Photo Creds: Shelby Morell
Coming off Jimmyfromeastyork’s new EP release “One for All All for Yitty”, he has been working hard as of late, and is really starting to focus on himself and his music. The 23 year-old from Toronto was able to chat with Omit Limitation about coming up in the city; his past, present, and future; and his new EP.
So, to anyone who is reading this and isn’t aware of who you are, who is Jimmyfromeastyork?
Jimmyfromeastyork is a young recording artist & aspiring stylist (or possible designer.) He’s definitely infatuated with the fashion scene. He’s an artist who grew up off Mobb Deep, Nas & Wu Tang but is still very much in tune with today’s music. A lover of all genres. More or less was raised by friends from the block, as he was separated from his mother, and [his] father wasn’t there much. Oh, and he proudly represents East York/Danforth to the bone! Although young, I’d say he is an old soul, with his beliefs and lifestyle contradicting at times (laughs).
Hence your rapper name— that’s dope. Would you say growing up without parents around much had a huge influence on your music?
Yes I would, because I was raised more or less by the people I hung out with, and even the older heads from the same area. I am very “friend is family” oriented and I live by a lot of “street rules”. Certain things are like law to me. It was those things that made me who I am; these are things you hear me speak of in my music.
For example: Growing up without my mother really changed the way I viewed females and wanting to have that female person in my life. You hear these kind of things on “Lady Tsunade” and others.
That’s amazing. I know you’re a big fan of Aaliyah, and that on a few of your tracks you rap about women and how you’re inspired by them. The fact that you had a lack of that female presence in your life— has it made you respect them in a different way, and do you take that into consideration when you make music about women ?
Yes, 100%! Now the way that I make music to appeal to women is a lot different than the way artists do it now-a-days. A lot of today’s woman-targeted music is sung— when I write music about women, it’s more of a “The Look of Love” by Slum Village vibe. I feel the reason for that is because I was raised with a lot of males around me, so I was already “hard” and that “lovely-dovey” vibe wasn’t there; but at the same time, the female figure I always wanted in my life was not. So the two feelings is like when I rapped about a very personal relationship I had with a female on “Glide” ft. Emmett. After reconnecting with my mother a few years ago from today, I noticed we shared a lot of the same qualities. It also made me fall in love with a down-to-earth, very real female.
That’s too dope, I love that track. So you see both perspectives with it. I noticed on this EP you rap about getting lit but also touch base on more serious topics like your grandmother and beef with other people; how you talk bare shit while still spitting those proper bars and speaking on your past experiences to now. What can you tell us about that? Do you feel since your making a name for yourself, others have become jealous of your success?
I 100% feel like certain people have been jealous of my success, and the ones that I know about are jealous because I knew what needed to be done, I told them. Nobody wanted to do it but me, and once I got the results some may have tried to jump on the wagon— but it was too late for them. Other than that, I feel like people get inspired when they hear I’m making a name for myself— especially knowing what I came from, and seeing the passion in me since high school. I still have a lot more to prove, so I hope nobody is jealous cause I’m just getting started.
In regards to rebellious past experiences, a good example would be on “Coatsworth To The ‘nade”.Yeah I like to get lit and shit, but where I grew up we weren’t really into drugs cause we always had to be on point. “Coatsworth To The ‘nade” is a story about how when I was young I was in serious real beef, not this internet/rap shit. Being from Coatsworth sometimes we went to ESP (the ‘nade, short for Esplanade) and we would beat people up, then they would come back and beat us up, and it was a cycle. We later squashed it and I’m still friends with people there. That was us growing up and realizing things are changing as we enter adulthood.
Damn. So would you say this EP was a reflection of your past and about your present as well? What have you learned about yourself as an artist after creating “One for All All for Yitty”?
Yeah, I would say it’s a reflection on the past and the present, and even a little foreshadowing of the future— reflecting on the future would be heard near the ending. On “Coatsworth To The ‘nade”, I’m more or less saying I’ve been in real beef before, but we squashed it because we are getting older and more aware of what’s really important. When I say lines like “big Benzes and better but the cheddars whatever / I need people to see what I see and peep the whole spectrum”, that’s saying yeah of course I want the fame and fortune, but I’m looking at the bigger picture and I want everyone else to as well. On songs like “Hidden”, it’s like I was once hidden because “White boys used to call me a bastard / No dead dad / Channel the father spirit through a pastor”, which is me reflecting on being bullied as a kid and having trouble dealing with it because I had no father around; no real guidance.
