Yung Gleesh
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Yung Gleesh

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Hip Hop Hip Hop

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Earlier this week, Yung Gleesh opened for Fredo Santana's first headlining show in NYC, which was presented by Noisey. The crowd knew every word, and everyone was basically moaning "Gleetchie" through the entire set. It was cool. Very trippy. A lot of sad boys in a lot of streetwear.

Anyway, today he's releasing his highly anticipated mixtape called Your Favorite Rapper's Favorite Rapper. We exchanged some emails with Gleesh about the tape and what inspired him when he was making it.

"This tape is basically me stealing every artists fans, and if you notice a lot of these songs don't even sound like some shit I would even do on my own, its really the other artists's sound I just try to outshine em on their own terms and show everybody I am versatile and I can kill anything you throw at me," he said. "This is just a mixtape. A DJ could have grabbed all these songs foreal, most of them are out on youtube already. That's what a mixtape is, a body of songs you heard before and an album is a body of unreleased tracks you could possibly make money off of and everybody should know the difference by now." - Noisey


The District of Columbia’s Yung Gleesh is one of the latest in a growing line of rappers from the DMV area to make a name for themselves recently, building a buzz in the middle east with tracks like, “Skrong,” “Lazyness” and “Hard.” Today, the Cleanside native offers up his latest project Your Favorite Rapper’s Favorite Rapper, the follow up to July’s 1-8 Zone Shawty. The 16 song effort features appearances from Yung Lean, Ballout, Capo and others. Gleesh taps Zaytoven, LoKey, KE On The Track, Jay Cornell (who produced “Woah”) and more for the soundtrack. - XXL Magazine


Earlier this week, Yung Gleesh, a co-founder of D.C. bounce-beat group TOB, released the second rap mixtape in his Cleansides Finest series, Raw and Uncut [Lost Tapes]. It follows the same jackin-for-beats model, this time with unwitting contributions from dudes like in-house Wiz Khalifa producer Johnny Juliano to Brick Squad regular Zaytoven to this Imogen Heap that for one reason or another has been muse to countless bedroom producers over the past year. Raw and Uncut is only half as long as the last installment, but is just as dense in nonsense terms like geetchies, fanaegos, finesses and boofs as it is temperamental and moody, meaning some explanation, preferably from the shitbag shawdy himself, might be helpful.

I like that song “Feel How I Feel.”

All that shit man, that's at my prime of me being outside, being out there bangin', sleeping in my car. The whole "Cleansides Finest"—that was when I was out there, out there just picking up on the rap shit for the fun of it and I was out there. So I'm trying to show you how I feel cuz I was still goin through that strugglin' and shit.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=076N1DU0d-E&feature=player_embedded

You said you called it "Shitbag Music." Could you explain that a little more?

Rest in peace, Bob. Shout out to State Prop and Sirsum Cordas, and all them. That's where I got "shitbag" from, Sursum Corda, Bob. He dead now, The King Bob. They called him "King Bob" cuz it's another Bob out there—there's a couple Bobs out there—but he King Bob, youngin'. He was like 25 and he ran that shit. Don't nobody wanna smoke with that man, nobody start nothing with King Bob. He always used to be like “Shitbag, yeah, shitbag.” Tall as shit, tallest light-skinned nigga out there with brown dreads, “Shitbag yeah shitbag. How you gon' stop a ragin bull? You can't. You just gotta move. Shitbag, shit shitbag.” All of that, from sleepin' in my car out here trying to get this money, or shit-baggin' in the trap. I ain't wash my drawers, I ain't change my drawers in like five days, you hear me? Anything, to how I don't give a fuck how I dress, I got stains on my shit or whatever. Fuck everything.

... and if I don't get my way fuck everything cause I ain't seeing what I wanna see. I ain't happy. You happy. I see you happy, you smiling and I know you're a bitch-ass nigga, you snake, you a flake-ass or something. You out here smiling, feeding your kids! Then I'm about to shitbag you! Be a shitbag, be the worst type of person there is even though it's not really permanent, it's just for the time being. It's for a reason.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-O99RVcdxUg&feature=player_embedded

Could you talk a bit about the song "I'm Not a Gangsta?"

