So much so that the duo spent years to perfect their new collaborative mixtape Yokohama — all stemming from their time making a name for themselves in Atlanta’s underground from 2015-16.
With transcendent, electro-infused production and flows that melt away the razor-sharp cesspool rage-rap resides in, Yokohama is the purest example of the new wave’s core sound in action. As pioneers of the original SoundCloud era, both Uno and TYO are defined by their intrinsic talent — shaking up the scene with a refined hit-making ability and vibes that remain timeless.
While the project comes more than three years after the pair connected on “Good Gas” and “Live a Lil,” the November 2021 mixtape still hits just as hard as it did on first listen. Both Uno and TYO elaborated on how timing played a part in their success and partnership — saying that the tape contains tracks they’ve created over the past few years.
“Every project I drop it’s usually old ass songs only on it. It’s too ahead of its time at the time, so I couldn’t drop it because it wouldn’t make sense. Now, this shit makes sense. It’s really years worth of planning. If your situation is not ready for the song, it’s not going to make sense.”UnoTheActivist to Hakeem Rowe
Striving for perfection, cuts in “Catch Me Outside,” “6 Rings,” “Plug” with KA$HDAMI, “Jealousy” and “Super Wavy!” — which samples ILOVEMAKKONEN and Drake’s “Tuesday” — further prove the overall quality both artists exude on the LP. With dynamic verses and an eclectic collection of beats — recruiting producers in K Swisha, Harry Fraud, Dream Awake and more — Uno and TYO continue to push the envelope of the underground scene while still operating at the top of their game.
“I had the vibe, I knew this shit was hard. But at the time, it wasn’t right… If you got something that’s dope, you can drop that at any time and it can go up,” TYO said. “You can have the hottest shit tomorrow and we don’t know about you, to being the most lit kid next week. It’s on perfect time.”
Drawing inspiration from the chemistry Curren$y and Lil Wayne cultivated over the years, Yokohama’s concept alludes to MadeinTYO’s come-up while living in Japan.
“I got mad “Yokohama” references in my songs. I used to live in Yokosuka, which is about 30 minutes from Yokohama and about an hour away from Tokyo. I used to take the train from Yokosuka to Yokohama. It’s crazy because in Yokohama, they got the Nike outlet, big Ferris Wheel, sticky pictures you take with your girl, and a Krispy Kreme. I’d always stop there and then take the next train out to Tokyo afterwards. I got old pictures of me out there, like the process of me becoming MadeinTYO. It just made sense to draw back on that experience [for this tape].”MadeinTYO to Hakeem Rowe
Yokohama combines the duo’s styles seamlessly, ultimately providing a variety of directions and unmatched energy within each song. Its lead single “Love Myself” is a self-love anthem over an 8-bit beat, as both rappers proclaim their status through autotune vocals. With appearances from MDMA and KA$HDAMI, the sound of the project varies from rage to mellow type beats, giving listeners a wide range of sounds on the 16-track release.
Similarly, Yokohama added to an extremely busy year for UnoTheActivist, who dropped a total four projects and a plethora of singles in 2021. Sharing his entire Unoverse trilogy last year — featuring contributions from Ty Dolla $ign, Matt Ox, Yeat, MDMA and more — he sat down with Hakeem for his first OGM interview back in July, discussing his impact on the underground among other things.
Mr. Tokyo also made due in 2021, sharing the “SOUL-LUXE” to his 2020 album Never Forgotten. Most recently, TYO dropped a House remix to his breakout hit, “Uber Everywhere,” as his viral single “HUNNIDDOLLA” has now accumulated over 25 million plays on Spotify — combining a wavy instrumental with his classic laidback delivery.
As the Yokohama tandem looks to make more noise in 2022, they sat down with OGM host Hakeem Rowe for our first interview of the new year — discussing their collab project, fashion, the state of the underground scene and more in this Our Generation exclusive.
Watch our interview with UnoTheActivist and MadeinTYO’s below!