Photo Creds: Jrtmac
So would you say that all of your past experiences in life made you into Jimmyfromeastyork and without those experiences , you wouldn’t have created this EP? Also, is there any meaning behind the title “One for All All for Yitty”?
“One for All All for Yitty” is more or less saying I’m really for the people— like if you knew me, I spoke about earlier saying some “street codes” are like law to me… I’m genuinely for the people; for the community. The title was created by a friend when I was building a group low-key… I was discussing what needed to be done for a project, website and show release. I was the ring leader, so I had organized almost everything and just got them to do it. My homie Truth was suppose to reach out to some people for me and he said, “Alright team, Jimmy has spoke we have a week to get everything done.” Everyone agreed and he said “One for All, All for Yitty.” So it was like a team cheer. It’s saying: if y’all put your faith and time and effort into me, I will make sure everyone reaps the benefits because I’m all about unity where it fits.
My past experiences definitely made me who I am. East York is an area that is never spoken about in the media or music industry, so I made sure to put “fromeastyork”in my name. I also sound a lot different than these locals, and my past experiences are definitely the reason. I wouldn’t have made this project if I was a self-centred asshole local artist who moves Hollywood on their friends.
That’s unreal. It must be a good feeling to have those people support you and help you reach goals.
While you reflected on those past experiences that made you who you are, did you feel a dark vibe while creating? I noticed the beats on this EP are a bit eerie and dark, but all produced by LEVIthan. Did you guys just naturally create together as you went along, or was that the vibe you wanted for the EP?
Yeah, it was the vibe I was going for. I’ve seen a lot, been through a lot and to be honest, ever since 14 my life has been pretty dark— and with this project, I wanted to get back to my roots. I wanted a vibe to remind people shit ain’t good in life. Like yeah, we might have money and having fun getting lit, but the world is a very dark place. I’ve been arrested plenty of times, turf wars, gun violence, broke days with no parents or guidance, super lit nights when shit is getting weird and sad/depressing, and all of this has been in my life; it’s made me who I am today. I would say OFAAFY is really reflecting on my life, so I needed it to sonically feel the same.
I can definitely relate to that in a way. But it is true, life can be very dark, but how we overcome says a lot and you seem to be doing it through your music. I noticed that you just dropped visuals for “Too Lit”, which isn’t as dark/eerie compared to other tracks on the album. Why did you do visuals for “Too Lit” out of all the tracks from your new EP ?
I choose that song because the word “lit” has become extremely popular in today’s age. I felt that because it’s [the whole project] not auto tune/trap/R&B, that song would be the most relate-able song with the use of the phrase “too lit”. Also, I wanted to show the many ways you can use the phrase “too lit”, as well as the reasoning for getting too lit. “I blow thru a ball and I pop a Xanny / My life was changing when I lost my granny.” That’s because clearly at that time, I wasn’t getting lit for fun or to have a good time. I was going through something, and I was using drugs to get over it. That in itself is fairly a dark thought and with the beat not being dark but fairly eerie in the background.
That’s very true. I noticed the line about your granny and while it’s a track about getting lit, there’s still that dark thought in there just with a different more upbeat beat.
Also, damn this song is actually deeper than people think. The line “Said some shit that I should say / Told that JOSH I was too lit / Don’t blame me I was too lit” was reflecting on all those nights I got high on coke and sent thirsty messages to females— then waking up in the morning regretting the messages, cause that’s not normally me. Another line that backs that up is, “Don’t blame me / It was somebody else I wanted you / And nobody else / Huge mess nobody helped.” It’s more or less saying, that wasn’t even me— like it was, but the cocaine was taking control of me. I had no control over myself and also realizing this you shouldn’t blame me, and looking back at it, it’s like I want out cause I’m a mess, but because everyone doing, nobody wants to help clean that “mess”. I know a lot [of people]—if not everybody—can relate to doing drugs and saying shit that shouldn’t have and stuff they normally wouldn’t. So that’s why I choose that song for a video.
That’s too true, definitely a track the youth can relate to for sure. Any closing thoughts that you would like to say to anyone out there reading this ?
SUPPORT JIMMYFROMEASTYORK HE IS FOR THE PEOPLE KEEPING YOUR THIRD EYE OPEN AND DO YOUR RESEARCH ON CATHY O’BRIAN. GOD IS GOOD.
“One for All All for Yitty” is now available for streaming on Soundcloud.