For HBK rapper/producer Iamsu! this year has been one full of reflection and growth. From utilizing his music to pay homage to his late grandmother to his connection with Too Short, Su! is gearing up to drop a new album and help HBK go to the next level.
"On the new album I talk about [my grandmother] and just all the lessons that she taught me,” the 25-year-old told BET.com in an exclusive conversation. “I chose not to just do a specific dedicated song, but I really touch on losing her and just what she meant to me throughout the whole project. Other than that, I can say the album is amazing. I did a lot of production on there and I’m putting it out [in] a very unique way. There won’t be a release date, you’re just gonna wake up one day and be like ‘Oh it’s out,’” he revealed.
When it comes to support, since the inception of hip hop, a good squad has been an invaluable asset both personally and professionally — especially when times get rough. But like most successful crews, the more heat that comes out of the HBK camp, the harder it is to get everybody together. But according to Su!, the gang will always hold each other down.
“Kool John and P-Lo are jumping on a project called 'Movie' and then going on tour. Sage [the Gemini] is working on his second album. It’s almost done. Kehlani is working on her album. The rest of the gang is working join their individual projects,” noted Su! “Hopefully we can get together to put together a HBK mixtape really soon. We produce for each other and collab on beats. It’s a family. We produce for everyone in the group."
Like the recently disassembled Odd Future crew, music is only the beginning for the “All on Me” rapper and the NorCal collective.
“Me and Kool John actually wanted to do a movie,” revealed the Richmond rhymer. “The concept was like we owned a store and had to make back X amount of dollars in X amount of days or else they were gonna shut down shop. We used to kick it in a store at Hilltop Mall and John used to work there and sell his clothes there, so it was based off of that and how we threw parties and really got on off of that, like a House Party type of thing, but with a bit of truth as inspiration. We’re gonna start a Kickstarter for that. We’ve just been so focused on the music we haven’t had time to get that going. Hopefully next year we can do it. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Staying true to and authentic to his Cali roots, Su! recently performed on the LA 2 Tha Bay stage during the BET Experience in Los Angeles along with artists like Casey Veggies, Cypress Hill and Oakland legend Too Short (who Su! later got a chance to interview). He recalled meeting the venerable MC while avoiding a car accident.
“The first time I met him, I almost ran him over. It was an accident. I bent a corner and it was Too Short right there. We ran right into each other,” Su! said laughing. “That was the first time I met him, but he’s like an uncle to me. He’s given me so much good advice and still gives me a lot of good advice [and] puts me in positions to win, so if there’s anyone to salute for Iamsu!, it’s Too Short."
Through all of his highs and lows, wins and losses, IAmSu!’s music has kept him centered and ready for wherever his talent takes him.
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(Photo: Mat Hayward/WireImage)