already known that without any struggle there isnt 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-Hops 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. AllHipHop.com caught up
with Yung Berg to discuss his past, present and what the future of
Epics self-proclaimed poster child.
AllHipHop.com: 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, Ima sign you. Its not
gonna be tomorrow but Ima 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 didnt like it
because I was a little too wild, a little too young.
AllHipHop.com: 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
AllHipHop.com: But werent 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 didnt 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 Im not mad at that.
AllHipHop.com: 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 wasnt
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 producers house in this little pre-production studio. We
mixed and mastered it. Its now on the radio and it is what it is.
AllHipHop.com: 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. Im the glue that holds it together but at the same time its all
of us and thats really it. I have my other artist, Tony Loco and
Hunnit Grams, we produce all our own stuff and its just a movement.
Were 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
AllHipHop.com: 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. Thats what it’s about: me. Theres 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, Im 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. Its going to be bridging the gap from young kids to someone who
is 45 like my mother or something like that.
AllHipHop.com: 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 didnt have any urban artists, they restarted their urban
market. I felt like I could be the posterboy for Epic and really move
forward. I didnt want to sign with any other label where I could be
lost in the crowd. Like I didnt 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
AllHipHop.com: Can you tell your fans a little bit about the song and
anything about the upcoming CD? When is it coming out? Whos on it?
Yung Berg: Okay, Sexy Lady is the first single out on the album. Its called Look What You Made Me,
and its basically stating to everybody in the game, from Jay-Z to Nas,
look what you made me. Its 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 thats all I’m doing right now. Young Boss or die.
AllHipHop.com: 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, shes been like a big sister and mentor to me. She kept
me relevant when I didnt 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 Eves little cousin. She did the track that Eve is on. We
were just staying together with it and its incredible.
AllHipHop.com: 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,
theres no progress. So if you dont struggle, youre 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 wouldnt trade one thing because it
made me a bigger man and it made my album that much crazier. Im
speaking on factual things. Im not saying Im on the block doing all
types of n***a s**t. Im speaking about my life and I think thats the
problem with the music industry right now. Nobody is speaking about
himself or herself. There is no attachment to the artist. Im putting
myself on a disc. Im telling my life story on an album and turning it