yungla12With the “king,” (some might refer to him as T.I.) exiled to a one-year sabbatical, it’s up to the rest of his “knights” hold down the throne that is Grand Hustle Records.

Two of its most recognized soldiers in Young Dro and Big Kuntry King has helped to keep the house that T.I.P. built above the clouds, and now adding onto that is newcomer, Leland “Yung L.A.” Austin.

Breaking onto the scene with his song ‘Ain’t I,(anchored by T.I. and Young Dro), the newest signee to Grand Hustle is poised and ready to release his first full-length album, Futuristic Leland.

So how will the kingdom fair without its ruler? Just fine according to its young inhabitant, as he feels right at home borrowing the keys to the castle for a little while…


iHipHop.com: When did you first get into Hip-Hop?

Yung L.A.: Growing up, I was always a fan of music… Music played a big part of my life as a young person…

But my aunt was the first one who really turned me out to Hip-Hop, as far as going into the studio and being around the music while people were working…

iHipHop.com: When did you start making a name for yourself?

Yung L.A.: I’d say probably when I was about 18-years-old…

iHipHop.com: With so much talent coming out of the Atlanta area, is it hard to really standout?

Yung L.A.: Nah, it’s not hard to standout, because at the end of the day you have to figure out where you stand, and you have to be a trendsetter and a leader, you know what I’m saying?

There are a lot of fads in the city, and people do a lot of following, but with us, we don’t follow other people, we follow each other… But as long as you standout, and you’re unique, people will view you with a whole different look…

iHipHop.com: How did you hook up Grand Hustle Records and T.I.?

Yung L.A.: T.I. has a club out in Atlanta called Crucial, and I used to do a lot of performances at Crucial, and a lot of other local clubs… People really didn’t know my name around the city before I started performing, and then I dropped a mixtape, and the mixtape got to Young Dro, and when it got to Young Dro it just took off…

iHipHop.com: Did you have a relationship with [Young] Dro before your deal, or did you meet him through the business?

Yung L.A.: Nah, I been knew [Young] Dro just from the streets… I knew him from being from Atlanta, and I used to hang with some of his people… So I knew [Young] Dro before the deal…

young-dro-yung-la-take-off-4-ti1iHipHop.com: What type of life lessons have you picked up from them just by watching their careers?

Yung L.A.: I learned about things like hard work, consistency, and dedication… I’m around TIP, and that’s the king…

He’s one of the most talented guys to do it, and that’s a good step for me to even have him as a mentor… You can’t even describe how big that is for a new artist…

Sometimes it can be bad for a new artist because the person that you’re working with is so big, and you have to come in and keep up…

You have to be able to keep your sh*t together, and keep up, but that just keeps you working hard man…

iHipHop.com: How’s your musical journey been so far? Has it been a little overwhelming?

Yung L.A.: Yeah, it’s been overwhelming just because of me starting out in the world, and the people want to know me and embrace me… Plus how my music is reaching out to different countries, so that’s the most overwhelming part for me…

iHipHop.com: Talk about your album, Futuristic Leland. What can people expect from it?

Yung L.A.: Futuristic Leland will be the album of the summer man… The timing is great, because it’s coming out in the summer, and it’s a new sound…

It’s something for the youth, and it’s something for the mature audience too, so it’s all in one, and we’re going to cover the best of both worlds… This album won’t be for one brand of people, everybody will be able to enjoy this album…

iHipHop.com: Who else did you work with on the project besides T.I. and [Young] Dro?

Yung L.A.: I got Lil Boosie on the album, and like you said, [Young] Dro and T.I. I also have some of the home artists too, like you might see Big Kuntry King on there…

But for real; I didn’t want to do too many features on my album because I’m trying to break “Leland Austin” to the world, you know what I mean? I’m not trying to break anybody else, so I’m going to hold this album down myself…

yunglaiHipHop.com: Do you feel any added pressure on your shoulders due to the fact of T.I. putting his seal of approval on your project as well?

Yung L.A.: Nah, there’s no pressure, I think it’s good for me… Like you said, we’re all the label, and we have a lot of fans… T.I. has a lot of fans, [Young] Dro, has a lot of fans, [Big] Kuntry [King] has a lot of fans…

So I think with me being the new guy; I’ll just pick up on all those fans, you know what I’m saying? If can sell myself to all those fans, as well as new fans, I think that I’ll be successful…

iHipHop.com: Speaking of being the new guy, do you think it will be a little difficult to keep your name above water with so many artist coming out at a steady pace?

Yung L.A.: I don’t think so, because I feel like the music industry is waiting for something new, and something different… So for the first person to bring that, it will be really good…

The thing with fans is that they want to see somebody creative, somebody unique, and somebody established… I think that I have all of those characteristics, so I think I’ll be good…