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[courtesy Full Surface Records] Yung Wun Interview
Author: William Ketchum III

Full Surface Records' Yung Wun has been making waves with the Double R for years, appearing on the remix of Ryde Or Die Vol. 1's "Down Bottom" featuring Drag-On and Juvenile, and dropping a memorable verse alongside Scarface, Jadakiss, and Snoop Dogg on Ryde Or Die Vol. 2's "WWIII." With a blazing single "Tear it Up" featuring David Banner, Lil' Flip and DMX, and a new album "The Dirtiest Thirstiest" hitting stores soon, Yung seems poised to blow. William Ketchum III talks to Yung about the recent success of the South, working with some of the game's best artists, and maintaining the reputation of Full Surface.

WK3: First off, let's start with the basics. How long have you been rapping?

Yung Wun: Since I was a K-I-D.

WK3: So how'd you get hooked up with Ruff Ryders and Full Surface?

Yung Wun. It's a whole reconnection thing, to get back around my people, my family. They asked me who I wanted to work with; I (was) trying to work with the dog, so they brought me to the R. Now the Surface is Full. I had Dark Society, and linked up with that; I've got the "DS" on my neck, and the "R" on my wrist. I told my man Vigil, I gotta meet with Dog. When I'm comin' home, I'm hearin' ‘em sayin "where my dogs at," so I had to go there and get with the people.

WK3: This past year, the South has really blown up. Lil Jon is all over the place, David Banner is blowing up, Lil' Flip's movin hundreds of thousands of records before getting signed. How do you feel about the South right now?

"Me, I'm trying to bring an international level to the South. I do crunk music for the South..."

Yung Wun: The South's been raising hell for years in the music. Me, I'm trying to bring an international level to the South. I do crunk music for the South, but at the same time, I try to say something for the people. Give them a message, something they can lean into and grow off of.

WK3: That was my next question. A lot of people, they group all of the Down South MC's together. So what makes you different from other "Down South" rappers?

Yung Wun: My music, even though it might be a club song or what not, it's basically giving them a picture and something to think about. Everybody name got something to do with a whole lot. I choose to break it down and let people know that the mind that I've got, is to see where they're heads at. When they come around to that, they're like "oh, that boy knows what he's talking about." And that's definitely (what I try to do) as far as making music, and bringing a message across to the people.

WK3: Tell me about the album, "The Dirtiest Thirstiest." Who all do you have appearing on it, producing on it, that sort of thing.

"... and right now, I'm just down to really looking at the album to actually see what songs is on the album, who's featured."

Yung Wun: Actually, I've got to sit down and see the format of all the producers' names and all the features. I've done so many different songs, and right now, I'm just down to really looking at the album to actually see what songs is on the album, who's featured. They're telling me that (the track) "Me, Myself and I" didn't make the album, and it should. See when you say "Me, Myself and I," that's like third person. That's like three people, trying to put something in peoples' mind, but it's only one person. Bink did that track right there. (And as to why I named it) I'm from the Dirty, and I'm thirsty for the game, I've been chasing it since a small pup.

WK3: The single, "Tear it Up," is crazy.

Yung Wun: That right there, it goes all the way back around to the South and the North. That's like when 3-6 did "Tear the Club Up," it's a club anthem like that. You've got the east coast, the Midwest, the south, everything right down into one thing. So it's a Full Surface on that one song.

WK3: That song's got Lil' Flip, David Banner, and a live band. How did that whole track happen?

Yung Wun: Swizz basically maneuvered and made that happen. I just heard the track, did what I did to it, and by the time I heard it again, it was a masterpiece.

WK3: So what band is that playing?

Yung Wun: Actually, that's like the anthem from the Drumline movie.

WK3: When you first came in, you were on the "Down Bottom" remix, with Drag-On and Juvenile. Then on Ryde Or Die Vol. 2, you were on the same track as Scarface, Snoop, and Jada. For one, how did it feel to represent the South on that song—you've got one cat from the west, one cat from the east, and you and Face from the South.

Yung Wun: Drama was going to be on there, you know we're both from Atlanta and what not. But in my mind I figured, if they're gonna put Drama on there, I've gotta bring ‘em the drama. I did what I did on there, and said what I said. But at the same time, that's like an old version of "Tear It Up," because there it is again: East cost, West coast, Midwest, South. It's like the same format, but different personalities.

WK3: You've worked with Scarface, and Snoop, and Jada. You've worked with Lil' Flip and David Banner. So who's your favorite person that you've worked with, and who would you want to work with in the future?

"Everytime I work with anybody, I know that's homeside right there, that's something serious."

Yung Wun: I ain't gon get into the "favorites," I like everybody. Everytime I work with anybody, I know that's homeside right there, that's something serious. I can't single somebody out, that's when you start getting mixed feelings. I've gotta show everybody the right love. I'd like to work with Jewels, Cuban Links, so get that out there. I'd also want to do a song with Clint Black, the country singer, I've been trying to do that for the last four or five years. Patti Labelle, and I want to get Luther on a track. Get him to do the (impersonating Luther Vandross singing) "you've got me going in circles." It's a surface, but at the same time, it's a circle, like Miami (laughs).

WK3: Cassidy brought Full Surface out the gate with "Split Personality." So how will your album add to the rep that the label's already got from that?

Yung Wun: It's similarities. You have split personalities, but at the same times, I've got the "Dirtiest Thirstiest." You're dirty, and you're thirsty. (My album is) basically on the same level, but southern.

WK3: You're from the South, so who all do you like down there?

Yung Wun: Triple Six, old Hypnotize Camp. Then you've got other cats down south, they're doing their thing and going across the globe. You've got Cash Money, the New No Limit, I'm feeling everything down bottom. But it's really my Green Fellas that's really getting' the cake. That's what I'm lookin' at. Then you've got Dark City, Section 8 Mob, all those cats. It's too much to name for the South, (I just like) the South period. If I could do one album with everybody from the South on it, then another album for the second CD with everybody with the North on it, in a double CD (package), that'd make history.

WK3: Bet. Last question, do you have anything else for that fans that you want to let them know?

Yung Wun: Yeah, yeah. All or one, I come to them humble.

Originally posted: June 14, 2004

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