Smiley aka Young Agony
16 January 2014
[ BayUndaground.com ]: Let's start off with some basic info about you. Let us know who you are and where you are from.
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]: What's up, I go by the name of Smiley also known as Young Agony and I'm from East Palo Alto, Ca.
[ BayUndaground.com ]: How did your rapping start? Is rap your way of life or just a fun part of it?
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]:Rapping was just for shits and giggles, cuz I started back when I was like 12. I would fuck around with some friends back when I was in middle school and just kept doing it for fun with my boys J-Dawg and Mikey. Then in High School, I bought a little setup and started fucking with tracks. I never really took it serious until my last year of High School; that's when me and an old friend of mine, Locs, put out a compilation called "No Suckaz". I did that and kind of left the rap part of me at that. I ended up going to CSU Chico and connected with some people I met through the comp and started actually getting serious out there. Shout out to my boy Lefty from Deep Sleep Records. So CSU Chico didn't work out for me... I kinda spent my year just focusing on my mixtape trying to find my style of rapping. I'm rapping because it's something I've spent so much of my time on in and I feel like I finally found my style.
[ BayUndaground.com ]: What or who inspire you to rap?
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]:My fans inspire me to rap and my friends are what keep me in the rap scene. The fact that someone actually is telling me that they like my work is good enough for me. The only reason I'm rapping and putting my music out is simply because I like the feeling when someone likes my work and I love it when I can get people stuck on my bars or hooks from my songs.
[ BayUndaground.com ]: Tell us something about East Palo Alto rap scene. Who's the biggest fish right now? And who's going to blow up in 2014?
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]:Honestly I wouldn't be able to tell you anything about the East Palo Alto rap scene. I'm not sure if anybody from my generation is even putting out projects or anything anymore. The only people that rap and are getting recognized in EPA are just the originals, The Hoodstarz. They post videos here and there, but that's about it for the East Palo Alto rap scene. If nobody makes any noise this year in EPA, 2014 is going to be my year by a long shot.
[ BayUndaground.com ]: Shed some light on your music projects. What's the story behind the "Pregame"? BTW, what's up with the cover artwork concept? It didn't look like an average rap one.
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]:So "The Pregame" was my start. I got connected with my boy Biz, who's featured on a couple tracks on "The Pregame" and started working with him. He was who pretty much pushed me into trying to find what style of music I was most comfortable with. I was in a kinda dark area in life at that point so I pretty much just vented about everything in "The Pregame" and let everything I had to say out. Of course some guy named Smiley can't put out tracks filled with rants so I named my ego, Young Agony. LOL, the cover, a member of Siccness.net made it for me. I didn't really care for the cover so I just wanted something that said my name and had a dark feel to it and thats what I got, LOL.
[ BayUndaground.com ]: A 2010 release called "No Suckas" was in fact your debut cd, however it was a compilation project featuring many homeboy artists and even some horrorcore representatives. Tell us about this comp, how it was acclaimed, was it pressed on physical copies?
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]:I have no idea how the concept of the actual compilation came about, but it happened and it was a good experience for me starting off. It stressed me the fuck out, but it got me connected with about 25 different artists who were all trying to get some exposure like me. Everybody loved it, it had different rappers so different people would hear every song and give them a chance they wouldn't normally get. I pressed I believe 500 copies and I only have one left. It's up for download in the Internet for free somewhere I think, LOL.
[ BayUndaground.com ]: Tell us about Spark It Up record label. Who's running it and who's on it right now?
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]:It's my label that I started back my sophomore year in High School with some of my friends and I'm pretty much the label right now. Everybody pretty much moved on with life and had kids. Then my boy J-Dawg who helped me start it is doing a stretch right now so I'm the only one doing music.
[ BayUndaground.com ]: Lets focus more about your plans for 2014. Tell us more about your upcoming mixtape "The Good Names Were Taken".
[ Smiley aka Young Agony ]:So "The Good Names Were Taken" is my second mixtape and by far my best work. My last mixtape was back 4 years ago so I've had time to find my style and work with it. I have about 9 finished tracks right now and a couple that need some finishing touches. I have features on only 2 songs, so for the most part it's actually a solo.
Be sure to check out Smiley aka Young Agony on DatPiff and YouTube.
Download "The Pregame" for free from DatPiff.