Gene-Yes - "I overcame my addiction 7 years ago & I was told that I would make a good counselor because my peers listen to me when I talk." - Stereo Stickman

Gene-Yes “I overcame my addiction 7 years ago & I was told that I would make a good counselor because my peers listen to me when I talk.”


Writer, producer and vocalist Gene-Yes hails from the Bronx, and recently launched the nostalgic Hip Hop anthem Lights Out. We caught an interview with Gene-Yes to find out more about his background in the genre, the new single, and what the future may hold. Here’s how it went.

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Gene-Yes – thanks for the interview! To introduce things, where are you based, and how long have you been making music?

First of all, I’m based in The Bronx New York. I’ve been doing music since I was 8. I started doing hip-hop when I was 15.

The new single is the melodic and smooth Lights Out – a little nostalgia and a fine fusion of Hip Hop and RnB. How did this track come to be, what inspired it, and did you produce and perform the track as a solo endeavour?

Thank you for the kind words. This song came to fruition when my son received a beat from a gentleman named Preston. AKA IceBathBeats. He made the beat for us. My son decided to write Lights Out to it, and the rest is history. I performed it solo.

Last year you released the big-band celebration Exceptional – how different was your mindset and creative process for this one, and how do you know which direction to take a new track in?

It’s just the uniqueness of being Gene-Yes. I think differently. I’m out the box most of of time, as is my son. We just like to make good music. Feel-good music. And it’s funny cuz, he came to me with a concept, but it was totally different. `I could explain that in-depth at another time. The end result was Exceptional.

Your Spotify profile describes you as a pioneer of Hip Hop – tell me about that, what was your involvement in early Hip Hop and how have things changed over time?

Well, I started rapping in 1977 – I was 15 in my group. The Coolout Crew actually performed with the legendary Kool Herc and the Herculoids at the tea. Connection on gun Hill road basically. Hip-hop has evolved in many ways since I started. This segment could take a long time, so I’m gonna keep it short. It’s not the same. Hip-hop is just not the same. Some good, some not so good.

You’re also a substance abuse counselor – What got you into this, and how does your day-to-day experience with this impact your approach to writing and making music?

Well, this part of my life is very, very sacred to me. I was an addict myself growing up for a very long time. I overcame my addiction 7 years ago and I was told by one of my counselors that I would make a good counselor because my peers listen to me when I talk. And being that I had a hip-hop background, once I became clean I decided to write, not only about my addiction and the addiction in general, but all types of life situations, fun stuff. It’ll come out in the music. You’ll see what I’m talking about in the future.

What’s your most ambitious aspiration at the moment?

To touch people without using my hands, and that’s through the music.

Is live performance on the cards for 2024?

There will be some live performances, absolutely.

What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?

Block out all the negative feedback, constructive criticism is always good, but some will try to sabotage you with harmful word play.

What’s next for Gene-Yes?

Becoming more active than I was in 2023. And hopefully my fan base grows to where I need it to be.

Is there anything else we need to know?

Share this interview with as many people as you can and make sure they stay tuned to what’s coming next from Gene-Yes, and my son Reesethenyturtle.

Thanks for the interview…

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Find Gene-Yes on Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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