There weren’t too many new artists in hip-hop who showed the potential of having a promising career down the road, except one hailing from Atlanta by the name Yung Joc. Not only did his single “It’s Going Down” from his Block Entertainment/Bad Boy debut, New Joc City, stay on top of the Billboard charts for quite some time, he also came up with a dance that had everyone in the club pretending they were riding a motorcycle. Joc, along with Usher’s new group One Chance, Pretty Ricky, Mario and co-headliners Omarion and Ne-Yo will invade the American Airlines Arena on December 15th for the “Scream Tour 5: Ruff & Ready” tour – be sure to check it out.
The Miami Hurricane (TMH): For the readers who are unfamiliar with who you are, explain who Yung Joc is.
Yung Joc (YJ): Yung Joc is a champion who was raised in Atlanta, GA who had dreams to pursue a music career since I was ten and I’m living that now by way of Block Entertainment/Bad Boy South with my new project, New Joc City, which is certified platinum. I’ve been blessed to tour on several different tours like T.I.’s “The King Tour,” Bow Wow’s tour, Chris Brown and Ne-Yo’s “Up Close and Personal Tour” and as soon as we get back from Japan, we go right into “Scream Tour.” Hopefully, this will be a good look to get younger people to come out and see what I do because I normally do adult events.
TMH: I can’t imagine the Japanese doing the “joc” dance. That’s insane but also shows how global your music has become.
YJ: They are already doing it. It’s definitely a blessing; it’s actually overwhelming, mind blowing.
TMH: What was your childhood like growing up in Atlanta?
YJ: I was a very intelligent child, but I always got in trouble a lot. I was always getting kicked out of school. I was raised on both sides of Atlanta -the south side and the west side -and I was always moving back and forth between my mother and my father because I was being kicked out of school. I knew a lot of cats before they got big -D4L, Dem Franchize Boyz, Lil’ Scrappy, Outkast and Goodie Mob. Ludacris and I went to the same high school. I remember Luda before he was Ludacris. I remember him when he was Cris Lova Lover.
TMH: Diddy is one of the most successful names in hip-hop. What have you learned from him or what do you feel is the best advice he’s given you?
YJ: The greatest advice I got was to make sure I remain humble, stay focuses and put God first and that advice was something I grew up with so it was something I already heard.
TMH: Your new single, “1st Time”, features Marques Houston on the album, but Trey Songz appears in the video. Why is that?
YJ: We were shooting to make it look like we put together a new group because we tried to get a couple of people to sing on the hook as well, but a few people pulled out. Originally, we are going to do like Biggie’s “One More Chance” where everyone like Faith Evans, Total and Mary J. Blige had cameos in the video. Trey Songz in on the Atlantic umbrella and they wanted to prep him and get ready for his new album, so that’s what it was.
TMH: The South is home to some of hip-hop’s greatest rappers right now. Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne, Young Jeezy and T.I. have all vocally stated how great they are. Are you ever going to go after that number one spot?
YJ: I just want to make music man. At the end of the day, when you consider yourself number one, everybody is gunning at your spot. It’s not a bad thing by any means, I just want to do music. I enjoy what I do. I don’t care if it’s the number one spot or the number one album, as long as I am able to give my fans what they want, I’m good.
TMH: I went to the Chris Brown/Ne-Yo “Up Close and Personal Tour” and I want to know how are you going to handle the high octave screams on this new tour?
YJ: I don’t know, but when they scream, it just gives you another type of energy. It’s almost like an adrenaline rush when they scream like that. I want that. You want to live that. That’s a part of the show -that acknowledgment and recognition from the fans.
TMH: As a new artist, you have had a pretty good year. What’s the most memorable experience of this year?
YJ: Man, I can’t even tell you because I’ve done so much in this last year. I got actually three. The first one is me and Block [manager] sitting down talking and him saying, ‘I want to do this deal with you because I like you. I’m going to put the house on you.’ I’ll never forget the moment I met Puff and how that dude was looking at me while I was performing. He was like, ‘Bullllllllllllllshit.’ And I’ll never forget the day the album dropped, how much love it was for me to walk into a Best Buy and see that place packed with people buying my album. I’ll never forget that.
Marcus Washington can be contacted at email@example.com.