Ye has been making a lot of headlines lately — and not for all the right reasons. Fortunately, at least one bit of news surrounding the controversial rapper is positive.

The artist formerly known as Kanye West gave his sign of approval to legendary East Baltimore rapper Young Moose in a podcast released Monday night — exclusively available to people who purchased something from Ye’s Yeezy clothing brand website.

For those who don’t want to pay $20 to listen to the first episode of “The Download,” hosted by social media influencer Justin Laboy, snippets were shared across social media, including on Moose’s Instagram account.

In it, Laboy asks Ye who his favorite rapper is, noting that Ye’s answer last time was 21 Savage. Ye says his answer changes and switches often, but mentions Kodak Black. He then takes a second.

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“Let me see, who did I just hear recently, I was like ‘man’ — oh, it’s this new rapper out of Baltimore named Moose that we working with,” the Chicago native says.

Moose (real name: Kevron Evans) has posted several times on his Instagram feed and story this month showing he is in California, where Ye’s Yeezy Studio is located. Moose has also been seen with producer The Legendary Traxster, who has production credits on Ye’s latest album, “Vultures.” While no pictures of Moose and Ye together have been posted, Ye’s statement Monday confirmed they are doing something together.

Moose was still clearly excited about the shoutout, with the caption on his Instagram calling the moment “Bigger Than Lyfe.” (He did not respond to requests from The Baltimore Banner for comment.) It’s also not the first time Moose has received acknowledgement from Ye: In late March, Ye reposted a 6-year old Instagram post from Moose’s account.

It may come as a shock that Moose is one of the few artists (or people in general) that Ye is complimentary of, but the Baltimore artist’s style and substance fit the criteria of artists Ye has previously praised, like a Chief Keef. Moose’s music is rugged, raw and transparent as he raps about his everyday surroundings growing up in the city of Baltimore, what he had to do to survive and his late grandmother. And while he may seem “new” to Ye, Moose has been a part of the rap scene since the early 2010s.

Like Ye, Moose has also recently made headlines for the wrong reasons. The rapper was arrested in Westminster in January for charges of misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest. Moose has a long, checkered history with the police, including a $300,000 settlement with the Baltimore Police Department in 2022, whom he sued over false-imprisonment allegations.

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Despite Ye’s history of anti-Semitic comments and constant presence in the tabloids for any number of issues, he’s still one of the biggest names in the music industry. (Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, named Ye just this week as the greatest rapper of all time.) Hopefully, this nod from Ye will help propel Moose from a local trailblazer to a nationally recognized artist — with slightly less controversy.

As artist Juicy J said just Wednesday on social media, topped off with a fire emoji, “Baltimore rappers are talented.”

Taji Burris has covered the Baltimore music scene since 2015 for outlets such as The Working Title and The 4th Quarter, and now at the Baltimore Banner.

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