YungN: Taking a closer look at rap music
Conversation Between Friends welcomes our first Stateside interviewee and Twitter buddy, rapper YungN. We caught up over fries and a coupla skinny shakes.
You’re currently a student, what are you studying and where?
Yes, I’m majoring in Recording Arts at Full Sail University, Florida, USA.
Tell us about the videos you make.
I started making YouTube videos less than a year ago. The main reason I created my channel ‘ThisisYungnTV’ was to shed more light on truth about things manifesting in our world in a way that would be relative to the youth, and easy to understand. The first video I made in July 2010, started with a song I recorded the month before called “Make Ya Eyes Light Up”. I rapped over a Drake track called “Light Up” and exposed a lot of different thing’s that were going on at that particular time.
I created my YouTube channel and posted that video the same night, the video went viral, and now it’s had over a half a million views. I have over a million views in total for all of my videos. It’s such an humbling opportunity to be able to minister to millions of people and I give God all the glory for that.
A lot of videos made by the most successful international artists for example Lady GaGa Beyonce, Flo’Rida, Snoop Doog, Rihanna, seem to include a lot of highly sexualised messages. What are your thoughts on this?
With mainstream music being one of the biggest global influences, as far as trends and what is “Cool” today, that definitely doesn’t sit well with me. Young teenage and even preteen girls look up to artists like Beyonce, Lady GaGa, Rihanna, and now Nicki Minaj. So when artists project these highly sexualised images and say they want to be role models for children…it just makes me wonder.
Do you think these videos should be censored by the TV channels or is it parents’ role to monitor what children under the age of 16 watch in the home?
I feel it’s the parents’ role.
You’re a Christian. Do you find it challenging being a young Christian when so many popular cultural influences seem to celebrate greed, promiscuity and the portrayal of women as sexual predators?
Yes, I grew up in an unreligious household, so I was unsaved most of my life, and lived an unsaved lifestyle. And after being accustomed to it for so long, it was a lot harder to make the transformation people may think. It took me years to get to where I am today spiritually; and I’m still growing.
What impact do you think that popular music, in particular some R & B and hip hop has on young, impressionable especially male minds?
I can tell you for a fact, a lot, just looking back on my teenage years! The “Hip-Hop Culture” is probably the biggest influence on the youth in the world. Hip-Hop’s culture is paved by its music, obviously, or the culture wouldn’t be called “Hip-Hop”. Hip-Hop’s gone global, but the direction it’s leading the youth of this generation is not good, at all. Mainstream music in general actually.
Who are your current icons/role models?
I’m gonna have to go with the cliché answer and say Jesus Christ, (laughs) but that’s my honest answer. There’s no better person to look at in the way you would want live your life than him….period. So yea, Jesus Christ.
What are your goals or dreams for the future?
To reach millions with my videos and my music. Because I believe if that happens – everything else will be taken care of.
You can check out some of YungN’s videos here: www.youtube.com/thisisyungntv
Want to feature in The Interview and get your message to thousands of people? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
© Suzy Rigg
To read another article in the series click here