After hearing the track “Whole Thang” by Darant’A, better known by his artist name TaeAwYeah! I instantly became intrigued by his style. I needed to hear more from him, and with a little SoundCloud search, I found him.
The East Chicago, IN. native was pleased to sit for an interview with GossipTrap at the historical Chicago State University. The upcoming artist spoke about facing homelessness, the actual process of grinding, politics, and everything in between.
As if it was a “Yard$ale,” TaeAwYeah! did not hold anything back.
Before we start this interview, I would like to say thank you for coming out and sitting with GossipTrap today. Much love for that.
Yeah, for sure. Appreciate you all for having me.
Who is the artist TaeAwYeah!? Give us a little background info about yourself for the people who know just a little about you.
Well, I’m TaeAwYeah! from East Chicago, Indiana. The Harbor, a hood of East Chicago, one of the hardest places to grow up. My parents were in and out of jail, one of my sisters too; leaving it just me and my older sister. I went from home to home – homeless, to family member after family member’s home. This lasted until my cousin Keith took me in as his own son. He showed me that there was much more to life than the streets – so I’m just trying to expand my mind. I’m just me, Tae from the hood. I found this music and I have a lot of shit to tell through it. I’m having a lot of fun right now, but I’ll always be from the Harbor; 2-1-9.
When & why did you begin to make music? What other musicians have inspired you as an artist?
I was 15 years old at all the college parties my cousin and his people promoted. I was on stage performing, you know, turnt with them. I wasn’t supposed to be in there, they were 21 and up, but I was and it was lit. Truthfully, I just started actually paying attention to music. Like, focusing on the background of all this shit; strengthening my craft, not just making music and dropping it, about last year. So, I’ve been making music for about a year now, and as inspiration I’ll have to say Future.
Yeah? I can hear that influence in a way when I hear you.
True, I mean I listen to everybody though. I use to be the J.Cole or Nipsey Hussle type, but now I’m listening to everything. Not really influenced by anyone in particular, but Future the only one right now I feel relates to me.
Yeah, I most definitely understand you. As of now, I’ve seen your videos on YouTube and heard your SoundCloud. “Yard$ale” stood out to me the most. Which one of your projects were your favorite to complete and why?
I’ll have to go with “Pretty Girls Love Blackbear & Percocet.” Although it was free-styled, it was my true feelings. Some true feelings I have been holding in. They finally were put out; this track, I finally let that shit out.
True, your creative process seems pretty dope. Did you hear what French Montana thinks about people who don’t collab a lot on their albums?
No I haven’t. What did he say?
He feel those people are weird, because music is meant to have fun with. No collaborations mean you not having as much fun as you could. If him and his friends are in the studio, why not make a song for his album – How do you feel about collaborations and features with music? What’s a day in the studio like for you?
Oh, I haven’t heard that until now, but I collab with the people I love. I love to collab, but it’s meant to happen with the people I know; somebody I actually fuck with outside of the studio. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do a track with everybody, but it has to be real life, no lies. Music is about networking and having fun – not trying to isolate myself at all, but you feel me. I use to write before I got to the studio, but it didn’t really sound right to me after I recorded it. So now, I get into the studio, smoke a blunt while listening to a cold beat, get into the booth and say what comes to my mind first. It’ll come out more unique that way.
I feel you bro. With that being said, how do you maintain your uniqueness as an artist?
Just be myself. Simple. Don’t care about anything somebody got to say about me. No matter where I come from, just be myself.
Simple as that. So if you not feeling a certain track or sound, how do you let that be known to your team?
If I ain’t feeling it, I ain’t feeling it. lol my team know.
Hip-Hop & Rap Music defined by Webster: A subculture especially of inner-city youths who are typically devotees of rap music. To talk freely and informally; a type of music that usually has a fast rhythm and in which words are spoken instead of sung. What is your definition of hip-hop/rap music? What does it mean to you?
It’s music – nice music. We know what Hip-Hop is when we hear it. We all know what Hip-Hop is when we hear it. We love Hip-Hop, and I’m trying to make much more than that. I’m an artist, I want to touch a little of everything. You know?
Yeah, I feel you. So, country music?
lol – not that yet, but you never know. I can sing too, so yeah, you never know.
lol – that’s real. Are there any new projects you are working on we should look out for?
Yeah, actually working on an EP as we speak. It’s coming soon, it’s coming soon.
