If you had been at the right place at the right time, and by that I mean witnessing two iPhones side by side with Snapchat open, you might have seen rapper-slash-artist Yung Jake’s music video “Both.” In the story, he is faced with a dilemma of choosing between two very attractive possibilities—in this case two girls in bikinis. So how does Yung Jake solve this problem? The same way that he manages to be both a rapper and a visual artist— one after the other, back-to-back. As the song says, “I do both.” Yung Jake only does interviews via text but felt fine having me present during a recording session. When I first came in, he was working on his laptop on a visual for his solo show at Steve Turner gallery (up until March 12), which also serves as the launch for his new music video “i don’t remember.” After that, he put his laptop down and recorded vocals with producer Jeremiah Raisen (Charlie XCX and Sky Ferreira) and songwriter Tom Krell, also known as How to Dress Well. What if, I ask him over text, someone favors your art over your music? “its fine w me whatever floats ur boat,” he texts back.
Right before he started recording, I saw a rare moment of hesitation in him. “You know when you feel like you won’t be productive? Well, that’s how I feel right now.” But once Jeremiah (“Jerry” to Yung Jake) opened the track in Pro Tools, the rapper didn’t stop once. If he wasn’t singing a verse to himself, he was tracking an ad-lib. He didn’t even take a break to check his phone. And that’s how you know everything about his work is intentional. There is no room for indifference or DGAF-ness. But there’s always room for new hustles. Currently, Yung Jake is working on his first TV show. Why television? “I feel like I’m too many things and it’s hard for me to focus. This is my hack to do one thing but also be able to do it all.”