Louisville, KY Words by MS RIVERCITY // PHOTO BY JULIA BEVERLY Originally seeking recognition as a hook writer, YV relocated to Atlanta from Louisville, Kentucky to place some of his work in the right hands. It was a move that eventually put him in front of Polow Da Don, who signed the young talent to Zone 4 (Rich Boy, Keri Hilson). Polow encouraged YV to record a full song. Even though it was his first attempt at a single, “I Got a Dollar” turned out to be hit material and is now receiving a widespread campaign. While songwriting has always been YV’s forte, the road to being an artist was paved with uncertainty at times. In fact, YV had actually given up on being in the spotlight prior to pairing up with Polow. “When you’re a producer, you make beats; but when you’re an artist, it’s so many things you gotta think about. You gotta think about if the crowd’s gonna like it, if I’m delivering the verse right,” YV explains. “That’s why I fell back and looked into some other lanes with music. I gave up because ain’t nobody understand where I was coming from. The way to keep myself alive in music was by doing hooks.”
“R.I.P. to Static Major. He was one of our leaders in Kentucky,” sighs YV. “He was a close friend to me. He was a special person. Even though he’s passed away, he’s still the man. A lot of people went up and we thought Kentucky was gonna blow and it just disappeared. I got a lot of stuff to carry on my back. I’m the voice of Kentucky. I’m the Louisville Lip. It’s time to move” Making moves with his new situation under Zone 4/Interscope is something YV shows no hesitation on. He recently wrote hooks for E-40 and continues recording songs with his new mentor. Following the success of “I Got a Dollar,” YV and Polow plan to release a second singled called “Stroke.” “It’s a dance record with an up-tempo beat, like some Florida stuff. I was actually born in Tallahassee, Florida and raised in Kentucky so I like to give stuff to people from both the states I’m from.” To sum up the last few years of his career, YV states, “It’s a blessing. It’s a lot of money here [in Atlanta] if you stay on your job and you’re really good at it. A lot of people in Kentucky would love to be in my position right now.”
Approximately two years after moving to the A to work with his producer Willy Will, YV was earning a solid income from his ghostwriting abilities, but Polow saw more in the 20-something year old. YV’s vibrant personality was what impressed Da Don the most. “He looked at me and was like, ‘You a star.’ He looked at me more than he looked at the music. It’s because of the way I talk, the way I walk, the way I act. My style is wild.”
YV believes that his blessings come from above, concluding, “It’s about how I treat people. I got a couple of homies I looked out for over the years, and family members. I try to do a nice deed every day. I don’t pray every day, but I try to. I know I need to thank the Lord for me getting a deal and money and having a hot single in the streets. It’s like, I did something good and now it might have come back around.” //
It’s this magnetic style that YV hopes will finally shine light on his hometown.
38 // OZONE MAG