Young Chris: Same Roc Star, Different Rap Team

After being a part of one the largest brands in Hip-Hop, Young Chris has moved along to create his own identity.  The Philadelphia-bred rapper, who started his music career in the game as one-half of Roc-A-Fella Hip-Hop collective, the Young Gunz, has now parted ways with Neef and inked a deal with Rico Love’s new […]


being a part of one the largest brands in Hip-Hop, Young Chris has

moved along to create his own identity.  The Philadelphia-bred rapper,

who started his music career in the game as one-half of Roc-A-Fella

Hip-Hop collective, the Young Gunz, has now parted ways with Neef and

inked a deal with Rico Love’s new label Division One as a solo artist.

 After having two successful albums alongside his counterpart Neef, the

Young Gunner has decided to fly solo, but still carries his former

group’s integrity and spirit along with him on this new journey.  Young

Chris chops it up with and reminisces on his days with

Roc-A-Fella, discusses what it’s like to have a mentor like Jay Z, and

let’s us in on his plans for his first solo project and upcoming Congrats on your new signing! How does it feel?Young Chris: It feels great, I’m excited about it.  I wish you could see my face right now I’m like ear to ear.

We are very happy for you. How have you grown as an artist since first

entering the game since your Roc-A-Fella Days?Young

Chris: Well basically, when people ask me what’s the difference between

me and Neef, well with me with a group and a solo artist, I always say

more work.  I think, more creative, practice makes perfect, so I only

got better with the word play, and just growth.

You and your counterpart Neef released a Young Gunz mixtape Back To

Business over the summer.  Are there plans for a future album sometime

soon?  Young

Chris: Absolutely.  I don’t know how soon, but I definitely want to do

that again.  That brand was so big; I don’t want to let it go.  That’s

why we did the tape to remind the fans, but for right now I am doing a

solo project, so you know we will get back to that right after.

 Hopefully everything can run from there.  That would be perfect. Where is your rap partner Neef right now? What is he up to?Young

Chris: Neef was just with me, that’s funny, he was just up here with

me, he just went back to Philly.  He’s on board; he’s supportive of the

whole situation.  That’s my brother; he’s on an arm.  That ain’t going

no where, we started together, we came in this thing together.  That’s

forever right there.

When Jay Z suggested that you should try a solo career, did that cause

any tension between you and Neef? Was he very understanding?Young

Chris: Yeah, he was real understanding about it, ‘til this day.  I had a

talk with him ‘cause he was my partner.  After the Tough Luv album,

Dame was trying to get me to do a solo project, and now that I think

back to it I guess he knew that the break-up was coming, so that’s why

he was asking.  But at the time, we was on tour with Jay on the Roc The Mic Tour and

he was like, “Yo, y’all are a big part of my decision. When I take this

president position…” and me, I was in a group, I had to ride with that

like, “Yo come on we gotta do this next Young Gunz album, they waiting.”

I felt bad wanting to do a solo project, and I think they wasn’t

reading for that anyway; they was use to me in a group; whether it was

Roc-A-Fella or State Property or Young Gunz, I was always attached to a

group. What was your working relationship like with Jay Z? Young

Chris: Yeah, we still have a strong bond. We spoke today actually.

 It’s great to watch him, to watch the best do it.  It’s a blessing.

 Can’t buy that; a mentor, big brother, uncle you never had at the same

time.  I think anybody wish for that right now; any aspiring artist,

You have had the opportunity to work with some of the most prominent

rappers in the game being a part of the Roc-A-Fella family.  What is one

of the most memorable moments you have had with the ROC?Young

Chris: Always with the State Property members.  It was like we had so

much fun together.  You would think we are brothers, for real.  And the

thing is, we all met at Roc-A-Fella.  Few people met each other, but the

rest of us met up there.  Just being around those guys everyday in the

studio.  One time I remember we was out L.A. with Snoop, and I guess you

know how that went, right? I was sleep…I was sleep.  Put me up on the

wall of fame; that’s all I’mma say. It was a great time, a great time.

