In 2006, Yung Joc had an undisputed run off his two popular singles “It’s Going Down” and “I Know U See It” from his debut New Jock City. The songs not only proved Joc was a force in Atlanta, but laid the blueprint for other upstarts to follow in his footsteps. 2007’s Hustlenomics was fairly successful as well, giving the proper ammunition for Joc to become one of the marquee artists out of the ATL. Now, after a seven-year music industry hiatus due to personal and business setbacks, the 31-year-old rapper is ready to make his presence felt once again. Although it’s been a while since we’ve heard from Joc, his new single “I Got Bitches” is an indication that he’s never left the game. Just hours before premiering the song on 106 & Park, Joc stopped by the XXL offices to share the stories behind his infectious singles. Each served as an important career marker, and Joc had plenty to say about every one of them. Salute the hustle.—Eric Diep

"I Got Bitches"

Yung Joc: It’s just one of them records. It’s not a real upbeat record, but it is definitely a melodical, trance-y, type of feel. It’s featuring my homies D Dro and AE20—cats that run with me in the city of Atlanta. My boy D Dro, he Haitian and he from New York, so its just one of them things you just never know who gonna be who and what’s gonna be what. I like the record cause it allows me to just be Joc.

I just believe in making music and just as your everyday life, your social life, your business, your personal. As it evolves, so will the way your express through music. Now, that doesn’t work for everybody cause you got some cats [when] you hear some new shit, ‘Well, that shit sound old as hell. That shit sound dated. You sound like you back in ’06.’ But, if you listen to right now, everything I was doing in ’06 [has] damn near come back. If you take Juicy J and see what he just did on Miley Cyrus: “Js on my feet, Js on my feet, Js on my feet. So get like me.” That’s me. “Just bought a zone, Js on my feet / I’m on that patron, so get like me.” You see what I am saying?

I think I have some big plans, presently and in the vey near future for me. So, I think sometimes we all need a good comeback story. 2 Chainz, he had a good comeback story, but he’s first run wasn’t as big as mine as Tity Boi with Playaz Circle with “Duffle Bag Boy” featuring Lil Wayne. That was the record they had worked, but it didn’t garner international success and national success as I had with my first run. His story coming back as 2 Chainz is a lot of don’t even realize that he’s Tity Boi still. But, for me, it was such an inspirational comeback story that it inspired me to continue fighting. With that, this is the same rundown I had to get at my label. Like, yo, this shit ain’t over for me nigga. It’s just about timing and when God sees fit for me to be back in front of the masses, I’ll be sitting in front of you doing an XXL interview or 106 & Park releasing a new single. And here it is, it is all coming in fruition.

Lil Boosie featuring Yung Joc "Zoom"

Yung Joc: I definitely have to get in with Boosie. I haven’t made an attempt to reach out because I know that they been bombarded with calls from artists who probably never fucked with him before and been on. They had never reached out, but now, they like, 'Oh, Boosie got a real goddamn buzz going on.' He got new people who he never even met. Like, 'I don’t care what it cost, I’m out here trappin’. I get my shit out the mud. I want to fuck with you Boosie. What’s it going to cost?' I’m one of those cats where its like I’m waiting for the proper time to do it.

You gotta think—Boosie was big as fuck on the underground level before Yung Joc. Way before me. Once we did “Zoom,” that was the springboard for his commercial success. Ever since that, the whole world knew about Boosie after that. It’s a beautiful thing, I am glad he’s home. We definitely gonna rub elbows and make some fucking new music.

I think the song was jamming whether I was on it or not. It’s just the fact that “Zoom,” he looked at it from a marketing standpoint. They had a concept behind the idea of this record. It was “Zoom” like he zoomed. Everybody called my dance the motorcycle, so zoom! Even they were doing the dance and it worked. It’s good because he had enough credibility that the masses didn’t feel like he was trying to bite my dance or ride my coattail. ‘Cause, he already garnered enough credibility on his own so people just took it as 'Shit, they fuck with each other. Good look.' You feel me?

Yung Joc featuring Gorilla Zoe "Coffee Shop"

Yung Joc: That was a conceptual approach to trap music. I have to put conceptual in front of it because we didn’t want to straight up say, “Meet me at my trap.” ‘Cause I just said, “It’s going down.” So it’s like, “Meet me at the coffee shop.” Now, that record was just like, “Ugh.” Got on my nerves because the hood didn’t perceive it well. So, they kind of was looking at me like, “Huh?” The rest of the world abroad loved it. I go out of country and they like, “’Coffee Shop!’ ‘Coffee Shop!’ ‘Coffee Shop!’” They chanting that shit like “sing it!” I seen that shit and you think it was the return of “It’s Going Down.” It is what it is. Some things work with one demographic, some things work with another demographic.

I was able to defuse a lot of [negative comments] because I felt like I had the message of the song disguised well enough to where people like the NAACP didn’t come after me. You got kids in this video. You got characters. You making it appealing to watch to these kids, without them knowing you talking about dope. I say you say what you want to say man, but at least I did it I a more creative way. At the end of the day, shit, niggas all day long make records. If you go back and listen to Nelly, that nigga said, “I’m going down, down baby / Your street in a Range Rover / Street sweeper cock back, ready to let it go.” What? Street sweeper? You ridin’ down my neighborhood. You finna shoot the street sweeper in the neighborhood. You think you won’t hit any innocent bystanders by any chance nigga? He didn’t get slack for that because only he disguised it so well. It sounds so user-friendly.

"I Know You See It"

Yung Joc: That shit went No. 2. That shit made a lot of money. You look at my checks? That shit still generates revenue. These songs push me forward. Even as I did 106 & Park, we did a medley and it was amazing to get on stage and perform those records. You would think those were my recent hit records—the way the fans were reacting to it. With that being said, these records still hold me down.

"Dope Boy Magic"

Yung Joc: The world heard “Dope Boy Magic,” they was like, 'You know what? Maybe he is a dope boy because he is talking that shit.' It’s so weird, both of those records, “Dope Boy Magic” and “Do Ya Bad” and “A Couple Grand”, records like that made the hood be like, 'Fuck y’all talking about? That nigga Joc, he gonna get to your ass from the radio and from the streets.' I’m very thankful to have been blessed to even come up with those concepts.

"It’s Going Down"

Yung Joc: We plugged in for life. It can be challenging for someone who doesn’t understand that question you just asked. This shit can be challenging because they don’t understand what it is like to be associated with something that is so big that overshadows everything else. You got a lot of people who will call me a one-hit wonder. I don’t have to prove shit to nobody. I have a lot of motherfucking hit records and I had a lot of hit records my damn self. And to anyone who wants to consider Joc a one-hit wonder, I tell them look at my fucking BMI checks and my Warner Chapter publishing checks and then you tell me what the fuck a one-hit wonder is. Because on my checks, any song that generated revenue of an excess of a million dollars or more, that’s a motherfucking hit to me. I got a lot of songs that made me well over a million dollars a piece per record. Niggas holler that one-hit wonder shit all they want. I’ve still been living good. My lifestyle still been great. I had no problems with nobody or nothing. Fuck what you talking about.

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