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Interview: Q&A

Talk Of Da Town: Young Tony (aka OVO Hush) talks new music, record deals & more

Young Tony (aka OVO Hush) in 2011 during the making of Drake's album, Take Care (Photo: Ruben Rivera)

Simply put, Young Tony has people talking. The face of Deep Pockets has put in overtime to generate a continuously growing buzz in a very short span of time. On the mixtape circuit, Tony has unleashed a series of freestyles, publishing his own tales from the hood and the motivation behind his own hustle. In a recent thread, a member of our online community commented on Tony’s approach: “Clever word play, punchlines, character, drive… this kid’s got it all.

Tony has recently made appearances on tapes with DJs like John J and Rated R as well as releasing his own series aptly titled Talk Of Da Town Volume 2 was released not to long ago and according to the transcript we’ve provided you [below] from HipHopCanada’s recent interview with Tony, Volume 3 is around the corner.

Aside from the mixtape game, Tony has sparked interest in his name through various radio appearances with exclusive freestyles and interviews on networks like Project Bounce (89.5 FM – Toronto).

In the midst of a hectic recording schedule, Young Tony joins us in the HipHopCanada community to discuss his game plan, his drive and his opinion on various aspects of the game.

Q&A: Young Tony (aka Hush)

HipHopCanada: Thanks for meeting with us. You’ve been labeled as one of Toronto’s top prospects. What’s the biggest thing you hope to accomplish by the end of 2005?

Young Tony: My list of goals is kinda short right now. Mainly I just wanna make my next project fire. The first two mixtapes consisted of original tracks, and dubs. This third one, which is a solo project, is only going to have original joints on it. Kinda like a mixtape album. Producers can hit me up via email with beats if you’re interested. I also wanna hop on everyone else’s projects. Whether it’s a mixtape, album, even a videoshoot, I’m trying to get involved. I also wanna get my adult video company started soon.

HipHopCanada: Tell us about growing up in Toronto. Who or what would you say had the biggest influence on you as a youth and what eventually led you to picking up a mic?

Young Tony: I grew up all over the city, mainly in Scarborough though. But I was always the crazy one out of the group. People called me Treach while I was growing up. My real friends still do. I got that name from my boys because I used to do some mean shit to people. So they started calling me Tony Treacherous, Treach for short. But for obvious reasons I couldn’t use that name in the rap game, so one day someone called my Young Tony. I just stuck with it. But on the street, niggas still call me Treach.

HipHopCanada: Before the release of your second Talk Of Da Town mixtape, your two partners were locked up on charges that put them out of action for about a year’s time. How did you cope with the absence of support from the other group members?

Young Tony: I just did what I had to do. I did an interview on Project Bounce and kept yelling out “Free J and Tek.” Kicked a couple bars for the listeners, and had everyone talking about me. Mad niggas started coming up to me like, “Yo Tony, that freestyle you spit that night was the craziest shit I ever heard in my life.” That’s where the “Talk of da Town” title came from. The first mixtape was a solo project though; J-Pockets and Tek didn’t have any material ready before they got locked. You can listen to the radio show freestyles on the Deep Pockets website.

HipHopCanada: Speaking of the Talk of the Town mixtape series, I’d like to ask you how that got started and if it’s going to continue on to a third installment? Should we expect a third installment?

Young Tony: Volume 1 was a solo project. Volume 2 was a group project. Volume 3 is going to be another solo project, but I’m not sure who is going to finish their solo joint first. All 3 of us are working on solo mixtapes.

HipHopCanada: What other projects are you appearing on aside from you own? Which DJs are you working with on the mixtape circuit?

Young Tony: We hit up S.A.R.S. 2. I got some new shit on S.A.R.S. 3. I’m also featured on the Elite15 Interactive CD. I’m on the KingNada CD. I’ve been dropping shit for DJ John J; he’s the best DJ in Toronto right now. I’ve been handing out tracks to a bunch of DJ’s lately, just trying to supply the demand.

HipHopCanada: What is The Family?

Young Tony: It’s a label Bishop Brigante started. It’s something homegrown. He just got tired of watching the real artists be stagnated, so he is using all his knowledge to push the proper music. The first solo acts are Califate, Peep Sho, and myself.

HipHopCanada: When do you plan on releasing a single targeted for airplay/video? A full-length Young Tony album?

Young Tony: I’m ready right now to do an album. I’m just letting the buzz grow on me. I don’t plan on releasing a single until I start recording an album. But at far as writing goes, my album is almost ready. I’m just waiting for the perfect beats to compliment the songs.

