When TBD last checked in with Maryland rapper Your Boy Fuse, he was concerned with gray days, solitary drinking, and heartbreak.
On his new record, Excellence, Fuse darkens the sound a little — he and producer Jamal da Great have constructed a dense background to his rhymes — while lightening the subject matter. The title, he says, reflects his ambition to always be "showing more, achieving more."
Fuse says his last album, last year's Compassionate Compositions, was "more like a personal diary. This is more me acting out without thinking. It’s more street-friendly."
You can see both those traits in "Bottle Popping," which like his DMV track "Sip the Liquor" is about hooch. Only this time it's about partying with others, not staring down trouble through the bottom of a glass.
Fuse runs his own label, 4Ever Records. He says releasing your own music is challenging: "It’s really hard because nobody’s gonna give you handouts but at the same time nobody’s gonna give you a break."
So in classic indie fashion, he's trying to create those breaks for himself and others. He's preparing a release from the artist Postman, and his new mixtape, "The Art of Love," is "strictly for the females," he says. It will have "a lot of original instrumentation, really melodic and sensual."
Women, he notes, "get overlooked a lot" in hip-hop. "They hold a large percentage of the pie chart," he says, something he's noticed. "I’m not losing any brownie points for doing it," he says. "I want to be a renaissance person."