The Wylde Bunch

The Wylde Bunch Biography

Egos in hip-hop tend to be bigger than Andre 3000's wardrobe, so for a group like the Wylde Bunch to even exist, let alone stay together for six years, is something of a miracle. Fourteen members strong, this Los Angeles groove squad is a proudly self-contained collective of musicians, rappers, songwriters, producers and arrangers, a rare example of do-it-yourself spirit and collaborative energy in the competitive world of hip-hop music. Producer/MC Yung Dame, keyboardist Daniel, and singer Byg Sexy took time out from promoting their Columbia debut album Fast Times at Washington High to tell ARTISTdirect about how the Wylde Bunch got started and how they continue to stay close to their roots.

How did you promote yourselves and your music when you were first starting out?

Yung Dame: Rollin' up and down Crenshaw...givin' away tapes to the popular car clubs in the neighborhood so they could play our music...performed at birthday parties and house parties...

Did you ever doubt yourselves or think about giving up?

Yung Dame: Never.

Byg Sexy: Absolutely not! I had confidence in my talents, and in my group's members' talents.

What's the craziest thing you ever did to try and get a gig or sell a record?

Yung Dame: Beat trash cans at [Universal] Citywalk and did an impromptu a cappella concert...till we got kicked out.

How much did others encourage you to express yourself at an early age?

Yung Dame: A lot. My family always stood behind us...we were always the entertainment at family functions.

Byg Sexy: I was encouraged a great deal to express myself as far as my talent is concerned when I was young. That's what kept me motivated to learn to sing and enhance my talents.

What is your community today, and how do you stay connected to it?

Yung Dame: The hood...[We] stay connected by stayin' in touch with our roots...helping out our old high school however we can...

Do artists and musicians have a responsibility to be leaders in their communities?

Yung Dame: I think so, because even if you don't regard yourself that way, the fans regard you as some sort of leader...

Daniel: I think regardless of what artists may say, we do have that responsibility, because the kids are going to look up to you and that is something that you have no control over. So we as artists have to give kids in our communities something positive to follow. We all had someone or something positive to look up to or we wouldn't be here.

Who do you aspire to be compared to?

Byg Sexy: I personally don't aspire to be compared to anyone, but rather build a name and be known for my own talents and accomplishments. However, if I had aspirations to be compared to would have to be Donny Hathaway, and as far as the group goes it'll be Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Do you think music can change the world?

Yung Dame: Absolutely. Music has the power to move I do think it can...

Have your political views changed over the years?

Yung Dame: Not really changed...just a lot higher on the list of priorities...

Describe one of your proudest moments as a band.

Yung Dame: [L.A. radio station] 100.3 The Beat's Hoodie Awards...where the community votes for their favorite things in the hood. [The Wylde Bunch won "Best Local Rap Group"]

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