Yung Poppa – a rapper from South L.A

Listen to an audio story on Yung Poppa from Annenberg Radio News

“Hip-Hop is my mega phone, hip hop is my pedestal, I can describe hip-hop in so many ways, it’s like my sister who I love a lot and I love talking to, that’s hip-hop to me.”

Yung Poppa is a hip hop artist from South Central Los Angeles. He’s been rapping as long as he can remember.

“My first song I wrote when I was 11. I wrote the song, I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to write music, I wrote one song, then it was 2, then it was 3, and I don’t know how many are now,” says Poppa.

At the age of 24, he’s still writing songs and is determined to become known in the hip hop world.

He spends his days at a humble apartment off Crenshaw Boulevard that he and his cousin “Sleep” transformed into a recording studio.

imageThis is where Yung Poppa creates his music. A stack of papers in a plastic bag serves as the music library. The recording booth where Poppa raps is separated from the mixing room by just a heavy wool blanket. The studio is professionally equipped with an electronic keyboard neatly placed on a kitchen table along with a mixing board, computers and speakers.

“First thing I do, I start with the beat first, then you get your beats, lay it out and send it to pro-tools and let the magic happen,” says Poppa.

Proud to be from South LA, he raps about the daily struggles Angelinos face. “It gives me my inspiration – I utilize the effects of being from South LA, East LA, West LA and put it in my music.”

Poppa loves music. He taught himself the piano, the drums and the guitar. His music is influenced by many artists – from Ray Charles to Beethoven. He also uses a mix of East Coast and West Coast rap to create his unique sound.image

“Very few people in LA are lyrical. People in the East coast are very lyrical, they use metaphors, punch lines. People out here don’t use it, and they tell real stories. So what I do, I use lyricism and tell real stories and put it all in one, and you got yourself a little happy song.”

Yung Poppa’s career has been on the rise for the past year. With Sleep, he owns the record label Street Lyfe C.O.M.E., scheduled to release Poppa’s latest EP “Blunt Ashes” in October. ”I have 2 singles released right now, released for two months now on Itunes and Rhapsodies. A site we like to push is reverb” and it’s for free.”

Poppa has performed in various venues in Los Angeles and has opened to famous local hip hop artists such as MAN and Kendrik Lamar. His fan base has been expanding. He hopes that his next show will be in Arizona. “A Local buzz is cool, but I gotta branch out,” he says.

Yung Poppa may have a hard road ahead before he becomes famous but he has a source of inspiration. “My Grandma and my cousin who passed away, I do this for them. When I can’t get a verse out, I just think of them and I do it for them, everyday!”