Hood Illustrated

Hip Hop Isn't Dead... It Lives In The HOOD

Today YalKno CJ delivers his new video for the track "Did It Again" produced by legendary Atlanta trap producer Zaytoven. The track can be found on YalKno CJ's latest project Activated which was released August 18th, 2020 via his family's YalKno Music label. 

Working with one of his favorite producers of all time, after developing a healthy respect for Gucci Mane's collabs with ZaytovenYalKno CJ was able to link with Zaytoven, learning about his legendary music production and more. 

"I really enjoyed that experience and I was able to work with one of the top producers in the game. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do, When I went in there I was ready to work from the start, I was super excited. We liked each other's energy and that's how it came out," YalKno CJ said. 

Bred in Gary, Indiana, Yalkno CJ comes from a big family that's loving and supportive of his music as the Yalkno music imprint is ran by his father. After leaving college YalKno CJ saw the cars, jewelry and more of rap videos on TV and decided he wanted it for himself. While he wasn't the focus of the label at the time, he earned his way to the top of their imprint with a relentless work ethic to prove himself to everyone by recording daily.

"I've been rapping and making music my whole life. We used to try to record stuff and make music using a VCR. I really started taking it seriously when I got out of college in 2018. I was listening to other artists and listening to what they were doing. I wanted all the cars and jewelry and I just wanted to be just like them," Yalkno CJ said. 

Since then, YalKno CJ expanded to working with family to further develop his career as mentioned above. YalKno CJ elaborated on the dynamics of running a business with family saying it's a love-hate thing. 


"Its kind of a love-hate thing to work with family, but at the end of the day we have to separate family and business. They are two totally different things and at the end of the day we are family, but this is business. I get the extra accountability because its my family but they know my full potential so they gonna hold me way more accountable for what happens. Some say that my dad may go easy because he's my pops but he goes hard and lets me know that failure is not an option,” Yalkno CJ explained.


While things have been going good for YalKno CJ, he knows his success is really dependent on time management, getting ready for shows and video shoots. Everything else comes natural to me, but I just have to do some planning.  Just be on the lookout I got Activated out now for the fans. Everyday I'm in the streets so I'm going to be active doing whatever I can.”

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