Young Sam | Hip Hop Artist

If you weren’t rapping, what do you think you’d do?

Skateboarding, playing basketball probably, or doing something with computers. I love computers.

When you say doing something with computers — developing apps? Programming?

I really don’t know yet. I just really like computers. I just feel like computers run the world, so I need to have a computer in order to have something.

If you didn’t have YouTube to post your videos, how would you get your videos to people?

The streets. Really giving it to ‘em. Burning CDs and going to a bunch of people like, “Hey,” interacting and meeting people.

Do you think that works? Everytime I’m in L.A., someone hands me a CD and usually I’m like, “Nah, I’m cool, man.” Do you think that would work?

I think it’s a possibility. It’s all on how you deliver it to them. A lot of people try and sell it to them. I feel like you can’t just sell it to them; like they don’t know you, like why are they gonna buy it?

If you’re coming to me, and you’re trying to sell me “TRAPfornia,” how do you sell that to me?

First, I ask you what kind of music you listen to and like, “Have you heard of this style?” I let you know what style I’m similar to, and then if you familiar with that style, I be like, “Maybe you should check this out. I think you’ll like this.” Then if you like this, then you will for sure like this and then kind of seal you in, and then you’ll probably be like, “Alright, I’ll check it out,” and then boom, then you’ll like it.

Do you have a favorite track right now off “TRAPfornia” that you really are happy with?

Man, “Grind Till We Rich.” It’s this song “Grind Till You Rich”; it’s a big song. It’s like real motivational, because living in South Central, people feel like you could become a victim of the ghetto. That’s how I feel. It’s dangerous over there. Like all I hear is helicopters every night, on the real. Like but this “Grind Till We Rich” is real motivational. It’s like letting people know like you got to do what you got to do to be successful. Like if you play football, play football, give it your all; if you rap, rap; if you go to school, if you want to be a doctor, you got to grind. And then you got to grind till you rich. And bless your family.

So you’re not necessarily referring to just rap, you are referring to everything in general.

You got to grind, that’s what it is. It’s grind.

Are there any specific musicians or style of musics that you were really inspired by with “TRAPfornia?”

Gucci Mane. I like Gucci Mane a lot, man.

He kind of blew up in a short period of time, but he was grinding for a really hard time.

Through YouTube too you can watch his YouTube clips, and you’ll see like, “Dang, he been grindin’.

With Gucci, he’s kind of a personality. He’s kind of crazy dude, an ice cream cone tattooed on his face, he threw someone out of a Lamborghini once — he’s a maniac. Does that make you like him more or less?

Nah, I like his music. I feel like he’s real talented behind all of that. Once you hear his songs, his flow is crazy, his delivery; he really know how to do his music.

There is this new style of hip hop coming up right now. There is Gucci Mane flow, there is Trinidad flow, do you think that this style will be dominating hip hop for a long time?

I don’t know. I feel like it’s just for now, I really don’t get caught into that. I just try to rap on any beat I like. Like I’ll put out a “Diamonds” freestyle and that “Gangam Style” I did that beat. I really don’t get caught into one style.

People say that the golden age of hip hop was in the 90s, late 80s. You had NWA, 2Pac, Biggie, and it was basically the golden age of gangster rap. Now in 2012, a lot of it is dance-y and more focused towards mainstream audiences. Do you think that’s a good move for hip hop, or do you think it should have stayed a little more gangster, a little more inaccessible to the world?

Nah, I feel like that’s a good move because it’s helping people to become rich and become successful. We getting called by media, it’s opening doors for other things. Like just off of rapping, I could probably be an actor now, and I could probably take photos, be a model now. Like it’s opening doors for other stuff, so I feel like hip hop is at a good point right now.

Back in the 80s and 90s NWA was just about being cop killers and being hard, and now you have people like Drake and Kendrick Lamar where their albums are like reading that person’s diary. Are you afraid to tell people everything, or do you keep some things kind of hidden?

 Sometimes I keep things hidden because I feel like it’s not that time yet. Like I got to, I can’t let them hear yet. I’m building up to it and they growing with it; people are growing with it, you know?

If you could some up “TRAPfornia” in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

That’s going to take a little time to think about. Turn all your dreams into reality: “TRAPfornia.”

And I think you have your Twitter handle tattooed on your arm?

Yeah, sammight69her [laughs].


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Photography by Melly Lee

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