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[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] Get to Know Year of the Ox: Genre-Bending Aces On the Rise to Global Fame

Meet Year of the Ox, a powerful force in the dynamic arena of Korean hip-hop.

Year of the Ox
Year of the Ox | Image from @officialyox

Year of the Ox stands at the forefront of the hip-hop and rap scene with their razor-sharp lyricism and genre-bending abilities. Consisting of outstanding rappers, Lyricks and Jae Young, this pair has steadily been making waves in the industry.

With an unwavering dedication to their craft, Year of the Ox has garnered a dedicated fan base and critical acclaim for their unique blend of East and West.


Their latest venture, a collaborative album, sees Year of the Ox joining forces with Junoflo, Justin Park, and G2, all revered figures in the vibrant music scene of Los Angeles. Together, they embark on an audacious musical journey, seamlessly combining their diverse backgrounds and talents to create a sonic tapestry that defies expectations and pushes the boundaries of contemporary rap and hip-hop.


Join PopMachine as we delve into the mesmerizing YOX soundscape that transcends borders and captivates listeners worldwide.

★POPMACHINE: Hi, Year of the Ox! Congrats on your new collaboration with Junoflo, Justin Park, and G2. Can you talk to us about the L.A. show? What was the biggest highlight?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Thank you and yes let’s talk about it… On a Sunday night, we packed out 1720 in DTLA with a combination of all of our fans, friends, and supporters. It was definitely one for the books. The biggest highlight was performing Dale Denton live and witnessing that most of the fans already

memorized all of our verses…. It hasn't even been a week since it was released. I remember the time, dedication, and multiple rewinds it requires to lock a verse down so that was a reminder that we have some die-hard fans.

★POPMACHINE: "Dale Denton" and "Gold Rocky" are such brilliant tracks. Where did the initial inspiration come from?

-YEAR OF THE OX: We knew we needed a fusion track where we can all come out on stage and Voltron as a group. With the live show in mind when we heard Jae Young’s production for DD we knew that we could bring the energy as one on that one. Gold Rocky sounded like the perfect final track or

closer to an album. Reminiscent of the glamorous Roc a Fella era which was filled with great verses and ostentatious production.


★POPMACHINE: What is one lyric from either "Dale Denton" or "Gold Rocky" that truly represents you each as artists?


-YEAR OF THE OX: ‘Big picture like an iPhone ad’ by Jae Young really hit home for both of us. Becoming older and more seasoned in this game, our purpose is now less about what the world wants from us but what we want for ourselves. Learning the ability to zoom out and focusing on our own alignment became the focus.

Year of the Ox
Year of the Ox | Image from @officialyox on Instagram

★POPMACHINE: Can you walk us through the highlights of your songwriting process?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Drink water. Play the beat 50 times. Figure out the main point of what you’re trying to say. Mumble the syllables. Make weird sounds with your mouth. Delete everything. Mumble even more. Fill in those sounds with words. Show the partner. Drink water. Record.


★POPMACHINE: Fill in the blank: "Dale Denton" is best listened to during/when...


-YEAR OF THE OX: High speed car chases or ice cold showers. The verses are perfectly timed to divide shampoo, body wash, face wash and rinse. Trust me I tried it.


★POPMACHINE: Fill in the blank: "Gold Rocky" is best listened to during/when...


-YEAR OF THE OX: You’re getting ready to go out and party. There’s a certain vibrance and mood to the song that makes you wanna show out and flex on the world.


★POPMACHINE: Which performance got the crowd most excited at your recent L.A. show?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Anytime G2 starts swinging his hair it’s pretty unfair for the rest of us with the normal nice Korean boy hairstyles. That boy knows how to put on a show! We each had a moment in our sets that made the crowd go crazy… Justin brought the synchronized dancers out… come on, there are levels to this.

★POPMACHINE: Can you give us spoilers about any upcoming live shows or concerts?

-YEAR OF THE OX: Oooyeh, we hitting the road jack. Tag your city on @officialyox and the places with enough likes we’ll pull up on you. The whole gang.


★POPMACHINE: What is your ultimate goal for 2023?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Become a TikTok sensation. LOL nah for real though, become more active on social media and have our songs blow up on TikTok.

★POPMACHINE: You have received so much love from your fans over the span of your career, so far. What is the most memorable fan comment you've read or best fan interaction you've experienced?


