For “Rise & Grind,” Yungeen Ace discusses his first album “Life Of Betrayal 2x,” his popular song “Who I Smoke,” and the Jacksonville rap rivalry.
In his twenty-three years, Yungeen Ace has been through a lot. The Jacksonville rapper was shot in the head in a drive-by shooting three years ago, leaving him in critical condition. Ace has subsequently recovered from his gunshot wounds and gone on to become one of the city’s most well-known rappers. Ace started a big social media wave with his outlandish “Who I Smoke” song and video, spitting violent lyrics over a notorious Vanessa Carlton sample, which the pop singer really authorized for the Florida rapper.
Yungeen Ace has had a lot of betrayal in his short life, as the title of his first album Life Of Betrayal 2x implies. Ace is unable to move about as he desires due to his continuing rivalry with many other renowned Jacksonville rappers, including Foolio, with whom he has traded diss tracks. Ace claims that he has been unable to play in his home state due to the threat of violence, and that every time he attempts to arrange a performance, he is turned down by promoters and police officials. Ace is doing well right now, thanks to his first album, which features G Herbo, King Von, YFN Lucci, and others.
With his ATK movement growing in popularity by the day, Yungeen Ace is one of the hottest rappers in Florida to keep an eye on. You can discover more about the rapper by watching his newest interview with HotNewHipHop’s Rise & Grind, in which he answers 10 fundamental questions before moving on to a more customized Q&A, which you can watch below.
Every Monday, a new episode of Rise & Grind will be released.
My Hometown: I was born in East Chicago and relocated to the suburbs when I was around two or three years old. Everyone believes I grew up in Chicago, but the truth is that I was born and raised in Jacksonville.
Growing up in Jacksonville was a lot of joy, but it was also a lot of risk. It was a lot of fun back then. I can’t move the way I want to right now. It was really difficult, but also extremely enjoyable. However, I had to mature very quickly. I was quite young at the time, and I had to assist my mother in paying the expenses. On my mother’s side, I have seven brothers, and my whole family lives in the north. My family consisted of all of the pals I met down here.
My favorite part about the hood was just being among everyone who was having a good time. We used to run about simply having a good time. We had our own little hood where everyone would gather and we would do anything we wanted.
No way, no how, there weren’t any other rappers in my neighborhood. Tokyo [Jetz] was the first person I witnessed go insane. She went insane, and then it was just me and [YK] Osiris. Now that I see everyone approaching, I’m done with it. Jacksonville is beginning to gain the attention it deserves.
My zodiac sign is Aquarius, and I was born in February. We’re big on leadership; we’ve got our own heads and can get everyone to do anything we want. We are self-sufficient and value loyalty. Sometimes our hearts are bigger than we are. It’s difficult to win our hearts, but once you do, you’d best retain them. I’m not trying to convince you, but Aquarius is the finest sign.
They call us crybabies, but I’m not sure. I don’t believe we are. I’m not a huge fan of it. All I know is that Aquarius is all about devotion, love, and leadership. Aquarius is the sign of the bosses.
Top 5 DOA: I actually don’t have any favorite rappers.
I fuck with Drake, but he ain’t in the top five. Drake is a jerk, yet I adore his old crap. There’s a lot of talent out there; I’m simply not working with anyone like that right now. I don’t really listen to other people’s music since I’m working on improving my own. Everyone, on the other hand, is gifted. Rod Wave is unquestionably awesome.
Biggest Achievement: Getting out of the hood is without a doubt my greatest achievement. It took a lot of effort to get to this point today. There isn’t a lot of motivation in my city. Nobody was gaining weight. Making room for anyone else from my city is now a major accomplishment. I just want to see everyone succeed and eat. I want the entire world to be aware of Jacksonville.
Studio Habits & Essentials: I’m always in my brain while I’m in the studio. I go with my feelings. If I’m not in the mood, I can’t produce music. For me, it’s like a season. If I’m in agony in March, April, or May, that’s all the music I’m going to make.
“Who I Smoke”: [Spinabenz] came up with the concept. We were in the studio, and he had the rhythm. “All right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, That rhythm is insane; I could tell from the pace. To begin with, we were all certain that it would be a success. Then, when it became popular on TikTok, we decided to make a video. The video was meant to have more to it. It was going to be epic, but we only managed to squeeze in that one scene. That one scene, though, was all it required. All of the musicians are also from Jacksonville. Spina has been working hard.
