Rapper and producer Sauce McKinley has created a buzz for himself and been able to work with household names like SchoolBoy Q, A$AP Rocky and Big Sean. And that’s all without a major project. That is all about to change with The Appetizer, his debut EP dropping in early 2014, one that is a proclamation from Sauce stating it’s going to be his year. Although a newcomer to the game, his maturity and sense of direction are that of a seasoned veteran. McKinley, who is a former basketball player who received a college scholarship to play basketball, says he would rhyme endlessly on his team’s long bus rides to games. Two serious ankle injuries made him give up the sport he loved, but helped him find a new passion in music. The 26-year-old Buffalo native speaks with Urbanology Magazine about his come up.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE APPETIZER? It’s my introduction before my album. It’s going to be a little touch and taste of what’s to come. It’s got a lot of dope artists, but I didn’t go too heavy with the features because I want people to get used to me. This has been three years in the making, I have 50 or so tracks done so I narrowed it down to seven to 10 tracks.
IS THERE A CERTAIN PROJECT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO COMPARE THE APPETIZER TO? Yes, it’s my Reasonable Doubt… This is the most important to me because it is my first project and going to be seen in the public eye so more or less it’s real close to my heart… It’s kind of like when you hook up with your first girl, you don’t forget.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP? I came from a broken home, a single parent. My mother raised me and that’s what made me want to work harder. She is the drive behind [me]. I was already playing sports at a young age and not getting home until 8 p.m., she had some chicken nuggets ready. I’d eat them, go to sleep and back to school the next morning… She embedded real morals, values and ideals and told me I can be whatever I want.
IN YOUR FIRST COUPLE OF YEARS RAPPING, WAS THERE EVER A POINT WHERE YOU WANTED TO GIVE UP? I’ve got such a love for this culture that it never came across, but there were definitely some points where it seemed like it was impossible to reach where I wanted to go. That’s just self doubt, but once you really find yourself as a person and say I don’t give a f*ck, you can really do anything you want in life. It’s your world and it’s all about what you want to do with it.
“It’s just about what type of vibe you’re throwing out there, so if your energy is radiant with positivity that’s all you’re gonna attract because people won’t feel comfortable bringing that hatred around you. It’s all about your energy and what you’re doing with it.”
EXPLAIN THE TITLE OF YOUR SONG “JOURNEY OF MY DRIVE”? It’s definitely one of my weirdest tracks. It’s a song where you have to focus more on the lyrics instead of the beat or anything else… It’s more about people reading and understanding what we’re saying… it’s more spoken word.
I NOTICED ON YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT THAT YOU USUALLY TWEET OUT ADVICE OR TRY TO PROMOTE POSITIVITY. WHY IS THAT? There’s too much negative shit in the world. I definitely have come into my own. It took a lot. I’ve been reading extensively. I just read a book Flow where it talks about the emancipation project and getting the most out of everything and the laws of attraction and positivity. When I go onto social media or Worldstar, I don’t want to badmouth Worldstar or anything, but they’re always stirring up conflict and negativity … It’s just about what type of vibe you’re throwing out there, so if your energy is radiant with positivity that’s all you’re gonna attract because people won’t feel comfortable bringing that hatred around you. It’s all about your energy and what you’re doing with it.
Interview By. Cameron Da Silva