The 'U'
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The 'U'

East Orange, New Jersey, United States

East Orange, New Jersey, United States
Band Hip Hop Alternative




"State In the Real Interviews The ‘U’ & Eddie Heartthrob"

On Tuesday December 2nd, Eisenhower became the showcase for a rap spectacle. The headliner, Kid Ink, and opening for Kid Ink, was Penn State’s own The ‘U’. Performing for what initially was a very stagnant crowd, the PSU alum got everyone going, and the crowd suddenly sprung out of their seats and moved to the front of the stage where they bounced along to the stylings of The ‘U’ and Eddie Heartthrob. Back by the always fun Keegan Tawa, they trio put together a tight set that everyone could vibe to. They even took the time out of their set to take a moment to recognize Ferguson. After the concert, I had the opportunity to interview the two rappers after the show. Take a peek below. - Eric Dowling

"Penn State Alum The 'U' announced as opener for Kid Ink: EXCLUSIVE Interview"

State in the Real has just been exclusively informed that Ugochukwu Onyianta better known as “The U” has been asked to be an opener for Kid Ink’s December 2nd show at Eisenhower auditorium. The concert was just announced today, and tickets are on sale now at

During his time at Happy Valley, The ‘U’ was a heavyweight in Penn State’s Underground Music Circuit, and is now currently signed to Williamsport PA based record label “Dyhard Entertainment”. We talked about his excitement to open for Kid Ink, his musical inspirations and his dream collaborations.

What are you most excited about to open for Kid Ink?

I’m just excited to do what I do and share the stage with one of the hottest artists in the game hopefully we can set up a collab because my fans would go nuts if I could pull that off.

What does your love of music stem from?

I always loved music from a young age. I wasn’t allowed to listen to Rap Music as a kid so I would watch MTV and VH1 and become obsessed with Pop, Alternative, and Rock Music. Beck, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blur, The Mighty Mighty Boss Stones, Meredith Brooks, Aerosmith etc were all in heavy rotations when I was a kid and when I eventually got into rap when I was older in Middle and Prep School, my world changed.

What are your musical influences?

Beck, Anthony Kiedis, Jimi Hendrix, Wale, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Lloyd Banks, Fabolous, and Jay-Z.

What would you describe your sound as?

My sound/style is often classified as Alternative/Back-Pack/Hipster Rap. I just call it words like: undeniable, honest, real, eclectic, vivid, and original. I don’t sound like anybody and nobody sounds like me at the end of the day.

What inspires you to write?

Life, Sports, Pop Culture, Mainstream Culture, Race, Family, Love, Joy, Heartbreak, Pain, Struggle, Journey,Triumph, and basically anything I have seen or experienced in my brief time on Earth. I pray to make it to 90 like my Grandfather because there’s so much more out there for me to experience.

You have been making music for quite a while now, how do you think your sound has evolved? And how do you think State College’s music scene has helped you jump start your career?

My sound is on another level right now and its both exciting and gratifying. I have amazing world-class producers like Crisis, Jungle Noise Productions, CinaMatics, Killa Kake, Oren Spiegel, and Tyler Barnes who have taken The ‘U’ sound to places I never would’ve imagined. My time at Penn State from 2009-2011 taught me how to perform, interact with a crowd, command a stage, and manage a following. The majority of my fans are comprised of people people from Philly & Pittsburgh thanks to my Penn State Years.

What is your favorite part about performing?

The energy and fire the crowd provides is probably my favorite aspect. As well as I absolutely love rapping my words. I write all of my own music and its all original so its straight from the heart and is an out of body experience at times on stage.

If you could collaborate with any one musician who would it be?

I have to say three people because I cant pick one, sorry! Kanye West who’s one of my biggest heroes and changed the rap game forever when he went from producer to MC. Wale who lit the fuse in me to start rapping and showed me its ok to love what you do and be yourself. And finally, Katy Perry. Besides the fact that I’m in love with her, shes got so much swag and she’s an amazing singer and artist and I know we would make a once in a generation type record if we got together!

