Get to Know IAMSU!
Some might say the West Coast hasn’t been this hot since Death Row and other’s might not agree. But, one thing’s for sure, the members of the HBK (Heartbreak) Gang have raw talent and are in demand.
At the forefront of this movement is IAMSU! His fellow HBK (Heartbreak) Gang members–Problem, YG and Sage the Gemini–are successful artists as well. The man behind LoveRance’s 2012 hit, “Up!”, the 24-year-old is continuing to make noise not only as a producer, but as an artist. A product of the mixtape circuit, this week marks the release of his debut album, Sincerely Yours, dedicated to his longtime fans and supporters.
In this edition of Radio Active, JET chops it up with IAMSU! about his breakout moment, love for the HBK Gang and Sincerely Yours.
JET: You’re a proud West Coast native. What first prompted your interest in hip-hop?
IAMSU!: Snoop Dogg. My mother and I were driving to Great America when I was 6 or 7 and “2 of Amerikas Most Wanted” came on the radio. I fell in love with that song and everything Snoop was doing. That influenced everything I’m doing now.
JET: When was your breakout moment?
IAMSU!: I produced a single for LoveRance called “Up!” I produced the single and I also had a verse on there. As a producer, you don’t get the shine that the artist gets so I was able to hang back and observe the game. I learned how to treat people. I gained a lot of valuable information.
JET: You’re one of the founding members of the HBK Gang. How did the group come about?
IAMSU!: We’re a group of friends from the same general area who went to high school together. We’ve known each other for about 10 years. We’re a collective. We don’t have a similar sound, just a similar mindset. We have a general passion and respect for music. We all want to be really successful. That’s what keeps us together, besides the fact that we’re friends. People think [the name] means breaking girl’s hearts, but it actually means working hard until your heart breaks. We want to push everything to the limit. I want girls to be happy.
JET: Sage the Gemini is one group member who’s particularly gaining a lot of shine. How did you two connect?
IAMSU!: That’s my partner. I’m two years older than him. I try to give him insight and advice and he does the same. He takes me to places that I would never have been able to go to on my own. We’re really good firends. I respect his talent. We’ve seen each other around a few times and then I was finally able to make it to his house to record. I actually recorded a verse for one of his artists, Smoove B. When we first were able to kick it, he played me “Gas Pedal.” We formed a bond from there. It was crazy after that.
JET: Tell me about your album Sincerely Yours.
IAMSU! It’s an open letter to all of the fans that have supported me. I came from the mixtape game and the underground circuit so for me to be able to get to the point where I’m realeasing an actual album is a big deal. It’s important I show love to the people who helped me get there. I’m dedicating this album to them.
JET: How do you plan to stand out as IAMSU! the artist and not the IAMSU! the producer?
IAMSU! It just comes with the music. I have a strong body of work as far as music is concerned. We went back and made sure it was really good. I went back and re-wrote verses or listened to parts of music. It comes with people hearing the tracks and I’m really confident in what we produced. I dropped “What You ‘Bout,” with Wiz Khalifa and Berner. We’re working on the music video for that. We also shot the “I Love My Squad” video. I have about 4 or 5 singles on the album so I’m just going to make it crack all summer. There are a lot of features, but it came together really well. They weren’t random features. I choose to do features with people I’ve interacted with.
JET: What’s one thing your fans don’t know about you that would be surprised to find out?
IAMSU!: I always talk about the food I don’t eat. I haven’t eaten lasagna or burgers. People think that’s weird. My grandmother cooks really good food, but I don’t eat it. It’s weird. I run from it. [Laughs]