Yung Joc, Back For That No. 1 Spot

Yung Joc burst onto the scene in 2006 with his smash hit, “It’s Goin’ Down.” The track earned the ATL up-and-comer a Grammy nod and the high rankings on year-end lists by MTV and BET for top 100 songs honors. Teaming with Diddy’s Bad Boy label and Block Ent., Joc dropped New Joc City that same year, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.

With a feature on T-Pain’s megahit “Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin’),” it looked as though Joc was only continuing to gain steam. But soon things soured with his label situation, and just as quickly as he appeared in hip-hop’s forefront, he vanished from the spotlight. Yet, with successful singles from his own artists Hotstylz (“Lookin’ Boy”) and GS Boyz (“Stanky Leg”), he managed to stay relevant, behind the scenes as a budding executive rather than in the spotlight.

Now, with a new label situation at Jive and more focus than ever on his Swagg Entertainment, Joc is ready to talk about what happened with Bad Boy, what he’s learned about dudes in the industry, and infamous 360 deals. It’s still goin’ down.

XXLMag.com: It’s been a couple years since people heard from you. What have you been up to since you parted ways with Bad Boy?

Yung Joc: Man, it really hasn’t been a couple years since people heard from me, though. It’s so funny when people say that. Last year I was on a Bobby V record [“Beep Beep”]. Just last year I put out the GS Boyz with the “Stanky Leg.” But what I’ve been doing is getting my business together. Last year—’cause I knew I was about to get out my deal—I did the Grind Flu album—a free album. Not a mixtape, an album. It’s mixed, it’s mastered, real foldouts, people get credits. I got Silver Dagger Vodka, some people from Chevrolet to come in and pay for the album. I knew once I got out of my deal, I was gonna have to show the label—for Swagg Team, my business side of things—that I could put a project together from start to finish and I got people to pay for it, without a buzz. They saw that, they was like, “Oh, not only is he a viable artist, he’s definitely a business man.” So I was able to get my label a deal and my deal at the same time.

XXLMag.com: What about those situations are different?

Yung Joc: I’m more in control. Period, point blank. I control my own shit right now.

XXLMag.com: And at Bad Boy that wasn’t exactly the situation? What was it like over there?

Yung Joc: Actually, it was cool at Bad Boy. And it was cool at Block Ent. to start with. The problem was, over time, that’s when the miscommunication began.

XXLMag.com: Was there a particular breakdown in communication? Or things just began to grow in separate directions?

Yung Joc: We just grew in separate directions, I’m gonna leave it at that. Contractually, I can’t really talk about them. That was part of my release. I have nothing to do with them—anybody, Bad Boy, Block, or Atlantic.

XXLMag.com: What did that whole situation teach you about the industry, beyond the music?

Yung Joc: I learned a lot, man. That’s a broad question to ask. But let’s just say, one of the funniest things that I’ve seen is how when you on fire and you call an artist to do something, they break they neck to get you a verse or hook from anywhere. When yo shit slow down, you can’t even get them to return a text message [Laughs]. That’s what’s funny to me. But I understand; ’cause a lotta these niggas ain’t real, no way. They were fortunate enough to make good music that caught the attention of the consumer, and that’s why they in the position they in. I’m just being honest, I ain’t hatin’ on rappers. I’m just saying this industry period, but I knew that anyway. But I got a chance to see it actually take place.

XXLMag.com: What would you say about the current state of Atlanta hip-hop within itself, and where it sits within hip-hop as a whole?

Yung Joc: I would say this: the artists from Atlanta are good. But what I’m noticing is people from outside are coming here and using Atlanta as a springboard. A lot of people record in Atlanta. We have fertile soil for the business. It’s a good thing.

XXLMag.com: So what’s the situation with Swagg Entertainment? It’s an imprint under Jive that you’re heading?

Yung Joc: Yup, I’m the head. It’s not just under Jive. I can place artists anywhere in Sony under the RCA umbrella. I just recently signed a cat Jah Jah from Columbia, South Carolina; a kid by the name of J.C. from Nashville, Tennessee. I put out two artists under the Jive regime, anyways. That was Hot Stylz, with the “Lookin’ Boy,” and GS Boyz with the “Stanky Leg” record. So the imprint is not new. It’s still fresh, though.

XXLMag.com: We haven’t heard much from Hot Stylz since “Lookin’ Boy.” What’s their situation right now?

Yung Joc: We had a situation where one of the main members of the group, some stuff caught up with him. He had to sit down for a minute. He had to sit down for a minute, just to be straight with you, man. A lot of people are like, “No, don’t tell people that he got locked up,” but I have to be honest. Because, if not, people say, “Ah, well, he could only put out that one song, and that’s it.” I know some things may make you look bad, but the truth is the truth, and he had to sit down and do some federal time for a minute. He gets out on the 28th of this month, and they already got a record ready to go.

XXLMag.com: What kind of position are artists in at this point? How can they function within the current set up in terms of deals and distribution within the state industry?

Yung Joc: There’s really no way to get around a 360 [deal] at this point in time. If you can get around a 360, you the shit. I was like the last artist to do a deal that didn’t fall under 360, back at Atlantic. 360 is nothing new. It’s new to the urban side of things, but it’s been around on the rock side of things. My situation is not a 360 deal. I’m one of the artists that got away Scott free, and I’m proud to say that.

