Lousiana rapper Ray Da Yungin used his song “Miss You” to mourn friends who tragically lost their lives, several to gun violence. He is just 11 years old. On the track, Yungin explores the impact of trauma and death on his own mental health and feelings of grief for his friends and peers who have passed away.
According to local news station KLFY, his father and manager Marquis Jackson encouraged Ray Da Yungin to use music as an outlet.
“Just being able to do that with my son is a blessing. But to be able to help him channel his emotions, to be able to help him channel that anger or whatever he may be feeling,” shared Jackson. “Because it could come out in other areas. It could come out in other ways. Him seeing the violence in the city every day and seeing it on the news. It kinda gives him hope, especially with the recognition the song is getting, that things can get better.”
Oxford Foster, one of Yungin’s friends mourned on “Miss You” was tragically killed in a car accident in October. Another casualty, Xavier Perry was shot dead in November in what police said was a domestic incident where his mother and uncle were also killed by his stepfather.
“People need to stop the gun violence because us as kids, we want to live and be free and we can do better in life,” said the preteen.
Ray Da Yungin and his father have received positive messages on social media about the impact of the song.
“We’ve received so many emails and DM’s from family members of the victims telling us how the song has helped them. So to be able to make a difference with my son and we’re making each other’s dream come true, it’s amazing,” shared Ray Da Yungin’s father.
At only 11, the Shreveport native has been rapping for three years and plans to release the album UnderRayted on January 15. Check out the video for “Miss You” above.