Yung Berg: Raised in Rap

It’s already known that without any struggle there isn’t any progress. Yung Berg can attest to that. At only 21 years-old, Berg has a resume that would have any up and comer jealous. Already aware of the ups and downs of the entertainment industry, Yung Berg is making sure his plan to take over is […]

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already known that without any struggle there isn’t any progress. Yung

Berg can attest to that. At only 21 years-old, Berg has a resume that

would have any up and comer jealous. Already aware of the ups and downs

of the entertainment industry, Yung Berg is making sure his plan to

take over is in full effect. Having worked with some of Hip-Hop’s elite

such as Shawnna and Eve, Yung Berg has the credibility to work on his

own. As he so eloquently put it, he does not need anyone to “put him

on.” With his Young Boss imprint and his “keep your mind on the prize”

mentality, there is no doubt Berg will go far. caught up

with Yung Berg to discuss his past, present and what the future of

Epic’s self-proclaimed poster child. To start off, can you just tell us the story of how you

got signed at the age of 15 and why your parents were not happy with


Yung Berg: What happened was that I was messing with these cats from

Chicago and I was just grinding, doing mad work before I started my

demo. Then, I came to L.A. and I met DMX on the set of “What These

B**ches Want” video and he had me rap for Swizz Beatz and that DJ LS-1

at the time and they went crazy and they brought me in the trailer and

did two different raps. Then he said “Shorty, I’ma sign you. It’s not

gonna be tomorrow but I’ma sign you.” He signed me like six months

later down the line. While I was signed to DMX, I was basically living

in New York because I was having problems in Chicago like people being

jealous of me having a record deal or whatever so I moved to New York

with DMX, then to a place in Jersey. But my parents didn’t like it

because I was a little too wild, a little too young. Being that you were so young, why did you want to get into the industry?

Yung Berg: Because I grew up in the music industry. Shawnna from

Disturbing Tha Peace is like my big sister and she was always around.

Plus my brothers, Grafh and Cap.One, I was basically brought up in

music. But weren’t you weary being that you were so young and anything could have happened to you at that point?

Yung Berg: Nah, I was more or less trying to get it. I seen what a

record label can do to my peers first hand and I wanted to get it. My

parents didn’t approve because at that point it was a rebellious thing

for me, so I went hard with my craft and my craft was rebellious at the

time. It gave me a few dollars and I’m not mad at that. So can you tell us how you hooked up with Shawnna? You

were her hype man for a bit. And how did you make the transition from

being her hype man to a rapper?

Yung Berg: I was always a rapper. I was always in the studio trying to

help her out you know? On her album, I wrote different things. I was a

part of the creative process on her album. I was like her little

brother. The opportunity presented itself when she said she needed a

hype man. I did a show with her and it went well. Then she wanted me to

do the tour with her. I did the tour with her and that went well. I was

received well. But it kind of spoiled because she brought me in a room

with her, when we were in Jackson, Mississippi, to tell me I needed to

elevate on my rap s**t. I started opening up for Rick Ross and doing

s**t in L.A. and she dropped me off the tour, saying that I wasn’t

making her tour a priority. So I was forced to live in L.A. at the

time. And I got with good management and just did the records with my

group, the Yung Boss imprint and we did the song “Sexy Lady” at the

back of my producer’s house in this little pre-production studio. We

mixed and mastered it. It’s now on the radio and it is what it is. So can you tell us about your Yung Boss imprint?

Yung Berg: The Yung Bosses consist of myself, Rob Holladay, who is a

producer, and Jay Fresk Kicks, which is another producer. We all [are]

21 years old, we all did the album and we are a production company. We

all produce, they mechanically make the beats but I add my elements to

it. I’m the glue that holds it together but at the same time it’s all

of us and that’s really it. I have my other artist, Tony Loco and

Hunnit Grams, we produce all our own stuff and it’s just a movement.

We’re empowering young people no matter age or background, you can do

whatever you want as long as you are sticking to it. Keep your mind on

the prize. Being that you said this is all for the young people and

to make an example, what makes you different, what makes you stick out

from the rest of them? Describe your sound and what sets you apart from

the rest of the entertainment industry…

Yung Berg: Well, I set myself apart musically, first and foremost.

Every young rapper that came out was put on by somebody or by somebody

that made noise. From Bow Wow to Romeo to Lil’ Wayne, Juelz and things

of that nature. We are all about branding ourselves and being the

first. The one of one. That’s what it’s about: me. There’s a lot of

instrumentation in my album. It’s just not bubble gum rap. I don’t got

a joint from Jermaine [Dupri] and I got a joint from such and such,

even though those guys are great at what they do, and they are the

kings of this, but at the same token, I’m just reaching to a different

element that no one has really reached for and I think it’s going to be

surprising and the world is going to embrace it because its something

new. It’s going to be bridging the gap from young kids to someone who

is 45 like my mother or something like that. So after that, what happened?

Yung Berg: So my manager reached out to an A&R from Epic. We were

doing a lot of meetings back and forth for like four months. And they

was like “They like it, they like it,” then “Sexy Lady” took off and

was getting crazy airplay in L.A. I was sitting down with major record

companies. I was sitting down with Universal, everybody in general.

Everybody was offering deals but I created a bond with Epic and I felt

like if they didn’t have any urban artists, they restarted their urban

market. I felt like I could be the posterboy for Epic and really move

forward. I didn’t want to sign with any other label where I could be

lost in the crowd. Like I didn’t want to sign with such and such and

then fall behind. So I felt it was a good look for me because there was

no shelving and they wanted to go because they had the same vision as

me. Can you tell your fans a little bit about the song and

anything about the upcoming CD? When is it coming out? Who’s on it?

Yung Berg: Okay, “Sexy Lady” is the first single out on the album. It’s called Look What You Made Me,

and it’s basically stating to everybody in the game, from Jay-Z to Nas,

look what you made me. It’s look what you made me to my moms to my

pops, everybody in the hood, look what you made me to all the people in

the music industry because I am a product of the music bottom line. Rap

brought me up in this world so I just want to let everybody know that

the album is going to be crazy. Eve is on the album, Twista is on the

album, Cali Budz is on the album, Ray J is on the album. Watch out for

Jim Jones and Rich Boy on the “Sexy Lady” remix. We going to let the

original joint rock out for like three months and then blast y’all with

the remix. And that’s all I’m doing right now. Young Boss or die. How was it working with Eve and all the other people you just mentioned?

Yung Berg: It was great working with Eve. I have known Eve since I was

15 years-old, she’s been like a big sister and mentor to me. She kept

me relevant when I didn’t have a situation so it was really a no

brainer. Ride Out is another producer in the Yung Boss imprint. And she

happens to be Eve’s little cousin. She did the track that Eve is on. We

were just staying together with it and it’s incredible. This is a little off track but how do you feel about you

knowing big name people but it has taken you quite a while to get it

there? Do you feel as though they should have helped you out or are you

glad that things played out the way they have?

Yung Berg: It might have been times where I would have felt as though

“Man, somebody should be putting me on,” but without any struggle,

there’s no progress. So if you don’t struggle, you’re not going to be

able to know how it is in the end of the day and are able to appreciate

your successes. So in the end, I wouldn’t trade one thing because it

made me a bigger man and it made my album that much crazier. I’m

speaking on factual things. I’m not saying I’m on the block doing all

types of n***a s**t. I’m speaking about my life and I think that’s the

problem with the music industry right now. Nobody is speaking about

himself or herself. There is no attachment to the artist. I’m putting

myself on a disc. I’m telling my life story on an album and turning it