XXLMag.com: Is there a timetable for your releases?

Yung Joc: I’m about to release my new single, “Yeah Boy,” produced by Don Vito and his team. That shit outta here, so get ready for that. I’m back on they asses with that one, homie. You can tell, Okay, this cat is coming back for his spot and anyone trying to step in the way of that is gonna have some problems. And I say that with all my heart. I’ve been ready. I wasn’t sitting around waiting on a label to put me out—I wanted to make sure I had the right music. I can’t afford to fail on this project. I sat down with everybody; I sat down with Atlantic all over again, I sat down with Def Jam, I sat down with Capitol. I’m ready. I’m gonna put out a whole bunch of music and we gonna go from there. I’m not tryna drop no one single and then go buy the album. I know what the people wanna hear from me. It’s a formula for me. I’ve had a lot of people copy my style, and it’s all good. You set a trend and people follow trends. That’s how it go. —Adam Fleischer

  • http://www.myspace.com/bryantoden B.K.O. Management

    Joc. That boy ain’t playing. He’s sharp.

    Bryant K. Oden
    A&R Consultant/Artist Manager

    http://www.myspace.com/bryantoden

  • Stuckfresh

    I think if Joc put out hot tracks his album will do good!

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  • Sha

    And so we see another Bad Boy victim…. How many cats will continue to go in with Diddy until they realize that this dude is as cruddy as they come? I never really got down with Yung Joc’s music, but dude definitely had potential. And now he’s gone from a Fucked situation to a completely Fucked-Up situation. He went to Jive? Jive is the same label that handles R Kelly. And only R. Kelly. He hasn’t heard the news? He needs to speak with anyone that has ever dealt with them. They are the same ones responsible for poorly handling Raheem Devaughn’s albums.
    Sorry Joc. I wish you the best but it’s not looking too good. Real talk.

    • stuckfresh

      You sure you know what your talking about? Jive has put out UGK(who went gold with no airplay) Too Short(11 albums all gold n better w/ no airplay)! Mystikal, Keith Murry, Petey Pablo, Spice 1, A Tribe Called Quest, Whodini, E-40 and way more! Jive is a good spot! You cant blame the companys if you just suck! Blame yourself!

      • swype-matic

        Well besides Mystikal and Petey Pablo at that time they were hot, I think the rest of the artists (especially Too Short & UGK) sold on the strength of who they were, instead of Jive pushing there stuff out.

        • Anonymous

          Dont listen to this sha dude, he acts like he knows what he is talkin about but really dont.Its obvious, he didnt know that there were way more artists on Jive who broke major bread with no airplay.Dudes a moron, he talks highly about the topic then all of a sudden flips the hater switch on.

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  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    If jay z is the god mc than diddy is the Devil. this is what i don’t get when people diss jay for his buisness moves. jayz has always showed loyalty to the point that he gives artist years to do their own thing. he features them. he promotes them. he shouts them out. this summer gon be ur summer etc. BUT dad dude diddy is da devel. Diddy will get one album out u and cut u or/kill u if he has to. he’ll get u locked up to shine. he’ll have u find jesus and move down south.

    Besides that, Joc is obviously intellegent and is making some great buisness ventures. even if you don’t like his music, respect his grind.

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    I see Jive is trying the urban division again.

  • http://www.iap-tv.com Harrassdadon

    ask Bun And too short bout Jive! It aint a good Look….Check there previous interviews about label situations! Then you’ll understand…Jive is Jive…And They really Aint bout Chit!

  • gift

    @ swype-matic

    you read my mind with that comment. UGK and TOO Short both had large independent followings prior to fuckin wit Jive. They had both been trying to get off of Jive for a while too. I remember UGK took forever to put out “DIRTY MONEY” because of the politics w/Jive. They focus on pop like Brittani spears, Justin Timberlake, and whoever else they have in the pop genre. Good luck Joc. Make sure you stay on Jive’s Ass and make em work for ya.

    • Anonymous

      Then its a good move cuz joc is pop,pop rap.

  • yoprince

    I guess Yung Joc doesn’t listen to the Clipse.

    “them crackers wasn’t playing fair at Jive.”

  • HU

    Is everyone above me serious? You’re acting like this guy has some kind of talent or sense. I’m sure the only reason we haven’t heard more of his ignorant music is because of label sheistyness(sarcasm). How about the fact that it’s coon trash? Did anyone in the world think the Lookin Boy dudes were going to sell an album and have a second single? Surely they’d be side by side with Eminem if the one dude didn’t go to jail(sarcasm). If Yung Joc and others like him were this persistent with education or investments black folks wouldn’t be the joke of the millenium.

    • Clever

      Co-sign

  • FuckHu

    Hold up Uncle Tom(hu) you need to cut your mouth off with all that coon talk and go back to your college dorm room and listen to your precious conscious rap cds that tell how special you are!!!

  • agreonlone

    “Black Folks wouldn’t be the joke of the millenium ”

    It’s Millennium you illiterate white boy! It looks like your education is the biggest joke!

  • Southcidal

    @ Hu,

    This IS the millenium. Black folk are no longer “the joke”. WAKE UP stupid. This aint your grand daddy days anymore. You do know who’s sitting in the White House huh?

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