His debut single may be called “It’s Goin’Down,” but Yung Joc is going no where but up on the charts. After grinding in the streets to maintain his rap credibility, the College Park/SWATS-bred MC is getting his chance to shine through the window of Block Entertainment/Bad Boy South in less than one year’s time. Poised as Atlanta’s next big hip-hop star, Yung Joc is set to break topsoil and emerge fully-grown into hip-hop culture’s mainstream.
Chronicmagazine.com: Your debut is dropping in June. Is there any pressure to reach a certain level of success with all the buzz going on?
Yung Joc: No. We’ve created the buzz and the hype. We’ve got it set up. At the end of the day, there are people in this life who would love to do what I’m doing but they’ll never get the opportunity. I’m grateful to get this far.
Chronicmagazine.com: What will people hear on this album?
Yung Joc: There’s a record on the album called “Picture Perfect.” It for cats who really need a reality check. You may have crazy money, jewelry and clothes, but then you have a baby with some dirty a** shoes on and a snotty nose. (laughs) That ain’t right. I have a couple of club records on there. There’s something on there for the players like “Flip Flop.” There’s something on there for the ladies - “Knock It Out” and “Our First Time.” It’s not about the first time having sex. It’s about a woman’s first time dealing with a real dude.
Chronicmagazine.com: How long has this album been in the making?
Yung Joc: I really can’t put a time on it. I’ve been serious since day one. I got a record on there that I just finished last week.
Chronicmagazine.com: How long have you been with Block Entertainment?
Yung Joc: Since November. It’s been moving so fast. One day I have just a regular deal. The next day I have a major deal. Then another day I have a top ten record and a video spinning.
Chronicmagazine.com: Did you have full creative control on this album?
Yung Joc: Actually I did. I didn’t have anyone telling me what type of songs to do…They pretty much let me pick my own tracks. Apparently they like the way I pick tracks. It’s all about emotions. If the track comes on and that track makes you feel like running into a wall, then that’s what I talk about. They realize I know how to create the madness between my music and the lyrics.
Chronicmagazine.com: I know Bad Boy is doing a lot of the promotion and marketing for your album. Is that where their control cuts off at?
Yung Joc: I really can’t tell you where they cut off at right now. All I can say is that everyone is playing their role. I’m in a good position. I’m in the driver’s seat and I’m loving it.
Chronicmagazine.com: When exactly did you go solo because I know you were recently in a couple of groups?
Yung Joc: I was in a group right before I did the deal. The group was called ADD -Attention Deficient Disorder because you know I don’t have it all (laughs). We went our separate ways because I didn’t feel like the direction management was trying to go in was the right direction for me. I already had the record “Goin’ Down” and it was starting to get picked up in the ‘A.’ I thought I was going to have the group situation going on like G-Unit, but they were trying to go in another direction.
Chronicmagazine.com: Are you still cool with them?
Yung Joc: Yeah. They’re still my homies.
Chronicmagazine.com: Would you ever try to do the group thing again?
Yung Joc: I don’t know. The situation and time would have to be right.
Chronicmagazine.com: Before Block, how was your independent hustle? How hard were you out there working?
Yung Joc: Man, I was working hard. I had to put up my own flyers and print my own CDs. I had to pay for my artwork and graphic designs. I was trying to step to deejays in the right manner, but they would just look at me with their noses up in the air. They have people in their faces everyday. I would have to come up with a little change for them and try to figure out what’s the right mix to make everything work. It was hard, but I loved it so much I was willing to get out there and get it. I’m a go-getter. I was making work for myself. You would have thought I had a major deal when I was independent. When I got with Block, they were like, ‘Chill out. Be easy.’ They would look at me in amazement. That’s why my work load is so heavy now. I set the pace and let it be known that I don’t mind working because I love doing this. I’m ready, willing and able to do it.
Chronicmagazine.com: Was it hard for you to make the transition from the streets to music? Not too long ago, I know you did some small time in jail.
Yung Joc: It wasn’t hard for me because I know right from wrong. Anytime you do wrong, you know what you’re doing. What I did time for was really nothing. They were simple charges, but I know I’ve done some things in my life that should have got me some real big charges and time. Luckily, I changed my life and didn’t have to go through that. [God] allowed me to keep my mind right and stay on the right track. Hell, just two years ago I lost five of my homies all in one year. These are people I grew up and say everyday.
Chronicmagazine.com: Did that make you more focused?
Yung Joc: Hell yeah it kept me focused. What if I died after doing all this work? Would all that be in vain? When you want something real bad, you’re willing to sacrifice things to get it. You don’t mind because you know what the outcome is. You see the greater overall picture. I could go back to school and get some degrees if I’m not going to be serious about it…I learned a lot from the untimely deaths and dealing with it.
Chronicmagazine.com: Is the game more political or more about talent?
Yung Joc: That sh*t is way more political…
Chronicmagazine.com: Did that make you not want to be in the game at all?
Yung Joc: No. It made me want to be in it more.
Chronicmagazine.com: So you could have some sort of influence over it?
Yung Joc: I just feel like no one can take it from me. I don’t care how political things go, you can’t make me or break me. I paid my dues long enough. I worked hard. I sacrificed. I prayed and put it in God’s hands. Another man can’t take it from me. I just got the news we have a top 10 record. That’s hard. It took the effort of a whole lot of people, but at the end of the day that’s all God. If you want anything in this universe, just ask for. You just have to know how to ask for it and what to do to get it. I paid my dues long enough to get what I want and I’m getting it right now.
Chronicmagazine.com: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
Yung Joc: To listen, watch and learn. Plan your work and work your plan.
Chronicmagazine.com: Any last words?
Yung Joc: The album drops June 6…[Block is] doing a “Feed the Homie” campaign. We’re looking for all the hot talent to be apart of the label and the movement. We’re taking cats’ records and putting them on an album. We’re going to polish them up and try to put it out there and distribute it. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I also want fans to put God first.