Yowda describes himself as the “King of Nevada!”
Born and raised in Las Vegas, the “Criminal Mind” rapper reps his city down to the core. Crossing over all the way to the East Coast, Yowda is signed to Rick Ross’ MMG.
In fact, Rozay was a fan after hearing just one project: his debut tape Cons. The trust is real.
With songs like “Shut Up” by YG and “She Weak“ with 2 Chainz, Yowda pushed his name to the mainstream light. In 2015, his song “Gangland” dropped during a very controversial time period. He even went on the local news to share his side of the story growing up in LV.
AllHipHop: For those who don’t know who is Yowda?
Yowda: Yowda is the man from Vegas. The king of Nevada!
AllHipHop: How much do you rep Vegas?
Yowda: What do you mean? I’m from Vegas. I am Vegas. The hip-hop scene’s cool, you just gotta tap in.
AllHipHop: How did you get to MMG?
Yowda: Actually Ross caught a hold of my first mixtape, it’s been history ever since.
AllHipHop: Talk about how long you’ve been doing music.
Yowda: I’ve been doing music for four to five years now. I started taking it seriously after I got into a little trouble. I’m like “I gotta do something to stay off the streets.”
AllHipHop: How long were you locked up?
Yowda: Probably about 5 years in prison.
AllHipHop: Biggest lesson you learned in jail?
Yowda: Mind your business and you could come out soon.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize music was for real?
Yowda: S##t, once Ross took me in. When Ross took a liking to me, I’m like “dang it’s really happening.” He got an ear for it. He got a hold of my first mixtape called Cons maybe four years ago. I knew it was over after that. I remember the first time we recorded our song together in Miami. I didn’t believe he was going to f##k with me and he told me to come out there.
AllHipHop: How has he mentored you?
Yowda: He really helped me a lot with just the business aspect of it all. Keeping me focused. What to stay focused on and what not to get caught up in.
AllHipHop: Biggest lesson you learned in the studio with him?
Yowda: Never stop working.
AllHipHop: Talk about your own sound, what it is about Yowda fans love?
Yowda: We call it Rich Gang Bang music. I just dropped an album on September 20th: Curse of a Criminal Mind. Make you sure you spell my name right too: y-o-w-d-a.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want fans to get from this one?
Yowda: A little piece of me. Out of all my albums, I went a little more personal with this one than I did with any others.
AllHipHop: Favorite song on the project?
Yowda: “Criminal Mind,” because it’s a lot about me. I rap about everything! How I got here. I got some gangsta s##t on there, some s##t for the ladies, some relaxed s##t, some party s##t. It’s a well-rounded project.
AllHipHop: What are some goals for you as an artist at this point?
Yowda: Just to act more. I was on shows like Empire and Proven Innocent before too.
AllHipHop: Were you an actor before the music?
Yowda: Nah, I wish I was. [laughs] They just hollered at me, the guy asked me to play a guy in prison. I put on a Kufi and kept my beard, and it was on.
AllHipHop: What’s a normal day in the life?
Yowda: Wake up in the morning, I try to exercise a little bit. I’ve been eating vegan for the last six months. I love it. Then hit the studio. I try to hit the studio seven to eight hours a day.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Yowda: Sage, water, and peace of mind. I don’t f##k around, I’m on probation. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?
Yowda: Ross, Jeezy, Nas, Jay Z, and... Lil Wayne.
AllHipHop: Favorite Wayne song?
Yowda: Aw man, I really like The Dedication, to be honest. The mixtapes are the classics.
AllHipHop: Best part of being part of MMG?
Yowda: Just being around great people. Everybody in there works hard, we’re all very creative. We all have a lot of good music, it’s just a good team. It’s kind of like Golden State [Warriors] at one time.
AllHipHop: What’s your favorite Rozay song?
Yowda: Right now it’s “White Lines.” It’s the newest one, it’s most current. It’s a different vibe.
AllHipHop: How would you rank Port of Miami 2 out of all his projects?
Yowda: It’s a classic, because of the content. He kept it current. A lot of people were probably counting him out because it’s been so long since he dropped. But he surprised everybody.
AllHipHop: What’s next for Yowda?
Yowda: My album just dropped so I’m on tour with Rozay right now. It’s been cool, this the second day. We pushing, that’s it.