Ask anyone what they think of Yung6ix and they’ll probably tell you he’s brash and arrogant and proud. But talk with him, and you’ll see it’s hunger and drive and genuine talent that’s often misinterpreted. Yung6ix is one rapper who’s been on the steady rise over the past few years. He’s older than he looks. Tougher than he lets on. And focused on what he wants with deadly aim.
To any rapper who’s out there depending on good looks or past plaudits to stay relevant, Yung6ix is TROUBLE.
How did this begin?
I was in the band in primary school. There were like 2 seniors ahead of me. So I’d go for rehearsals but I’d never get to play. So I’d always be like there
drumming on the tins and stuff. After a while I started playing Biggie songs, and then learnt the raps. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Coolio, Stevie Wonder…. That was the music I had. I was listening to anything my aunt had on tape, them TLC sef, them Usher. My first rap should be when 50 Cent came out; his music was something I could connect to. At the time, I was part of the streets. I was doing a lot of things he rapped about. There wasn’t a fight in school that I wasn’t a part of. I must have done something. If I wasn’t in it, na me start am. I was a problem. I was never afraid. If I hear say person dey find me I’d go to his house. So when I heard him I was like: this guy is actually expressing himself; this is something I can do. So that was when I started doing
my stuff. SS2 or SS3 started recording. We’d do competitions in my school. I could trek like from here to the other end of town to record a song. When I got in to university that was where people started hearing my songs. They knew I could rap.
When did you find your footing in Lagos?
After I got my record deal. That’s when I found my footing. Couple of months after the first single, that’s when it happened. After the single, everyday there was something to do. An interview, TV station, radio interview, there was something to do. They put me on every show every club appearance, I was just on the move.
What will your album sound like?
I recorded a song recently. The song is going to be a very big hit. But I didn’t do the all out yung6ix go hard thing. After recording it, I wasn’t feeling it, was like: I don’t know about this: it’s great, it’s huge…But it’s not what people expect. Then I sat and thought about it, and said, realized if Kanye West were in Nigeria, he would not be making the normal Nigerian music. Got me thinking, that if these guys could take their creativity to those lengths, and they’re rappers, I can’t just limit myself to one thing. Do you understand? And I think it’ll be easier from now on. We have now defined our sound as afro-beats. My music is made up of sound content, a message and anything that is good. That’s just what I do.
How did you get good at Freestyling?
When I was in university a lot of girls kept saying I sounded like Lil’ Wayne. I didn’t like it, because I thought he was ugly. After a while I went to look up the guy; my best friend had this compilation of him. I listened to that and then heard the mixtape was the last time he wrote a song. That he doesn’t write. Around that time a friend of mine gave me some of Jigga’s albums. I’d come across them before, but never listened to them. I was way more mature. Way better at freestyles. Around that time I tried my first freestyle recording. Everyone was like yung6ix doesn’t write songs. So any time anyone called me to the studio I had that at the back of my mind. Always tried to meet up to that standard
What’s been your worst experience in Lagos?
Living in a room without a bathroom. Not a studio, just a room with equipment. We were four. There was the guy who managed the “studio”; he had the privilege of sleeping on the chair. Then there were two of my guys I came with. We were three originally, but after seeing what we were going through he went to stay with his uncle. So…that’s how we did that one, did that one. I disturbed everybody. I disturbed Jimmy Jatt, disturbed him eh. Till he decided to get me on his Jump Off. I remember, when he now called me to show up, I had no money on me. I had to sell my gold jewelry for N700. I didn’t even want to know how I would get back. I just wanted to get there. Any opportunity then, was like: ah, I better do this oh. I didn’t even know that rappers go there and they don’t freestyle. I was making conscious music then there had to be a message. Everything had to have a meaning. Cuz I realized that music was way more than just putting words together.
ONE. FOR THE MONEY
It was never about the money. It was when I came in I realized that music needs money. I just wanted to be comfortable. I just wanted to be okay.
Getting paid for doing what you love is just a blessing. Half the people I know are not doing what they love. But God blessed you with something and you’re using that to eat…it’s a real blessing. No matter how this thing goes down, I’ll keep at it. That’s how much I love music.
TWO. FOR THE SHOW.
Putting on a great performance? That’s I all I care about. I care about that and the turn out. I always want the turn out to be mad and for the performance to be on point. I’m really happy about this part of my life and I realize that. When I sit back I know I’m not where I want to be, but I also know that slowly I’m moving there.
THREE. FOR THE HONEYS.
When I found I was good at rapping, it was like I could talk to a girl for hours and not be able to convince her to go out with me. But I could drop her a rap she would never forget. And remember for the rest of her life that we spoke and this is what I said. Felt like I could do anything.
FOUR. TO BLOW.
Right now I can’t say how big I want to get. I want to get really big. Really, really big. I’m talking Jay Z. In business, music, everything. I mean to stay
to stay that long, and still be relevant…it’s incredible. The guy is a rapper do you know how old he is? But he still raps. on top everything else. Funny enough, anything can happen. I’m a believer. I’m a very big believer. When I got to Lagos, I said wait. So out of how many million Nigerians, if there are 5 million singers in Nigeria, out of that million for me to come out of them and for me to come out and my music is being heard…if that can happen, then anything can.
I started recording in sec school. And a song was like 15 k. I was so young, no money. There was no…. A lot of people around me were like: ah, you’re rapping? Of all the things to do in Nigeria. I had to now sit back and chill and see that God had…you know, done things for me.
FIVE. TO HAVE DONE IT.
Me I just came out and wanted to stand out for my people. A lot of artistes in Lagos they haven’t attached where they’re from to their music. When I left my house, I had friends all over my people were excited. The excitement of people when they saw I was going somewhere. I’ve worked hard. I’ve worked really hard. I was hustling for shows everywhere. I was alone, I didn’t know anybody. So when I came out, I expected this one to show me love, but stooping down to diss me, I was like wait: it’s like you’re not even there oh. Because I look up to them. When I see them trying to diss me I’m like wait…your not even there oh. And the funny thing is all the guys I don’t think they’re ready to make it right now.
I want to see that I am everything I claim to be.
SIX. SO THEY KNOW.
I’m the King of the South. It’s like everyone had an intention to be that, but you can’t just want to do it and not do it. Everyone was claiming boss, or something or chairman, nobody was claiming King. Everyone was sleeping on me. Before they knew it, there was somebody sitting on that chair. I’m not bothered by all the shots taken at me. You can’t come out and say you’re the president of Nigeria now. Everyone would look at you like? Do you understand? So the only reason why there’s a fight, is because there’s somebody there. Me. I’m not even taking it personal. Everyone going to the studio to record songs dissing me. When I hear somebody dissing me, I feel… like someone took time out of the 24 hours to talk about me. Went to studio. Wrote the rap. Recorded a song. Mixed it. Ah, Thanks oh. Jay z said if I shoot at you, I’m brainless. You shoot at me you’re famous. They will never get my attention.