I could be perceived as something else, a lot of people got an image of me, cuz they heard, they seen what I do and shit. I ain't really no gangbanger, I don't claim no set. I'm from a hood, from a street and shit. I ain't with no names, got me in no bloods or crips. D.C. don't get down with all that gangbanging shit, all that dying for colors and shit. I'd rather die for a nigga I grew up with from the sandbox than a nigga I'm just meeting and he got on the same shirt as I got, same color shirt that I got. I ain't about to die for you cuz of that! I'ma die for you cause I know you. I ain't no gangsta. I ain't no gangbanga.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0fIcL-SWsw&feature=player_embedded

... and so "Cleansides Finest", that was about all your friends from 18th and Monroe NE?

Yeah, yeah I'm surprised you got hip to that shit. That's all my men. Everybody, everything I said was trill bill on that shit, like "Cap don't know if his joint works," to Flashy heading through the Glover's yard, everything. "My phone been on silent cause the feds try to find me," gon’ slip through the backyard, all that shit. It's just what I was going through at the time. We was out there heavy, the whole 18th Monroe.

You still out on 18th?

Well, yeah I'm still out there, I still be fuckin' with my man and them. That's where I came from, but I'm trying to get out of here, man. I ain't trying to be stuck here with the crabs in the barrel. It's always Cleanside though. 18th Monroe.

Download: Yung Gleesh — Cleanside's Finest Pt. 2 - Washington City Paper


Yung Gleesh, aka Boogie and a former member of the TOB braintrust responsible for this cranking crankage, is a shitbag. In fact, he has been for some time, ever since he was "yay old" and "robbing niggas for their play-doh".

At least that's what he confesses in his newest project, Cleansides Finest, a trap/based (based trap?) jacking-for-beats mixtape full of self-loathing, grandiose dope boasting, and maybe the last supportive Nick Young reference D.C. is going to hear. (McGee, you will be missed.)

The obvious connection on first exposure is that Gleesh draws, as does a whole new generation of young rappers, from the bottomless well that is Lil B, mostly because Gleesh raps in disaffected, guttural croaks, occupying the same tonal range as the Based God himself.

But where Lil B is the all-inclusive Internet muse seemingly friends with everyone in 2012, Yung Gleesh Boogie Boog is firmly rooted in the District's streets: Hence, he says "fuck you" to you, me, himself, and all of D.C. on more than one occasion. "House filled with coke head/band filled with boat head/city feelin' producers than ain't never ever produced shit/the block is filled with losers and you'll never ever do shit," he spits on "Coca Cola Flow," seconds before he cites the Constitution as legal grounds for busting a head open and causing a contusion.

The real influence here then isn't in the voice; it's Gleesh's willingness to commit to a dynamic persona that can be stretched and carved to fit stories of re-upping in Rio and the à la carte detailing of dope sizes and prices, as well as vulnerable love songs to the girl that stuck with him when he brought work home ("I love you, don't hurt me...should've never fucked me in the first place").

He jumps from exhilarating tracks celebrating the simple fact that he made it through yesterday over a beat someone in Bricksquad probably used first, to apologizing for having hit his son over an airy, ambient beat that probably appeared somewhere on a Lil B mixtape ("He ain't know no better/I ain't know no better/I was 16 but that wasn't no excuse/I was 16 I ain't know what to do"). It's a quirkiness that infuses lines like, "You're looking mighty jealous/don't antagonize the situation/feeling overzealous" with humor instead of pretense. Or his propensity to quietly slip in moments of awareness ("I'm sorry that I gotta take it/I'm not sorry that I did take it"; "Better kick off them chains and shoes boy/cause my kids gonna need some food boy/these the blues boy/but it's a true story"). Or flipping the Slutty mantra "I Dew" into "Dew I" into "Why do I?" It's wonton soup and pork and beans. It's not just a persona, it's a real human being, and if anything is concrete at the end of the tape, it's that Yung Gleesh isn't stuck with D.C.; it's the other way around. - Washington City Paper


Washington DC rapper Yung Gleesh, who we featured on our guide to some of the city’s brightest talent, calls his style “shitbag music”. It doesn’t have the immediate appeal of recent “vital” or “thrilling” micro-genres like cloud rap (an ambient style developed by a nebulous group of producers and focalised by the Oakland duo Main Attrakionz) or drill (the bleak style borne out of Chicago’s volatile gang violence, coined by older rappers King Louie, Pac Man and Big Homie Doe and really embodied by charismatic newcomers like Katie Got Bandz today) but it’s a starkly visceral and honest approach; a hyper-specific term adopted from a local hustler that Gleesh explained to the City Paper as: “Be a shitbag, be the worst type of person there is even though it’s not really permanent, it’s just for the time being. It’s for a reason.”

