“Somewhere between my living and dying, between tribulation and triumph, I’ve been trying to figure who I am…”
yU is the king of what he does.
Rapper, producer, D.C. native, 1/3 of the awesome Diamond District (of which Uptown XO is a member), yU is easily one of the finest emcees you aren’t hearing. A lyrical, intelligent, and humble man, yU is a true artist, concerned with only presenting real and raw life with his music, and only two solo albums deep he’s already made a lifelong fan out of me. It amazes me how much yU handles matters with care. Each bar is meaningful, every beat is spare and fulfilling, and yU delivers tales of personal struggle, introspection, dedication, and hard work with clarity and ease. The dude honestly makes it seem effortless how he can deliver such poignant words and personal manifestos. I had the opportunity to interview him for KN, and the dude is just as sharp in a discussion.
“Close,” from his first record, 2009’s Before Taxes is easily one of the best tracks (out of a ton of great listens) of the album and his career so far, because it defines who he is and how he does things so well. On this one he speaks softly, but he tells us so very much, such as his striving to become a better artist, father, and person. He also has choice words for a former colleague, making that second verse a subtle, yet pointed message, where he rises in intensity but never loses his cool. And throughout the track are just wonderful and memorable lines, which will stay with you after the song ends. Paired with the elemental production from partner Slimkat and the sung hook from Slim and Isabella Banneker, this track is one for the ages.