London-born, Los Angeles-based producer Yogi is gearing up to release his debut album later this year, which aims to merge U.S. and U.K. culture together. He's now unveiled a new single and its accompanying video called "Baby" that features Maleek Berry, Ray BLK, and Kid Ink.
"I wanted to pay homage to the original sample and make something that rappers would want to jump on," he told Complex over email, referring to his use of Julio Bashmore's 2012 song "Au Seve" at the core of the track. "Using 808s along with the riddims we're hearing in clubs gave me the basis for this. It was so important to get Ray BLK on this as she represents what’s happening in the U.K. at the moment. She brings that South Landan (London) swag which kept the beat authentic."
"Maleek represents what's happening in the clubs in the UK at the moment," he adds. "No one can deny the influence Afro beat is having on U.K. urban music right now. Baby rhythmically hints at Afrobeat and he was the perfect artist to bring that element out of the beat and make that bounce instant to the ear. I've spent a lot of time making music in L.A. and my album is trying to blend U.S. and U.K. culture together, so it made perfect sense to have Kid Ink rep L.A. culture and help merge all the worlds the song now represents. My upcoming debut album is the meeting point between U.K. and U.S. culture."
The result is a song centered around an irresistibly danceable groove with lyrical sensibilities and cultural flavor from both continents. If you enjoy this, it's just the tip of a larger concept on the album inspired by a real experience Yogi had in London. "I was driving back from a club in Camden around 3 a.m. and dropping a friend home when I got stopped by the police," he explains. "They accused me of being a terrorist, a drug dealer. They drove into my car, pulled me out, handcuffed me, threatened to scan my face and pulled me into the back of their car."
Check out "Baby" above, and if you're interested in hearing the sample in its original form on "Au Seve," you can check that out below.