By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
Yung Bans has been on house arrest for 4 years straight — but if you think that’s stopping him from putting out music, think again.
While Atlanta continues to serve as a hub for this new wave of melodic rap and trap, the 20-year-old stands out by creating music that’s honest, vulnerable, and most importantly relatable.
Yung Bans, real name Vas Coleman, only started rapping 5 years ago at age 14 and has already worked with some of the rap game’s elites, from Young Thug to Future to XXXTentacion.
His first time attempting to experiment with melodies and harmonies resulted in one of his biggest songs to date: “Lonely” featuring Lil Skies.
Teaming up with Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade for the outer space-themed visual was the perfect segue into Bans’ mind, clocking in at over 16M views on Youtube alone.
Last year, Bans linked with YBN Nahmir and Landon Cube on an explosive track titled “Ridin,” resulting in another masterpiece from Cole Bennett. With each release, Bans makes it a point it remain 100% true to himself, while delivering a message that no matter hard your circumstances are, you can still persevere.
Finally, Misunderstood arrives with standout features from YNW Melly, Future, Gunna, 03 Greedo, Young Thug, Lil Durk, Nav, and more. To celebrate the project’s release, Bans threw a mansion party in the hills of Los Angeles, as friends and family conjoined and turned up into the sunset. AllHipHop caught up with him to discuss his friendship with YNW Melly, conversation with 03 Greedo in jail, and his thoughts on the justice system.
AllHipHop: Congrats on Misunderstood! How’s it feel to finally have it out?
Yung Bans: I feel relieved. A lot of stress off it, I've been working real hard on this project for 2 years. It’s been good since I first started, I just had to perfect it. Finish it, put all the right songs on it, take the right songs off.
AllHipHop: What was your creative process behind it?
Yung Bans: Just in the studio locked in for 2 years. Going crazy nonstop, working hard.
AllHipHop: Talk about the significance in the title. Why do you feel Misunderstood?
Yung Bans: It’s just how it is, that’s how I am. That’s how I feel, people don’t understand me. Everything I do, every move I make, every decision might be judged. Misunderstood is my way of expressing myself so you understand.
AllHipHop: “100 Shells” with YNW Melly is real personal. What were you going through at the time?
Yung Bans: At the time I made “100 Shells,” I really was just in the studio. I had a studio at my house. I was just speaking real s##t. I was in the studio that day and I wasn’t in the mood to change or deal with f##king business. I wasn’t trying to make no trendy s##t. I was like “man, I’m finna write some real s##t. Finna dig deep into what I’m feeling.”
AllHipHop: What’s ur friendship w/ Melly?
Yung Bans: That’s my brother, like my twin. Literally, we’re the same person. Love him to death.
AllHipHop: Thoughts on him being locked up?
Yung Bans: He innocent. He on the way home. He ain’t do nothing. That’s misunderstood.
AllHipHop: What needs to happen w/ our justice system?
Yung Bans: It’s f##ked up. It’s not really justice, that’s all I can say about that. Everybody’s case is different, everybody’s going through it differently. There's always something behind what they got going on, it's not justice to stay put. Random people and everybody are just gonna judge you. It’s not “is he really innocent? I go to court. If I go to court, I gotta go to trial for my case. People are looking at me like “oh that man had tattoos on his face. He got dreads, he’s black. This is what they’re accusing him of, s##t. I have no doubts that he did it.” You know what I’m saying? It’s not really about justice.
AllHipHop: Can you talk about your own situation? You been on house arrest for a minute.
Yung Bans: Fighting. I've been fighting. A lot of bulls##t, just cases and bulls##t. They tried to give my bro Trap life, they let him come home on an appeal. I got a couple more months on this s##t [house arrest]. My fourth year, it’s going to be over with. When it’s over with, spread my wings.
AllHipHop: Talk about being LA in this beautiful mansion for your album release.
Yung Bans: Amazing! I come from nothing. Sleeping on the floor, 6 n##gas in one room. To be here doing stuff like this is amazing, but it's still not enough. Still not enough. I’m trying to go way bigger than this, take it a whole nother level. I’m talking about, “I'm buying this mansion. [snaps] Oh, I just bought this.” I'm happy, but I just want more. Always want more. That's why my mind is always working off, it’s hard for me to celebrate and just be all happy. I’m planning my next move.
AllHipHop: What’s your next move?
Yung Bans: They’ll see on the next project, about to hit them even harder.
AllHipHop: You also have an interlude from XXX. What was your relationship with him?
