Youngbloodz: Beans & Cornbread

With so many new artists and musicians coming out of ATL, sometimes it's hard to keep up with some of the town's elder statesmen. The Youngbloodz have been on the grind since the late 90's, but have yet to garner the praise that they deserve. J-Bo and Sean Paul have been through a series of label changes and have now settled with Jive Records for their third LP. "Presidential," their newest single, is hitting hard in he hood and, based on this interview, the pair are about to pump new life into an already vibrant scene. Do you ever feel like it's hard for you guys to get your shine because there are so many people coming out of Atlanta now?

Sean Paul: Naw, I don't really think it's harder because at the end of the day, we can go neck to neck with anybody. So it's not hard. It's just working with the right people when it's time to drop our album. When it's time to do it, let's go to work. Let's get this money and open up these budgets. You get tired of mothaf**kas saying that it's not in the budget. What the f**k is in the budget? Looking back at everything that you have had to endure, what is the biggest lesson that you have learned from it all?

Sean Paul: The most valuable lesson that I have learned through it all is that you can not depend on the label to do you s**t for you. You have to be the person that you are and market yourself sometimes. You have to get out there and grind. Let people know that you are still out there. They don't know the industry part, they only know what they see on television and whatnot. So what are your plans now that you're with Jive? Are you planning to stay there?

Sean Paul: This is our first record with Jive, but if everything works out the way it's supposed to, then we will. What can you say about the label change?

Sean Paul: You got to have the right people behind you. Every time we have dropped a new album, we have been on a new label, and right now, we're with Jive Records. Our first label was LaFace, and they had their problems. So then we moved to Arista Records. It's a new system we've had to learn every time we drop an album. I think that if we had been just with one family, we could have done better, but we've had to learn new people every time. Basically, we've been going through a bunch of bulls**t. I think it's a good look for you two right now, because you're getting more shine than you've gotten in the past by far.

Sean Paul: Exactly! It's definitely a good look, so at the end of the day when we all sit down and renegotiate, as long as we're all happy, then we are definitely going to be there. What are you doing outside of the music?

Sean Paul: Besides this, we run two restaurants. What got you guys into the food business?

Sean Paul: Actually, my uncle has been doing it for some time now. It was just another way for us to invest some money! It seemed so far fetched, even though so many musicians go that way.

Sean Paul: It is, but once you got somebody that has already been so successful with it, why not? What made you get a "presidential" look for the new video?

Sean Paul: Man, that's what we doing these days! We do it presidential. We staying on the cush and smokin' that George Bush! What's going on with this GMC company yâ'all have?

Sean Paul: That's just something that me an J-Bo put together! Then the other cat that's producing our stuff is J-Mill from Alabama. So that's it man! We're grindin and we got some names on the album, so we're ready to do it!

Sean Paul: Man, we got Scott Storch on production, Lil' Jon on production, Jazze Pha on production, plus GMC. Our album has about five or six strong singles on it. That's a good thing.

Sean Paul: Yeah, it is, but it's real hard to pick from [laughs] but we're going through 'em and trying to see which will be the second. So tell me. What's going to be the biggest difference with this new album? What are we getting that we did not get from you last time around?

Sean Paul: I think it's primarily that push, man! You got to be with the right people. I think that Youngbloodz, we could have done our thing a long time ago. So what else are doing to increase the awareness of Youngbloodz and promote the album?

Sean Paul: We just did Rap City, and our video aired "New Joint Of The Day" a few weeks ago, so that's doing good. Plus, we stay on the road. Right now, we're on the road. Youngbloodz always eat! The album'll be out November 1st, 2005. What's your take on the mixtape game right now? So many artists are taking that route and doing full mixtapes! Is that something Youngbloodz will tap into?

Sean Paul: We were just talking about that last night, and it's kind of new, with us being from Atlanta. It wasn't really that strong before. I think that could be something really good for you guys if it's pushed in the right manner.

Sean Paul: Right, and we're going to be getting that out there soon, because we've got so much s**t man. Like I said, we got the group we're putting out GMC. Mr. Moe from Jim Crow. Everybody working man! Cutty is doing his thing, making beats.