Young Lito is the next rapper to blow out of Brooklyn, New York. Wearing multiple hats from rapping to songwriting to hustling, the East Coast MC came up as a member of the B$B Crew alongside Troy Ave — but after the Irving Plaza shooting, Lito is moving on to the next chapter of his life.
Most recently, he unleashed his mixtape titled “Stay Inside (The Quarantine Tape),” equipped with 10 heartfelt tracks that speak to his current mindstate as well as the state of the rest of the world. As we’re all quarantined inside our homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lito gives us hope that the dark times are only temporary.
With songs like “Glow” and “Man Down,” fans can’t help but gravitate towards his realness and authenticity.
AllHipHop caught up with Lito to discuss his biggest influences, the B$B days, his favorite songs on the project, Top 5, and more!
AllHipHop: Being from Brooklyn, New York, what was the household like growing up?
Young Lito: It was regular. Regular a## story: single parent, single mom. Dad wasn’t around, mom’s working overtime. You take part of the streets, it wasn’t super rough though.
AllHipHop: Biggest influences?
Young Lito: Fab was heavy, he heavily inspired me. Jay Z, DMX, Shyne. Shyne was different. Young Jeezy was a big influence on me, that’s around the time I started hustling and felt everything he was saying. His music triggered a lot of emotions and when I started making music, I always wanted to give people that same feeling whether it was about growing up in poverty, hustling to get out, or just having a good time.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to when you were mobbing with Troy Ave, as part of the BSB Crew.
Young Lito: I met Troy through Hovain, his former manager. That’s my bro, my dawg for life. He’s from the same neighborhood, we both from Brownsville. I’m from Marcus Garvey projects, he’s from Van D### projects. He used to always say he had this artist, “come to the show.” I came to support them at a few shows. He’s like “You look like you rap. You have a look to you, can you rap?” I said “I rapped in high school.” Because I always knew I could rhyme, I used to help my friends who did rap. I sent them a freestyle, the rest was history. I started rapping. He threw me on a few mixtapes and I started building a name for myself in the rap game.
AllHipHop: What’d you learn from that experience?
Young Lito: One thing I can say about Troy even though I don’t f##k with him is that his work ethic is crazy. You have to stay consistent. Consistency wins the race, but also character. A lot of people didn’t like Troy because he often did some corny s##t that upset people or he was arrogant at times, but that’s who he is. Me personally, I’m more laidback. I keep working and I stay humble. Business is business. Things didn’t end like we expected but that whole situation taught me a lot.
AllHipHop: When did you realize music could be a career for you?
Young Lito: My first show in Connecticut. It wasn’t even my show actually, it was Troy’s show and we performed our song on his mixtape. People knew the words, I’m like “oh s##t, people f##k with me.” I did what he did, he searches his name. One day I searched “Young Lito,” a bunch of people were saying “yo this Young Lito song is hot!” I thought “this is for real, I could do it”
AllHipHop: You just released Stay Inside, talk about creating a whole project under quarantine.
Young Lito: It was easy honestly, because a lot of the songs I had done already. I’m in the house, I have a lot of whole s##t on my mind to let out. Feature-wise, it was all personal. Everybody I have a feature with is my real friends I speak to, I kept this tape real personal. Staying inside, ironically doing music was a way for me to get out. It felt good. Staying in the crib, s##t’s depressing.
AllHipHop: On the “Intro” you say, “my past behind me now I’m on this new s##t.” Can you expand on this line?
Young Lito: I’m over being part of the BSB s##t, that whole situation. I have a whole different energy, I’m on a whole new wave. After that situation, everybody was upset. Everybody had their own little feelings towards the situation, tut that was the past. We all had to get up and move on.
AllHipHop: “Glow” is a banger, you were feeling yourself. Bring us back to that studio session.
Young Lito: Yeah I was definitely feeling myself. [laughs] I had just got over a financial hump so I was feeling good like “let me go to the stu and talk my s##t.” I had some bands on me, I was fly. The studio session was a vibe. Wmen, weed, champagne, the homies. The studio felt like the club.
AllHipHop: What are your fondest memories from creating this project?
Young Lito: I have to say creating “Glow,” because we were turnt up in the studio like we were standing on couches in the club. Recording “Man Down” with Cheezus. For the listeners, it was a feature but for us, it was a battle of who had the best verse.
AllHipHop: What songs mean the most to you and why?
Young Lito: “Diary” and the “Intro.” “Diary” was so personal to me that I didn’t even want to record in front of anybody. I spoke about s##t that weighed heavy on my heart. My bro dying, me stressing my moms out, even my ex losing our child. A lot of those things in “Diary” I never spoke on or even mentioned to my closest friends. The “Intro” also means a lot to me because that’s another record from my heart. It’s something about that sample that triggered a punch of emotions and I started going off about everything that’s been on my mind disturbing my peace. The beat was so fire, I started writing soon as I heard it. Shout out to C. Hilfiger for producing that one, he went crazy.
AllHipHop: Do you feel real hip-hop is hard to be seen nowadays?
Young Lito: Yeah because it’s not about hip-hop anymore. The game is no longer about the art or your talent, it’s about silly antics and how much ”clout” you got. If you a n##ga like me who isn’t going to do bozo s##t or go against your morals for views and streams, the journey is going to be longer. I know artists personally who hate their rap persona. It’s the total opposite of who they are but they feel they have to be a clown or bully people on camera to get noticed.
AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?
Young Lito: If we’re talking ever, I have to go with Biggie, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, DMX. Fifth is between Rick Ross or Young Jeezy.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
My iPhone, some Essentia water, and some candy. Weed and liquor be slowing me down sometimes. Get me some green Sour Straws or some gummy bears and I’m good. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Why do you think LeBron is better than Jordan?
Young Lito: LeBron is just a better all around player. Statistically, he’s beating him in every category but steals. MJ got more accolades like MVP awards and championships but he also had better teammates and a hall of fame coach. LeBron still playing so he can catch up on those, awards if not beat them.
AllHipHop: What are some goals for yourself at this point of your career?
Young Lito: I want to successfully reinvent myself and build my brand/label 10 Hunnit Records. I’m blessed to have a Gold record from “She Belongs To Game” and I’m aiming for more in the future. I want to expand my fanbase and be heard by the masses.