Everyone has been on the golf course recently! People keep informing me that they watched the “Who I Smoke” video when I’m playing Top Golf. Because everyone is doing it now, I believe we began [that trend] for today.[All of my lyrics] were written on the spur of the moment. I’m telling you, this is the funniest video I’ve ever seen. Imagine everyone playing golf in a relaxed manner. People are having a good time, and the weather is pleasant. Then you see us all on the golf cart, jumping around to the music and looking really insane. It was evident in several of the participants at the training. Some of the staff were following us down, telling us we couldn’t do this or that. It was a blast. I’d do it all over again if I could.
I’ve been sitting here watching the fan reaction videos, and they’re all hilarious. People will be looking insane before the rest of the rhythm kicks in when they listen to the music and the sample comes on. However, seeing some of the fans’ reactions meant a lot.
The first few bars were from a song called “Stop Stalking Me.” In one hand, I was rapping into the phone, while in the other, I was recording. My first visit to a studio was the turning point in my life.
First Show: I’ll tell you something that probably no one else knows. In Jacksonville, I had a little show on 12th Street. After I was shot, I did my first big concert in Tallahassee.
Clocking Out: I’m a big Warzone player, therefore I play a lot of the game. I, too, am a COD kind of person. I’m not going to lie, I watch almost every movie. Every day, my girlfriend and I go to the cinema to view everything. Another thing I’d like to do is go into acting and the film business.
I just saw A Quiet Place 2 for the second time. That nonsense is insane. I really enjoyed that film, and I’m hoping to watch it in 4D tonight.
Up Next: My debut album, “Life Of Betrayal 2x,” is going to be released. My team and I put forth a lot of effort. With this record, I put my crew through hell. The album and single covers were constantly changing. We became annoyed after a lot of switching about. Despite the nonsense, they take the time because they genuinely believe in me. I needed to add and delete a few minor things. I adore my team; this is going to be a fantastic project.
The song we recorded with [King] Von was the final one we did before he died away. Others exist, but the one I’m putting on the CD is the most recent. To me, he was a true buddy. It means a lot to me to have him on this record. [YFN] That’s my buddy, Lucci. I submitted the tune to G Herbo, who remixed it and sent it to me. It was fantastic.
Ace Yungeen: All that is required is for people to appreciate the music. There’s always something to look forward to. I’ll tell you something: most people don’t view music as a separate entity. They’ll speak about it more if it’s poor music. It’s just excellent music if it’s good music.
Does it ever take a mental toll?
The world is messed up right now. I simply keep to my own path. It’s as though we only notice the negative aspects of individuals. The internet is strange.
Vanessa Carlton gave her OK for the sample to be used on the album. Was she aware of the song before it was released?
She is completely unaware of the situation. Vanessa fucks with me! We communicate by text and phone, and I appreciate her clearing the sample. That was a brilliant move on her part. I really want to do a video with her playing the piano as we rap to “Who I Smoke.” I had a lengthy chat with her during which she shared her entire perspective on things. She’s a genuine person who’s also incredibly cool.
What is your favorite King Von memory?
That n***a is hilarious. He’s simply a knucklehead. From one of my birthdays, I realized how close we were. I had a small gathering of solely the individuals I fuck with, but no one showed up. Von, on the other hand, made it, and I knew straight once that he was my dawg. We admire true brothers. Everything with him was a blast, and he brightened up the room every time. The only reason I traveled to Atlanta was to see him. In the studio, sht be humorous.
The rap culture in Jacksonville has a reputation for being quite aggressive and deadly. Do you get that feeling, or are you just on the outside looking in?
The cops won’t even let me perform there; they always stop me. I asked if I could do a charity performance, but the cops wouldn’t let me. There is a lot of violence there.
What’s going on with the Florida officers? Polo G was also recently detained in Miami.
That nonsense enraged me, and I screw with Polo G. The fact that he was arrested for attempting to do the right thing is pathetic. Rappers are despised by them. It may sound strange, but they screw with us when we do good, and they fuck with us when we do poorly. We make every effort to go in the correct path. Perhaps they simply want to see everyone incarcerated. It’s a form of power abuse.
Are you afraid of being in your position, when you’re embroiled in a few beefs?
I’m not afraid of anything. “Live today, die tomorrow,” is my credo. I have the impression that I have already died. I’m not out there like that any longer; all I care about is what’s best for my city.
Let’s talk about the ATK movement that you’ve started.
I’ve been doing this for a while and I’m beginning to get a bit rough with it. I, too, have a record label.
What is the status of the record label?
I’m now in the process of acquiring the property. There’s a commercial section and a merch display area in this studio.
Congratulations on everything! Ace, it was a joy to chat with you today. Later, have a great movie night!
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes