Interview with Noah Yount

Warren Peace (WP)-
What’s good, everyone? Today I’ll be introducing you to a talented and charismatic artist known as Noah Yount.
Thanks for taking some time to allow us to learn a little about you, Noah. Can we start by telling everyone where you’re from and where you are currently living? Also, who were your first influences in hip hop, and what is the hip hop scene like where you’re living?
Noah Yount (NY)
Well, I’m from Beloit, Wisconsin, one of the many struggling rust belt cities/towns in the Midwest. I live in Osaka these days though, Osaka, Japan. As far as my first influences go, I first started writing little stupid rhymes and poems as a kid almost separate from my taste in hiphop. That had to be about when I was 8 or 9 maybe. They always just involved flipping dirty rhyme for rhyme parodies of nursery rhymes n shit like that. As far as what I listened to for rap in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I only had tapes that people had dubbed for me, and all I had back then was some De la, Public Enemy, and Tribe. Then the hip hop scenes blew up and I fell in love with the beats, the g funk sound on the west coast, bone’s sound, and most influentially RZA’s beats on the east coast. Then in about the mid nineties the Midwest and southern styles blew and my ear finally heard shit like outkast, UGK, Twista, etc… and I just had the epiphany that I gotta actually rap and stop writing secret poetry. This is all about when I was 12,13. I think Andre’s lyrics and general flow on ATLiens was the first time I heard a record and thought,” wow” these lyrics and the feeling coming off this is amazing”. There’s a definite hip-hop scene here in Osaka. Shit, there’s more people livin here than NYC, even. You know, tons of urban area, so lots of urban culture.
Your album “Renaissance Man” was recently reviewed at The Write Reviews and received a lot of praise. “Renaissance Man” isn’t your first album though, is it? What previous projects have you released, and can you tell us a little about each one?
Through the years I’ve put out a bunch of songs & mixtapes that only exist now as hard copies in the hands of the faithful, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I was ever part of an actual release. That album, New Waterloo, was the result of an idea me and a couple of my guys (the alpha-bit, spelled with a Greek alpha letter) putting together a project purely for the love of Hiphop and no promotions sake. After that I got caught up in the transition of adjusting to life out here and how I was gonna make any money to finance any further works. After that hiatus I started work on and then released the album, Whuddisay in spring 2015. That album was actually my first official solo release despite all the years I’d been releasing music. I had really started to play with some other genres and sing a lot more preceding that release, so I decided to work on some projects continuing with that, and in the end it’s probably my most eclectic mix of styles to date. Then I released a joint LP project with Ontario (Canada) emcee, Fresh Air called Craftsmen. That came out in February of this year. That album is pretty classically hip-hop to its core and mostly dedicated to those who really study and enjoy the craft itself, hence the name.
You left the United States to live in Japan several years ago. What differences between hip hop in the United States and hip hop in Japan can you describe to everyone?
Truth be told, the differences between hiphop here and back home are quite vast, I think mostly due to them picking up the culture late and when they were trying to evolve to match american hiphop, it was evolving in and of itself. I can offer my own two cents on a couple of details I can nearly always pick up by ear. First, Japanese emcees don’t rhyme as often or accurately as Western ones. To me, that’s always stuck out like a sore thumb since I’m all about syllabic rhyme delivery in a pretty rigid sequence. second, on the whole to me, rappers seem to more motivated to rock the party than wax lyrical. Combine that with the misunderstanding of english here and the image that “America is cool”, you might end up hearing “rock the party yo yo” literally between bars as a filler to try to show a crowd ” I’m down with hiphop culture n lingo and can say some english words”. Of course there’s a shitload of rappers who are up on the times and trends of where hiphop really is, but I would say I’ve seen a whole lot of that.
Are you currently on a label or on a team of any kind? Has the hip hop scene in Japan gravitated toward more artists being independent in Japan over the last few years like we have happen in the United States?
