We got a chance to link up with HUSH (Ylijah Pack) at his apartment in west Hollywood for a quick look into his world of music making, jamaican roots, and positive vibes. In a land where musicians come a dime a dozen, this guy shows us that no matter where you come from you can make your dreams a reality. All you need is positive thinking and a little work ethic.
State your name age and where are you from?
Ylijah “HUSH” Pack, 21 years old. I’m from New York.
What part of New York are you from?
I grew up in a couple areas actually. Started off in Hempstead long island, then I moved to Yonkers, (upper Bronx area). Yonkers was alright I guess. That was my ghetto youth I would say. I spent a lot of time in Jamaica in my younger years. I used to go every fucking summer... I don’t know what happened to that...
Your last name is Pack. What does that mean?
Good question [laughs]. I don’t really know much about my last name to be honest. I have a large family with a wide variety of ethnicities all mixed together. I guess you could say where just a “Pack” of humans.
What’s your ethnicity?
I’m Jamaican, German, Italian, and Native American.
You said you used to go to Jamaica a lot when you were younger. What was that like?
Well the first time I went I was like two or something. Then i've gone almost every summer since then. We would go to Christiana, we have a little house there or whatever, it was super cool. We had a lot of fun there. My grandparents were famers so we would grow weed and kill cows [laughs].
So your parents smoke?
Yes my dad smokes a lot of weed. My dad is the Italian, Native American. My mom doesn’t smoke any weed, and she’s the Jamaican one! She’s a goody two shoes Jamaican lady [laughs], its cool...
Who are some of your inspirations? Or artist that you listen to when you’re not making your music?
I like Flying Lotus a lot, all his shit is great. I get a lot of inspiration from my friends around me, a lot of my friends make music, and they are all super talented. My homie Turntup Syrup he makes, obviously, really turnt up music. There’s also my friend Meek Mouth, Amirite, and OXOSSI. A gang of homies really, I can’t even name them all. But that’s where I get my inspiration mostly. My style is all of my friends styles combined. Everybody who has had good energy towards me has had a big influence on me. I’m just a big energy sponge. That’s how I operate.
Why did you move to L.A.?
Well… when I was a kid I always had a fascination with California. I used film school as sort of an excuse to move. I wanted to just skate. In fact the only reason why I came here was to skate [laughs]. But then I found music while I was here so that was great too. But skateboarding molded me as a person really.
When did you start making music?
I started making music last year [laughs]. Well I dabbled in different things when I was younger like guitar, and violin, but I never stuck with it. But when I started making beats it was totally different, that shit takes on all types of noises. It’s crazy.
Did your parents influence you musically?
Yes definitely. My father, Will Pack, and my uncle Craig G are both MCs. My father produces music too, we make beats together sometimes, that’s how we vibe out. Some of my cousins are amazing jazz players. They were raised playing music. I just sort of picked things up here and there.
What are some of your project you have going on right now?
Well i'm actually starting to do some vocal stuff.
Yeah, I’m going to start rapping. It’ll be pretty funny, and fun. I’m excited. It’s going to be really creative. The way I feel is, who gives a shit if you’re a good or bad rapper. That shit doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all a matter of opinion. It’s all about your flavor, because people like all types of shit these days. People listen to all types of stuff, it’s crazy. Bottom line is it’s all about fun.
Do you ever get paid for making music?
Not so much. I get paid sometimes. Not all the time. I don’t really expect to get paid. I’d rather just play a bunch of shows for whatever. I can figure out other ways to make money.
How do you make money now?
I have my ways [laughs], I go to school. Been doing some post editing stuff too.
What school do you go to?
It’s alright… It’s cool. I definitely learn something new every day. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be as good as I am now. Big up to Musicians Institute.
Is there anything you have done that you’re really proud of? Or better yet something that you have put together that you sit back and think “Damn... I really like what I just did there?”
Honestly i’m working on a lot of things that i’m hyped on right now. Me and my roommate are working on a music/visual production at the moment. He does 3D graphic stuff. I’m always working on new music. Whether it is hip hop, dub step, if it’s chill or turnt up. I mean i’m proud of everything I’ve done up to this point. I’ve only been going in for like a year or so, so I feel like I have a lot of building to do. I can’t say that everything I have done is my best work so far. I’m still in training mode.
What role has the internet played in your life thus far?
The internet is how I met a lot my producer homies. The internet kind of freaks me out to be honest. But it definitely connects people.
