Nigerian rap star Yung6ix took a bold experimental approach in his third album Introduction To Trapfro which brought together seminal trap and afrobeats in a unique fusion. With over 3 million followers, hit collaborations with the likes of Wizkid, Davido, and Mr Eazi under his belt, Yung6ix is one of the most influential rappers putting African hip hop on the global map over the past decade.
Speaking to EUPHORIA., Yung6ix highlights the disparity between the praise and attention given to Western hip hop artists and African artist, delves into his opinion of GRAMMY’s changing the name of its controversial “urban” category in light on the Black Lives Matter movement, how fans of hip hop can better understand and appreciate cultural nuances and much more.
Your latest album Introduction To Trapfro blends trap and afrobeats. What inspired you to bring this new hybrid genre to the limelight? A couple of things inspired it, seeing how African hip hop acts were underappreciated was one of the many reasons. In 2020 I was ready to share our African heritage and lifestyle with the world.
You make a great point about people lauding western artists in hip hop/trap while the African music scene isn’t given the same attention or accolades. In your opinion, what are the changes that are necessary to improve things? In my opinion, Trapfro will address that issue completely because it portrays the Africa lifestyle as well as the western idolized lifestyle while keeping its originality through the music. Trapfro is a genre that has a culture that will redefine how Africans see and accept rap/trap music. One of the disadvantages over the years was the gangsterism attached to hip hop which wasn’t something celebrated by Africans. The Trapfro culture will be guided by what I call the “JD” mentality.
An example of exhibiting the JD mentality as part of a Trapfro artist’s career you’d see more Trapfro artiste owning and buying at least 50-60% things of substance during the lifespan of their career as opposed to the default trap/rap artist who would rather spend 80% of his or her income keeping up with the lifestyle standards which has, in recent times, been diamonds and other vain things which lose value with time. That’s one example so I hope the audience gets an insight into what the JD mentality represents and means.
Along the same lines, the Grammy’s have renamed their ‘Urban’ category. Some are appreciative of the move, some believe this isn’t enough. Can you share your take on this? I honestly feel they are creating boundaries by renaming the urban category unless they are creating other subcategories that will open the door for the many diverse genres within hip-hop, rap, and R&B.
As listeners, fans, and consumers of music, how can a person better understand and accept the cultural nuances and diversity in music? I think the approach to take is just to embrace that good music is good music, when I started listening to Bob Marley it wasn’t about the genre, it wasn’t about his location, it was more about how the message related to my own reality and that’s what good music is truly about, and fans and listeners should be able to embrace it no matter where it is coming from.
While taking this experimental sonic approach on your album, were there any particular worries you had or challenges you faced? How did you overcome them? The only challenge was coming up with the budget to release an album as an independent artist and label, we had to set realistic goals we could achieve on our own, it delayed some things but we smashed our ultimate goal.
Who inspires you, both professionally and on a personal level? Jay Z and Drake. Jay Z helped me put my business in order, Drake helped me focus on the music and the content, they were guidelines for me
How has your sound evolved over time? Was the evolution from Billionaire Ambitions to High Star to this album organic or a conscious move? I have to say both, some records start organically and you have to leave them that way, others are more precise, based on the message or audience I want it to connect with.
Do you have a personal favorite track on this album? If so, which one and why? “Energized” because it was the last record I made on the album, and it depicts everything I experienced a few months before I released the album
What’s your biggest goal or dream as an artist? To become a billionaire.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment of your career so far? What’s next? Going into my hometown concert and seeing it was sold out two hours before I showed up, and security recorded 5000-8000 fans in eight hours in or out, which was amazing and most memorable to me. Ever since then, I made a vow that I won’t do a concert in my city until I can sell out the stadium of 24,000 people.