Yung Bans: s##t me and XXX talking, that’s the interlude. We were talking like a real conversation right before he passed. That’s my brother. It’s an honor to have him on the project in any kind of way. That’ what he left me with. I’ve been knowing him since the beginning. One of my earliest songs is with him, “ILOVEITWHENTHEYRUN.”
AllHipHop: How’d you guys cross paths? He’s in Florida, you’re in the A.
Yung Bans: I had a show in Florida with 21 Savage. Me, X, 21 Savage, and Ski Mask The Slump God — basically, a bunch of s##t happened. They took care of us when we were out there in Florida. He was f##king with me, showing me love like “Yo Yung Bans come out here, da-da-da. I f##k with your music.” That’s how we met. I was f##ked up. We were up and coming, ain’t have no money or none of that. They got us a hotel, we stayed in the hotel together. Linked up, that’s my brother.
AllHipHop: You’ve got crazy features on the project. (Gunna, Young Thug, Lil Tjay, YNW Melly, 03 Greedo, Lil Durk, Nav). Talk about 03 Greedo —
Yung Bans: Greedo just called me from jail. So excited! My brother in good spirits, about to come out. He’s about to come home on parole. He’s like “I’m about to parole out.” Legend. From the beginning, he taught me some s##t.
AllHipHop: How’d you tap in with him on the West Coast?
Yung Bans: Out here in LA, I had a show on the tour. My bro Bentley plugged it in.
AllHipHop: How about Thugger?
Yung Bans: You know, Atlanta. Freebandz, YSL, we like family. Just being around. He came to the studio, I was putting together the album. I told him “I need you on this.”
AllHipHop: How long you've been recording for and how old are you now?
Yung Bans: I’ve been recording for 5 or 6 years. I’m 20.
AllHipHop: You started recording at 14? At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Yung Bans: I always knew it. It was destined, God really teaches me a lot of lessons in my life. It’s like a movie, everything is a lesson. Now, I’m gonna take it with me and climb to the top.
AllHipHop: What made you get “Cash Rules” tatted on your forehead?
Yung Bans: That’s how I was feeling one day. Cash rules, it does. God first but s##t, money makes the world go round.
AllHipHop: Did you think “Lonely” was gonna blow up? Over 16M views on Youtube.
Yung Bans: I knew it. That was my first melodic song, the first time I ever went out the box to make a melodic song.
AllHipHop: Were you just rapping before that?
Yung Bans: Yeah, but the hook was catchy as hell. Catchy as hell. Sent it to my manager like “this the one.” Then it went up. It’s nothing compared to what we doing now, but I still appreciate that time period.
AllHipHop: What’s your friendship with Lil Skies?
Yung Bans: That’s my brother. Great dude, loving dude. Happy he has a baby on the way, it’s lit.
AllHipHop: Best memory from the video shoot?
Yung Bans: All of it. Life and going up! Making moves, like big moves. I can’t even get all the words out.
AllHipHop: What’s your relationship with drugs?
Yung Bans: I don’t do drugs. [points to ankle monitor]
AllHipHop: How has music been a form of therapy for you?
Yung Bans: If I wasn’t good at anything, I’m good at music. It’s me, it’s all I am. I breathe music, my mind works to make music. It’s what God put me here for. It is therapeutic. If I’m not doing music, I feel empty.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want fans to get from Misunderstood?
Yung Bans: Just be inspired. Take out of it what you need, what you relate to. What you thinking about but you don’t got all the answers, just “yo, I feel the same way.” Relate, be inspired. Chase your dreams. I'm living proof. Even with obstacles holding me back, you can still do this s##t. [shows ankle monitor]
AllHipHop: How long you had that on?!
Yung Bans: 4 years. Crazy.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio?
Yung Bans: A mic, my engineers Brandon or Mike, a good beat. A Nick Mira beat, Daytrip beart, WondaGurl beat. She co-produced on 3 songs: “Going Wild,” “Shawty,” "Yeaaa!".
AllHipHop: Talk about going wild being the intro track.
Yung Bans: That’s how I be feeling sometimes, I b going wild. That day, I was going wild.
AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?
Yung Bans: XXX is one of my Top 5. Future, Thug, Young Scooter, the list goes on. Just make good music bro, I love that s##t. I really make music. I’m not a rapper, I’m an artist. I make music.
AllHipHop: What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Yung Bans: Some real fans who really understand me… there’s fans who really understand me. I was on IG Live with a fan today, he was telling me like how he felt about me, how much my music inspired him and changed his life. I'm like bro, he gets it. It made me happy to know he really understands what I'm trying to do, it moves him and he feels that s##t.
AllHipHop: Anything else you wanna let us know?
Yung Bans: Misunderstood out right now, go stream that s##t up. #1!