HipHopCanada: We’ve seen that artists like Swollen Members or k-os are able to generate sales and find acceptance by the Canadian mainstream for the music they release. As an artist representing the streets do you feel you have a handicap in attempting to move units at that rate in Canada?

Young Tony: Nah, versatility goes a long way. The formula to selling records hasn’t changed too much over the years. If you wanna rep the streets, and sell records in Canada, you just gotta be versatile with your rap.

HipHopCanada: On that note, what do you think of the Toronto scene? The Canadian scene? It goes without saying that the majority of artists in this country are not selling records, do you feel this is something that will change or is Canada just not the market for home grown hip-hop sales at a larger level?

Young Tony: Hip-hop sales in Canada will always be low; I don’t think it’s going to change until our babies have grandchildren. Very few of the platinum U.S. artists are platinum in Canada. The market just isn’t strong enough. Canadian artists should still try to sell in Canada, but should focus on the larger market down south. We might be the next big thing. Dirty South stole the show; Nasty North could be next in line.

HipHopCanada: Rumour has it that you’ve been talking with various majors about a deal and are ready to sign. Is there any truth to this? If so, can you let us know what your plans are in terms of recording contracts and where you’d like to position yourself as an artist?

Young Tony: I favour the independent route in this industry. I said it before, “If I bake this pie myself, then I get the biggest slice.

HipHopCanada: What did you think about the whole J-Staxxx situation? I read that you felt there was a subliminal shot taken at you. A specific debate that has been emerging on our message board and on other mediums such as Project Bounce is whether it has any positive consequences on the scene in general.

Young Tony: I don’t knock J-Staxxx for what he did. He got the whole city talking about him. Most of it is negative talk, but as an artist, there is no such thing as negative talk if your name is included. But mad people are telling me, “Yo, Staxxx said he’s the REAL talk of the town.” I personally think he was taking a shot at me. Solomon contacted me, and told me it wasn’t directed at me. But when the listeners were saying it was, I had to say something. It was nothing big, so I just replied with like 3-4 bars on the next record I did, which happened to be with Aristo. I just wanted to make sure people didn’t include me in that whole “BEEF” thing. That whole thing is done as far as I know. But bar for bar, I don’t think anyone in this city wants to go at it with me.

HipHopCanada: Are you trying to focus on the raps alone or are you planning on branching out into other elements of the game as well?

Young Tony: I’ve been thinking about trying to hit the boards and make some beats lately, I just haven’t had the time to get it all started. I want to set up a professional studio in my lifetime; it’s just not a main focus as yet. I also have plans to start an adult video production company in the near future. Hoes can holla; I’ll make you famous.

HipHopCanada: Some quick questions to wrap it up… First album you ever bought? Last album?

Young Tony: Kris Kross or Another Bad Creation, I can’t remember which one was the first. Last album I bought was Beanie Sigel’s newest shit, The B Coming.

HipHopCanada: Favourite album? Least favourite album?

Young Tony: I have a couple favourite albums. Sticky Fingaz’ Black Trash is the most creative album of all time. It’s by far my favourite album. I can’t wait to see his new movie, A Day in the Life. Slick Rick’s Art of Storytelling is another one. Joe Budden’s album was murder, as well as Nas’ second album, It Was Written. For the record, “I Gave You Power” is the greatest song ever recorded.

HipHopCanada: Last book you read? Favourite dish?

Young Tony: Last book I read was Monster by Kody Scott. He’s a real nigga. He’s like Scarface, the gangbanging version. It’s an autobiography. I don’t have a favourite dish; I just love food and carrot juice.

HipHopCanada: Gear and fades… Who holds it down for Young Tony in Toronto?

Young Tony: Ceesay’s on Eglinton West holds me down for gear. I get my haircut anywhere with a chair and clippers, but Cut Creators in Scarborough have the best barbers in the city. On Midland, just south of Eglinton.

HipHopCanada: Thank you for coming through. Any shout-outs?

Young Tony: Yeah, shout-out to No Sweat Entertainment, they’ll be doing big things this year. Look out for J-Pockets and Tek’s new mixtapes. Shout-out my nigga Blits, he’s doing his rap thing. You can check him out on the Deep Pockets website, under the Videos section. Shout-out any artists who represent the city.

Written by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada

Jesse founded in 1999 and is currently the organization's Co-President & Editor-in-Chief.

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