Gleesh spent his first two solo mixtapes, ‘Cleansides Finest’ 1 and 2, doing precisely that: jacking beats from other songs to tell sprawling accounts of everyday life and get his rep up. This free approach to appropriation coupled with his drawled nonchalant flow drew initial comparisons to Lil B, but a closer listen shows that he’s far more than a mere disciple. He recently spent some time in Atlanta recording with Gucci Mane and 1017 Brick Squad protégés like Young Thug and has released two new songs, Please in March and now Lazyness, that are some of his clearest expositions of “shitbag music” yet. Produced by Zaytoven, who – despite mostly featuring on local mixtapes and album tracks – is a factory of delirious beats, he tones down the frantic melodies and squashes them under a thick layer of bass to complement Gleesh’s tendency to unexpectedly fall back or jump forward on a track.

These idiosyncrasies are probably closer to Gucci Mane himself than Lil B, but where his inventive wordplay can go on endlessly, Yung Gleesh is liable to throw it all in the air and slouch. He’ll take on the character of a pleading junkie for a hook, for example, and whilst rampant multiplication is everything to most trap rappers he’ll openly admit that he’s fatigued. He knows it’s the antithesis to the grind and he’ll chastise a “a lazy bitch” or someone “50 years old, still drinking 40’s” but “it’s too early in the morning” and he’ll send a worker to run an errand instead of doing it himself. It’s a kind of simultaneous boast and effacement that’s typical of him, like describing his watch as a LaserDisc: big and shiny but also clunky and obsolete. Weighed under by a lifestyle he’s inherited, it’s more than just doing the wrong things for the right reasons, he has to be the wrong person too and it’s a slog.

His humour and love of DC’s impenetrable slang vividly colour his outlook, but that shouldn’t obscure the core importance of what Yung Gleesh is doing. Fat Trel, the defacto leader of the Slutty Boyz crew he is closely affiliated with, is often cited as a DC’s biggest rap hope because he is a highly proficient writer and a powerhouse rapper, but Lazyness shows that Gleesh has not only emotional range and charisma but the ability to make great standalone tracks too. A young street rapper putting everything down and stopping to say that life can be really difficult and exhausting? When so many are blindly celebrating their shine, that’s another kind of anthem to get behind. - Dummy Magazine


Yung Gleesh is a rapper from Washington DC with a style totally his own. He calls it shitbag music and it's a kind of “by any means necessary” philosophy about acknowledging the bald reality of a bad situation and doing what you have to do to get yourself out of it. He explained it the clearest in an interview with the Washington City Paper last year: “Be a shitbag, be the worst type of person there is even though it's not really permanent, it's just for the time being. It's for a reason.” His earlier mixtapes in the Cleansides Finest series are excellent primers built on “appropriated” beats and prioritising his off-kilter but deceptively complex flow, with the mood swinging wildly from deranged and dangerous to joyous and transcendent and always marked with a deep sense of resignation. He isn't a struggle rapper or a conscious rapper but there is real pain in his music and, though he doesn't explicitly try to isolate himself, Yung Gleesh is often slightly apart from the hyper-active, hyper-acquisitive mentality of many other young street rappers today.

He recently spent some time in Atlanta working with Gucci Mane's 1017 crew – a growing collection of some of the city's finest talent like Young Thug and Pee Wee Longway – and producers like Zaytoven, someone he was still jacking beats from just over a year ago. The result of that time is a dual mixtape/street album release, with the mixtape 1-8 Zone Shawty in the vein of his older work and the album Ain't Shit Changed a more developed and glossier project that clearly shows the influence of his time in Atlanta alongside collaborations with Harlem's Ryder Music Group, Chicago's GBE (there is talk that Gleesh may officially link up with Chief Keef's hybrid 1017 Glo Gang imprint soon) and his frequent DC affiliates the Slutty Boyz. Despite this creative expansion Yung Gleesh is still the main focus and the title of the album alludes to his constancy: “I might have been in Atlanta but ain't shit different, ain't shit changed” he re-iterates.

