1. What’s your government name? And how old are you? Give the people a little background about you, who you are, where you from etc…
Well this is Yamin Semali from Clan Destined. This group we started is a two-man operation, with whom DT (Difference Machine) also mans the boards. We both are 28, and have been making music together since about 2002. Dustin is from Hickory, NC and I am from Atlanta, though born in Raleigh, NC. Our name is a pun basically. We always felt like the mystery of production was a lost art so we were always being “clandestine” with our approach. We couldn’t tell where we got our samples, we didn’t tell people who the emcee or dj was, we just performed and wanted it to be something everyone else could not do. We’ve been fulfilling that destiny as a clan. I think I just said it when freestyling to myself as most my lines are, and I said it to DT after we decided to make music as a separate unit from our larger crew, VJC.
2. How did you get into the game?
You could say we got into the game, as in the industry, in 2007 officially, with our first real album “ABBRACADAMN!!!” but even earlier the VJC had an album called “Strange Arrangement” and we had wax before all of that in 2003 with a single called “What’s the Meaning?” which was like an EP. But the industry of performing behind a new release, doing videos, having PR, etc. came to us in 2007 with help from DJ Fisher from Domination Recordings. We’ve both been practicing the DJ and production craft since about ’99 and rhyming years prior to that.
3. So why do you rap? Is it like a hobby or a career move?
I can say that I rap because I make music. I make instrumentals and study sound, and rapping is a segment of the spectrum. It’s a craft, so I can make money with it and also give spirit with it. I can show off vocabulary or give someone a new perspective on an old idea. It’s a form of expression more than a hobby. I have friends who have played classical music since their childhood. They don’t want the pressure of performing for an expectation or even compensation yet, they are emotionally attached to their instrument. I feel the same way about hip-hop.
4. Who inspires you/Who is your favorite rapper?
I get inspiration from everything across the board from Black Thought to Blowfly. I like Monche, Oddisee, Z-Ro and Nas. When it comes to beats, I like Dilla, FlyLo, Battlecat, Waajeed, Locsmif, Illastrate, Count Bass D and more. I have a tremendous amount of respect for hardworking producers. Work ethic is more inspirational to me than any particular sound. But when your music is sharp, whether clean or dirty, it separates you from the rest.
5. What are you trying to bring to the game?
I’m bringing beats and various styles. Harmony, scratches, time signatures and all of that are under consideration when I approach music. We have open minds and we sound better when the people just ride the wave with us.
6. What’s your favorite song or project you ever came out with?
Self Titled was our last real LP, it was highly regarded as a classic release. It got us a Best Hip-Hop Georgia Music Award, which I thought was bizarre. I didn’t know we’d have so many people aware locally. We got people talking, but I was happy it was well-received upon its release. It got 5/5 in Creative Loafing way before people caught on around town.
7. You got any projects coming out in the near future? If so, what are they?
My solo album is coming in February. I’m even more happy with this upcoming release than Self Titled. I definitely love the crew aspect, but it was a challenge that I believe I excelled in reaching. If that was well-received, this should do well if not better. It’s called YAMIN, and you can hear some of the tracks and pre-order it at yaminsemali.bandcamp.com.
And finally where can the people find you at online?