Versatility, showmanship, lyrical ability and unwavering support from family is what local rap group All About Business believes gives them an edge in the often fickle game of rap.
Comprised of Steven “Yung Moo” Steward, Tajh “T-Real” Russell and Quinton “Yung Q” Helvy, All About Business was started three years ago by longtime friends Moo and T-Real. In addition to rap, the group performs music in other genres including techno and R& B.
|ALL ABOUT BUSINESS—From left: Quentin Helvy “Yung Q,” Stephon Stewart “Yung Moo” and Tajah Russell “T-Real” doing the sign of their group. (Photo by J.L. Martello)
“If you’re versatile you can get more fans,” explained Yung Moo, 20. “Whenever you have stress, put it into a song.”
The group’s catchy name and natural talent has allowed them to perform at numerous venues in the Steel City and beyond including New York, Atlanta and Ohio. Earlier this year, the trio battled 15 acts from New York and Philadelphia to win Indy Elite, a rap battle they found out about through Facebook.
“I feel good about their success. I think they are going in the right direction. I was excited that they won the competition in New York,” said Ruby Helvy who handles All About Business’ travel arrangements. “The competition was stiff, but they shut down Queens! It made me proud and we felt like rock star hip-hop parents.
The winner of the contest was chosen from the song that got the most You Tube views. All About Business’ got 1,700 views. As winners, they got interviewed by New York City’s Hot 97 radio station and got to open up for Ron Brown, a top rapper in the industry. The group will return to The Big Apple on May 20 to perform in the Indy Elite Showcase.
“They started doing local places in Pittsburgh and sometimes there were fans and sometimes there weren’t during those early days,” said AAB manager and Yung Moo’s mother, Michelle Steward. “Now we get contacted to open up for groups that come to town through Drusky Entertainment.”
AAB has served as the opening act for such stars as Project Pat, Afro Man, Sheek Louch, D Block and Jadakiss.
They opened for Queens-based rapper Action Bronson at Altar Bar May 24.
The group’s ability to bounce between genres caught the eye of mega rapper, Snoop Dog (when he performed at Altar Bar last year) who signed the group to a deal with his G-God Distribution label. They are currently working on a mixtape with all original material to hopefully be released late this summer.
“We’re grinding for real,” said T-Real. “We are all hoping for something to come. We want to be a part of the rap game. I only see us going to the top.”
The fellas feel that with the help of their parents they will be able to do just that.
“It’s good to have your parents around because they are your parents and they are going to like the song regardless,” said Yung Q, 19.
The parents have their sons’ best interests at heart.
“Having us manage their career, the boys can focus on the music and being artists,” said Donald Russell who handles public relations for the Brighton Heights-based rap group.
Despite the modicum of success, AAB are still young men who need guidance from family.
“It’s a fine line between son and rapper,” said Tyrone Helvy who manages logistics and finances for the group. “We support them mentally and we teach them to be positive and keep their heads up. We let them know that they may not win every time and we teach them the value of money.”
John Daniels, the group’s transportation manager and Yung Moo’s father, agrees with Helvy.
“It’s good to have a dream, but they have to learn how to be men. A lot of what you need to teach a young man is how to do things day by day. We want to make sure they are self-sufficient,” said Daniels. “No one is pulling against one another. Everyone is working together to help them realize their dream.”