I’m not on a label, no. I’m totally independent. I’ve got a team that I’m down with, Minami Boyz, but the primary function of the team is the promotion of each other’s shit; gigs, events, releases, etc. It’s not financing or paying any of us though. Money is still all straight to personal pockets for services rendered. Mostly, they are just some of the realer/coolest homies I’ve gotten to know out here and we share a lot of the same tastes in music. I think for the most part, the industry here is still pretty label driven. It’s a very conformist society, so, fuck, what would you expect..
When it comes to hip hop, it’s no secret that I am a huge fan of lyricism. When I saw you had Horseshoe Gang featured on “Renaissance Man”, I couldn’t wait to bump the track. How were you able to acquire a feature from Horseshoe Gang and what was the whole experience of making “Brick By Brick” like for you?
About the Horseshoe feature: Well I’ve been a follower of their music for a few years now and at the time of putting together songs for the album, I was thinking that if there’s any one group I wanna approach for doing a multi emcee lyrical track that it has to be them. I know the quality of my lyricism is high (not tryin to toot my own horn, but it is) and I thought only the best, only lyricists I consider peers would do. I follow COB n the shoes on facebook n shit, so I just fished around to see if there was any email for serious contact info. I got ahold of their manager and he could feel I was determined to make it happen, so he dropped me their direct email. I sent them three possible beat choices plus a track or two of my goin in and they got back to me and said it was dope and they could definitely work with it. They settled on the beat of “Brick by Brick” and once they sent all the vocals to me and I listened over everything, the chorus just kinda popped into my head and without further rehearsal I went in the booth and laid it as it is. Shit, after having the chorus laid down and them all goin in in 8 bar shots, I literally wrote that verse hyped up in the time it took to chain smoke two cigarettes down. I was just so heated & into it. I can tell you one thing about making the track though, that people always ask about. People are always talking about, “Oh you can’t get so and so on your shit, they’ll kill you on your own track.” But I’ve never been one to give to fucks about that, I just make music, I do what I love and I love to work with people who make music, who do what they love. That’s it. As long as everyone is goin in that’s all that counts. And the fact that I did get to make a dope banger with all four of them and me goin in the way we did is priceless to me.
What’s next on the agenda for Noah Yount? Do you think you’ll ever come to the states to perform some shows?
Well, I’m just lookin at doin what I do. Makin new music, and spreading the reach and brand: working with new faces and old. I’ve got several collab projects in the works over the next few months. I’ve been practicing the best ways to direct my own videos so I can start really pushing my streaming site presence further. I’m always scouring for shows and I’m not the pickiest about venues, but I gotta say if I’m gonna jog back to the states to play any shows the time and the money has gotta be right. Bills to pay and mouths to feed, you know.
Outside of hip hop, what motivates you to get up every morning and what do you want to accomplish in your life?
My kids, and Goin to work my damn dayjob to float the money needed to provide them a nice life. Really I feel like if I can get the point set up to where I can quit workin another job to do only music, that would be the biggest accomplishment for me right now. That might entail having to move back to the states without my kids, but I’m so focused on family I’ve been pulling myself inside out trying to weight the options. I know that’s indecisive as fuck and prevents moves bein made, but fuck it, that’s life. Whether I make it happen or don’t, I’m never gonna be caught with my thumb up my ass in the meantime. Gotta build…no matter what it is.
Would you like to give everyone your social media links to follow you? Do you have a website or do you want to tell everyone where they can find your music? Is there anything else you want to add before we conclude this interview?
Of course. here are ways to follow, stay in touch, and listen to new music. (personal profile)
Or my artist profile @Noah Yount and drop a like.
You can follow me on Instagram @noahyount.
You can follow me on soundcloud @Noah Yount.
Or if you lookin for more music, just search “Noah Yount” on Bandcamp, Datpiff, the iTunes Store, CDbaby, Spotify, or YouTube.
A cherry on top, huh? Well, I’ll say this to the fans and future potential fans: I always put all that I am into my music and do my best to give you that new, new original and never make it dull. Any faith you put in my I promise I can pay it back with the music and then some.
That’s and it’s been a pleasure to chop it up with the write reviews.
Noah out.

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