If you love getting ready for a night out with a good playlist in the background, Ye Ali‘s music needs to be added to your rotation. The rapper & producer is preparing to release his new album, Private Suite 5, and we got the chance to sit down with him and learn all about how he’s worked with some of the biggest stars in the industry while building his own career. If you want to learn more about “Trap House Jodeci”, keep reading below.  


Tell us about your childhood and what it was like for Ye Ali growing up.  

My dad had an art business and I worked with him after school a lot. He raised me by himself, so I think that’s why I work so much to this day. I’m close to my women siblings even though combined my parents have 10 other children combined. I’ve always kind of been more comfortable around women. We lived between Indiana and Chicago growing up.  

My uncles were like bonus fathers but most of my homies are women. So, when I got to college, I joined a frat which helped calm me down a lot and coexist with men better. My degree from Indiana University was in Sports Marketing. I didn’t get into music until the end of my time in college.  

So how did you transition into music from studying sports?  

I feel like music & sports are the same thing. Every athlete wants to make music and every rapper wants to be a hopper. As a man, if you did one you’ve probably also tried the other. Men are competitive and entertainment is just as competitive. When you think about it, there’s so many parallels between music and sports.  

Say you sign a record deal then get shelved, it’s like making the team and being varsity or get cut from the team depending on your performance. Most of the men in the industry I know have played some type of sport. Rather it be hooping, boxing, they’ve more than likely done something before or after doing music. I feel like we can relate to each other.  

Did you always have a love for music, or did it just happen at some point in your life?  

I was always in a band and choir because my dad wanted me to be in it, but I didn’t have a passion for it. I’m not a singer, I really feel like I’m a rapper and producer. My flow is just slowed down. I don’t try to do things I can’t do, so when I feature singers on my songs, I just write their parts.  

Whenever someone is on a song with me, for the most part I don’t let them write their part. I gotta write your part because I know what I want you to say. Artists are never offended when I do that either. I’m not a songwriter because I only write songs for myself.  

Whenever I’m posting other artists’ music like Chris Brown, it’s because I produced the beat. Songwriters don’t really get paid, and I don’t do things that don’t make me money. For instance, when I sold the beat to “Midnight Freak” on Chris Brown’s latest album, my boys and I made that back in 2020 and sent it out to lots of people in the industry, and Chris end up cutting it.  

My homeboy who wrote most of the song, we added him as a producer just so he could get paid because the way the music industry works, they only pay the producer. Advances are for the beat, which is the most important part to them. So, once I realized that, I was like I never wanted to be known as a songwriter. I’ll help with stuff for others, but that’s about it.  

When did you first realize you could have a future in music?  

I quit my job back in 2017 as a teacher’s assistant and I have always worked in education. Once I found out I could make money and it could be more than a hobby, I started taking it seriously. I used to be a freestyle rapper and win money that way. A lot of producers like Rico Love started off being rappers and then transitioned into other roles within the industry.  

Where did the nickname “Trap House Jodeci” come from?  

I was in a frat and our frat house was called the trap house. I would always DJ chop & screwed r & b music so and it kinda just stuck with everyone around me.  

Why do you have so many chopped & screwed versions of your projects?  

So back when I was in college, OVOG Ron C who is Drake’s official chopped & screwed producer, he would put me on different mixtapes with chopped & screwed music which got my music to a bigger audience in Dallas and Houston, that’s probably where my biggest fan base is. I’ve always been a fan of that type of music, so I just kept doing it.  

So, you’ve worked with various artists like Jack Harlow, Larry June and Eric Bellinger just to name a few. Talk to us about how these collaborations came about.  

Back when Larry June was signed to Warner Records, he hit me up for a hook for “Throw Sum” from his 2018 project “You’re Doing Good”. It’s a strip club vibe song. Chris Brown sampled music from my first Trap House Jodeci project that was released back in 2016.  

My original song is “Ammunition” and Chris’ song is “Other N*****” from his album Heartbreak on a Full Moon that came out a year later. So that’s me in the beginning singing. This was the first time I had to get the business part done correctly.  

So how was it for you transitioning from this being a hobby to a career for you?  

It was difficult and overwhelming at first, but I feel alone a lot. Not in a bad way, it’s just how it’s always been for me. So, when it came time to depend on other people, because I can’t do it all, it took a while for me to start trusting people. I still pretty much do everything, but I have the same lawyer I’ve always had. I’ve tried to get a team, but I think it’s just me.  

Who are some of your musical influences?  

I like The Dream, Jeremih, Anita Baker, Sade and T-Pain. The Dream has to be my favorite. He’s the only artist that I’ve stood for 3 hours for at a concert.  

How did you discover your musical sound?  

I studied Trey Songz music early on. I liked his mixtapes more than his albums.  

What would be the first Ye Ali song new listeners should hear?  

My Ride” from Private Suite 2 featuring DCMBR. It’s my biggest song on Apple Music.  

Aside from music, what would be your dream brand collab?  

Probably, UGG, Cartier, Balmain.  

Musically, who would you like to work with one day?  

The Weekend, Future and Muni Long for sure.  

You just released your final R & B album that will be available on streaming platforms “Private Suite 5”. Talk to us about what listeners can expect from the project and why it will be your last R & B project.

It won’t necessarily be the last but I won’t be putting all of my future music on streaming platforms. It will be available to buy directly from me, to artist to fan. I’ll be working with a company called “EVEN” to make sure I’m compensated fairly on sales.


Feature Editor: Taylor Winter Wilson (@taylorwinter)

Photographer: Loredana (@photosbyloredana)

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