Def Jam’s newest signee Bino Rideaux is an unstoppable force. Bino began writing rhymes in third grade when his English teacher entered him in a poetry contest. Since then his love for vocabulary blossomed into an affinity for rap. As a young adult, having graduated high school, Bino began “stepping into studios and trying to make a career of it.” Word of Bino’s talent quickly spread throughout South Central L.A. and eventually Nipsey Hussle caught wind. Having formed a bond with Nipsey’s brother, it wasn’t until a fateful call from Nip via rapper Casey Veggies that the two South Central natives came together. One night in the studio led to a collaborative project between Nipsey and Bino called No Pressure as well as touring together on the Victory Lap tour. Bino looked up to Nipsey as a mentor, “I always called him a cheat code because being around him, you can kinda figure out what you need you be doing,” says Bino. The brotherhood between Nipsey and Bino changed Bino forever and he feels grateful to have called the South Central legend a friend, “I was around him every day so I try to hold that close to my heart.”
Nipsey’s passing continues to be both a challenge and motivation to push Bino harder. For Bino, Nipsey Hussle was “a vital part of [his] foundation” and after Nipsey’s passing Bino released a record called “Bozo,” to help “change the narrative of the city.” Although 2019 brought immense tragedy for Bino, 2020 has offered him a more positive turn of events. Bino signed with Def Jam records earlier this year and subsequently released his first mixtape with the label titled Outside. Bino values the resources he’s been granted since signing, such as music videos and a consistent team. With the support of the label behind him as well as amazing producers such as Hit-Boy and Cormill, Bino was able to put out Outside. Find out what else Bino has on the way in our interview below.
The Kncokturnal: How long have you been making music?
Bino Rideaux: On a professional level, I’d say 5, 6 years. I really put out my breakout song around my neighborhood in 2014/2015. I really wrote my first rap ever in third grade. I started writing in third grade, my English teacher used to put me in poetry contests. I was real into it, I like words and seeing peoples’ reactions after I say certain sh*t.
The Knockturnal: When did you know this is what you want to pursue?
Bino Rideaux: When it was necessary to figure sh*t out – what’s my lane? I’m at home, I’m in the streets, butting heads with my mom and getting kicked out back and forth so rapping was just kinda always there for me. Maybe after high school as soon as I graduated I started stepping into studios and trying to make a career out of it.
The Knockturnal: Did you grow up with any music around you?
Bino Rideaux: My dad was actually a rapper, but I didn’t meet my dad till I was in middle school so it’s weird that he was a rapper because I was already rapping. My great-grandfather- my peoples from Louisiana owned juke joints, so there’s a lot of music in my family, but I’m the only person who took it there.
The Knockturnal: What have been the 3 biggest moments in your career so far? Working with Nipsey? Signing with Def Jam?
Bino Rideaux: Working with Nip and putting an album out with him is a major deal for me because I don’t see that happening a lot and going on the Victory Lap tour, my whole experience with Nipsey is major, that’s a vital part of my foundation. Signing with Def Jam, that’s historical and crazy to me. Other than that I’d say “Bozo,” because that was my record after Nipsey passed, I put out a record paying homage to Nip and I kinda wanted to change the narrative of the city.
The Knockturnal: How did you and Nipsey link up?
Bino Rideaux: It was the streets, the streets put it in his ear to tap in with this dude Bino. I talk to his brother every now and then and then he said when the time is right we gonna put it together. One day I just get a call from Casey Veggies and it was Nip on the phone telling me to pull up to the studio. We made two or three songs that day. We just kept rocking ever since.
The Knockturnal: You mention that meeting Nipsey changed you as an artist. How has Nipsey’s death impacted you and influenced you to carry on his legacy?
Bino Rideaux: He definitely got me like watching my step more, watching how I move and realizing I’m in a certain position and I need to move strategically. I feel like prior to him I was running and gunning trying to figure sh*t out. I always called him a cheat code because being around him, you can kinda figure out what you need you be doing. I was around him every day, so I try to hold that close to my heart.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about signing with Def Jam and how that came about?
Bino Rideaux: Shoutout my boy DJ, he reached out and had a position at Def Jam and I was really the first artist that he signed to Def Jam I believe. He was like who better to go with than you? Me and DJ have a relationship, we met years back and he’s always been helpful and appreciative of the music, so it felt like family and we looked at so many other labels, Def Jam felt like the best situation, so I’m happy where I’m at.
The Knockturnal: What was the experience like putting out your first mixtape with Def Jam? What resources did you have access to with this release that might not have been available before?
Bino Rideaux: Facts, I got a team now. We in a group chat every day trying to figure out how we can make this sh*t shake. It wasn’t like that for me, it used to be me trying to figure out what can I do today? Now it’s like sh*t on schedule. It’s crazy we just did an album release party at Mel’s Diner, and I wouldn’t be able to do that sh*t before this. I appreciate everything.
The Kncokturnal: What’s been the biggest perk you’ve enjoyed since signing?
Bino Rideaux: Probably videos. Trying to [finish] a visual after your project, it sounds super easy but executing it can be like hell. You don’t have to play the role of holding everybody’s hand, you got someone else to do that and you just gotta show up and be the rapper.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about your new mixtape, Outside?
Bino Rideaux: A lot of them songs are like two, three years old lowkey. I came to Def Jam and I said, “I’ll give y’all an album, but lemme put a tape out first.” I got so much music built up and they was with it. I tried to narrow down from about 80 songs to the top songs and the flow was perfect. I like how it came about and I’ve been thinking about my next release for a long time, now that I finally have it out it feels good.
The Knockturnal: Can you talk about some of the producers you worked with on the mixtape?
Bino Rideaux: Shoutout to Hit-Boy, that was probably one of the best sessions ever, that was one of the only sessions I had where I had the mic sitting right next to the engineer, I wasn’t in the booth. Working with Hit-Boy was dope. Cormill, that’s my dog, you know I never really met Cormill, just through the music we linked up and tapped in and we just been going crazy.
The Knockturnal: What more can we expect on the way
Bino Rideaux: There’s gonna be an album for sure, I know everybody’s wondering if they gonna get Sixtape 2 with BLXST. That’s a forsure. I’m gonna keep the vibes going and take it to that next level.