can enjoy and respect. With that being said, I have to Thank the Soundcloud Gods for their dependency on algorithms. For without the aforementioned programming procedure, I may never have been introduced to , and now a full on fan of the Hip Hop/ Soul, brother and sister duo ..BETTER IN BLACK. .comprised of Shayy the MC and Blac Natrol, they breathe and carry a torch for Hip Hop like it was the 90s. With a style heavily dependent on a mixture of Bone Thugs like cadence, with the sensibilities of Souliquarians: ATCQ, De La Soul, and the Roots, add in vocals reminiscent of Badu and and Dionne Farris, and of course the aesthetics of their undoubtedly Hip Hop Predecessors , The Fugees and the legendary Lauryn Hill…Just their DNA alone is enough to make bohemian rapture. Influenced no doubt by the enlightened Daisy/Afrocentric era of Hip Hop by the likes of Arrested Development and the individuality of Outkast.. and given their very young age (Shayy , 19 and Natrol, 17) they are the living breathing embodiment of what we imagined the offspring of the Golden age of Hip Hop, would matriculate into. RnB In the D recently went Q&A with Singer/Rapper/ Producer and sister of the duo, Shayy to get some insight on what we need to know about the young artists in residence, who have released three very well executed and vibrant pure Hip Hop/SoulCentrific EPs via SoundCloud..Let’s get it in:
ShayyRnB: This “June” EP..is tailormade for “Insecure”..I can picture Issa with effed up look on her face while “June” or “Small things” is playing in n the background!!
Shayy: And ahh thank you, I had a good time creating this EP… it’s something small and personal !! I’ve never really watched the show yet but I’ll look into watching it lol 😆✨
RnB: You should check it out..so in total..y’all have three EPs of sorts?..With this EP more about your singing than Hip Hop ..It’s dope. It sounds personal ..Where did you record it..Who write produces ..you did I’m guessing?
Shayy: Yes we have three in total.. this EP’s meaning was basically about my favorite month.. plus my birthday month lol, which is june but also the shortness of the songs are equivalent to how “short” the month of june actually is.. then the songs itself just express how I was feeling in the month of june, which wasn’t too well .. so I started writing exactly how I felt but it was in also in a way that would help me release a lot of things that I often get stuck in.. And i recorded it here lol , I also did the mixing/ some mastering , writing and production on the EP lol.. just in my room on my laptop.. not the BEST quality yet , but i’ve learned a lot because of the time I’ve spent with it..
RnB: That’s dope!! You’re a thinker..What day is your birthday? My wife and Son are both in June. Are you adding anymore songs to the EP?
Shayy: My birthday is june 21 , gemini ! 😆 lol that’s cool , we’d all get along then lol! And there were supposed to be more but i think “Small things”, sort of concluded the EP .. but i do have a few songs that didn’t make it that i’m going to rerecord with better quality and put them out as singles
RnB: We’re there plans to add more to the EP? Its kind of short. I’m loving the mood..and I understand and respect the concept..What about Natrol? is he on anything for this EP?
Shayy: yes i do have one more that’ll go great on this EP that i really wanted to add, it’s called ” color me ” that was the first song i actually started working on back in june.. but i’m getting all new equipment so that’s why i kind of wrapped it up but i will still add that song to the EP .. and actually i wanted him to be on a few parts , which i still can do lol because i have like a little intro / outro as well so it’s technically not finished yet.
RnB: There it is. It’s a glimpse into Shayy..It’s kind of your “MisEducation..” not to put the Lauryn stamp on you so much. But you’re dope. So get ready for a lot of comparisons..Question..If not music..What would you be doing instead? Where do you see yourself/Better in Black in 5 years? How do you feel about music vs. The industry?
Shayy: ahh thank you ! lol it’s okay , lauren is great and she’s definitely an inspiration for me.. we already know A LOT about how the industry runs.. i read a lot and do a lots of research on how this industry is ran lol so i know it’s definitely not an easy ride , but for the love of music, it’s always worth it. i think i’d be doing something in the criminal justice field lol .. i love law and order so i’d be like a detective… but i see us being very well known locally and in other cities
RnB: What do you think of Hip Hop right now..R&B..what’s lacking? What do you like?
