By TYLER HORNER
for Inland 360
The Pacific Northwest has produced popular rap and hip-hop artists like Macklemore and Sol. Sharing that same style is Coeur d’Alene native Yodi Mac, performing Saturday at the University of Idaho’s 2018 Finals Fest in Moscow.
Yodi Mac’s sound ranges from from laid-back and relaxed to conscious rap, a style in which the majority of the rhymes address societal, world and governmental issues while also promoting positive ideals. Now based in Tacoma, Yodi Mac is making a name for himself in Seattle. He’ll open Saturday for Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist 6LACK (pronounced black). He talked to Inland 360 before the show:
At what age did you realize you had a talent for music, and when did you start producing music?
Yodi Mac: I started writing music in elementary school but didn’t really show anybody other than my brother, primarily because my focus had always been on basketball. After two years of college basketball, I began to actually record and release music publicly in 2013 and kind of just stuck with it because I loved doing it.
Do you have a specific artist that has inspired you and the way you make your music?
Yodi Mac: I wouldn’t say any specific artist has inspired how I make music. If anything, I’ve just been influenced by many artists and subconsciously taken bits and pieces from each one. Ish from Digable Planets has always been a big influence, Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar, Rage Against the Machine, Andre 3000 and of course Michael Jackson, would probably be the artists I’ve gravitated to the most.
Where did you grow up, and what is your family background?
Yodi Mac: I was born in Coeur d’Alene and spent my childhood in Post Falls. I’ve been in Tacoma since 2010, so the entire course of my music career. My family was always basketball focused, but my dad, coming of age in the hip-hop era and being from Baltimore, always had us listening to all sorts of music our entire lives. He is the one who put me on to most of my musical influences.
What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
Yodi Mac: My ultimate goal is to get me and my team to a place where we can really do this for a living without struggling financially, to hopefully do well enough financially that we can actually make a difference in our communities, past what we offer through our music. Other than that, it’s to take our music as far as we can out into the world. The energy you feel on stage with an audience is one of the coolest feelings I’ve ever felt. I just want those stages to grow and reach as many people as we can reach.
Who has been your favorite artists to work with and why?
Yodi Mac: My favorite artists to work with are Scribemecca (rapper) and Wffls (producer/DJ), who I’m in a group with called BADYOSHI. We just dropped our first group project available on all digital platforms. If you go and listen to that, you’ll see why Scribe is my favorite rapper to work with. We just go well together on tracks. They’ll be with me on stage Saturday in Moscow.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: University of Idaho’s Finals Fest featuring Yodi Mac and 6LACK.
WHEN: 7 to 10 p.m., Saturday, April 28
WHERE: UI SprinTurf field, east of the Kibbie Dome, 711 S. Rayburn St., Moscow.
COST: Free for UI students with VandalCards, $25 for the public. Tickets are available at www.uidaho.edu/ticketoffice.
OF NOTE: Food vendors will be on site.