We at State in the Real are tremendously excited to see The ‘U’ perform as an opener for Kid Ink, and thank him for this interview. - Emily Foster

"Penn State grad and hip-hop artist The 'U' is still making moves"

Ugochukwu Onyianta, who goes by “The ‘U'” when he has the mic in his hand and “Ugo” around friends, has gone from playing house shows in State College, to opening for acts like 2 Chainz, Meek Mill and Rick Ross. Some might remember seeing The ‘U’ perform at one of many Hip-Hop house parties at the obscurely famous Casablanca (may it Rest in Peace) during the 2010-2011 academic year. When asked about the decision to continue his music career after college, The ‘U’ responded that “It feels gratifying to know that I am one of the very few individuals who decided to pursue music professionally after my time at Penn State was over”, and that “The underground scene was fun while I was a student but there is a much bigger world outside of Happy Valley.”

The 'U' performing at Casablanca
The ‘U’ was invited to sign with DyHard Entertainment out of Williamsport, PA in 2011 after he was introduced to Crisis, the label’s CEO and Founder through Drew Jackson of the band Atlas Soundtrack. The ‘U’ officially signed on in October of 2012 with his good friend Randy Troy. Randy, cinematographer and founder of Conviction Studios, is in charge of the video production for Dyhard Entertainment. “Randy Troy, one of my best friends who also graduated with me in Comm in ’11, has been instrumental in my career with DyHard Ent. through Conviction Studios.” says the ‘U’. The following video, created by Randy Troy of Conviction Studios, is a compilation that showcases the artists of DyHard entertainment, and the hard work they have been doing.

XXL Magazine, highly esteemed hip-hop news source, caught up with The ‘U’ and the rest of DyHard entertainment for a photo shoot in July which is set to be released in 2014. “Many young up and coming artists would give anything to get into a magazine as big as XXL. To know I’m gonna be featured with my DyHard team is absolutely beautiful,” says The ‘U’. “It takes tremendous courage and faith to go for what I’m going for but you cant lose with a great team and God on your side.”

The ‘U’ and the rest of DyHard entertainment tours mainly in Atlanta, New York City and around pennsylvania, and is currently in talks with Warner Brothers for a major distribution deal. - Nate Spilman

"The 'U' releases NoDaysOff EP: Exclusive Video Interview and Live Performance"

After 2 mixtapes, a slew of music videos, some amazing concerts and about a year of waiting, our boy The ‘U’ has finally released the #NoDaysOff EP. Not only are we streaming it through this post for your listening pleasure, we are also bringing you a video of the interview we did with him when he officially released his single, 59/50 on State In The Real’s VIP Room (brought to you by the Lion F.M.)

Here are some words we grabbed from him in a brief interview:

SITR: One of my personal favorite tracks on the mixtape is “Enemy,” you came on our VIP room and perform two tracks which included 59/50. What track is your personal favorite or which one do you feel has been getting the most feedback so far?

The ‘U': It’s a tie right now with African Drums and War Jazz, those 2 songs make me feel some type of way because one caters to my heritage and the other caters to my love for music. On My Mind & 59/50 have been getting the most feedback easily .

SITR: What has stood out for you or what have you taken away from the feedback that people have been offering you about this mixtape?

The ‘U': I love the feedback I’ve gotten so far and physically seen too! The consensus from the people is that they really love the lyrical tracks like war jazz and on my mind and 59/50 as well as the radio friendlier songs like King of the Stage and for the Love of It.

The fact that 59/50 (lead single) exploded from 501 views to 2,301 in literally a day is a little bit shocking but absolutely beautiful. It just validates that people really feel me because 59/50 is my anthem and is the best representation of both me and my sound

The honest criticism both negative and positive is always welcomed and I’ve gotten my share of it but as long as it isn’t generalized or opinionated its cool with me.

SITR: Tell us about The King of The Stage, we know you and Chewi are good friends and he also did his version of The King of The Stage. Are you guys currently working on any projects together? If so, when can we expect to have that collaboration to drop?

The “U': Honestly, Chewi’s version of King of Stage and mine are completely different. The common denominator is Oren Spiegel has the major production credit on both songs. However, mine is with a different singer (Alexandria Zambanini accompanied by Oren Spiegel) while his is with (Arielle Kroser accompanied buy Oren Spiegel). Mine has a contributing composer who also mastered/engineered my version, Christopher ‘Crisis’ Hayes who is the CEO of DyHard Ent (my label) while his was mastered/engineered by Oren Spiegel.

Me and Chewi are definitely planning on collaborating again ASAP, our schedules have impeded that as of late but we actually have a song or two archived with production from Oren Spiegel that I may release on my next mixtape. - Topher Stephenson


Still working on that hot first release.



Currently at a loss for words...

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