Young M.C. life and biography

Young M.C. picture, image, poster

Young M.C. biography

Date of birth : 1967-05-10
Date of death : -
Birthplace : London, England
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-03-19
Credited as : Singer, Actor, won the rap Grammy in 1990

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Marvin Young, better known by his stage name Young MC, is an English-born American singer and actor. He is best known for his 1989 hit "Bust a Move". His debut album Stone Cold Rhymin' found international acclaim however subsequent albums have not reached the same level of success.

Young M.C., the winner of the rap Grammy in 1990, is a G-rated musician in an X-rated genre. Most rap artists try to shock their audiences; Marvin Young, the real name of Young M.C., merely tries to entertain them. "There's a lot of impressionable people listening to the music," Young told Newsweek, "If I wasn't to take notice of that, I would be shirking responsibility." Profiled in People as having only "a flair for language and a love of big beat" in common with his hip-hop peers, Young boasts humorously in his lyrics, "If every rapper were Hawaiian, I'd be Don Ho."

"His lyrics don't reflect a hard, street kind of vibe," DJ-producer Michael Ross told People. Ross, who signed Young to his independent label Delicious Vinyl, recognized that Young was capable of writing lyrics which could give rap broad, commercial success. Young told Jeffrey Ressner in Rolling Stone, "I was in my dorm room after classes one day, and I didn't have any homework. They called and asked if I could do some lyrics, because they felt I'd be able to write something that would be more conducive to pop radio. I said I'd call them back in a half-hour, and about thirty-five minutes later, I read it back to them." Young's contribution to the writing of the platinum single "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina" for Tone-Loc, followed by his own platinum LP Stone Cold Rhymin', put rap in the mainstream of pop culture.

Young was born in London in 1968 and raised in Hollis, Queens, the home of rap stars Run-D.M.C. and L.L. Cool J. His parents are Jamaicans who moved to New York in 1970, where Young's father is a telephone company executive and his mother is a nurse. Young told Ressner in Rolling Stone that he composed his first songs during childhood. "When I was small, I used to write lyrics about fairy tales like 'Little Red Riding Hood,' 'The Three Bears,' 'Old McDonald,' all that stuff."

Recuperating in a hospital when he was twelve, Young discovered that his rhymes could entertain. Young related in People that he wrote a poem for the nurses which ended with the lines: "He's fully recovered; he's come right back/Then he saw the bill and had a heart attack."

Influenced by the pioneer rappers Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, in addition to the Jamaican artists Yellowman, Young joined some rap groups while in high school, but his career did not spiral until college. Young told People that he enrolled at USC, from where he graduated with a degree in economics in 1988, to "have a good job and make decent money." He explained further his decision to pursue the knowledge gained through academics instead of through street-life to Ressner in Rolling Stone. "I stayed in school because I wanted to. Now I can sit down, have a meeting with someone in a business-oriented position, and not be totally out of place."

While a college student, Young auditioned a cappella over the phone for Mike Ross, whom he had met previously through a mutual friend. Ross was the DJ-producer who, along with Matt Dike, had begun the independent label Delicious Vinyl. Ross and Dike signed Young in December 1987. Young's debut came early in 1988 when he received good notices in the United States and the United Kingdom for his single "I Let 'Em Know."

In 1989 Young co-penned the lyrics of "Wild Thing" for performer Tone-Loc, a song which not only graced the pop singles chart at Number Two, but also set a new precedent in rap music. Before, rappers and producers had written their own lyrics, eschewing outside writers, but Young's contribution as an outside writer to the lyrics of "Wild Thing" changed the old format. Young then contributed some key lines to "Funky Cold Medina," an acclaimed follow-up single for Tone-Loc.

Young's next successful project also came in 1989, while still a student at USC, with his platinum LP Stone Cold Rhymin'. "Bust a Move," a hit single from the album, demonstrates the vocal style and smooth articulation that won Young M.C. this year's rap Grammy.

Young does not opt for a flamboyant lifestyle. Commenting on his small, modest apartment in Hollywood, the rap star told Ressner in Rolling Stone, "This place is just somewhere I stay until I can get something more permanent. I'm out of town a whole bunch, so even if I had a house, I wouldn't be able to take care of it."

Promotional trips take up much of Young's time. He also prepares new singles and opens shows for acts on the road that range from Fine Young Cannibals to Boogie Down Productions. "I'm exhausted," Young joked to Ressner, "I've been busy prostituting myself all over Europe."

At home, the twenty-two-year-old Young does not party much as he revealed in People; neither does he drink nor smoke, as he states in his lyrics. He visits the club scene occasionally, but most of his time is spent working out rhythms and composing lyrics. Nor has he any serious romantic involvement at present, since he is "too busy."

Since much of Stone Cold Rhymin' was written while Marvin Young was still in high school, he foresees a new direction in his future work which will have political overtones. He has already contributed writing to the album Silent Assassin by the reggae stars Sly and Robbie, where Young also appears, which reflects this new bent. Confident about adding another dimension to his rap, Young told Ressner in Rolling Stone, "That's the kind of direction I want on my subsequent albums. I felt that if I came out singing things like 'Under Arrest' [one of the tracks on Silent Assassin ] right off the bat, people wouldn't necessarily listen. Now that they know who I am, I'm going to talk about more political issues. It's all well and good that people can identify with school or shy men meeting women, but there are other things that need to be addressed as well."

In September 2005, Young was cast in the VH1 reality show “Celebrity Fit Club 3.” Joining Young was Kelly LeBrock, Bruce Vilanch, Tempestt Bledsoe, Countess Vaughn, Chastity Bono, Jeff Conaway, Gunnar Nelson, and Rapper Bizarre of D12. Young won the competition, losing more weight than anybody else.

Young also made an appearance in a special episode of “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” which featured “The Top 50 Sports Moments Of The 80’s.” Young crafted lyrics and performed a sports-themed rap song alongside KRS-One and Kool Moe Dee.

After 20 years of living in Los Angeles, Young relocated to Scottsdale, AZ in 2006. He spent 2007 creating his seventh album, “Adrenaline Flow”, which was released in 2008. Immediately following “Adrenaline Flow”, Young released an online-only album, “B-Sides, Demos and Remixes”, compiled from unreleased, remixed and re-recorded tracks.

In 2009 Young released his eighth album, “Relentless”. Later that year, Young also landed a cameo role in the breakout Jason Reitman film Up in the Air starring George Clooney. Young played himself, performing at a software convention which was crashed by Clooney’s character and his two female co-stars Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga.

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