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PostCard: B3auu breaks down his new mixtape from up north in Nunavut

Iqaluit, NU – Nunavut artist B3auu (formerly of the Hamilton, ON based Bo$ Clique crew) recently released his latest solo project, PostCard: YEBO II.

This mixtape serves as the second release in B3auu’s YEBO series, as well as his first solo body of work released since his move up north to Nunavut. After parting ways with his Bo$ Clique crew out in Hamilton, B3auu made the move over to Iqaluit to put a refresh on his life. For this project, B3auu stuck to minimalistic, stripped-down sound.

According to B3auu, the YEBO series serves as platform for expressing his thoughts and struggles. It’s not meant to be “entertainment” rap; it’s supposed to be an honest, raw reflection on where the guy is at. The mixtape was actually recorded and sent out during B3auu’s first week up north (started on a Monday and finished on a Friday).

The nine-track tape takes us through the whole spectrum of feelings. Starting with the title track “Gold”, B3auu injects the introduction with a liberated, freeing mission statement. “Capitalize” is the song about hustle and grind. “Pepe” is the love song. And “Bo$” gives a nod to everything B3auu learned during his days with Bo$ Clique.

The project actually features B3auu’s former fellow Bo$ member Buddah Abusah who mixed and mastered the project, and came on board for a feature on “Only.” Take in the tape below via SoundCloud, and scope our in-depth interview with B3auu after the jump.

Nunavut artist B3auu talks about

Q&A: B3auu

Nunavut artist B3auu talks about

“This album was recorded and sent out the first week I was up here in Nunavut, Canada. So it was a reflection of the life I had experienced and not the one I’m currently in. It was a way to say goodbye to the person I was as I knew a new journey was about to embark.”

HipHopCanada: Start off by talking to me about the significance of this album to you on a personal level.

B3auu: Significance of this album is really in part of setting my mind free of opinions; targeting topics that are sensitive to the people around me [and] that are sensitive to the questions in me. Something that would push the envelope of my thoughts. Some tracks were written three years ago and some a year and a half ago when I moved up north. This album was recorded and sent out the first week I was up here in Nunavut, Canada. So it was a reflection of the life I had experienced and not the one I’m currently in. It was a way to say goodbye to the person I was as I knew a new journey was about to embark.

HipHopCanada: Explain the title PostCard: YEBO II to me, and what that means.

B3auu: YEBO was a solo project I did when I was with the clique, so this is part two of the series. The YEBO series is made – not for entertainment – but for my thoughts; things I am struggling with at that point in time socially, musically, economically. PostCard was just a way of giving people music. I had not released a body of work in a long time. And since I was in Nunavut I thought it be fitting to name it PostCard. And people who knew me would not be able to see me, but be able to read my thoughts through this postcard.

HipHopCanada: I think my favourite song on this is actually the first track “Gold.” It’s a very hopeful track with a very freeing undertone. Why did you choose this track to open up the album?

B3auu: This song is a defining testament to the state I was at while making the album: the brink of a new beginning. You find something new about your being, and people act differently towards you because they don’t yet understand. Some embrace it. Some refuse to see you grow [or] let you go. “Gold” was me finding just that. “Gold” in my existence; learning to be as I am, to love what I love without compromise, and to reflect it in what I create.

HipHopCanada: I don’t know if this is intentional, but your sound as a solo artist is much more minimalistic and stripped-down.

B3auu: It was intentional for this project as I literally started it on a Monday and finished it on the Friday. I had little to work with, and I didn’t let it stop me from creating. The basic tone was to communicate the message in as minimal time as possible because I didn’t want to forget the message I came off the plane with.

HipHopCanada: I noticed you incorporated a lot of elements as a nod to Bo$ Clique. Buddah did the mixing and mastering of the album, and came on for a feature on “Only.” And you also made a song called “Bo$.” Talk to me about all that.

B3auu: Really… I was a solo artist before I joined the Clique. It was just a tip of my hat to how being in that group groomed me to be better. It was all competition – whether good or bad. [And] it helped me reach new horizons in life, have different options, make different music, and also see how three different individuals could affect a city in different ways while also influencing each other. The following projects will all be atop my shoulders. I am still learning to be fully solo and am incorporating what I learned through Bo$.

HipHopCanada: Which song means to most to you on here, and why?

B3auu: My favourite song is “Always Right” because – like you said – it’s very minimalistic. It sounds like I just comprised the drums and said “Let’s go!” Recording vocals on those drums was exciting. It was kind of me lashing out emotionally because some individuals were not fully into what they were doing. You know… going through the motions. “Always Right” is a message to them and a testament to making a sound for yourself that doesn’t have to follow popular culture.

HipHopCanada: Conceptually, how do all of the songs fit into the body of work? What is the significance of the songs as standalone tracks, as well as within the context of the whole album?

B3auu: I would say this is a collage of everything that happened in a span of two years. They only fit together because they’re all targeting my thoughts. The mission wasn’t to make music but to communicate thoughts. The significance as standalone tracks is what I was thinking when I made each and every one. “Gold” for hope and ambition, “Capitalize” for grind and focus, “Presidential” for ego lashing out, “Pepe” for love, etc.

HipHopCanada: I’m curious as to how your process for making an album is different up north. Has your geographical location changed anything about how you approach making a body of work?

B3auu: It hasn’t really changed much. The difference is I have a lot of time and topics are not as easy to come by as it can be really isolating at times. It’s hard to notice on this project because it was made a week after being in the Arctic. You will notice a huge difference in upcoming projects. My mind is different, the production’s evolved… partly because of my surroundings… This life is just different and the music hopefully will reflect this.

Twitter: @B3auu

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is HipHopCanada's Associate Editor in Chief. Sarah is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

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