The upcoming melodic artist Yung Griffen is 17 years old, he was born in Louisiana, teaming up with producers and artists such as Cartoon Ben, Temporxry, Lil Hawk Boy, and more, this artist has a HUGE catalogue of music for your ears to enjoy. Grab your popcorn because Griffen gets deep and in-depth for this exclusive Pizz conducted by Colby.
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I start every interview with the same open ended question and let the artist respond with their own interpretation. So with that said, who is Yung Griffin?
I’m a 17 year old melodic rapper born in Louisiana. I’m like 6 foot, too. Or somewhere close to that
When did you start releasing music, and how would you compare the first tracks you put out to what you’re creating now?
Oh my god bro, the shit back then was deadass so fucking trash. So when I was 8 I started playing the drums and I was in a band in middle school but I never released anything until freshman year of high school. This was around the time that 21 and Kodak and stuff were kinda popping off. So I thought it’d be funny to like mimic them. It was an awful idea, everyone bullied me at school. I was like RAPPING rapping. Like, you can call what I do now “rap,” but the stuff I was doing when I first started releasing stuff was like Chief Keef stuff. Love Sosa type beats and shit. I remember it was Chief Keef type beats, because I’ve tried to go back and the find the one I used. It was fun though. But my music now compared to then is drastically different.
Damn, it’s always wild to hear how people have gotten to where they are artistically. When or why do you think you started to experience that dramatic stylistic change, from hard trap/drill type music to a more melodic/auto-tune focused sound? Would you say it was more of a gradual transition or did you wake up one day and decide you wanted to switch your sound?
This is a long ass story but fuck it. So basically freshman year I made this song, in the same style as the mimic stuff. I’m not gonna get into too much detail but it got semi popular around my school and so some teachers found out about it and weren’t happy. I was just saying a lot of curse words, it didn’t reflect well on the school, type thing. I kinda became the joke rap kid. So I stopped releasing music. Then in the second semester of freshman year, I met this kid named Dre. I had heard about him in 8th grade but we never talked to each other until I moved literally like next door to him. We lived in the same apartments. So he’d come over every day. One day he walked in while I was recording a song and thought it was cool, so he asked to get on it. We made this fucking banger of a song, honestly. Obviously our voices were hella squeaky because we were freshman, literally like 14 and 15, but the beat was so hard. I took two beats off YouTube and cut them up and combined them into one beat. And the transition between the two songs was the Purge Warning thing. You know in The Purge movies where when the Purge starts the thing comes on the TV and explains the Purge? It was that. And Dre comes in and absolutely kills it. After that, we made like melodic trap rap stuff sort of, like Duwap Kaine or Candypaint. There was no singing but the beats were so happy and shit. And I haven’t stopped making music since. Truthfully, the reason I switched up my style so much from the original trap drill shit to me singing was because I’m not a drill artist, you know? It’s just not who I am. And it wasn’t funny. Like I made those songs and looked back maybe 2 months after I made them and hated them. If anyone brought them up at school I’d damn near have a panic attack. So it got to a certain point where I was like “why don’t I just make music I’m proud of?” That sounds dumb not that I look back on it but I was a dumb kid hahaha
But it was a pretty gradual transition, I was making songs where Dre would rap a verse and I’d sing the chorus with hella auto tune. And then it got to a point where there were no rap verses, I was just singing the chorus and verses. I never did it on purpose, it just kinda progressed as I progressed
So it sounds like that track was a big turning point for you in your growth as an artist. Is that track still up anywhere for the OG fans to hear?
Also, you mentioned Duwop and Candypaint as artists you kind of emulated with your earlier music. Were you already listening to them and draw inspiration from their styles, or did you find them later on and realize there were similarities in your music?
