Editor’s note: Listen Up is a Q&A featuringlocals in the arts and culture community.
This week: Jake LaCoste, a hip-hop artist from Eau Claire. He will be hosting an album release party for his latest record, “Country City Boy,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at The Metro, 201 E. Lake St.
How would you describe “Country City Boy”?
“Country City Boy” is music that is compiled of hip-hop mixed with country music and rock music and fused into one album.
Why did you want to go that route?
Country-rap is a really big thing in the United States but it’s also a newer genre, so it was a marketing move but it was also a move that I made because of the lay of the land of Wisconsin.
How do you feel it represents where you are now as an artist?
I’ve been making music since I was 16 and now I am 33. I feel I embodied Wisconsin a lot more. I used the country a lot for my topics.
What goals did you have going in?
The main goal for me with this album was just to make my first real-sounding album. I’ve made a lot of projects but they were more like I’d just take songs I made and put them on the same project. This project I thought of the theme first and then wrote the album.
I reached out to producers and had them make the beats around how I described I wanted them, instead of just grabbing the beats off YouTube — rather than randomly grabbing them, I had them customized for me.
Why did you go the independent route?
It’s really not by choice, it was more of a forced action. Throttle Clan is the label I’ve created throughout this area. A lot of the artists on it are either from or live here now. I created the label out of necessity of the very low culture in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
It was created in 2011, and it was LLC’d in 2012.
Where do you find inspiration for your music?
I look up to Tupac, T.I, Nas and also Yelawolf is a big one. Yelawolf brought kind of the country side of America, if you will, to the hip-hop scene. Kid Rock kind of did that as well.
What messages/stories are you trying to tell through music?
I’m just giving a voice to the people in Wisconsin who don’t have a voice in hip-hop, also the northwoods in general and the upper Midwest.
I’m touching on topics that we see daily such as fishing and hunting and just a greater sense of work ethic. I feel like we’re some of the hardest workers in America and I think I tell that story on the album.
What will the release show consist of?
That will consist of music from Throttle Clan as well as a couple of out-of-town acts, D.J. Sunnysota and it’s hosted by Tadow. It should be a night of high, explosive energy.
What are you looking forward to at the show?
I’m just looking for a great vibe and a lot of energy, a lot of positive energy. It’s going to be a good time.