The Rundown: Yung Coby
Written by Greg Harris
The Rundown has become a strong platform for artists to establish themselves and to have a voice to present to the forefront. As more artists are releasing more content it's only a few that's really using their story as their foundation and how they're helping that fuel their career.
One of the artists that is doing just that is Yung Coby. The Killeen, TX native recently came back home from jail and since his release, he's made a non-stop effort to infiltrate Texas' sound with his pure honesty, craftiness for spectacular hooks, and reality ridden wordplay he displays in his lyrics. Probably one of the "dark horses" in the Texas scene right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if Coby catches a spark with the consistency he's providing right now.
We recently had a chance to speak to Coby about coming back home, his influences in music, being from Killeen, and more.
How’s your Modern Life?
I'm good, just heavy grinding right now, looking for dope situations, need management right now. Other than that me and my team getting ready to invade #SXSW2018
What are three things you have to do when you first wake up?
As soon as I wake up I'm taking a piss, checking my phone & my email.
Coming up in Killeen, TX, How would you describe your upbringing?
Man, my upbringing was crazy as hell man, my whole family was either heavily doing drugs or heavily selling drugs, and if they weren't doing that then they were in prison. I took the wrong route at a young age and ended up in Juvie for 6 months at the age of 14 for burglary, shit was wild, then at age 18 I got sentenced to 12 years TDC for the same kind of charge and ended up doing 3 years on that, I just got out February 13th of 2017.
When it comes to that part of Texas, how would you compare it to the rest of the state?
Killeen is beautiful, besides all the crime and shit I love the scenery, no big skyscrapers or nothing but the people, the culture is just different. We have the army base as well so it's like a whole new population of people coming in and out every year. It's a lot of money in Killeen.
When it comes to the state of hip-hop coming from that region, how would you describe it?
We have a lot of great rappers coming from Killeen like #543GANG example, just a very dope collective of young artists going hard and actually investing in their craft. Another thing I can say is we have a lot of diversity around here. Austin is our backyard and that's the live music capital of the world.
What are the challenges you think you face coming from that area?
Of course, we're not a big city so the labels are not here scouting like the would say, in Houston or Dallas. Also, it's a small city so when people feel like they can see you every day you may become less valuable then you would be in a metropolitan area since it's so big and easy to just duck off and lay low.
When it comes to your sound, it resonates with reality rap that carries melodies. How would you say you construct that sound?
To keep it simple, I listen to the beat and it tells me what to say if that makes any sense. The beat speaks to me and the words just come, the melody hits me first and then after that its pretty much just a done deal. I don't write either, I just go in the studio and speak whats real, things I've been through, been around, and experienced. When you've been through it, rapping about it comes easy.
Who were some pivotal rappers that played a huge influence in your sound?
I learned how to freestyle from Screw tapes & Swisha House, but once I got hip to rap city in the basement, I fell in love with hip-hop and it was a wrap. Lauryn Hill, Nas, Hov, they made me open up my mind and dig deeper. But my # 1 influence has been Kanye West since College Dropout was the first album I ever bought in like 4th or 5th grade. Outkast is my favorite group, and Kid Cudi is in my top 5. My influences are never-ending, to be honest.
Since coming back home, what has been in your plans in order for you to take over in 2018?
The main thing for me is building relationships with individuals who have similar visions as me, that's why I reached out to Greg Harris, he has some dope things going on, this whole Modern Life movement is wavy. Besides, that I'm focused on experimenting with my sound and creating new vibes, I'm in love with creating.
How would you say your sound is differentiated from other rappers in Texas?
I'm completely different from any other rapper that has ever come from Texas, I flipped that stereotype upside down lol. S/o to Travis Scott, Sosa Mann, Rizzo & Sauce Walka for helping the new artist coming up like myself break away from the old Texas traditions. You can't put me in a box with just 1 genre or style, that's what separates me from everybody.
How do you feel as if you can revolutionize Texas music?
I feel as if I can do that because I'm not just sticking to one sound or one structure, I film, rap, sing, engineer, design clothes, graphic design and a lot of stuff. Not too many have the full package, S/o Ian Connor though.
What are three things you want to improve on in 2018?
This year I want to improve my hustle, my image, & my creativity.
When it’s all said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as the one who came from Killeen Tx fresh out of prison, got my family out the hood, put my whole team on and created a whole new wave. #FreeLilTerry #ItsYungCoby
Follow Yung Coby here