The only people who may or may not have those songs are Temporxry, Cartoon Ben, or maybe Dead Boy Ali. I know Ali downloads my music now, I’m not sure if he was doing it at the time. Temp’s literally my best fucking friend, so he’s heard all of my old fucking trash. Ben somehow found it, or so he says smh. And honestly, I hadn’t even heard Duwap or Candypaint at the time. I was listening to a LOT of old Yachty though. Like his stuff with Nessly and Jbans before he blew up. And his stuff with Wintertime. I didn’t know about Duwap or Candypaint until I’d already been actually singing singing. But Duwap and I are around the same age so it doesn’t surprise me that we wanted to make similar music. I really wanna work with him.
You mentioned cartoon ben, who’s one of your more frequent collaborators and a mainstay here on the Datpizz site. How’d you first get in contact with him, when did y’all start making stuff together and where do you think your artistic chemistry stems from?
In like August 2017 I was listening to Staryu’s music and I just went through his whole page and let Soundcloud keep playing. It started playing this song by this guy named Young Mess called “Pictures.” I was like bro what the fuck, this is so fucking good. I went to his Instagram and this kid was literally my age. We’re the same age. And he was making some of the best music I’d ever heard. I hit him up to collab and we made this SHITTY ass sad song. It was so bad, I can vouch for that man like I don’t know what I was thinking. I never ended up dropping it but Mess would always text me and check up on and shit, like he was trying to be my friend. I’d worked with people before him and it was kinda like, I send them the song – they record – they send it back – that’s it. So it was hella weird when he was trying to be my homie but I didn’t expect it. We ended up getting closer and closer, we’d FaceTime and talk about music or play GTA together or something and eventually he added me in a group chat with Ben, Yung Sherrf, Lil Türk, and Lil Hawk Boy. Those were literally all the people in the group chat at the time. We would snap every day on there and somehow, I don’t even remember, that group chat just transformed into DXD. We started repping it more and it just kinda caught on. We’ve added new people like Gasp & Jcam & Teddy. It’s kinda hard to explain how it all happened, it all just happened I guess hahaha. I think the reason we click so well is because we’re all the same age. I think the oldest people in DXD are like 19. Like we’re all still teenagers. We grew up in the same generation. Like if these guys went to my school, I’d be friends with them no doubt
I honestly thought all of you DXD guys were from the same area when I first listened to your songs, you all fit together really well I assumed that you all had been doing this together for years already
Yeah man I totally see that. We clicked like way too well it’s kinda weird. I think it’s because there’s no one really doing what we do where all of us live, and if they’re doing it I can guarantee they’re not doing it better than us. Hawk & Mess live in a city where the population is like 12, so finding that’s kinda make the music we do is hard. And I live in the South so no one here is really on the same stuff I’m on. Of course there’s always people who rap but it’s either Kodak clones or Pump clones, nothing original
Whats your favorite yung griffin song, solo or collab? I’m putting my vote for six days, Im literally bumping it rn in the whip.
Aye don’t text and drive bucko. But I really like Six Days. Faded, Coughing is the one I’m the most proud of. A fan favourite is Call Me By My Name which I really like too, I like the songwriting in both of those songs. But my all time favourite song I’ve done is a song with Teddy I have that ended up getting deleted called Distances. I think my verse on that song is literally perfect. I love that shit. But of my own music, Faded Coughing is easily the best
When new people find out about my music, I always send them the Faded Coughing link because I think it represents my best work. And “Rollin” off the DXD comp.
Dont worry cuh im parked smoking in my driveway lol. Outside of the DXD crew and guys that youve already mentioned, who are the artists that you want to work with the most? Are we gonna get to hear any new collaborations in the near future?
