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‘I feel like I’m just starting the second phase of my career’: In Talks With Youngs Teflon

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

28 Mar 2022

Youngs Teflon has been one of the most consistent artists in UK Rap over the past decade. From his iconic ‘Call of Duty’ mixtapes, to iconic collaborations with Blade Brown and K-Trap, Trilly’s influence on UK Rap music is more than evident. We sat down with him to discuss his new album, tour, and musical influences:

Your new tape, ‘All Eyes On Me Against The World’, has just dropped. How are you finding the reception?

You know what? I think this might be the best reception I’ve ever had dropping a project. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I haven’t dropped something in over a year. But yeah man, I’m really happy with how people are taking it in and I hope that continues.

The name of your tape is clearly a 2Pac reference, what was the thinking behind that?

Obviously this project is not like a 2Pac album, but I thought that I wanted to combine two of my favourite albums from one of my favourite artists in the title. By putting the two together, ‘All Eyez On Me’, and ‘Me Against The World’, it creates another layer to it. I was listening to a lot of 2Pac when I was making the project so it just made sense.

So were you listening to a lot of 90’s rap when you were making the project?

Yeah, definitely. When we were in the studio I was listening to Pac, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang. Like I said the project doesn’t sound like a 90’s rap project but there are definitely influences on there.

And there also seems to be a theme of mafia imagery running through the tape, is that something that you’ve had an interest in?

I’ve always been a kind of mafia movie connoisseur. The mafia movie is my favourite genre of movie and sometimes I’ll just be watching at home and hear something and decide to record it on my phone or screen record it or something. Those are the clips that you hear on ‘Cosa Nostra’ and ‘Body Language’. My favourite mafia movie is ‘Goodfellas’, that’s where I get my nickname from – Jimmy Conway.

You collaborate with a few artists on the tape. One of them that I was surprised to see was Ramz on the track, ‘Circles’, but I was really impressed with how it sounded…

Thank you, man. Yeah I’ve known Ramz for time now and one day we just decided to get in the studio together and it worked. He’s a talented guy, still, and I think that song gives the project a bit of something different.

When me and Blade work together, there’s a different type of energy that we have. We can literally go into the booth, spit a verse, come out, spit another verse. We just bounce off each other and there’s definitely a chemistry there. Me and Blade are from the same generation so we’ve come up together, and we’ll continue to make music together for sure.

The one track though that it seems people are coming back for is ‘Body Language’ with Stardom…

Yeah that’s the one that the streets are going crazy for right now. It’s funny because that was the only track where I didn’t know how it was gonna be received, but to see the love it’s getting is mad, and shout out Stardom, too.

Who do you listen to from the UK?

Rimzee, Dave, K-Trap, Digga D, DoRoad. There’s a lot of talent in the UK scene right now, it’s looking healthy.

I saw Rimzee wanted a verse on ‘Body Language’…

(Laughs) Yeah he tweeted me asking for a third verse. I’m sure we’ll cook something up at some point.

You’re nearly 15 years deep into the game now, what do you put that longevity down to?

Our generation didn’t have the TikTok and Triller outlets that this new generation do. We go up on MySpace, Bebo, all of that. I think my longevity comes down to my bars. It’s easy to have a hit song but to have so many years in the game, our generation are able to do it through our lyrics. I feel like i’m just starting the second phase of my career now and I’m looking forward to the journey.

You’re also about to do a tour, how are you feeling about that?

Yeah, I haven’t been on tour for over two years, you know. It’s gonna be sick to be back out there and connecting with people who like your music. That’s part of what being a musician is all about and the show is gonna be worth the wait.

Looking ahead, what can we expect from Youngs Teflon for the rest of the year?

More music, man. I’ve got a joint project done with Tiny Boost which I wanna drop, then I’m working on an album which might come out later this year.

Are we going to see a Youngs Teflon and K-Trap joint project anytime soon?

(Laughs) I hope so. I’ve obviously got the tape with Boost, then I’m also working on a tape with Blade and Stardom, and one with K-Trap, so it just depends on when they come out. I feel like that’s the way music is going now, down the collaboration route, and I wanna be part of that.

An undisputed legend of the UK Rap scene, it now feels as if Youngs Teflon is finally getting the recognition he deserves. ‘All Eyes On Me Against The World’ is one of the best projects to come out of the UK this year, and it feels that Youngs is maturing to reach his musical peak. With a slew of projects ready for the next 12 months, we can expect Trilly to finally share some of the spotlight, and deservedly so.

Tickets for Youngs Teflon’s Tour can be purchased here:

https://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/youngs-teflon

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