20 January 2010
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's good Young Ant. Please tell our readers the basics of who Ant really is.
[ Young Ant ] : Young Ant's nothin' like he was before. There's been a big change in my life, and that's because of Jesus. I'm a work in process, and God's still shaping me, molding me, and fashioning me to be more like him. In early 2007, I handed, and surrendered my musical talent to the Lord. It's no longer about me, my needs, and my will. It's about the will of the Father. I don't consider myself to be a Rap star. I'm a Minister, and I Minister over tracks. I'm here to preach the Word of God, share my life experiences, encourage, and let others know that the power of God, can change their lives as he did mine.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : When did your rap thing start?
[ Young Ant ] : I first started rappin' back in 1992. It was my way of expressing feelings. When I was younger, I had a lot of anger in me. Writing raps allowed me to let out aggression, and it kept me balanced.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : After looking at my discography I noticed that I have your verses featured only on early Darkroom Familia albums: "Brown Area", Duke's and J-Loc's solo as well as "Veteranos". Was there anything besides that?
[ Young Ant ] : I've been featured on several other Darkroom releases, and around 2003/2004 I worked with recording Artist YuYo MC of Synthetic Groove Records (SGR USA), and did production, and verses for a couple of artists on his roster. One was San Jose's "Killa A", and the other was the 209 Valleys "Young Nature". You can also find me on the Funk on Sight Volume 1 Compilation, The Unjust Hustlas "Written In Ink" album and Bill Blunt's latest release "Business With Options".
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How did you start rapping with Dakroom members?
[ Young Ant ] : In 93/94 I managed to get a hold of Crooked, and Duke. I expressed my interest in laying down some tracks with them. We arranged a time to meet up, and head to the studio. They felt my flows, and rap style, and with a little work, and coaching from them, it all worked out.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : So what happened after that? The next thing I know of is the 2002 joint project with Billy Blunt...
[ Young Ant ] : After the release of "Veteranos", I took a leave of absence from the rap game. Continued to build up my studio, and started my own group, the Unjust Hustlas and my own record label Unjust Records.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Right now you are one of the few Christian rappers representing the Bay Area. How did you find Jesus in your life? When did it happen?
[ Young Ant ] : Although I was a rap artist, I wasn't too happy with myself. The happiness I did find was only temporary. I was looking for the peace, joy, and life, that's only found in Jesus. I gave my life to Jesus, and received him as my Lord, and Savior in March of 2006. I was facing problems in my relationship with my Wife and we were also facing some housing issues at the time. We pretty much were on the brink of homelessness, we put all our faith in God and just trusted him in the situation. In under two weeks the Lord provided us with our own place. We were staying with my mother in law for a few weeks before we were blessed. God revealed himself to us and showed us that with him nothing is impossible.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : And you decided not to leave the rap field. West coast rap fans are used to some gangsta / mob type of content. Do you think that this genre is a good means of promoting Christian mentality?
[ Young Ant ] : Of course, both Christian and non Christians will enjoy my music. The only thing that separates gangsta/mob music from Christian music are the words, and the message. You can take my production and create a gangsta track to it if you chose to. You can also take something considered gangsta, and switch it up to something real "praizey". There's no right or wrong way to make music. We as artists need to think outside the box, do something new, and get creative. I market my product to both Christians, and non Christians. My music is for everybody.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us something about your solo debut from 2008.
[ Young Ant ] : For one I put everything I got into this album. Each track will encourage the listener in some way, shape, or form. The message is "Jesus" and that's powerful, but you don't gotta be a Christian to enjoy this album.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : And right now you're working on the one titled "Thinkin Like A Champ". What's the meaning hiding behind the title?
[ Young Ant ] : My definition of a Champ, is one who believes that Christ has answered many prayers. I also call Jesus the Champ of all Champs, cause there is none above him. So the title "Thinking Like a Champ" has several meanings. It means we need to think like Christ, the Champ of all Champs, believe in him, and in his power to answer prayers. We are not losers in Christ. We are winners, and champions, that are victorious, and more than conquerors.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What goals do you want to achieve on your sophomore release in comparison to the debut one? I mean, in which ways did you develop? I'm asking, because "Power Pray" had an underground production, plus you handled the distribution, right?
[ Young Ant ] : Right now my sophomore album is already finished. I'm just waiting to get it mixed down, and mastered. I just plan to move forward, grow as an artist, and continue to give it my all as I Minister over these tracks, and let the Lord have his way. On "Power Pray" I did handle all the production, and it is self manufactured, and distributed. On my next project I plan to up it with some better production, some featured artists, and possibly professional manufacturing.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : When and where will it be available?
[ Young Ant ] : I plan to release it this March, but when doing things unto the Lord, he always knows what's best for you, so I'm just trusting him, leaving it in his hands. The release will be available, and for sale throughout all of California, and also available on-line. Orders can also be placed through me if you're outside the California area or the United States. I'm asking the Lord to bless me with a distribution deal right now.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : And your label Praizey Boy Productions. Do you plan to put more people on it?
[ Young Ant ] : At this time that's nothing that I'm pursuing, but I'm not gonna turn someone down if they want to work with me. I'm always available to network with others to build up God's Kingdom.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us a little something about the Christian rap scene in northern California. Do you network with other people?
[ Young Ant ] : The Christian rap scene in northern California is on the rise, and is overlooked. There's a lot of us out there who have our hand to the plow. God is doing mighty things out there through us, and changing lives. Personally when given the opportunity, I network with any Christian artist I can. The Bible says that us believers are the Body of Christ. Each member plays an important role. I'm against division. To me it's all about unity.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Now, when you changed your attitude towards the world, what do you think about the contemporary Bay Area music scene?
[ Young Ant ] : To be honest, I'm not too comfortable with it. I'm not hatting on any artists out there. They all got talent. I'm here to encourage, be an example, and instill into others to be leaders and not followers. Most artists come from the streets. I'd rather see them in the microphone booth, than behind bars, and on stage over hangin' on the block. It's all legal. I may not be in favor of the message, but I'm in favor of all music that sounds good. I know potential when I hear it, and many out there got it.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Do you still stay in touch with Billy Blunt? How's his music endeavors?
[ Young Ant ] : It's been a while since I spoke to Bill Blunt. I don't keep up to much with his music. I do wish him the best, and tons of success with his music career. He's a good friend, and a great artist who's very talented.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Thank you for this interview, Ant.
[ Young Ant ] : Right on, I'd like to thank you, and also the rest of the staff at BAYUNDAGROUND, for the luv, support, opportunity, and for taking your time to set up this interview. It was a blessing to open up, and share with you a little about myself, my music, and my ministry.
If you are interested in Young Ant's music please visit his MySpace page.