By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
Young Drummer Boy is the epitome of a street rapper who’s found music and done everything in his ability to provide for his people.
Hailing from the 909 (aka Ponoma), the “Everything Go” rapper brings that West Coast swag laced with gritty bars, vivid storytelling, and hard-hitting production.
Most recently, the Mexican rapper unleashed his new project titled Same Click, with features from $tupid Young, Rucci, and more.
AllHipHop sat with Drum to discuss the reality of being an independent artist, the corrupt justice system, and what we can expect next.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Young Drummer Boy: I’m still realizing it barely, letting it soak in. Because it's a continuous grind in everything we do. Same s##t, just grinding and grinding. 10 years ago, I wanted to start doing it but until about 4 years ago is when it got serious. I kinda zoned in on it. That's when I really started focusing. It took me awhile to focus, I was still being a knuckle head out there.
AllHipHop: Congrats on Same Click! What was special about this project?
Young Drummer Boy: There's a lot of turn up songs like “Everything Go,” but there's also a lot of songs that mean a lot to me. Like “Wasteland.” that's another one we put out. I wanna give a mixture of s##t people can have fun to —not give a f##k, drink, pop pills, do whatever the f##k they wanna do — then there’s songs that my core fanbase really gravitate to, the more conscious type of rap where I'm talking about real s##t and not bulls##t.
AllHipHop: Best memory shooting the visual for “Everything Go” with $tupid Young?
Young Drummer Boy: Just the way we all linked up, everybody vibed with each other. He had his people there, I had my people there, everyone was cool with each other. ‘Cause tensions are aroused everywhere. I keep a small circle because it's hard to trust people. When he showed up with his people I had my homies and everybody just had a good time.
AllHipHop: Talk about the struggle of being an independent artist.
Young Drummer Boy: Even though the videos are hitting millions, I’m trying to shoot another video already. I have to top that one, this one has to top that one. It has to keep going and going. If it wasn't for the fans really f##king with me, keeping me afloat, listening to the music, downloading it,and watching the videos over and over, I don't know know where I would be at. Everything's a struggle in the music game. If you think you can walk in here and live happily ever after, that’s not gonna happen. Not yet. Until I’m sitting on a couple of M’s, then I'll be alright.
AllHipHop: How were you able to get out of the streets?
Young Drummer Boy: My big brother Smokey, he taught me everything I knew about hustling and making money. Change from doing crazy street stuff to actually trying to make money and provide for my family. He took me under his wing like “man, you're gonna start rapping.” He invested in doing little videos, buying equipment, etc. That was the big change in my life.
AllHipHop: Is he still locked up?
Young Drummer Boy: Oh yeah, it's been over 10 years for sure since that happened.
AllHipHop: Have you been locked up?
Young Drummer Boy: I’ve seen the county, but I’ve been blessed to be out of that s##t. A lot of my partnas have seen that s##t, it’s nothing nice. Nothing nice at all.
AllHipHop: You say you got homies locked up. What’s your thoughts on prison reform & the justice system?
Young Drummer Boy: They need to let the homies out. To give you an example, my little cousin got 32 years right. He was in the car with 3 other individuals who were my homies, only 1 of them were over 18. Since they did this crime they were allegedly convicted of, they all went to jail for life. We’re talking about a 14 year old, a 16 year old, my cousin had barely turned 18, the other homie was 24. They put them all together in group and said these 4 individuals — even though only one person committed the murder — all of them are bad. They can't be in the streets no more, so they all get life.
AllHipHop: They all got life?
Young Drummer Boy: I don't think that’s right! I think whoever manned up to doing it should've took the time. The rest, give them some time but don't give them life. That's where the prison system is f##ked up. They want to lock everybody up because of the environment we grew up in. I was born in the heart my neighborhood. All of my friends are part of that neighbor it was only right that I followed the footsteps. If all of my friends are billionaires, then I’d be billionaire — but that's just not where I was born at.
They label us all like that, want to throw us all in a f##king cell and be done with us. But it's the way we were born and where we were raised at. A lot of people look down on gangs, I’ve even had conversations with people who say “people in gangs are stupid.” I’m a gang member, I have it tattooed all over me. How’re you going to blame someone for where he grew up, where he lived, who he followed, who he looked up to?
My older brothers are all apart of this s##t. When I was little, the only thing I wanted to do was be like them. It took my brother having to change to make me change, as far as focusing your mind on trying to live better. Because the gang’s going to always be apart of us for the rest of our lives.
AllHipHop: What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Young Drummer Boy: Another person — I’m sorry I don’t know their IGs, but hopefully they hear this or read this — said he can’t walk because of his legs. He’s learning how to walk. When he does his phyiscal therapy, he listens to my music so he can start walking and s##t.