who the fuck is strick “” may be a divisive tour title, but rapper-born Toren Strickland is poised to make inroads beyond the prominent hip-hop world to which his pseudonym belongs. He was the branding liaison and songwriter for Atlanta’s hottest acts before signing with Young Thug’s Young Stoner Life Records in 2018, with credits on Travis Scott’s platinum album. bottom. The bird in the trap sings McKnight. After touring as an opener for Kid Cudi last fall, he’s headlining the tour.
In his upcoming release, shark attackIt will be YSL Records’ latest release since Thug and label affiliates Lil Duke, Yak Gotti and Unfoonk were among the 28 people indicted in a massive RICO lawsuit last May. . Georgia prosecutors claim that YSL is not just a Young Stoner Life record label, but a gang called Young Slime Life with ties to the Bloods, led by Thug. Still, Strick doesn’t see himself as something of a torchbearer. “We’re all creative, so we haven’t inherited a particular name or anything like that,” he says. “Now I’m making music. I want people to recognize who Strick is as an artist and as a songwriter and what I bring to the industry.” shark attack It will drop on June 14th via LiveMixtapes and will be available on all platforms on June 19th.
He has chosen not to comment on the ongoing incident in Atlanta’s Fulton County, specifically because he doesn’t live there (and his tour doesn’t have any Atlanta dates at the moment, though (Additional destinations will be added.) “Generally, when someone close to you is going through something, you feel it,” he says. “And the closer you get to people, the better it’s never been.”
Strick has been spending most of his time in Los Angeles, where he has been working on some of the music slated for release this year, including his incredibly loving collaborations with James Blake and Young Thug on his forthcoming sophomore album. Made in Los Angeles. “It’s the first time either of them have written a song together,” Strick says of the song from two years ago. Blake has been an avid fan of Thug for many years and has stated that he hopes to produce an album for Thug in 2020 (“barter 6 It made me think again about manufacturing. Very satisfying and minimal. Fuck it,” he exclaimed. ) On this song, Strick reminisces about the days he misses when someone he cares about leaves. “I woke up this morning and didn’t smell coffee. You weren’t making breakfast downstairs,” he says.
Strick planted his stake in the Atlanta rap scene seven years ago, but grew up between North Carolina and Germany. He was born in Lumberton, North Carolina, where he “grew up running barefoot up and down dirt roads.” A female family helped his single mother. “My grandmother and aunt would always party and barbecue and take me everywhere. Come and sing that song that you used to sing.” They allowed me to be as open and charismatic as possible. When he was nine years old, he and his mother moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where she served as a civilian in the U.S. Army.
“I remember when we first landed in Germany,” he recalls. “We’re from North Carolina, so we’ve never seen snow. Strick eventually settled in and developed a love for hip-hop there.
When Stick returned to the United States when he was 12, Stick and his mother settled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His favorite cousin was attending college in North Carolina. “So Lumberton is in Robson County. Been in and out of prison, he just got free a few years ago, so she decided to go to Chapel Hill to keep me out of that environment.” Strick. graduated from High Point University with a degree in English, joined the Air Force, completed all but three credits toward a Master of Business Administration degree, and ran several businesses. He continued to live a mundane life, but when he moved to Atlanta, he met the people who would crystallize the city as a modern-day rap mecca. Here, Strick delves into his family ties with Tupac Shakur, his unique path, and what lies ahead.
You said your father spent a lot of his life in prison. Are you and your father in touch now? Are you building relationships?
Yes, we’ve been in touch a few times recently. Strange because this is definitely cinematic shit, you know what I mean? Because I’m taking my career to the next level. I have a lot of success. And out of nowhere, in a way, he’s coming up and trying to rebuild. I’m like, “Damn, that’s crazy. Now he’s becoming a superstar. And now he wants to come back.”
What was music like for you when you were in Germany? did you listen to hip hop?
yes. It was the first Bone Thugs and Harmony album that I asked her mother to buy. [E. 1999 Eternal]. I love Bone Thugs and was like, ‘Mommy, if you didn’t buy this CD…’ I was obviously listening to Bone Thugs, I was listening to Tupac, I was listening to a lot of the likes of Biggie and Jay. Z, Outcast. In fact, in a way, we are related to Tupac through marriage. Unfortunately when he passed away my cousin was studying in London and came to visit us in Germany. So we even found out that we are related to Tupac. They sent her a flight back to North Carolina to come to her funeral, and this is crazy because her father was actually basically Tupac’s uncle.
So when did you move towards making your own music?
