Hip-hop artist Akintoye Asalu, known as @yeahitsak on TikTok, is a Canadian-based creator known for his creative and relatable raps that put a groovy sound behind real-life situations. His growing popularity on the platform also inspired him to release his own music in early 2022. Check out more about Akintoye below!
What does it mean to you to be part of the Black community?
Being a member of the Black community means shared history. It means I don’t struggle alone in the face of white supremacy. It means that my encounters with racism and inequality are part of a shared experience, with more success stories to draw from than I can even count. It means there are people I look up to, and knowing their greatness inspires people like me. It means I know that one day, I will be able to pass that inspiration on to the next generation. It means that there will always be support from people like me because we want to see each other win.
How has the TikTok community inspired you?
The TikTok community inspires me to continue the grind every day. Things move very fast and there are hundreds of thousands of creators who are chasing the same things I am. Being on TikTok has put me in a position to collaborate with these people and create some of the best content we’re capable of. They’ve shown me that I don’t need to do things alone — supporting one another in every way possible is the key to community success.
How long does it take you to write a rap? And what’s your favorite topic to rap about?
For TikTok, it typically takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, on a good day. Other times, it takes me days to write a rap. I like to rap about everyday life – I feel things really deeply, even the small things. To me, everything is amplified, so I figure the best way to understand my thoughts and express them is on paper.
Can you tell us the story behind the bonnet?
It started during the pandemic, when the Canadian government shut everything down, including barbershops. I needed something for my hair, and my mom actually offered me her bonnet. I slept in it one night, then recorded a TikTok the next morning and it ended up being my day-to-day look.
What are some of your passions on and off of TikTok?
My biggest passion is music. I do my best to make entertaining content, but I always make sure to retain some level of musicality in anything I do. Music has become my life’s greatest obsession, and it drives everything I do. Beyond music, I’m really passionate about putting youth in positions to succeed. I’ve faced a lot of issues with access to the tools I needed to reach my potential, and I want to eliminate those barriers for the next generation.
How would you like to grow in entertainment? What do you see as your career trajectory on and off of TikTok?
I see my career taking me to places where my influence can become tangible. My goal is to make the best possible music and reach as many people as I can so that I can positively impact lives more directly. I hope to expand beyond music someday and branch into other forms of entertainment, like film.
Once I’m in a position to reach as many people as possible, I plan to provide as many resources as possible, like putting money behind mental health services, providing access to materials and opportunities for Black youth. I plan to make the best music possible and leverage it into making people’s lives better.