"For me I was born in Ethiopia but raised here, so I play into both, in like the essence of where I come from but also the cultural nuances of Australia."
Yibby and Chub.e have delivered one of the strongest underground rap projects this year.
The rapper and producer duo combined for the release of The Chubby Tape which released earlier this month. The pair have created a project that sounds distinctly like their hometown of Sydney, inspired by its warm sun and melting pot of culture. Sonically it features beats that ooze with soul, perfectly balancing musical flourishes with a gritty and lo-fi feel. It lays the perfect platform for Yibby to flow with honesty and introspection.
To take the experience of the project to the next level the duo are heading on tour to present The Chubby Tour. It kicks off in Eora/Sydney at the Oxford Art Factory on the 2nd of December before heading to Dhawawal/Wollongong, Naarm/Melbourne and Noongar/Perth. You can grab the tour details HERE.
To get to know the project better, Yibby and Chub.e sat down and discuss creativity, work ethic, collaborative energy and the African diaspora in Australia.
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Yibby Interviews Chub.e
Yibby: Bro! Do you remember how we met & that first session we had on that track? Can’t remember what that was called haha. We’ve been working.
Chubby: Damn it’s been a minute! I’m pretty sure one of the boys introduced at theirs & we just chilling, then we were on talking on IG and I ended up sending you some beats. That lead to that first session we did on that ‘born again’ track that never saw the light of day haha, I was actually so gassed because I hadn’t had a studio session like that in a long time.
You’ve been involved in a few projects now & to me your infamous for your beat tapes drops on Soundcloud - how would you say this one differs from other projects you’ve been involved with?
I’d say being involved in the whole process from start to end, and bouncing ideas back and forth about certain parts of the music. Generally it’s just me and my imagination running wild in my creative process, but this time there was 2 and it just gelled so well.
Bruh, we’re really out here in Aus making rap projects, it’s sometimes funny to me. Being of Naija background too, is this something you thought you would be doing & do you see your culture in the way approach music, samples etc?
I’ve always had a massive interest in making music, but was never really equipped with the tools to do so. I remember being in Nigeria riding around in my uncles beamer listening to all sorts of different music, from hip hop to jazz to Nigerian tracks. In year 7 I tried to learn the piano & guitar and I was so whack haha. Shortly after I realised you could make music on a computer. & I was always fascinated with sampling, especially because of all the different sounds I’ve been exposed to growing up in Nigeria and in Australia.
To be honest there’s a few of us here in Aus now that are in a bit of a similar pocket even take the guys we’ve got on our tour Gelo, Mali, Chef Chung, Friday* there’s something in the air - do you think about getting in a certain pocket when your producing?
Not even going to lie, I don’t. I feel like this kind of sound is organic, the thing with the guys on the tour is all their music sounds organic, it’s like a breath of fresh air, that’s the only way I can think to describe it.
What’s next for you my bro? I know I want a Chubby Tape VOL 2 already but what’s in the works for you? I need a holiday personally hahaha.
I’m ready to keep pushing this to see how far we can take it my bro. Then you can take a holiday hahaha.
Chub.e interviews YIBBY
Chub.e: Yo before we properly linked up for the project we had a lot of mutuals, how’d we even get this started?
Yibby: Facts, Sydney’s a small city you know bro, really. I had definitely seen your beats though & you actually produced some tracks that I was really feeling & I didn’t find out you produced them till later, which was was funny to me. This started mad relaxed, not even on music which I like, cause coming into sessions when you don’t really know someone & trynna click can definitely be a bit off lmao.
You came with projects in 2019 & in 2021, how does ‘The Chubby Tape’ differ from both of those?
Bro, to be straight up this was the quickest turn around for any project I’ve done. No sitting on things, just making the music & making it happen. Also, I’ve been on the more sample heavy raps for a couple years now so to be able to do a project more in that lane was tight. We’re all just progressing too, so this feels like me at my current which is nice to show people - considering I’ve been at this for a couple years now.
It’s pretty wild how an East African and West African in Aus came together to create a tape that sound thats different to most of whats going on in the country. Does your culture influence your sound or your creative process, and how has your background shaped you as someone that makes music?
Yo, so true. I feel it’s a story that speaks to a lot of the fresh music coming out of this country. For me I was born in Ethiopia but raised here, so I play into both, in like the essence of where I come from but also the cultural nuances of Australia. From sounds that I resonate to and rhythms that speak to that my cultural heritage to saying shit like ‘eshays’ or referencing just Aus things. I’m a product of both & going forward championing that is what I feel can make Aus music sound unique.
Bro your flow is always different on each track, I mean I’ve seen you work but for others how do you go about finding what flow works, do you freestyle or write your verses?
I do everything. For me there’s no one way. Melodies & Rhythms come better naturally off top & I have to feel them out but I definitely prefer to write words down, I want to see them in my notes - see where they link, see what the fuck I’m saying, not that saying shit is everything but it’s going to resonate for me a lot more if I can say something that has potency.
What’s next for you g! You’ve had a project or single without failure every year for the last 3 years?
A Bruh, like I said before I need a holiday. I’m trying to decompress one time. Honestly though, I can’t keep away from the music so I’m just going to keep building, I love having something I’m working towards. Really though, I want to take this tape as far as we can, I think we’ve made something worthwhile, so I want to give it the time it deserves.