blac-youngta-interview-vibe- blac-youngta-interview-vibe-

Blac Youngsta Opens Up About Growing Up Poor, His Brother's Death & Why He Waves Guns Around

CMG's Blac Youngsta has a serious discussion with VIBE.com

I’m from the ‘hood, stupid. What type of facts are those? If you grew up with holes in your Zapatoes, you’d celebrate the minute you was having dough—Jay Z “99 Problems.”

It’s always a celebration when CMG rapper Blac Youngta touches the town. Whether the South Memphis native is unapologetically flexing stacks of money on Instagram, gleefully clicking Ben Franks on his money machine during interviews, or telling an Atlanta news reporter that he's upset with being wrongly apprehended at an Atlanta Wells Fargo -- the 25-year old’s comical charisma is gaudy, but magnetic.

Here's a very simple and common question about Blac's seemingly spur of the moment attitude: "is he for real?" His consistent flow of videos where he is jesting and showing off wads of cash for the camera have created a very visible image of the rapper. If he was faking it for the camera, that wouldn't be gangsta' at all. But being that he was initiated into Yo Gotti's CMG family, it's seriously doubtful that Blac  reps a false persona for the camera. Over the years, CMG's street status has been solid, but if you need more proof, just watch this video where Gotti introduces his hustlin' momma.

Blac's lifestyle may be extravagant to most, but he rose from the dilapidated McMillan Street -- notorious for being crime-ridden -- in South Memphis. Now, he talks about having millions in the bank with a happier aura than Richie Rich.

“Man, it feels good waking up with all that money in my account," Blac said to VIBE shortly after we hopped on the horn. “Sometimes I just call my accountant just to hear how much money I got. I’m about to buy my Grandmomma' a house. She don't want to move though."

In order to understand Blac's bubbly ebullience, you'd have to digest the suffocating socioeconomic upbringing that hovered over his life before linking with Yo Gotti. The rapper born Sam Benson had to shoulder grown man responsibilities before he turned 10-years old. In midst of the manchild manning up, he dealt with death, drugs, jails and suicidal thoughts.

“I think I’m the strongest person in the world," says Blac. "Honestly man, picture yourself being young, working in the corner store, working for food.”

As a rollicking adolescent, Blac secured a job -- on the strength of his grandfather -- at a local grocery store. However, Grandmomma Benson's paltry-social security checks matched with Grandpa Bension's extra cash from cutting grass wasn't enough to make ends meet to feed Blac and his younger brother, who often went hungry.

“When I first started working I was like 7-years old. And I wasn’t working for money then. My nigga, I was working for food, mutherf*cker gave me ten dollars a week. I was stocking drinks, breaking boxes down on the side of the store. All that."

Putting in long hours for food, and a meager wage wasn't enough for Blac to escape the stifling anger that came with his hunger pains. As a child when he witnessed his loved-ones knee deep in the struggle, he quickly found his own survival skills to live by any means necessary.

“My little brothers would come to my job and check on me, and I'd be like 'what you doing, boy?' When they would say ‘I’m hungry.,' I would call the store I was working at with a fake order for some burgers and sh*t when it was getting ready to be closing time. First thing they would say when no one came to pick up the food, ‘you want to take these leftovers home?' They knew we didn't have food at the house.'

However, after getting caught -- on several occasions -- for stealing food from his job, Blac was fired. "I'd stole food from Mr. Jones before, but after about a week or two he'd always let me come back. But that last time, it was over with."

As the unfortunate script goes, Blac quickly learned how to swap dope for dollars. Once the impressionable young man lost his virginity to the drug game, working a 9-5 was a wrap. Blac's life consisted of narcotic sales, street beefs and sentences -- incarceration that is.

“I went to jail for dope charges, gun charges, lot of sh*t. The longest I did was probably like a year. I never did no real time. I was slangin' dope so a nigga made bond. I went to HTC. It was grown folks in there. They had people in there that killed a lot of little kids, you know how people be shooting up schools and shit!”

