Young Roddy and Trademark Da Skydiver Talk ‘Family Business’ Album, Relationship With Currensy and Future Projects
In 2010, the Jet Life crew seemed tighter than ever. Curren$y was settled into Dame Dash's DD172 label/creative space, bringing in Young Roddy and Trademark Da Skydiver to capitalize on the organic buzz the place was receiving. Both Trade and Roddy appeared on the first Pilot Talk album, helping to boost their exposure a bit. The following year, Spitta signed a deal with Warner and secured an imprint in Jets International. The homies were about to get put on.
And then nothing happened. Curren$y upped his output with albums like Weekend at Bernie's and Stoned Immaculate, both of which featured his New Orleans homeboys, but Spitta's label seemed to be a myth, despite having other artists like Fiend and Corner Boy P in his pen. Not once did Warner release a project under Jets International.
So the collective began to splinter. Trademark already had a slew of solo releases under his belt when Roddy dropped his first solo mixtape in 2012. Trade dropped his Flamingo Barnes tape, followed by a second one in 2013. And then, after dropping the fourth installment of his Super Villain series in 2014, Trade just disappeared. No one knew where he was.
Two years later he's resurfaced with Family Business, a collab album between Trade and Roddy dropping Dec. 2. XXL spoke with the duo about why they decided to make a joint LP, what happened between them and Curren$y and what they have planned for the future.
XXL: Trademark, what have you been up to?
Trademark: Ain't shit, really just been dealing with life. Sometimes shit comes up in life that just needs all your attention for it to go away. So I ain't gonna get too into that, but I just been dealing with shit, dealing with life. Back better then ever now.
Was it family stuff, legal stuff?
Trademark: Family/legal shit. Still going through the little finishing touches with shit, but I'm good. I'm able to come up for some air and do what I do best.
Why'd you guys decide to make this Family Business album now?
Young Roddy: Timing, really. Trade been going through shit and I been working, so I always reach out to him, even while he was going through shit, whenever I do reach out to him for music, he managed to get that done. So that's love. It's just a perfect time for us to do a little album together. He was done with it, I was down with it, so it was a green light, we made our move on it.
The single "DFA" with Kevin Gates is dope. How'd you guys link up with him?
Young Roddy: Shout out to the label, iHipHop. They made that happen. Gates cames through, laced us with a nice verse. He killed it. He came through for us, all of us being from Louisiana, I'm sure that plays a part in it. I fuck with homie music, he nice with it, so we appreciate him coming through.
What are each of your favorite songs off the album and why?
Trademark: That's a tough one for me. I like all of 'em, man. It's something completely different from what are used to us doing in terms of Jet Life Order Vol. 1 and 2. This was just more...not necessarily heartfelt, but a lot more was put into this shit. I've grown, Roddy's grown, so it's just a different type of vibe. It's just way more polished than what it used to be. I can't really pick a favorite track. I'd say my favorite track is Roddy's solo track.
Young Roddy: Not to toot our own horn, but I like all the songs. All of 'em dope. Everybody that had a feature on it, they came through with it. But if I had to choose a song, it would probably be "Options" with Mick Jenkins and LeeLee, just because we never really had an R&B artist on the hook. We ain't never really get into that lane where we got somebody singing on the hook, and shout out to the homie Mick, he killed his verse too.
How did you guys make the album? Were you in the studio together or sending each other verses?
Trademark: We were sending each other verses. I live in Atlanta now. Roddy still in Kenner in Louisiana, so just through the phone and email. You can't tell, because we always had that chemistry, but we were able to just get it done. The shit turned out like we were in the studio together, but we still fed off of each other.
When did you move to Atlanta?
Trademark: I've been in Atlanta for about three years. My son is out here, so that was a no-brainer. So yeah, I've been in Buckhead for like three years.
You guys were around for Dame Dash's DD172 experiment, and though it didn't quite pan out, I imagine it was a learning process for you guys.
Young Roddy: You learn as you go, especially cats like us. It's trial and error, but to be honest those were some of the best times in my music career. It doesn't really hit you until it's over with because it was a learning process. Being around someone like Dame Dash, someone we grew up on, it was more of a fun experience and a learning experience than a fucked up situation.
Trademark: Those were some of the best times of my life. Coming from New Orleans, being smack dab in the middle of Tribeca, meeting a lot of cool people. I met a lot of friends during that time. I even wound up getting my deal with iHipHop at that time. I ran into Chuck [Wilson, founder of iHipHop] at a deli I used to go to every morning when I got up. It was the shit man. Shit didn't turn out the way people thought it would turn out or the way we expected it to turn out, but it was still legit. I probably wouldn't be where I'm at if it wasn't for that experience. My whole career really kicked off when I got out there. I got there probably a month and a half before Super Villain Issue 2 came out.
Trade, do you have new solo music on the way?
Trademark: Yeah I'm working on a solo project right now. It'll probably come out around April. We're still trying to figure that out, with this project about to come out in December. But I'm working on an album, it should be dropping around March or April. It's back to full go mode with me. People can expect a lot more shit from me.
It's interesting that you guys are naming the album Family Business because Roddy has a song on Good Sense 3 called "Family Business," and on it you talk about your relationship with Curren$y. What are your relationships with Spitta like these days?
Young Roddy: That's still the homie. He's the godfather of my youngest son, so basically it's more than music. But that song was just the journey of our career, from where we started to New Orleans to going to New York to coming back to New Orleans. It was just the whole storyline. But it's all good though, no hard feelings, no love lost. We can still call each other on the phone, we still talk.
Trade, do you talk to Spitta these days?
Trademark: We talk every now and then. It's more of an out of sight, out of mind kind of thing. I'm in Atlanta trying to build shit, he's still got Jet Life and putting all that together. We do communicate, not nearly as much as we used to, but we still reach out to each other, we still talk and when we do it's all good. Things just didn't turn out as far as the music the way we expected shit to turn out, so it's no hate or shit like that. That's my dude. If he walked up right now, we'd be laughing, joking, talking about old shit.
But just as far as music and moving forward, I'm doing my own thing. That ain't for nothing that was personally done or any other shit, it's just business at the end of the day. Sometimes business does that. It makes one person go one way and the other person go the other way. But that doesn't mean that every time it happens, it has to be a problem or animosity. He's doing his thing, I'm doing my thing.
Around the time he got the Warner deal, he was supposed to have a label as well. Did he try to include you guys in that deal?
Young Roddy: I never heard anything about it from him, so I'm assuming not if it wasn't brought to my attention. I don't know if Trade had a conversation with him, but I didn't.
Trademark: As far as that, nah. It was always a solo deal. I never heard anything about a group deal. It went the way it went. If a group deal was on the table, we weren't gonna leave it on the table. So I guess not. They were only trying to fuck with him or whatever the play was. I really can't speak on that because I wasn't behind those closed doors or in those meetings. So I don't know what was going on, I just know that situation of getting a group deal didn't happen, for whatever reason.
It seems like that was the root of you guys distancing yourselves from each other.
Young Roddy: It's been awhile, even for me, the last time me and him actually worked was on The Kenner Loop album and I put out three more tapes, including [Family Business]. But nothing happened. I'm on the same road as Trade, I'm doing my thing.
What are you guys hoping to give the fans with the Family Business album?
Trademark: Really just what they've been missing, what they've been asking for. People been asking for new stuff from me, they've been wondering what's going on with the whole situation, so it's just us coming together and showing them we're still rocking. We could've easily done solo projects, but we came together because it's what the fans wanted.
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