Nashville rapper Jung Youth presents the Landon Antonetti-directed music video for “Peter”, the new single from Yada Yada, his forthcoming album produced entirely by Central Parks, a producer on the roster of Los Angeles label Cold Busted who also produced Jung Youth’s previous EP Duende, as well as providing the soundtrack for Monday Night Freestyles, a weekly web series with Jung Youth centered around freestyles and football. Jung Youth is a Red Bull Sound Select Artist and has shared stages with Mobb Deep and Juicy J. “The story of ‘Peter’ is the story of Yada Yada as a whole: I wanted to take a break from playing Mr. Nice Guy and talk a little smack,” Jung Youth explains. “I found myself grabbing phrases from so many different experiences and pop culture influences, drenched in dark vibes as if it were part of some strange outer-body experience that quickly evolved into a stream of consciousness protest song against bulls–t.” Yada Yada drops March 3.
What was the inspiration for “Peter”’s apocalyptic feel?
The inspiration for the video’s apocalyptic feel was the song itself. As soon as Central Parks played me the beat I knew it was over. With our first project Duende, I hinted at the old Lorcan notion of this dark vibe/soul/heart/whatever you wanna call it that is present in certain works of art and life, and “Peter” took us even deeper down that rabbit hole. My mind was racing to all of these topics like survival of the fittest and disillusionment, and I just snapped. It’s kind of like one of those moments of harsh realization where your back is against the wall and you can either crumble or stand strong and battle back against those stark realities. I felt inspired to choose the latter.
How did you get your name Jung Youth?
Back in Kentucky I would always freestyle with my homie Chris, and we called ourselves Young Youth. I liked it because it reminded me of Raekwon’s line from C.R.E.A.M. and at the same time was something totally new and different. So whenever I traveled and had cyphers with people I always tried to remind myself of where I came from, and those two words kept coming out. The name–or at least the J part of it–came about when I moved to Nashville and wanted to have a name for my musical collaborations that encapsulated more than just me as a person. After working on my chops for a while and deciding to rap for fun and money instead of just fun, it was time for Justice Under New Gods. There’s also a Carl Jung tie-in somewhere in here, but we can talk about that later. The Youth remains because now all of us are Jung Youth. Everything seems to be changing and accelerating to some sort of singularity, and it’s up to us to make sure we don’t all go to shit in the process.
What can we expect from Yada Yada?
“Peter” definitely gives you a good idea of the project’s direction. The entire vibe can be summed up with the phrase ‘no more Mr. Nice Guy’. When Parks and I work together it’s always really fun, but there is a serious side that we both have to show as well. So once you know that, Yada Yada is a project that gets down to all the nitty-gritty details but is able to keep a sarcastic, almost brash sense of humor throughout the process.
What’s your favorite rap album of all time and why?
You know how tough that question is to answer, but I’ll take this back to the first album that made me a lifelong fan of hip hop, which was Stillmatic by Nas. I wasn’t old enough to be aware of Illmatic first, but it doesn’t matter because what Stillmatic did was open my eyes to a world that I hadn’t really thought about musically yet. With songs like “One Mic” and “Second Childhood”, I saw Nas was taking a look at the world around him and analyzing it with a fine-toothed comb, and also holding himself accountable for his own successes and failures. “Rewind” told a crazy story using such technique that I almost had to laugh at how clever it was. And I will never forget hearing “Ether” on the radio the night that it dropped, my friend Jacob’s mom was driving us home from a school dance and we were in the Wendy’s drive-thru, and the DJs were talking about the beef with Jay-Z and when the beat came on my face scrunched up. I got that feeling in my stomach like the weightlessness before a rollercoaster drop and I have been hooked ever since.
Plans and goals for 2015?
This year I’m not holding back. There will probably be a couple more Jung Youth projects before 2015 is out, one of which I did with my band, but I don’t want to give away too many details. The real plan is to keep rocking shows and letting people know what Jung Youth is all about. I’m working with a lot of different people but my circle is still as close as ever. One thing I will say is that when it comes to the future, you should expect the unexpected.