Above all: to thine own self be true. His deepest thoughts, heart & soul, wounds, longings, and desires are just a few pieces of a man carefully crafted together throughout snapshots of his life. Street savvy immersed with intellectual flair, KaVonte Carthron aka Yah-Key, is an innovator, life teacher, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and performer. He expounds on the good and bad in his lifetime while drawing from his own troubled past and experiences. Known as “The Young People’s CHAMP” who delivers authenticity, a smile and a hip swagger to form a brand of inspiration that is becoming a breath of fresh air to many. While his performance and message evoke thought that will elicit positive change in the hearts and communities of many; his intention is to thereby create a Counter Culture that reflects the heart of God.
Yah-Key performance was too LIT, he’s a voice for us!Zavian
Nothing short of a miracle, he is an ordained minister, husband of over 10 years, father of three, revolutionary and social entrepreneur. He is also the Founder & CEO of GodWork Foundation, a non-profit organization that combines Good Works, Technology and Entrepreneurship education as a transforming gateway in underserved communities. The Counter Culture that he’s creating shows that everything this young man does echo the reign of God in his life.
“The Young People’s CHAMP”
Creatively engaging culture and constantly pushing the envelope, Yah-Key is no neewbie when it comes to his artistry. EPIC is just that “EPIC”. Songs like #Bang and #YouDontKnow illustrate Yah-Key’s creative hustler ambition. Other joints like #REAL and #Miraculous show you that the kid has a way with words and knows how to get his point across on all levels. For instance, he drops free jewelz telling us to, “love not these, man made rules and the cultures set forth, by these fools, know who you are and what you capable of doin’, my cup runneth over all because I pursued it, you know me, you know how I do it, permeate the game #GodWork, INFLUENCE, geeeaaahhhh!.”
MIRACULOUS feat A-IV
MIXTAPE: THE EXPERIMENT (2014)
Experimentation has always been a key in Yah-Key’s creativeness. Never afraid to sound different, do his own thing or simply put just be himself. This mixtape was definitely an experiment.Yah-Key has always been the type of artist to find a loop whole and that he did in Michelle Williams popular song “Say Yes” featuring Beyonce and Kelly Rowland. As I’m jamming out to the hook, “When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no…” All of a sudden I hear what I thought was about to be Master P but it was actually Yah-Key articulately rapping “Uuuuuuhhhhhh it’s no limit, to what I’m bout to do in here. Is Jesus in here? Let’s put’m in the atmosphere. It’s time to access the life that he gave to us, a land flowing with milk and honey… fabulous! Lifestyles of the rich and famous, I’mma need an epside just for Jesus I claim this. #GodWork flow through me like a conduit, because when Jesus say yes it’s time to execute it!”
BACK HOME: RELOADED (2013, 2010)
Reviewed by Steve Hayes — Yah-Key describes himself as a street savvy, entrepreneur and artist from Chicago. Mixing Midwest, southern and East Coast influences through the project with varied musical moods, Yah-Key stays focused on his desire to carry on what he’s been doing since 16. Now he speaks with a new spirit, evidencing his changed life in God as in, “God Strong” featuring K-Low. The challenge is when will people submit to God and not to the streets, “The Lord Jesus Christ is the king of kings.” The album is full of challenge to the streets and to secular rappers as in, “Who Yah Know”. His desire is to see Christian and positive hip-hop unleashed. A standout track is the syncopated and uplifting, “Everyday” which sees Yah-Key flow over one of the sickest beats on the album. Musical influences are varied through the project, with Yah-Key flowing with the beats such as the almost dancehall, “God Will Reveal”. Yah-Key’s heart is revealed, “I don’t care if I don’t never get a deal, as long as y’all know that Jesus Christ is real.” Another party track is the pulsating, “Dance Like David” – hip-hop dance as David’s character is revealed and the listener challenged to be obedient to God. A personal account of his life lessons is found in “My Life”. The last original track (before two remixes) is “Listen” featuring the soulful tones of Cudda Brown is the perfect way to end a challenging project.
