By JR Valrey, The Minister of Information
The Bay Area is the home of independent Hip Hop in the nation, after having given rise to labels such as Young Black Brotha Records, Livewire Records, Sicc Wid It Records, Hiero Imperium, Get Low Records, Thizz Records, No Limit Records, and more. The careers of independent record executives like Casual, Mac Dre, JT the Bigga Figga, Master P, Jmo of PTB, the Gov, Dean Hodges, Khairi Shaheed, E40, and others began on these northern California, west coast shores of the Bay. Nothing was handed to anyone, and the hustle continues.
Enter Young Byrd from Carterblock Entertainment. He is the founder of the company, as well as the father of the teenage Hip Hop phenomenon Lul Doody. I sat down with him for this exclusive interview because just like with the companies and executives named above, the Bay Area is the school where indie music companies and execs are made, and Young Byrd is definitely one to have on your radar. We must remember that Puffy, J Prince, Suge Knight, and Irv Gotti all started somewhere, in other words you could be watching the makings of a star.
JR Valrey: Can you talk about how Carterblock Entertainment started? With who? What was your first project?
Young Byrd: Hello I’m the Ceo/Founder Of Carterblock Entertainment which started in 2004, after my cousin Mark Anthony Rhône was killed. Me and him started a label, because he like Dwayne Carter aka Lil Wayne, and I, like Sean Carter aka Jay Z, we also called our street we grew up on, “The Carterblock” originally E21st & 25th 2018. I brought In big bro Gator to help me run the label, and take things to the next level. The first project I put out was “Young Byrd Slap On Deck” in 2005, under Carterblock Entertainment.
JR Valrey: What made you put out your son Lul Doody? How long has he been rapping? Does he write his own material?
Young Byrd: What made me put on my son Lul Doody was he came to me saying that he wanted to rap, and this is something that he wanted to do genuinely from the heart. I replied if this is something that you want to do, I’m behind you 1000%. Doody’s been rapping all of his life, but professionally, since 2018. Yes, he writes his own music and he doesn’t let me hear it until we get to the studio. He has a pretty good ear for music, to be a teen.
JR Valrey: Can you talk about some of Lil Doody’s accomplishments considering that I’ve seen him rock stages alongside some of northern Cali’s biggest artists including E-40 and Too Short?
Young Byrd: Doody has been blessed to be around major successful entrepreneurs E 40 ,Too Short, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Puff Daddy, Bow Wow, Quavo, Famous Dex, Rich the Kid, Berner, Tyga, Lil Yachty, Christian Combs, Benny the Butcher, Slumgod, Young Thug, Future, Dababy, and many more just to name a few. He has opened up for Yo Gotti, Moneybagg Yo, Iamsu, SOB x RBE, Philthy Rich, J Stalin, Nef the Pharaoh, Mozzy, and That Girl Lay Lay, just to name a few.
JR Valrey: Can you talk about some of the events that Carterblock Ent. has organized recently? What’s your goal?
Young Byrd: Carterblock has recently put on major food drive events, which take place twice a month, for the last three months, in Oakland at San Antonio Park. We also put together different events for artists to establish themselves in the music industry, which are called “HIP HOP on the Hill”, at Lake Merritt. My goal is to change the narrative on our lost youth today, and inspire them to be great, by showing them actions and honor instead of just talking with no value or leadership.
JR Valrey: Can you give your perspective on the Bay Area Hip Hop scene that at one-time had its own style but now it looks to Chicago and Detroit, what are your thoughts on this trend?
Young Byrd: I feel like the Bay Area has lost its originality because we are too busy and scared to claim what we originated, and that’s Mobb music and Hyphy music. Some kept it Mobb, but majority ran from Hyphy, which led us to be followers and want to do what others do in different cities, such as Detroit, Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta. One thing that was different in a lot of these states were gun laws, so I believe our people wanted to imitate it better because we feel like we are bigger gangsters.
JR Valrey: What is the biggest obstacle in your opinion to getting the Bay Area scene back to prominence?
Young Byrd: Getting these artist to know their roots and history on Bayarea music and how it sounds, so we can enhance it, with the new vibe of understanding music is about longevity and timelessness not murder and mayhem.
JR Valrey: As a businessman, what is the biggest jewel that you have learned over all of these years being an indie music exec in the Bay?
Young Byrd: Learning to be a people’s person… Learning to understand how much marketing, advertisement, image, branding and content is everything, when you want to run a successful business. And your network is your net worth.
JR Valrey: Where can people hear music coming out of Carterblock Ent.? Where could they get more info on events that y’all are organizing?
Young Byrd: You can get any music or from Carterblock artist on Apple, Music, Spotify, YouTube, and events on Instagram @CARTERBLOCKENT or CARTERBLOCKENT.com