Yeah man I’m in another group called Noose. Some real good guys in there like Temporxry, Rocketbummy, and Dead Boy Ali. Geezy’s in there too, he doesn’t rap anymore though. I fully credit Temp for helping me find my sound. He found my cringy ass mixtapes on YouTube and was literally the ONLY comment. He followed me on Instagram and DM’d me and sent me some beats. Like he really, really believed in me. He’s my best, best friend. I don’t really have any upcoming collabs that are finished really. Like, Clout Cohen and I are working soon and I’m working on some stuff with d1v too, he’s super talented. It’s my absolute dream to work with Tracy. He’s my biggest inspiration honestly. I wanna work Owl City too. I wish Speaker Knockerz was still alive too, he really influenced my style. That’s about it honestly I’m not too invested in working with people. But I really love working with Mess and Türk. Türk can make any song catchy and Mess has fucking BARS. Like he’s such a good lyricist. AND TEMPORXRY. Temporxry is literally a fucking god at this music shit. He pisses me off sometimes though because he’ll make these god tier songs and then never drop them. I genuinely believe Temporxry is the greatest artist of all time
Damn shoutout Owl City. Well shit, you seemed very plugged up with artists that fit well with you sonically, when can we actually expect new music in general? Are you planning on dropping a project any time soon?
I have a song called Overdose that I’m getting Temporxry to do background vocals on (yes, he’s that good). A few months ago, in the summer, I announced a project called Slowpoke. It ended up getting cancelled because god damn man this summer was hard as SHIT. I have no projects being planned but when I do drop a project it’ll definitely be called Slowpoke. Right now I’m just making songs, I don’t really feel like dropping a project right now, it gives me hella anxiety. But if I get to a point where I make a bunch of songs that are just dumb hard and I’m holding onto them for no reason, I’ll drop them all at once and call it a project
And the DXD Comp is dropping October 31st. It’s literally so good, I think it’ll show people what we’re capable of.
We’ll be looking out for new yung griffin no matter how you plan to release it. Besides the DXD comp, what’re your musical/personal goals for the rest of 2018?
Personally, I just wanna become a better person. I got a lot of mental problems that I wanna fix and I’m working on it for sure. I think recently I’ve really tried to become a better version of myself. Musically, I wanna do a lot more shows. I really wanna do a VFILES show man those things are crazy. And I wanna go back to Cali before the year ends, this summer wasn’t a good time to try to experience California. And I miss Temporxry a lot.
Real, I feel you on the personal/mental problems and trying to to improve yourself. Its not an easy road so props for being up front with it and being honest with yourself that there are things you need to work on. How have these personal issues affected your artistic career? do you find solace in creating when youre in a dark place, or do you think its held you back in certain aspects? (only answer if you feel comfortable)
Yeah man I feel comfortable don’t even worry. I feel like it fluctuates with music honestly. Because there are some days where I’m so glad I can get all my emotions out and write about stuff but then other days I’m like man I wish I could write about fucking anything else. And then I get to where I’ll make a song and listen to it a million times and love it and then I’ll post it, go to sleep, wake up, and delete it. I think people are kinda getting annoyed with that hahaha. I posted a whole EP this summer and then deleted that shit like two weeks later. The songs are good though. I like being able to talk about my depression and shit in stuff like Six Days, I like letting it out. But I try to make more positive music because when you go through someone’s whole discography and it’s all sad shit I don’t want people to think that’s all I can make music about. I lean more toward making music like Green Lantern, Attack the Block, and Faded Coughing
I definitely feel that, music is an amazing emotional outlet but sometimes it ties together too much to where its no longer a positive. I appreciate you talking about that since its something I know every creator can relate to in some way. Before we finish this up, is there anything else you wanted to specifically talk about/announce?
Nothing to announce really, I’m just working on a bunch of singles at the moment. But I do wanna shoutout everyone in DXD – Mess, Hawk, Türk, Sherrf, Ben, JCAM, Teddy, Gasp, all of them. Temporxry, Rocketbummy, Dead Boy Ali. Amira! Dre for sure too. Mary, Nathan, Sydni, Autumn, Brendan, Cullen. Bren & Cullen are my blood brothers. Jesse Nights! Dude is mad talented. And Nabhan too.
Awesome man, well thanks for doing this and for your thoughtful responses fr this is one of the better interviews ive done. Ill keep you updated on when this is planned to drop n everything