 And we was in L.A.? It was lovely. I think Gunz and Freeway was working

on a record with him at the time, that’s why we was

Have you maintained a good relationship with them? Do you still have

any working relationships with the original members of ROC?Young

Chris: Yeah, me and Jay spoke today.  Me and the whole State

Property…that’s my family ‘til this day.  We all brothers.  I’m cool

with everybody; I was one that was squeaky clean through the whole

industry, the whole family.  Still talk to the guys, I’m good with all

of them.  My man ran into Rell last

night actually, you know “No Better Love” Rell. That’s my brother too, I

haven’t seen him in years, so I was excited when my man hit me like,

“Yo! I just seen Rell!” That’s always What are your thoughts on Jay Z’s success and Roc Nation and his whole empire?Young

Chris: I love it, I love it.  I’m excited for him.  Followed the

format, of course.  J. Cole is a good friend of mine. When I first met

him I was like “Dude is down to earth.” We met in North Carolina on the Attention Deficit Tour.  He

came out with Wale.  It was the first time I seen him perform, and it

was him hometown and he got a lot of love there.  I performed with him

at the Hot 97 show.  He had a showcase at SOB’s.  We got a record

together, and we performed that.  He’s a good dude man; I like

everything he doing right now. I like how everything is going; I like

it, I like it a lot. I actually did a whole tour with Wale; I did the Attention Deficit Tour with him a year ago. How do you feel about the beef between Jay Z and Beanie?Young

Chris: I hate it, I hate it.  I don’t agree with it.  I told both of

them, but they men at the end of the day, so I had to step back as

opposed to taking any sides because they both my brothers.  But I

disagree with the whole situation.

Do you feel like you need to prove anything to the public now that you

are a solo artist? How are you going to get fans to become Young Chris

fans that weren’t fans before?Young

Chris:  The same way I’ve been doing it for the past five years, just

been building and releasing records.  When it first started, it was like

a sea-saw.  The Young Gunz situation was up… Young Chris, they don’t

know me. But it’s totally different right now, it’s the opposite right

now, and that’s because of the work I have been putting in on the

Internet, and kept delivering, and kept being consistent.  People caught

on to it and embraced it.  That’s how I do it; stay What can we expect for your first solo album?/What do you hope to accomplish with it?Young Chris: Millions, millions.  Definitely want to do platinum, of course.  But The Reintroduction

is first; I’m going to focus on that right now.  Like when you are in

college, you the hottest ball player there, you can’t focus on the NBA,

you got to focus on having the best year in college.  So when they see

your stats in college your last year, that’s what it’s based on; if

you’re going to go to the NBA or not.  That’s how I feel about this

mixtape thing.  I want to have my best mixtape ever before we talk about

the album, and right after that we are going to make history.  I tell

everybody I’m chasing victory.  You know have a baby by her, and make

As a solo artist, is there someone you really want to work with that

you haven’t had the opportunity to work with yet?Young

Chris: I like Nicki [Minaj], she pretty dope right now.  I like

everything she doing.  And of course Drake. I’m a fan of Drake too. What are your top 5 favorite hip hop artists of all time?Young

Chris: All time? Jay, Big, Pac- let’s get that out the way.  Hmm. Not

including myself right? You know I’m a fan of myself as well. Eminem of

course…who am I going to give this last one to? I guess I’ll go with

Nas.  I’m real hip hop with it, that’s the era I grew up from.  Those

guys are dope lyrically; basically that’s what I came up on.  I was a

student of the game listening to those guys, growing up.  Even when I

couldn’t hear, my brothers and them would listen to it, so I always hear

it regardless.

So now that you are a part of Rico Love’s label, what is your working

relationship like? Do you guys get along well?Young

Chris: Yes, that was my whole thing before I accepted this situation.

 I had to look at it as a whole because I’m like if I do this deal, I

have to be around this guy for the next few years of my life.  The

chemistry was like awesome right away, immediately.  When we was

recording the records, the chemistry kicked off, we was building the

records, and just started releasing.  The buzz, the responses…all tens.

 And we just kept it going ‘til this day.  We are just getting better

and better with the chemistry and our bond. So you have a mixtape?Young Chris:  Yup, it’s called The Reintroduction.  I’m real excited about that.  But it’s more so me [on the mixtape], I’ll tell you that.

 Because it’s called The Reintroduction and I need to wake these people back up.  

Young Chris x J. Cole at SOB’s In New York