Formed in the mid 90’s, the collective known as Outlawz is arguably one of the most recognizable names to be affiliated with the late Tupac Shakur. Originally founded by Tupac, the group would go on to appear on some of his biggest records, including All Eyez On Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. In the wake of Tupac’s untimely passing, the group would go through several line up changes, but continued to release music on their own.
The most recent line up of The Outlawz has experienced a resurgence in the spotlight with several online releases that would mark the beginning of a new era. The release of their latest album, Perfect Timing, saw E.D.I., Hussein Fatal, and Young Noble return to form to release what has been called the best Outlawz album ever. We recently spoke to Young Noble of The Outlawz regarding his work on Perfect Timing. In a very open interview, Young Noble shared his thoughts on what Tupac would think of the new record and also discussed the group’s latest collaboration with Tech N9ne. With something to prove to the world, Young Noble and The Outlawz look to be stronger than ever.
Can you explain the meaning behind Perfect Timing?
It just was fitting. Just felt like God was working on our side. It’s always something, in life, in music, it’s always something. Just seemed God was just working on our side. From Fatal getting back into the group to how the album got pushed back and we had to drop it in September. It just so happens that albums drop on Tuesday, so we had to drop it on the thirteenth, which was the fifteenth anniversary of Pac’s passing. Past that, it’s just the perfect time for some real soldiers with a real message making real music to make a presence in this game. I think we represent the epitome of that.
How does it feel to have people call this the best Outlawz release ever?
I love it, and before it came out we told people the same thing. This is our best album so far. I think we just took more time with it, we were more conscious about the beats we were picking. Just the sound of the album, sounds real grown, real polished. I knew it was our best album before the people even said it, so they just basically confirmed what we was saying.
During the record, did you ever stop to think about how Tupac would feel about it?
All the time. I think when we record, we record with him in mind. Being there with us or even what he would think of a record. Yeah, absolutely, we always got the big homie in mind with everything we doing.
On this album, you collaborated with Tech N9ne on the track “New Year’s”. How did that come about?
Well, first and foremost, shout out to Tech and Strange Music and Travis. Tech is our good friend, we been knowing Tech for years. We always loved and supported his music. We toured with him, a couple years back, on our last tour with him, and learned a lot from him. This dude is one of the biggest if not the biggest independent artist. We learned a lot from him being on the road. He took his show very serious and put on a great show for the crowd. From his merchandise, seeing his fans really get behind and support. As an artist, Tech is phenomenal, he’s an extremely talented rapper. The guy’s a beast. I remember when I got put on to Tech N9ne back in the day. I forgot who told me, it might have been like QD3 or somebody, was like “This dude Tech N9ne”, and I heard something. This dude was damn near rapping backwards, I was like “What the fuck? This guy is crazy!” It was just a pleasure having him a part of this album. When we did the song, we was like, “Man, who can we put on this mufucker?” We was like, “Tech. How the beat switch up and it’s just crazy. Tech could do wonders for this joint right here.” We just reached out, and he was like, “Hell yeah, spin the record.” You know, he always had love for us and Pac as well. You know, it was a pleasure for him to hop on the record for us. We actually trying to get a video for that joint right now.
It’s definitely a different sound. Do you think it’s something Tupac would have jumped on?
It woulda been crazy. Pac was all about trying something new and different. Pac was about creating something new, and that’s what The Outlawz is about as well. We ain’t about following what the hell is going on right now, we about actually creating something new. That beat, we had that beat for about two years man. Just In the studio working, we were like, “Man, we gotta do something with this beat.” We just had it in the vault. One day we was going through all the beats n’ shit, and we were like, “You know what, let’s try this one out.” The joint came out pretty hot and it was like, you know what, we gotta put somebody on it. Tech was perfect and his schedule allowed him to hop on it. It was a beautiful thing and the streets is going crazy for it. We would love to keep working with Tech, definitely. That’s our comrade, if he needs us on anything, all he’s gotta do is send it. So yeah, we definitely look forward to doing some more music with Tech, absolutely.
What’s next for The Outlawz?
We definitely working on some solo projects. All of us is going to do solo albums. Hussein Fatal got a book about his life story just wrapped up. E.D.I. writing screenplays, you know , I’m getting into directing now. We’re going to be shooting our own independent film. So, it’s going to be a beautiful thing, we’re trying to work this thing hard out. If you don’t got this new album, go get it. This is going to possibly be the last Outlawz album.
Perfect Timing featuring Tech N9ne, Bun B, Krayzie Bone, Lloyd, and more is now available everywhere. Visit www.outlawzmedia.net for music, videos, and tour dates from The Outlawz. Follow The Outlawz on Twitter: @TheOutlawz.
-Victor Sandoval, Assistant Editor Strange Music
Follow Victor on Twitter: @VicMSandoval