The video for the album opener '2 Thangs' featuring Wicced and produced by YDG – both part of MPA BandCamp, yet another branch of Gucci Mane's 1017 empire – is premiered here. Shot in Atlanta, it shows the cross-pollination of flashy, druggy Auto-Tuned music and the damaged and self-depreciating style that makes Yung Gleesh such a unique figure in the current rap climate. - Dazed Digital


We've spoken about Yung Gleesh before; the DMV rapper dropped one pretty undeniable song earlier this year in "Lazyness." We've previously pointed to the lane he's aiming for; alongside recent tapes by Zmoney, Gleesh is burrowing into a vein of street rap that seems as interested in alienating one audience as cultivating another. His latest single, "Root O All Evil," is available above.

Today, he also released two full tapes: one a free mixtape, 1-8 Zone Shawty, available here, and one full album (Ain't Shit Changed) through iTunes. - Complex


D.C. rapper Yung Gleesh, who impressed with last year's off-kilter "Skrong," is back with a new visual for the Zaytoven-produced "Lazyness." Gleesh's signature lazy flow and sense of humor are on display here as he bemoans lazy women (and laziness in general) while rapping about drug dealing and rhyming "forty" several times over. He's a real character, so pay attention to everything he does and says. - Complex


DC’s own Yung Gleesh is growing into a notable figure in his region. Case in point: his video for “Please,” directed by William Hoopes who was behind Chief Keef’s latest video. “Please” is distinctively dark, showcasing his former past to find quick come ups for cash. There are also other intense moments—the basement scene, for example—that shows Gleesh isn’t someone you want to upset.

Watch the video above and purchase Gleesh’s new album Ain’t Shit Changed on iTunes. - XXL Magazine


Despite the online saturation attained by Lil B, street rap’s response to the Based phenomenon has been fairly agnostic, with a few exceptions. Perhaps the most notable is DC’s Yung Gleesh, a member of the GoGo group T.O.B., an associate of Fat Trel‘s, and the auteur behind an impressive recent mixtape titled Cleanside’s Finest. “Skrong” has an obvious debt to the Based God, but it’s distinctive enough that it showcases a method for that style to evolve in a different direction.
- Fader


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Bio

After co-founding legendary D.C. gogo band TOB as Boogie, Gleesh changed his stage name and rose to
local rap prominence since 2010 through the release of several skrong street mixtapes that showcase his
sometimes dark, sometimes comedic, but always original style of street rap, aptly titled Shitbag Music. Since he
began, Gleesh frequently collaborated with new MMG-signee Fat Trel, and in early 2013 he fielded an offer to join
Gucci Manes 1017 Bricksquad outfit and featured on tracks with 1017 members PeeWee Longway and Young
Thug.


In the summer of 2013, Gleesh made appearances at the Under the Influence Tours Chicago stop with
GBE and A$AP Mob, and in Chief Keefs Citgo video. He headlined a packed event in Brooklyn, NY, and
performed with GrandeMarshall at Fools Gold Records annual Day Off (pictured above) along with Tayyib Ali at
Delawares Foxtail Festival. Between shows, Gleesh dropped visuals for a handful of singles from 1-8 Zone
Shawty and Aint Shit Changed (ASC). In July, Complex Magazine premiered 1-8 Zones Root of All Evil, and
Fader Magazine premiered ASCs Which 1 U Worken video in October. ASCs Zaytoven-produced Please
premiering via XXL Magazine also proved to be a breakout single, as its success earned him another headlining
show in DC during Howards 2013 Homecoming.


In November, Vice Magazines NoiseyMusic published an interview with Gleesh and premiered the video
for the Yung Lean-featured Its Sad Boi. Aside from the Ballout and Capo-assisted Faster, Its Sad Boi is the
first single to drop as fans anxiously await the release of Your Favorite Rappers Favorite Rapper.