IBG Interview – 9 Questions With… Shane Yansi

Shane Yansi

Even as the Hip-Hop genre has grown and splintered into many different sub-genres, many still hold dear the early years. Our recent discovery Shane Yansi still lives and breathes the Golden Age of Hip-Hop. His positivity is contagious as he has built a great life for himself. We had a chance to sit down with the talented artist and get behind the music. Enjoy the interview here:


What made you decide to stick with a more standard name instead of a wild moniker like most in the rap game nowadays?

My full name is Shane Yansi Shua. Artistically, I go by Shane Yansi because my paternal lineage descends from the Yansi people of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa according to my DNA test results from AfricanAncestry.com and I wanted my name to reflect my heritage.


How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as ‘Life 2 The Beat’. I talk about a lot of life situations and I rap clearly and rhythmically so you can feel me on the track. I notice people’s reactions when they listen to my music and often I hear people say ‘Yo, I can relate to that.’ To me, the point of music is to connect with people and my ‘Life 2 The Beat’ style seems to do that.


Which artists have been your biggest influences?

I’m influenced by rappers who are saying something lyrically worth remembering; MC’s like KRS-ONE, Rakim, Mos Def (Yasiin Bey), Talib Kweli, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole are some of my favorites.


You are originally from the birthplace of Rap in the Bronx, New York and now based in Virginia. How would you describe the differences in the local hip-hop scenes?

What I enjoyed about the Bronx was that I was accustomed to hearing MC’s who rapped for the love of the art form. In the local hip-hop scenes, there are a few cats who do this as well but I hear a lot of rappers that rap for the loot trying to get that bag. There’s a difference in the rap flow and lyrical content when you rap for the love versus rapping for the loot.


In your day job, you are a Math teacher. How are you able to keep your two passions separate?

I love to think and both Math and Hip-Hop require me to think, so to me, they are symmetrical. I don’t have to compromise one while I embrace the other. To me, Math and Hip-Hop are two sides of the same coin as they both require critical thinking skills to be successful in either one.



Tell us about your latest single “We Celebrate LIFE”

‘We Celebrate LIFE’ is a smooth hip-hop jam about successful friends hanging out, having fun and celebrating life, which is something we all should do from time to time. Life can be serious most days, and if we don’t take time out to let go of our daily drama, it can literally drive us crazy. ‘We Celebrate LIFE’ is the antidote for insanity. LOL!


What do you hope that listeners get from a Shane Yansi track?

It is my hope that people will play ‘We Celebrate LIFE’ anytime they are having a good time – at a party, graduation, wedding reception, new home, baby shower, promotion, backyard party, at the beach, amusement park, road trip, wherever. The same way people still play ‘Summertime’ by Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, I see ‘We Celebrate LIFE’ being played the same manner.


What advice would you have for other rappers still grinding in the game?

Do you man! There are people both in and out of the music industry that are going to tell you that you HAVE to make your music sound this way or that way in order to gain an audience and if you listen to them you might make a popular song that sounds like everything else that’s out now, but how will you feel about yourself and the art you created when it doesn’t come from a place of authenticity? The internet is forever so anything you put out is going to be in the world forever, so make sure you put out material that you will be able to live with 5, 10, 15, or 20 plus years from now.


What’s next for Shane Yansi?

I’m in the studio working on a 5-song EP which I’m entitling ‘Weapons Are Made of Vibranium’.  I’m calling it that because I was heavily influenced by ‘The Black Panther’ movie which I saw four times over the premiere weekend. Each song will be a different ‘weapon’ and each song will sound differently. I’m really looking forward to completing this project.


Follow more of the journey of Shane Yansi on Facebook and Twitter 

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