YoungQueenz Flexing On The Far Eastern Style
YoungQueenz, also known as OTAKU MOBB, has always been a force to be reckoned with ever since Wildstyle Records debuted at 2011. At the age of 21, he has given us two outstanding mixtapes, "THE TUESDAY" and "OTAKU MOBBIN’", performed in both 2015 and 2016 Clockenflap, also representing Hong Kong with some of our finest hip-hop artists in Noisey’s "香港地" documentary. During the Chinese New Year break, we got to chat with YoungQueenz about Wildstyle Records, his latest release "龍寨 Dragon Town EP" and more about this young mastermind while hanging out around the flower markets in Tsuen Wan.
Why did you want to make music your career?
I am bad at everything else (laughs) but it seems like I’m doing alright at music.
How old were you when you wrote your first song?
14 years old I think, not really a song, just random rhymes.
It feels like you created several personas in your music, particularly Otaku Mobb and YoungQueenz. What are the differences between the two?YoungQueenz is a little more sophisticated and emotional. Otaku Mobb is me trolling (laughs). Like other hip-hop artists who flex about women, drugs and money, Otaku Mobb is flexing on the otaku lifestyle.
How did you come up with the concept of Otaku Mobb?
Otaku Mobb is part of me. Hip-hop, we gotta keep it real right? So I am trying to find ways to express different personalities inside me, like Eminem did with Slim Shady.
Speaking of Otaku lifestyle, which anime is your all time favourite?
Neon Genesis Evangelion.
What is the idea behind your latest Dragon Town EP mixtape?
In “龍寨 Dragon Town EP” I’m trying to mix and match as many elements as possible; East Asia samples with new school trap, throwing in some dark metal, throwing in some crunchy, raw, Wu-Tang vibes. It’s going to be very experimental.
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Who has been your biggest supporter when you realised music was what you wanted to do as a career?
Everyone at Wildstyle Records. We got each other’s back so I’m grateful for that.
How did Wildstyle Records happen?
It started with GrymeMan, USB (former member of Wildstyle Records), and I. Grymeman, USB and I have been talking ever since I dropped my first mixtape “OZMA of OZ” when I was 15 years old. Since we have similar interests we eventually wanted to start a label together and gather other like-minded talents. Then Matt Force and MicLi joined the label soon after. We kept releasing more and more music while also scouting for talents; eventually we included N.O.L.Y, Klassick, and others.
"I am trying to find ways to express different personalities inside me."
Will we be seeing more artists joining Wildstyle Records in the future?
XXX gallery closed down recently, what does it mean for Dragon Town Trap House?
We are most likely going to look for venues at Wan Chai to continue the party.
Hip-hop seems to be fuelled by competition at times, the beef between artists sometimes creates bad blood, yet it is often only for the sake of publicity. Does that culture translate to the hip-hop community in Hong Kong, and is it healthy?
Absolutely. Nothing else from hip-hop translated to our community, but beef culture...(laughs) Beef between artists happens, but you have to have a foundation in order to have content to beef about. In Hong Kong though, we don’t even have a solid foundation in hip-hop, so it’s not healthy if we are beefing with each other just for the sake of it. Just make good music man.
What else do you enjoy doing besides music?
Design, making videos, anything art related.
You also edit your own music videos, where do you get your visual inspirations from?
Mostly through YouTube, from a hybrid of music videos and movies.
Top 3 films?
Pulp Fiction, Blade Runner, there’s too many for me to squeeze in a third (laughs) so...let’s keep it at that.
Favourite music video?
“King of The Fall” by The Weekend.
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Have you ever thought of giving up?
Every second bro, but at the same time I also want to keep it going.
"It’s not healthy if we are beefing with each other just for the sake of it. Just make good music man."
What makes you want to give up?
Hong Kong itself makes me want to give up at times, because no matter how hard you work, or how good your work is, the majority seems to only be following the basic trend and whatever that is mainstream.
What motivates you the most?
Ouu, I’m really lazy, (laughs) but when I create something I can vibe with, that motivates me.
What annoys you the most?
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Which artist inspires you the most?
Nas and Mobb Deep. Their flow, lyrics, everything about them has a huge impact on me. That’s why I called myself YoungQueenz, Queenz for Queens Bridge.
Most memorable moment in your music career?
2016 Clockenflap, because I didn’t expect such a crowd. Everyone had a good time, everyone was turning up, I stage dived and all that.
The World Is Yours - Nas
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Top Tracks RN?
The one artist you would love to work with in the future?
What is your dream?
Growing up in this city got me feeling like dreaming doesn’t do you much good, so I will just go on and do what I like and what I think is right. I guess my goal then is to finally make it with what I’m doing. At the very least I hope I can show people the differences between good and bad music.
Which track of yours means the most to you?
“人間失格”, it was one of my earlier works, probably wrote that when I was 15 or 16 years old. I just feel like nothing I’m writing now can surpass that vibe it gives me.
When is your next performance?
End of March, in Beijing.
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Photography & Words / Hanley Chu