As it turned out, Blac’s time behind the G-wall was a blessing in disguise. Jail is where the D-boy turned rapper, whose first rap was over Destiny Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills," decided to go full throttle with hip-hop.

“I’ve been rapping my whole life. When I was young I had went to jail for a little minute. And so when I come home I was like, ‘Man, I finna start this rap sh*t."

Upon his release from jail, Blac hit the grown running. As a representative for the underdogs, he quicklty hit the studio to emerge with his debut Fast Brick mixtape. Later adding the second and third installments of Fast Brick put him on the Memphis hip-hop scene.

Also, it was around this time the "I Swear To God" rapper begin hosting block parties for the youth in honor of his fallen comrade King Craddy, who was murdered. But it was the death of Blac's brother that would have the most impact on his life and admitted suicidal thoughts, which he's hesitant to talk about.

“I don’t want to get too deep on it. But my little brother had passed. And, I thought about doing it," says Blac with honesty while talking about suicide. "I’ll keep it one hundred. My little brother wasn’t in the streets, period, and he was dead. I was in the streets, period. So I felt like I should’ve been dead."

"I put my life on the line for him to grow up and go to the military. I did so much sh*t. Stole out stores, stole clothes from people, all type of things for my little brother to live. [For] a nigga to kill him and he ain’t never did shit. [That] was touching me. So yes, I thought about doing it. But I had my kids to live for -- that’s all I’m talk about on that. I don’t like talking about it. I never really spoke on that sh*t.”

Bouncing back from his brother's death, Blac got back to making music. And not long after, he struck with a now local classic titled "Heavy." Then, inked a deal with Gotti's CMG Records while sitting on a Jet.

"Man, that was the happiest day in my life," says Blac about the moment he signed with Yo Gotti. "I've been wanting a deal my whole life. I always wanted this, man. I always felt like once I get to this point that I would give this rap thing my all."

So you see, Blac Youngsta has been through a lot. The song "One Bedroom House," on his I Swear To God mixtape, where raps about sleeping on the floor, and taking care of his little brothers, is 100% true. And yes, Blac jokes a lot, and he is always happy, but it's because of everything that he has overcome.

"I’ve done so much, so I feel the words," says Blac after admitting he waves guns around in the vocal booth. "I damn near be crying. I be in the moment. When I was recording “Shoot Me,” a nigga couldn’t look at me while I was recording that song. I’d tell you not to look at me. I was dead serious. I had the Mac in the booth. When I be rapping some gangsta' shit, I be in the booth with the gun in my hand. If I’m talking about money -- I got to have money in the booth. I can’t talk about it if I ain’t feeling it."

The Youngsta may to be real for some, but his mission doesn't incorporate people who doubt him. Blac has his eyes set on touching the entertainment industry in every way that he can.

"I never wanted to be like an one realm nigga. That’s why I entertain. I like to entertain niggas," says Blac with confidence. I’m in this shit for movies... and soundtracks to movies. I want everything. And I want to make people laugh. But also tell my side of the story."

HOW YOU LOVE THAT😭😭#YOUNGANDRECKLESS #CMG

A video posted by Blac Youngsta (@blacyoungstafb) on

From the Web

More on Vibe

VIBE

Genres Aside, Here Are Our 25 Favorite Songs Of 2018

Keeping up with all of the music from 2018 was a full-time job, with loads of songs releasing every week and not enough ears to keep track. But the volume of music comes with an advantage: there’s something for everybody. Fittingly, our list of the 25 Best Songs of 2018 represents the multi-genre mayhem that is in everyone’s playlists this year.

Some of the entries on our list, like cuts by Drake, Travis Scott and Childish Gambino, were at the forefront of the conversation in 2018, dominating streaming services and radio around the country. Indie darling Saba made waves, and he’s included here as well. Jazz wizard Kamasi Washington dropped some of the best protest music of the year. But there are also some songs on this year’s list that spoke to the VIBE Tribe in a different way. Cardi B had hits all year, but an album cut impressed us most; Usher and Zaytoven’s new album didn’t make a huge splash commercially, but one of its songs appears here. And Beyonce appears on one of the best songs of the year that never even saw an official release–but that didn’t stop us from including it here.

Music broke the rules this year, and so did we. Read below, and tell us what surprise choices are making your songs of the year list.

READ MORE: Debate Us: The 30 Best Albums Of 2018

Continue Reading
A look back at the collaborator's up and down relationship.
Getty Images

Remember The Time: 10 Times Drake And Kanye West Were Stronger Together

Kanye West and Drake aren’t exactly in the best place at the moment. West’s Dec. 13 Twitter rant detailed their issues, in which he accuses Drake of “sneak dissing” and threatening him.

“You sneak dissing on [Travis Scott] records and texting Kris [Jenner] talking about how’s the family.” he wrote among many other tweets and allegations against the Scorpion MC.

While this is a bump in the road, the two haven’t always been enemies. Despite the shenanigans surrounding them, Kanye West and Drake have had a very fruitful relationship. All drama aside, the duo have created many memorable moments in hip-hop and pop culture. They’ve written and recorded some incredible songs and shared countless stages during concerts and tours.

To abstain from dwelling on the negativity, VIBE has collected a list of moments taking you through the high points in the rappers’ relationship. Check it out below.

---

Drake's Freestyles Over Many Beats By 'Ye

Before he was one of the most sought-after rappers in the world, Drizzy has looked up to Kanye West and sampled his work. For “Say What’s Real,” a single off his mixtape So Far Gone, the “In My Feelings” MC sampled Yeezy’s “Say You Will” off of his 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak. The admiration continued throughout the years, resulting in more freestyles over songs like “Swagga Like Us” and “Barry Bonds.” Both tracks feature beats created by the Chi-town native. 

‘Thank Me Later’ Proves Their Shared Power 

After meeting in 2009, the duo came together to bring Drake's Thank Me Later album to the next level. They collaborated on two tracks- the futuristic love songs “Show Me A Good Time,” and “Find Your Love.” With West holding down production, deep-pocketed 808’s and table-top scratch sounds were highlighted. The accolades for the latter song resulted in the No. 5 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts as they created their own lane.

Drake Calls Kanye “The Most Influential Person”

In a 2009 interview, the then-industry rookie had some nice words for West. Speaking specifically about the 41-year-old’s 808’s and Heartbreak album, the Toronto rapper described ‘Ye as "the most influential person” who was important to young emcees in the game.

"Before I ever got the chance to meet him, Kanye West shaped a lot of what I do, as far as music goes," Drake said. He knows how to utilize great sounds and great music. So before I met him, I had the utmost respect for Kanye West. I'd even go as far as to say he's the most influential person as far as a musician that I'd ever had in my life."

Their Collaborations On Wax 

The pair has been making music together for nearly 10 years, with some standout tracks including “Forever,” the remix to “All Of The Lights,” and “Pop Style.” On their 2017 song “Glow” off of Drake’s playlist More Life, both rappers discuss their growing, limitless success. West was rumored to initially appear on Drizzy’s smash-hit “Nice For What.” He reportedly had a verse on the critically-acclaimed track until the beef between Drake and his G.O.O.D. Music cohort Pusha T became lethal.

The Joint Mixtape That Never Happened

Drake and Kanye are no strangers when it comes to making joint albums with other artists. Drake worked with Future on the platinum-selling album What A Time To Be Alive, while Kanye released Watch The Throne with JAY-Z to critical acclaim. However, it has been hinted for the longest time that the two were working on a full-length album of their own.

Kanye confirmed the plan to release an album with Drake to Vogue in 2016, shortly after hinting at a joint project during OVO Fest. The Take Care rapper co-signed the announcement, saying "What my brother was asking before was, are you ready if we make an album?"

Drake Writing For Kanye’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’

Drake wrote a song for Kanye’s 2016 effort, The Life of Pablo. The Canadian hip-hop star helped pen the Isaac Hayes and Nelly-sampled “30 Hours.” Drizzy was also reportedly on the original, unreleased version of Pablo’s “Wolves,” which featured Icelandic artist Bjork (the album version features Vic Mensa and Sia).

The Duo Become Friendly, Competitive Neighbors

By the time of their initial meeting in 2009, Kanye already clocked in nearly a decade of music industry knowledge, and Drake was making the transition from teen TV star to full-time rapper. But who would have thought the duo would have eventually become actual neighbors?

Drake eventually moved to Calabasas, Calif.- a neighborhood in Los Angeles many celebrities call home- around the same time West began publicly dating his now-wife, Kim Kardashian. In the 2016 bop “Summer Sixteen,” Drizzy jokes, “Now I got a house in LA, now I got a bigger pool than Ye / And look man, Ye’s pool is nice, mine's just bigger's what I’m saying.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

There goes the neighborhood

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Nov 7, 2016 at 3:05am PST

Kanye Supports OVO Fest

Drake created a hip-hop festival called OVO Fest in 2010. Not only does it feature notable acts in urban music, but it also gave a platform to upcoming artists from Canada who might not have gotten a platform back home. Kanye West was one of the first supports of the music event, performing at three of the festivals.

He also admitted that Drake inspired him and JAY-Z to record Watch The Throne during 2013’s OVO Fest, stating, "Me and Hov would've never made Watch the Throne if this ni**a wasn't putting pressure on us like that, so I just wanna pay my respects.”

Kanye Apologizes To Drake Over G.O.O.D. Music Album Rollouts

Earlier this fall, Kanye West apologized to Drake in a series of tweets for planning the rollout of albums by artists under his G.O.O.D music roster around the proposed release of Scorpion.

In one of the tweets, Kanye wrote “Let me start by apologizing for stepping on your release date in the first place. We were building a bond and working on music together including squashing the issues with Cudi at our office.” In another tweet, ‘Ye revealed that he never listened to the diss tracks between him and Pusha, and didn’t have conversations regarding Drake’s child with him.

Let me start by apologizing for stepping on your release date in the first place … We were building a bond and working on music together including squashing the issues with Cudi at our office.

— ye (@kanyewest) September 5, 2018

They Shared Laughs Over Meek Mill Memes

Drake and Meek Mill were in an infamous feud back in 2015. After performing his diss track aimed at Meek- "Back to Back”- at the 2015 OVO Fest, Drizzy, Kanye, and Will Smith enjoyed a laugh over the countless memes mocking the Philly MC.

Continue Reading
VIBE / Nick Rice

Debate Us: The 30 Best Albums Of 2018

What a year 2018 has been for music lovers.

Listeners enjoyed a buffet of diverse melodies, savoring in the choice of curating the tunes they craved as opposed to consuming more than they can digest. Rumored albums from veterans like Lil Wayne's Tha Carter V and The Carters' first joint project battled its way to the top of our personal charts alongside music's innovators like Noname, The Internet, Buddy, and Janelle Monae.

Within that aforementioned list of artists, a new generation of lyricists and vocalists found their footing with fans and critics alike. The rising crop of talent released projects that should motivate each of them to carve out space for forthcoming awards. While we took into account the albums released from Dec. 1, 2017 to Nov. 20, 2018, that moved us emotionally, we also checked off a list of requirements like replay value, overall production, critical reception, and cultural impact.

Here are the 30 albums (in alphabetical order, not ranked), that instilled pride in our culture, made us take a look within, and encouraged us to appreciate music all over again.

READ MORE: 25 Hip-Hop Albums By Bomb Womxn Of 2018

Continue Reading

Top Stories