Are you going to give us some of the singing vocals on this project?
Yeah, I just might.
Dope, keep us posted on it. You have accomplished a lot of your goals so far. Where do u see yourself in the next ten years? What is your true aspiration in life or inner peace goal you would like to achieve?
I mean, I know I’m going to make. Ten years? Only time will tell, life will be the one to actually tell that.
You right, but what do you mean by make it? What is your definition of actually making it?
Not working for someone else or working check to check. Making sure my family is straight, and everyone on my team is their own boss. Man in 10 years, we sitting at the Grammy’s, taking some trophies home. I see myself at the top. Period. I see myself and my team making it. And as far as my aspiration in life, it’s to genuinely live at peace – happily. Seeing my family without struggle, because family means everything. We all aspire to make it. My team will forever be my team, but they will also own their own companies.
That’s great to hear – honestly. So how do you maintain your sanity with everyone coming out of the woodworks claiming to have known you, looking for handouts/attention?
I’m showing love to everybody. I just know, deep down, you were not there.
“Cousin Tae! Let me hold $5 from you!” How would you react to that?
I’m gone give it to you. Give you that little $5, and then I’m gone. Show you a little love, but that’s as far as I can go. Got to stay focused.
Real shit. I feel you on that. There are many people dreaming to take on the road you are on right now. Do you have any advice for them?
Don’t stop. Put the work in, and keep grinding. That’s what everybody say, and it’s the truth. You must want this. People stop and give up on their dreams and goals, and I see it with my own eyes. I wanted to stop, I wanted to give up, but I never will. All this hard work and dedication will pay off. Just stay on it.
Being from Chicago, I have witnessed a lot of things. The IL state funding, brutalities (due to citizens and police), corporations shutting down, protesting, and the most recent situation – the CPS funding crisis. I have a lot to say about those issues. One major issue out of East Chicago, is the lead contamination situation at the West Calumet Complex ––
That shit ain’t just at West Calumet. It’s not just out there, it’s in East Chicago period. They acting like it’s in one spot, but it’s contaminated everywhere – period. They fucking us over, they been fucking us over. It’s not right – it’s the government, but yeah, what were you going to say about it?
Absolutely, I wasn’t trying to take it to the government, turn this into a political interview or anything, but Trump vowed to try and delete the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). He’s trying to cut 31 percent of its funding. It would cut the environmental justice program, lead cleanups, environmental protection enforcement, and restoration projects. They all help to reduce the burden of pollution on low-income communities. Also, many people were asked to leave their homes and placed in the city of Chicago in the Altgeld Gardens housing community. The communities are different in location, structure, and of course, crime rates. Some people are still struggling to adapt to that change. How do you feel about that? It pissed me off seeing how minority people can’t speak up loud enough for the government to hear them – even if they screamed at the top of their lungs! Seeing you are from there, I just wanted to know how has this affected you by actually seeing it all play out.
It just woke me up to knowing that this world ain’t shit. We all, as black people, have to stick together – period. Not even just black people, people as a whole. We all have to end the stupid shit and come together. Tired of history repeating itself, people want to be racist; not even whites against blacks – we got blacks racist to blacks and a lot of other crazy shit going on. Got a damn-nere racist as the President. We need to stop it all and come together man. I don’t want to get sidetracked though so I just say fuck it, and continue to hustle hard. We got to make it up out of here, no, we are going to make it out of here.
Yeah bro, I hear you truly – I do. Well before we get out of here, I got one more question for you.
Cool. What’s up?
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you bring? Why?
I’m stranded on an island? Shit, can I bring a boat? lol
Yeah bro – lol, just got to be only 3 things though.
Alright, shit. lol – we got to have a boat to sail our asses back home, some weed, and a gun.
lol – cool, but I have another question: how will you light the weed without a lighter or something?
Aye, lol – the boat got to have something bro. We got to have a fully stocked boat, everything on it; food, water, and everything. Some weed, and a gun, man we need all that, lol. We gone get home.
Interviewing TaeAwYeah!, formally known as Yung Tae, was a decent time. He was truly one of the realest people I’ve talked with. His humility as a person and dedication to his music stood out gracefully. Taking me into his world, I would say he is a strong person to keep a smile and his mood as free as he does. Life is full of obstacles, and it looks as if he has no problem with jumping over them. A young man focused on goals, family, and peace is one you all should know and support.