Interview - Hostile Youth


At the much anticipated Joey Fatts 4/20 show, we caught up with a few members of Hostile Youth after two outstanding sets from Vaunfe and Uno Hype, who brought out Ace Cosgrove to prepare the crowd for the rest of the night's performers. Read below as we touch on everything from their start, their inspirations, and the DMV music scene. HS1

CS: How did Hostile Youth start? Ace: *points to Uno* I linked up with him randomly. I moved to Rockville and his older brother lived on Carlton Street. My lease is about to run out, so I moved in with that him. *points to Vaunfe and Uno* They've always been cool. Uno: I've been cool with Vaunfe since like, back in high school. We were in 9th grade. CS: So y'all started Hostile Youth and then Ace came in? Uno: Nah, Kwess started that shit. We started Hostile Youth. Me, Kwess, my boy Black Diamond. I knew Vaunfe before I even met Kwess. We used to kick it, back in the summer school days and shit. 16, getting high my man's crib, just rapping. You know how niggas be, hittin' cyphers and all that shit. *points to Ace* Then my brother met him. They were going to the liquor store, grabbed a bunch of Old English's, then goes "Yo, my brother gotta song called Old English!" And Ace was like, "who's your brother?" And he says Uno! Ace is like "What, nigga? That's my mans!" I met Kwess because his brother went to my school, his brother rode my bus. We lived in the same neighborhood, a few houses down from each other. His brother was like "my brother be on his rap shit too, let's link!" I met up with him, then he was recording at my crib. Ever since then, we've been tight. I met Black Diamond back in high school, he used to be a nigga with a bush just walking around with his headphones on. Saw him in the hallway and from then we just linked. Vaunfe: Then I met Ace, we found out we were cousins! Uno: The whole time mine and Vaunfe's brother went to middle school together and were like best friends. Then I introduced them to Face (Engineer for Hostile Youth). Ace: Nah, I was ready hip to Face! Uno: Tell 'em Face! I introduced Kwess, then you guys. Ace: Yeah, but I was already hip to Face. Face: I think we were cool before, but did we ever do music? Ace: Nah. CS: What is been the most inspirational thing for you guys? What serves as a muse? All: Life. Uno: My mothers basement, my dog mumu. Vaunfe: These guys, to be honest. To see these two go at it, like really grind hard as shit? That's the shit that really influences me. Seeing my team really get it. Fuck all the other shit, I listen to other rappers but my team is really it. CS: What do you think is the most important element to hear music? Do you lyrics come first, and then the beats or vice versa? Uno: It's just feeling the vibe. Not to be cliché as shit, but you have to feel the music before you could put them words down. Ace: You gotta get the beat, the beat provides the vibes. Uno: *jokingly* I need a beat, I need a singer, I need a producer... Vaunfe: Sometimes you can feel it before it even really start you start rapping on that shit. CS: Then it just hits you? All: Yeah. CS: What do you think is the exact message that you want to share throughout your music? Ace: That niggas can conquer fucking anything they want to. Vaunfe: Be yourself. Uno: Don't take that youth lightly. The power is within the youth. Vaunfe: We trying to fuck everybody up in the game, for real. CS: DC or everyone? Uno and Vaunfe: Everybody! Uno: Little Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye, Drake! Everyone that's getting it right now, we're trying to get it with them! CS: As a collective, what do you think is the most influential piece is put out yet? Uno: as a collective? We haven't really put out anything... CS: Even features! Uno: We have this video we're putting out tomorrow, Long Kiss Of Death, that's really going to be like the first piece that people have really seen from Hostile Youth. Everybody's really just been building their own entities, so when you go back to it it's Hostile Youth, but it's also this nigga getting it on his own and this nigga getting it on his own. Vaunfe: Honestly, we don't even want people to think we are collective. So when we do come up, it's going to be like "damn, he knows him, and he knows him?" We wanted to be that we are all individual artists, but in the end were all pushing for the same thing. We're all rooting each other to get it. CS: The last time we talked, Uno mentioned a psychedelic hip-hop band that you were starting. Can you tell us more about that? Uno: Give Us More Power, GUMP? Just keep your eyes open, you're about to see us. CS: What do you guys think can be done to make the bond between DC artists stronger? I read an article the other day on Pigeons and Planes and I thought I'd get your opinion. Ace: I know what you're talking about, I read that, too! This is how I look at shit like this: you can't help every body. At the end of the day, I guess it's competition for real. Uno: You go to another city, and no place is like the DMV. Everything is like "Atlanta! Atlanta!" or "New York! New York!" but here is like Virginia; that's a whole different city from Maryland. We didn't grow up there, don't really know anyone over there. And it's like the niggas from DC don't really fuck with anybody, they don't even fuck with the niggas in their city. And to them, everybody outside of DC? It's like "Oh you're some Maryland nigga, you're some Virginia nigga." CS: Did you see the other day how everyone was getting on Wale because he's not actually from DC? Uno: He went to my high school, but it's like the main city down here is DC! DC is inside of Maryland, the border is right there, like you can walk into DC. The only other major city is Baltimore. I can catch the metro back to DC, I can't catch the metro to Baltimore. Ace: I see this as competition, but that's what you're in it for! That's why we made us. I'm not saying that people are opposed to doing stuff, but when you reach out they get iffy. If we're cool, the song will happen. Face: It's like DC has its own sound, Maryland has his own sound, Virginia has his own sound. CS: I can't really tell, so I'm taking everything from you guys right now. Uno: I can't tell either. I feel like there's only a certain amount of lanes as for hip-hop, which is why I kicked off the whole GUMP shit, to fill a void that I didn't see, only coming from niggas like The Roots. It's like "Let's get it in all fields and forms of art."

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Hostile Youth for taking the time to talk to us. Give Us More Power is performing at Distortion in the District this weekend, hosted by Bombay Knox and Distorted. You can find tickets here.  Follow Vaunfe, Uno, and Ace on their Soundclouds.

InterviewsAngelie Benn