There was a picture of me at 6 years old with a microphone and a guitar, and I attached it to my destiny. I started working on music in earnest around 2016, but since high school and college, I’ve been making music with one foot in and one foot out.
What made you really transition into that career then?
I have already made a lot of lives for others. I went to the military because her grandmother said, “That will make you a man.” After college, I joined the Air Force, and the Air Force paid for my MBA. I was able to complete his MBA in 3 more credits and already have a good backup plan. I have a BA in English Literature from High Point University. My mother had such a high level of medical care that when she moved to Atlanta, I had my own primary care center. I had doctors and medical assistants working for me. I was already earning six figures a year. It was a dream job for some people, but not for me.
My mother always told me She said, “Toren, it doesn’t matter how much money she makes. Whatever she does, it’s what she’s passionate about and what she loves.” It also inspired her to take risks with herself. I also ran her branding solutions company called Foundation 86. We were developing the app and her website, but during that time we were basically an independent company helping a lot of people in Atlanta. So between 2011 and 2016, I had already helped a lot of people, so I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I should do this for myself. I’m sure it will take off. Around that time, many of my friends were also starting to find success in the music industry. So it was a calculated risk.
Who are your friends who are starting to find success?
When I fully entered the music scene, 808 Mafia, TM88 worked with Metro Boomin, I met Young Thug early in my career, I met Future early in my career, I met Travis Scott early in my career. It felt like we met. Things are very tight in Atlanta. I was really fortunate to have the skills and knowledge I could offer to actually benefit their journey instead of being a deterrent to them. I was able to be part of that culture that put producers in front of people. Pierre Vaughn started with me and was also in my crib and all that.I was able to get around them very quickly [through Foundation 86]. This way, the studio only has a lot of old photos of me, TM, and Metro, as well as old photos of me and Future during filming. real intention Album release party or something like that.
Around 2016, I got a call from TM88 and my boy, T-Shyne, who said, ‘Hey brother, we’re working on Rihanna’s album with Travis and you’re at your desk right now. I remember feeling ’ They were like, ‘Oh, it’s all your fault. I was like, ‘Okay, I’m her 28. I want to focus on that white picket fence,’ and I was trying to move towards that lifestyle.
How did you develop your skills as an artist while working traditionally?
All my friends always laugh about it. Pierre, he was recording me when he was in my crib. He was making beats and I was working. I was the boss, so thankfully I don’t do this anymore, but lunch breaks were pretty long, like an hour or an hour and a half for him. During the break, we recorded, made some songs, and went back to work.
As soon as I finished work, I went home and recorded again. Every night I was always in the studio with some of the people I just named.
So you start walking through the Atlanta hip-hop scene. 2016 is about to get really crazy. By that time there were so many great albums and mixtapes out there. How did you become part of YSL?
Basically, I didn’t sign with Young Stoner Life Records until October 2018. 2019 was the first year for me as an artist to release a record.Around the time I signed my first record deal with Jeff [Young Thug, born Jeffery Williams], At that time I was already co-writing and writing for many people. I was already platinum. One day he looked at me and said, you are a superstar I really understand. ”
Jeff was very determined to make sure I was a superstar. I really respected him for that. He could have chosen anyone. He could have gone to the hottest artist in Tampa or Milwaukee or somewhere and said, “Hey, you have a number one record right now, I’m signing you.”but he believed myself. It’s one of the things I’ve always cherished.
Shout out to 808 Mafia South Side and other friends. The South Side also took a very firm stand. I remember asking him one day, “Why is nobody listening to my music?” He said, “Brother, you don’t put your music out there.” He’s like, “We all know you’re crazy and you write.” He said, “But you haven’t released any of your music.” I hope that helped.
What made you want to tour now, release an album this year, and a project before that? How did you create this timeline yourself?
Even last year, I was gearing up to tour with Kid Cudi, showcasing some really great songs I’ve been waiting for the world to hear. I have an internal clock that tells me it’s about time.
Preparing for a tour is really hard work. Because this is my first headliner tour. Naturally, there is a lot of logistics and meetings to handle. But we went back to the gym, worked with our trainers to make sure we were doing it right, had rehearsals, put together a set list. We’re excited to get out there and give our fans a great show. I think I am very energetic. Of course, I’m feeding the audience, but I’m already over-excited just by playing a song, being in front of them, and I’m going a little crazy regardless.
How does it feel to be preparing to release this amazing song featuring Young Thug, but he can’t be on it right now? how is it?
First of all, this is a very unfortunate situation. We keep praying for Sag and staying positive and praying for him. We will miss him of course, but he will be back soon and we just want to continue pushing the legacy forward in a positive way.