-YEAR OF THE OX: When we first encountered the OG OXGANG members, we remember Rick getting picked up by this one girl because he refused to move during a photo. She was asking him to come to the

center and he was like, “nah it’s cool let’s just shoot it”. LYRICKS WAS LITERALLY LIFTED UP AND PLACED IN THE CENTER LIKE A CHESS PIECE and this is when we knew… not only did we have some hardcore fans, we had security. Not to mention the crazy evolution of gifts, but that’s a whole other interview!


★POPMACHINE: We know it's nearly impossible to pick favorites, but if you had to crown one of your songs as the "most loop-worthy" for a fan to listen to, which one would it be?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Jae Young’s ‘Obnoxious’ comes to mind. That beat and song as a whole are like a weird psychedelic trip. I remember cleaning my whole house with that track on accidentally on repeat and I cleaned the ceiling.


★POPMACHINE: How did you two first come together as a duo?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Christian mingle. Next question.


★POPMACHINE: What is the secret behind your fantastic teamwork as a duo and your clear individuality in your music?


-YEAR OF THE OX: The Yin Yang factor. The Yin Yang factor to us means the duality of everything. The love/hate, the ego/humility, the highs/lows. No team is ALWAYS loving to each other and ALWAYS on the same page. It requires the combination of both sides to remain honest with each other while raising the bar each time to elevate ourselves. We both think we’re better than each other while knowing our partner is better than ourself.


★POPMACHINE: All of your existing collabs are amazing. Do you have any other dream

collaborations?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Have you heard of Lola Young? She’s incredible just came across her busking stuff recently. Alchemist is another. YOX x Run The Jewels would be insane. YOX x LOX and/or Griselda would be CRAZY.


★POPMACHINE: Do you have any hidden talents that would surprise your fans?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Jae Young is one of the top five whistlers that I know. He’s also becoming a beast in tennis. He and Zo have been playing almost every day for a couple of years straight. Lyricks can hold a handstand for a minute and it is by far the strangest thing you will ever see in your life. It’s like an upside-down refrigerator.


★POPMACHINE: If your music would be turned into a type of food, what would it be?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Ghost pepper extract. You have to mentally prepare yourself, it’ll make you sweat, some people fear it and you’re always going have to pay for it later. Also… they use us if something’s not hot enough.


★POPMACHINE: What is the most recent thing you added to your cart?


-YEAR OF THE OX: 25-foot Ethernet cable. Jae Young and I play Call of Duty after work and it’s been lagging because I’m not hardwired in! We can’t work like this… we’ve been losing because of the Wi-Fi.


★POPMACHINE: What does an ideal day-off in the lives of Lyricks and Jaeyoung look like?


-YEAR OF THE OX: A large pre-roll, a few exfils on DMZ, possibly a large steamed Dungeness crab with our beautiful ladies, just lounging while watching sappy Korean dramas.


★POPMACHINE: In case of an alien invasion, which one of you is siding with the aliens for survival, and which one would be the first to run away screaming?


-YEAR OF THE OX: Jae Young is definitely an alien.

Year of the Ox
Lyricks and Jae Young of Year of the Ox | Image from @officialyox on Instagram

★POPMACHINE: If you were to go on a world tour, which country would you want to visit first?

-YEAR OF THE OX: Australia. I feel like they get skipped and looked over a lot of times because they’re the furthest. We have so many Aussie fans and we heard it’s wild down there. I want to fight a kangaroo while blasting Dale Denton.


★POPMACHINE: What's your advice for aspiring artists?

-YEAR OF THE OX: There is no such thing as being cool. Everything is changing all the time. What we thought was cool then is now corny and what we thought was weird and strange then is now cool. Don’t conform to try to reach the definition of cool. You are cool. You are you. Present yourself as

such.


★POPMACHINE: Thanks for chatting with us! Before we cap things off, do you have a message for your fans and PopMachine readers?


-YEAR OF THE OX: I know y’all like the beautiful symmetrical faced perfect bodied K celebrities with their cool hair and weird clothes but thank you so much for finally stumbling upon the true sex symbols of this generation. We’re the YOX and you’ll be hearing from us again. Til next time.


 

SPECIAL THANKS TO 5A LABEL AND MRMG FOR FACILITATING THE INTERVIEW


INTERVIEW BY: KD ROSSLY



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