Old-school Chevrolets and Miami hip-hop go together as much as the driver and the gold teeth brightening up their smile.
Boxes, donks, and bubbles have become a staple of the 305's rap scene, whether it's seeing one gliding on 24-inch rims or hearing about them in a song. Remember "Chevy Ridin' High" a few years back?
Well, Maybach Music member Young Breed has got that same admiration for classic cars, naming his latest mixtape, Seven Tre Chevrolet. (The project features Washington DC's Fat Trel, as well as Iceberg, K Kutta, Styles P, and, of course, MMG boss Rick Ross.)
Just the other day, the 25-year-old Carol City rapper hung out with Crossfade at Spanglish Studios in Miami. We spoke about the significance of Seven Tre Chevrolet, what separates him from Miami rappers, golds, using the Internet as a resource, and more.
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Crossfade: What's the significance of Seven Tre Chevrolet to you?
Young Breed: I own a seven tre Chevrolet. The significance to me is coming from Dade County, the city I'm from, we restore old-school cars. So for me to have a '73 Chevrolet that's almost like the mascot of Dade County, it means a lot to me. That's almost like the ideal model of what people get when first get a Chevy or something to restore. Those are the years of donks, which are from '71 to '75. And that was why I picked that to be the name of my mixtape, my new street album, Seven Tre Chevrolet.
You'd never ride in a bubble?
A bubble? Actually I have rode in a bubble before. The Caprices. The '98s, the '90s model. Yeah, we don' rode in them. My peoples, we had a clique of Chevys and stuff and we have different models of them.
What's the greatest advantage of being a part of Maybach Music?
I think the greatest advantage is just being able to be a part of it, man, being that it's a major independent label, especially with my CEO being from here. His hometown being Miami, Dade County, where I'm from. I think it got a few advantages. Just knowing that you're under a CEO, an artist that's actually a CEO of the company, and he's grinding, putting in the ground work, and being proven that he's going to continue working.
A lot of Miami rappers talk about dope, the trap, or even seven tres, boxes, bubbles, and everything. But what separates you from others who say they bring that "real" life?
I think the main thing that separates me is my music. You can do that by listening. If you listen to my music, you'll hear a trap record, you'll hear a dope boy record. But then you'll hear records such as "Give Her What She Wants," featuring Omarion. And you know, I've had several records with Reese from 3 Piece, where I cater to the ladies. I think it's just the way I deal with the different genres of music is what separates me. I'm always inclined to doing music with different type of music.
Right now, we're in Spanglish Studios. I deal with Latin artists and stuff like that. I think my versatility just sets me apart form everybody else.
Speaking of versatility, there are guys on Seven Tre Chevrolet that you would expect, such as Rick Ross, Fat Trel, and Boosie. But the one that sticks out is the track you have with Styles P.
"I'm Bout Whatever." That's the big homie. Just us having a mutual partner that we both consider family, the big homie Demi. We just lined it up. And I've already rubbed elbows with the big homie with my CEO doing a lot of music with him. Us being on the road and he seeing me grinding and stuff, he ain't have a problem. It was done. I emailed him that record and he sent it right back the next day. Just for a dude of his caliber, with his track record, for him to do that that meant a lot to me. And it just shows you that I am, just like you say, I'm open to doing versatile records. People didn't expect to see a Styles P feature on a Southern dude from Miami, Dade County's album. That's a big thing and I definitely pride myself on doing stuff like that.
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What did you have to do to earn your golds?
Coming from where I'm from, Miami, Dade County, golds is kind of like the mascot. Being the Chevy and us having golds, that just come with it, man. You ain't really have to go through anything or earn no stripes. I think people just know what you go through, they know what you've been through. And it's also a part of our fashion and a part of our trend coming up in my generation.
What makes you the young Phillip Drummond?
First off, if they don't know, Phillip Drummond is a character that came from a sitcom from the late '80s, Different Strokes. And Phillip Drummond was the rich parent who adopted two black kids, and he was actually a white dude. But I remember watching those episodes and he used to always instill in them kids, like, "I adopted you all, and you all been adopted into a rich family, but I grinded to get where I was. I worked and I climbed the corporate ladder to get where I'm at right now." That's how I looked at it in the music profession, like I'm the young Phillip Drummond. When I put in enough work and I go through what I go through, eventually I want to see myself as that Phillip Drummond. I just speak it into existence.
Are you going to adopt two white kids?
I just might. I just might bless them, you know what I'm sayin'? [Laughs]
What makes you an old soul?
I was raised by my grandparents, so I listened to a lot of old music. I did a lot of things, old and traditional. Grandma ain't play that shit. Put that belt on you if you act up. And granddad, he showed me a lot of things as a young hustler. I always been ahead of my time, so you know that's why I really took to that being an old soul.
What's the greatest lesson they taught you?
The greatest lesson I think my peoples taught me growing up was you always gotta handle your business. I think that comes with everything you deal with even if it's in the music game, if it's building your own business, you gotta handle your business first. Just make sure everything was on time. You're workin' smarter, not harder. I think that was the most valuable lesson that stuck with me and I use to this day right now.
The way everyone gets their music changes, month to month, year to year. From what I see, street rappers have a primary goal to get on the radio as opposed to adapting to new technology and getting their music online. But you have done a good job so far doing so. What do you think may hold others off from doing so?
I think it's just people not being able to change with the times. Like you say, every day changes. We're in a different generation right now. And you know, right now the Internet is a major resource for everything. Some people are stubborn. They don't want to go the Internet route. They want to go and do it the way they know how to, but it's hard to do that when CDs are almost becoming extinct because you have USB drives. How long will it be before DJs become extinct because you already got Seratos and stuff like that? Just be ready to adapt with the time, because I remember when it used to be BET's Rap City and you want to rap in the booth and you want to get your video on Rap City. Now you got MTV Jams and WorldStarHipHop. It's different outlets and you're either going to change with the times or you're going to suffer with the old.
Also, being in the generation I came up with, I was out there hustling when these dudes, like the DJ Khaleds, the Rick Rosses, the Pitbulls, etc. I was their understudy. I was right up under them, and I was watching them do what they do, and I watched the game transform as far as Internet resources and stuff like that with these guys. They adapted and they stay relevant. It's like why not? If I've seen them do it and be in the middle of it, be right in there in the core, in the middle, when the whole Internet resource thing changed and when the Internet took over the game and for them to be able to adjust and still move and still be those top artists that they are today, I mean, that's just motivation.
Earlier you brought up "Give Her What She Wants" with Omarion. What's the one thing women want the most?
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The one thing women want the most is the thing that we can't give them, and that's time. I think that's what women want the most, time. It's only 24 hours in a day, and I think they want time the most. I think they want that more than love and affection.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter @LeeMCastro