Boasting Rights 身在霓虹,心在故里

May 25, 2020 2020年5月25日

The lyrics of Yoshi24K coast effortlessly, delivered with a sense of flowing motion. In “Boast,” the lead single off his new EP, the New York rapper drives around a nighttime city as the neon lights flicker in tandem with the bright arpeggio keys in the production. 808s bounce and rumble as he raps in harmony with himself, a higher-pitched vocal track hovering in the background. His casual, celebratory mantras aren’t boasting. He’s just catching vibes and leaving behind the struggles he overcame: “I can’t feel the pain no more / When I’m on a plane it’s all gone / Man, I can’t explain what I’m on / Just know that I’m in a whole ‘nother zone.”

信手拈来的歌词,行云流水的 Flow,这一切在纽约说唱歌手 Yoshi24K 嘴里变得如此轻松。新 EP 主打单曲《Boast》中,Yoshi24K 开车穿梭于城市深夜的街道,霓虹灯随着音乐中明快的琶音闪烁不停。在贯穿全曲的 808 鼓点中,他的说唱与背景里的 Auto-Tune 高音相互呼应。漫不经心的说唱毫无夸耀的意图,他只是跟着感觉游走,将自己经历的挣扎抛诸脑后:“I can’t feel the pain no more / When I’m on a plane it’s all gone / Man, I can’t explain what I’m on / Just know that I’m in a whole ‘nother zone’”(当痛苦不再被我感受/好像一切都消失在空中/来不及解释这趟是什么旅行/才知道我已置身于另一个星球)

Select tracks from Yoshi24k:

点击即可试听 Yoshi24k 的部分曲:

The new EP, ALIEN, is a reference to his experiences of growing up in the US as the child of a Japanese mother and Malian father, which always made him feel different. “I grew up with parents from opposite sides of the planet, and it’s really hard to come across that mix,” Yoshi says. “I was always accepted, but at the same time I always felt like I was on my own path.” That awareness of his differences inspired him to find his own style. A lot of people expect New York rappers to stick to boom-bap or Brooklyn drill, but he didn’t want to be stuck in any box. “I’m just embracing it all.”

Yoshi 的母亲是日本人,父亲是马里人,自小在美国长大的他,总是有一种格格不入的感觉,新 EP《ALIEN》(译名:外星人)因此而得名。Yoshi 说:“我的父母来自两个相隔十万八千里的国家,这样的结合并不常见。尽管身边人都蛮接纳我的,但自己的路还得自己来走”当意识到自己与其他人的不同时,Yoshi 开始追寻自己的风格。说起纽约说唱,大部分人都会想到 boom-bap 或 Brooklyn drill,但 Yoshi 不想被局限在任何流派中,“我比较喜欢兼容并蓄,怀抱所有。”

Yoshi grew up surrounded by other children of immigrant parents. “I felt separate in a lot of ways but also the same in many others,” he says. “My mom came here from Japan to work with my aunt and they worked in fashion. My dad was selling stuff in the street when they met. It was like two different worlds.”

In part because of his dad’s Malian roots, Yoshi developed a strong connection with the city’s West African community. He also began soaking up New York’s street culture in all forms, whether it be skateboarding through the boroughs, dancing litefeet on the trains, or listening to rap.

Yoshi 和许多移民家庭的小孩一起长大。他说:“在很多方面我觉得自己是个局外人,但在许多其他方面又觉得和别人是一样的。我妈妈当初离开日本,和我的姑姑一起在这里从事时尚行业的工作。她认识我爸的时候,我爸是一名街边小贩。他们完全来自两个不同的世界。可能因为父亲是马里人的缘故,Yoshi 对纽约西非社群也有很深的归属感。他还开始吸收形形色色的纽约街头文化:踩着滑板穿街过巷、在地铁上跳着 litefeet 舞蹈,当然,还有他热爱的说唱音乐。