What are things use mainly use on the internet?
I mostly use twitter and sound cloud. That’s how I get in contact with people.
Do you ever fan out when you meet people from the internet on the streets?
[Laughs] Aww man! Inside I’m ecstatic when I meet some of these guys, but you gotta keep it cool, you don’t want to scare anybody away. Honestly there have been a couple of times when I’ve been drunk and ran up to them yelling like “I Love your shit!!” [Laughs] I’ve done that before ok. But most of the time I stay pretty composed.
What keeps you composed?
A lot of Marijuana keeps me composed.
What’s your day to day look like?
Well I wake up, go to class, and go do some post editing work or whatever. Skating on the weekdays/weekends or at night. All the while making music in between. Those are the things that I have to do all the time.
Where do you skate at?
I skate on Wilshire, Lafayette, all through Los Angeles, The bay area. I love it all. More specifically I skate down in Venice a lot. That’s where I went when I first moved here. That’s where I met all my skater friends in L.A.
Which do you prefer? East Coast or West Coast? location wise and musically.
Aww man!!! [Laughs] You can’t ask me that! Well shit... I do wish New York was in Los Angeles…. That would be amazing. The weather is so good and I like the people in L.A. for the most part. I mean, I’m in L.A. for a reason. I really love it here.
So are you saying West Coast?
FUCK! [Laughs] I love both of them! I’m bi-costal. Los Angeles is still fresh to me though. The Grass is definitely greener here, if you know what I mean. I’ve yet to find any good Jamaican food here though. What’s up with that?
Is there a good Jamaican spot that you know of?
I’m asking Los Angeles that.
What’s your favorite neighborhood spot?
All the burrito ladies, I support the burrito ladies to the fullest (patting his chest). They go hard.
I heard you were going to Mexico.
Yeah i’m going to Mexico this weekend. I don’t know how I got booked for that or how it even happened. I just woke up one morning after just getting back from SXSW (South by South West Festival) and someone saying we’re booked to play down there. I honestly can’t even tell you how it happened.
Have you ever been to Mexico?
Yeah dude i’ve been to the HOOD of Mexico before. It was a crazy situation. We were staying at this guy’s house that was literally across the street from the Mexican border. So we basically walked across the street from USA, into Mexico every day. While we were in Mexico we got into a little confrontation with the guy we were staying with, it was like 3:00 in the morning or some shit. We went back to USA got my friends shit from the place we were staying at, and then went back into Mexico. We took a cab from the border to my friend’s family’s house. I was there for like a week. It was pretty ghetto where I was, and really hot, but they kept me really fed. I love it there. That southern hospitality, more like Mexican hospitality.
Who are you going with this time?
I think i’m going with my friend Ash Riser from Collective Dream Brigade.
What’s the Collective Dream Brigade?
It’s just a bunch of homies that all support each other. Were all musicians that are just down for one another. It consists of DJ Nykon, Ash Riser, Amirite, DJ Orc, $yrup, Pretty Low, Swoops, MC Waxxie, and there’s a few other dudes... Let me see, there’s also Walt Grizzly.
What’s your favorite strain of weed?
I love northern lights. I mean I really love northern lights. I remember the first time I bought some in 11th grade I paid 300$ for an Ounce! [laughs]. It was terrible, fucking New York prices for you. I was like 16. Of course i’m going to buy that much weed for $300 dollars.
Where did you get the $300 from?
Well... I was a bad little boy in high school. I was really bad. I never got caught, but I did some stuff [laughs]. I’m a good boy now. I like making music, and art.
If you could bring anybody back from the dead, who would it be?
I don’t know…. There are so many cool people that have died. I would feel bad bringing back just one person and not another. Like you can’t bring back Biggie without Tupac [laughs]. Please don’t put that in this interview… [Laughing] Aw shit you know what. I would bring Bernie Mac back dude. Seriously that nigga did not deserve to die. That dude is funny son. What the fuck!!He didn’t need to go.
Any words of encouragement or wisdom?
Do what you want to do, whenever you want to, however you want to do it. And if you’re going to do it you better fucking do it. Cause if not... well... you’ll look like an idiot [laughs]
Thanks for reading.
Now enjoy this this mix by HUSH
Be sure to check out our exclusive HUSH X RSK T-shirts.
Photos and Interview: Rhianna Cooper/Ryan Kelly