WBEZ 95.1 Interview | Yah-Key: From Thug Life To God Pt. 1
WBEZ 95.1 Interview Pt. 2
WBEZ 95.1 Interview Pt. 3
WBEZ 95.1 Interview Pt. 4
MIXTAPE: ALREADY MADE 7.1 - 7.3 (2007, 2008, 2011 - Parental Advisory)
Always in search of better production and collaboration, Yah-Key decides to take matters in his own hands. Strategically featuring himself with other well known artists from all over to display his versatile artistry along with a few originals is what Yah-Key calls “Already Made”. A term he created in 2007, meaning that he does not have to be famous or in the lime light because he is someone who stands on his integrity and character. “I Am who I Am, I ain’t gotta front out here for these dudes who always talkin’ about what’s “real” and “100” but have no clue what it means to simply be who they are, either you’re going to be under the influence of someone else or administer the influencing.” I guess this explains why he is so diverse when it comes to engaging culture.
WE IN THIS B*!#$ feat Yah-Key, Jeezy, T.I., Ludacris, Future
CHEVY RIDIN' HIGH feat Yah-Key, Rick Ross, DrE
Fun Fact: Ruff Ryders CEO, Waah Dean, flew to Chicago to have some one on one dialogue and knowledge transfer with Yah-Key during the release of his mixtape Already Made 7.1.
M.I.A. BOI feat Cudda Brown, Mikaloso
THA KIN-FOLK KONNECTION 77305 (2006 - Parental Advisory)
Shortly after releasing the ‘Streetz of Royalty’ album which was really different and probably ahead of it’s time, Yah-Key wanted to keep recording. So he hit up his fam Cudda Brown in Miami and said, “yo let’s do a 77305 album from Chicago to Miami and combine our styles and see what we come up with — what you think kin-folk?.” Well “Cudda Brown always down,” and that was enough to get the two masterminds flowing. Throwing idea after idea, verse after verse, pushing and challenging one another to finish the album in a week. The two not only finished the album in a week but recorded more than enough songs for bonus tracks. Music, Music, Music is all they did — day in and day out. Yah-Key recalls seeing South Beach maybe once during that week which was enough to produce songs like ‘Big Ballin’ part I & II which were hometown favorites for Chicago and Miami alike. “Tight Work” & “Trade Yah Soul” were more challenging records for the streets, encouraging artists not to taint their souls, style and image for the high life. “SUV”, “Way In Tha Back”, “They Want Exa-Man”, & “Get Loose” just to name a few bangers, definitely kept the crowds rockin’ night after night!
PIMPIN' feat Cudda Brown
STREETZ OF ROYALTY (2005 - Parental Advisory)
A few tracks from G.O.O.D. Music’s Keezo Kane along with some encouraging nights spent hanging out with Kanye West and the G.O.O.D Music camp G.L.C., Keezo Kane and Really Doe, “was kinda where it all started”, Yah-Key recalls. “I remember always going to this clothing store in Chicago called the Lark where my homie G.L.C. was working at the time and he would always say ‘yo let’s do some music fam you look like you got them bars and I’m tellin’ ya my man Kanye bout to blow.’ Well at the time I had no idea who Kanye was nor did I have a huge interest in music but people would always associate my hustler ambitions with music. I’m a bit pressed for time but to make a long story short, we hung out and had some wild nights. After some thought and listening to a previous demo I did when I tried a rapping career for about 2 weeks, a while back, before I was shot down by family. I said you know what? I’m good with words, let’s give it another shot. Soon after, I began recording in all different types of studios, learning my craft and eventually flew to my fam Cudda Brown’s crib in Miami, FL to finish out the ‘Streetz of Royalty’ album.”
Fun Fact: As a kid Yah-Key loved to watch Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Even much so he released two songs on the “Streetz of Royalty” album titled Yah-Key & The Chocolate Factory Pt. I & II.
Fun Fact: Yah-Key was known as the “Rose Gold King” and some even thought he was Killa Cam from DipSet.
Fun Fact: When Yah-Key flew to Cali, GLC embraced the kid and took him to check out Kanye’s crib in Hollywood Hills.