2018 was a pivotal year for a young Yoshi, who hadn’t yet discovered his music-making ambitions. One day he was invited to come to the studio with his friend, Sheck Wes. When he got there, Wes was freestyling and casually dropped Yoshi’s first name, Ali, into the hook of the song “Mo Bamba.” (Yoshio, which his rap alias is based on, is actually his middle name.) It ended up becoming one of the biggest songs of the year. Watching Wes in the studio was an eye-opening experience: seeing him create a vibe in the moment, mixing and mastering the track immediately, and even starting to plan the music video before the song was released made Yoshi realize the importance of laying out the groundwork in fulfilling a creative vision from the very start. Seeing it ultimately inspired him to make his own music. “Once I got into the vibe of it, experiencing studio life, working with all the sounds and sonics, playing with the words, it was just like, damn, this is amazing. I fell in love immediately.”

对于年轻的 Yoshi 来说,2018 年是关键的一年,当时的他还没对音乐创作产生兴趣。某日,他受 Sheck Wes 邀请到录音房里玩,当时 Wes 正在 freestyle,时不时将 Yoshi 的名字 “Ali” 加入《Mo Bamba》的副歌中(他的说唱艺名 Yoshi 其实是依据他的中间名 Yoshio 改写而成),这首歌后来成为年度最受欢迎的说唱歌曲之一。录音室里的一幕让 Yoshi 很受震撼。当看到 Wes 沉浸在当下,将即兴创作、混音、制作一气呵成,甚至在发行之前就已经开始构思音乐 MV 时,Yoshi 意识到需要一步步脚踏实地,才能实现自己的愿景。看着录音室里的 Sheck Wes,他也有了创作音乐的欲望。“当我进入到那种氛围,进入录音室的世界,操纵各种的声音和音响,构思歌词,那种感觉真是太神奇了。我一下子被深深吸引。”







That studio visit has also influenced Yoshi’s creative endeavors beyond rap. He runs a creative collective under the name Yen24k, made up of friends he grew up with who all bring different talents to the table. The team consists of filmmakers, skaters, designers, and more. “That’s the crew, the label, the family; that’s everything,” he says. “It’s about all types of art but music is at the core of it all.” Yoshi also co-directs all his music videos.

那次的录音房的经历不仅激发了 Yoshi 的说唱创作,更促使他以 Yen24k 的名义创立了一个创意团队,找来和他一起长大的朋友,融合不同领域的才华。这支团队包括了电影制片人、滑板玩家,设计师等等。“我们是一支团队,一个品牌,也是一个大家庭,什么都是。”他说,“我们会创作各种类型的艺术,但音乐是一切的核心。”与此同时,Yoshi 还参自导自演了所有音乐 MV。

Yoshi has also taken advantage of his rising rap fame to visit Tokyo for the first time. A New York friend who had moved there introduced him to a few club owners and promoters, and he ended up being booked to open for artists like Elle Teresa and Juice Wrld. Although Yoshi had visited family in the Japanese countryside a few times and he felt a deep connection with the culture, he’d never experienced the city before. “I didn’t really have many fans out there, but some people knew me from Instagram since I was a half-Japanese rapper. I definitely want to connect more with Japan, but I also want to connect with Mali,” he says. “Really, I want to connect with the whole world. I want to be global.”

Yoshi 第一次造访东京也是因为自己的音乐。他的一位移居东京的纽约朋友将他介绍给一些俱乐部老板和活动策划人,Yoshi 因此获得了为 Elle Teresa 和 Juice Wrld 等歌手暖场的机会。尽管 Yoshi 又过之前在日本乡下探亲的经历,他也觉得自己与日本文化有着深厚的联系,但他之前从未去过东京,他说:“我在当地没有很多粉丝,但是因为我是半个日本说唱歌手,有很多人通过 Instagram 认识了我。如果有机会,我想更深入地了解日本,还有马里。应该说,我想与整个世界有更多的联系。我想让自己更全球化一点。”

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Instagram: @yoshi24k
YouTube: ~/yoshi24k


Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Images Courtesy of Yoshi24k

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Instagram: @yoshi24k
YouTube: ~/yoshi24k


供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Olivia Li
图片由 Yoshi24k 提供

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