Shayy: i think in hip hop , it’s lacking original content and character. i believe it’s hit a slump and now everybody who is making something that’s “too different ” is not being validated as ” good music ” and now it’s all about the hype music.. but i feel like our supporters are really into our music lol. And as far as r&b , i’ve actually heard some really good musicians hat are bringing it back so i’m feeling what’s happening with that lol
RnB: Insightful…Who Are some if influences and inspirations musically..personally?
Shayy: If you know me then you know that amy winehouse is just.. my everything lol, kendrick lamar is one of the main reasons for how i am now.. biggie smalls, steely dan, whitney huston , mariah carey, tori kelly, ice cube , snoop… it’s so many lol it’s all over the place..
RnB: I’m a big HBCU dude…if you went to an HBCU..where would you go..what sorority would you pledge..You seem like a Howard U/ AKA chick:-))..I dig your thought patterns ..What artists are you digging right now?
Shayy: well i would’ve chose an HBCU college to go lol and i would’ve pledged delta i believe…and i actually have gone through my rights of passage which is also a sorority lol.. and thank you 😊.. and at the moment , there’s this artist called Sabrina Claudio , but i’ve been listening to her since she came out and this other artist called lèon.. she’s amazing lol.. it’s a bunch of others too..
RnB: Firestick or Netflix?
RnB: With your style of music, ..Do you feel out of place or right at home in the Detroit music scene. What do you dig about The “D”? Dislike
Shayy: Sometimes i do because of the name and sound that detroit has already given so i think when people are new to us , they expect what they’ve already heard…i think detroit should get more attention but i feel like it’s only a niche in the music industry… even after all of these years.
RnB: Wow..June babies..MY WIFE, is into Sabrina Claudio!! Turned me on to her!! Given your sound y’all will breakthrough nicely. .Given what you know and have experienced..would you sign with a major label, indie or stay independent? Why/Why not?
Shayy: lmfaoo yes see me and your wife already know ! 😊 She’s AMAZING… and no I wouldn’t sign to a major label UNLESS it was TDE because i’m in love with SZA and I’ve been a fan of kendrick for 7 years so I feel like I know him lol.. they’ve always had the freedom of putting out there own content and i respect that.. but I think we’d stay independent as of now.. BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t form a team lol
RnB: Yeah I think it’s easier now with technology and such…If you’re music is dope..which it is..people will find it..Its mostly promo that gets you over…Yeah SZA is double dope af!! Are you going to her show at Fillmore?..I think the Detroit scene gets international love..Danny Brown, Black Milk, Slum on the Hip Hop side are big in Europe…Have you gotten any attention from overseas yet? How’s that feel or make you feel about your music?
Shayy: yes that’s very true, so I just let the music speak for itself 😊.. and yes I’m going ! I just have to buy my ticket lol yes I’ve worked with the guys Young Brit , we’ve done a few songs together and some of his audience has came over to our music as well lol, it feels good in general to have people from all over listening to our music.. it’s a good feeling to know that somebody , somewhere could be playing one of our songs lol
RnB: In closing..how would you as Better in Black, an artist, and individual like to be perceived and remembered..
Shayy: I would want people to remember us in comparison to a breath of fresh air… meaning every time they hear our music , it’s refreshing and something that doesn’t get old.. a mixture of soft and hard.. like yin and yang.
RnB: Kind of how we feel after listening to Better in Black..Like we’re Yin and ..Better in Black..is yang. Your music feels very personal..Like how Issa Rae once said about how black. Chicks that went to college feel about Drake..”It’s like he gets us”..And we get Better in Black
Shayy: ahhh well that’s a way to say it ! 😊 i just want people to be able to have a relationship with our music and not think it’s only targeted to a certain crowd, it’s about variety. – T. Martin
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WeAreBetterInBlack/
Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/better-in-black/sets