Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Cleveland Johnson IV (Yung I.V) came into rap simply to help his cousin improve his beat making and engineering. After getting a taste of what it felt like to record and hear feedback from people he knew he wanted more. He's not your average rapper, Yung I.V is an artist that dynamically focuses on his craft of performance, and has stylized his own image and uniqueness that sets him apart from your everyday artists. After the release of his mixtape The Playmaker he and his cousin BKeys/Bonafide moved out to Los Angeles to learn the ropes and push their brand and label Bonafide Majestic Music.
With his next EP due to be released by the end of the year, Yung I.V dropped his self proclaimed summer banger “Can’t Dell Wit Ya”. The hook is so addictive I found myself chanting along to this summer mood and summer anthem, a true summer vibe. “Can’t Deal Wit Ya” has a simple message, Yung I.V isn’t interested in these thirsty ass groupie b*tches. Yung I.V creates music that focuses on real lyrics and powerful vibes. He’s an artist to stay on the lookout for and we highly recommend you check out “Can’t Deal Wit Ya” and many of Yung I.V other EPs.
Listen to “Can’t Deal Wit Ya” here and read more below in our exclusive interview!
Hi Yung I.V! Can you start by telling us more about yourself and your upbringing into music?
Hey how's it going. First off thank you for this opportunity to be able to use your platform and get my music heard. So I am originally from Chicago born and raised and moved down to Mississippi a few months before my 16th birthday. Went to college dropped out and moved to Memphis. Stayed a few years there before joining the Army and doing four years before getting kicked out for smoking weed. To me I wasn't doing anything worse than the alcoholics in charge but that's neither here nor there. When I got out my cousin BKeys moved in with me and he was already doing music and producing. So when he moved in with me he had already started on learning how to engineer. He would always say "Cuz you need to rap" and I would be like "Naw I'm straight" but one day I just said F it and recorded a freestyle to Lil Pump's "Gucci Gang" track. The next day at the family Christmas party they were playing the song telling me I should rap. So I guess my family sort of gassed me up to do it. At the true core of my reasoning was to help my cousin practice his engineering and who better than me.
How did you create your stage name?
My stage name came from my name Cleveland Johnson IV. Yung because I'm the youngest Cleveland and I.V. because I'm the fourth. So I just put it together and got Yung I.V.
Do any specific artist influence or inspire your sound?
My two biggest inspirations to my music is Wiz Khalifa and B.O.B to say the least. It's like they are my ying and yang. They never allowed what people thought about them effect them. They always stayed true to who they wanted to be no matter what the wave was.
What’s your favorite lyric in “Can’t Deal Wit Ya”? Why?
Hit Ya Twice But Didn't Greet Ya Leave Ya Possessed Like A Demon In Distress Cause You Fienin For Da King Dats All Me Callin Shots Like Da Big Homie F*** Wit My Team Den It's OV Cause My Shooters Aim Is On Curry This might be my favorite part of the song because it kind of shows how I really felt in my life once upon a time when it came to "groupies" on IG. When I say groupies I mean people hitting you up just cause they see you doing good and trying to ride the wave but not really real.
What can we expect from your upcoming EP?
From my upcoming EP Stoney Conversation dropping later in the year I''m giving people an insight to what the stoners that I've been around in my life talk about. From turn up to real talk to awaken it's going to be a fun ride.
Keep up with Yung I.V on social media!