Virginia Beach artist, Will Jung, is using the power of lyricism to do more than stand-out. Will Jung, has been delivering bars and catchy tracks for some years now and it wasn’t until about 2009 when Will started taking music seriously. He began writing, recording, and perfecting his craft and as a member of RVA Rap Elite, his delivery keeps getting better! Virginia has gifted a number of artists to the music industry including Pusha T, Missy Elliot, and Chris Brown which has left a sharply paved path for Will to follow. Timbaland has served as a source of inspiration as well, serving as his favorite producer. These groundbreaking artists have more than inspired Will, who now teaches after receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Not only does Will provide essential education to children, but he also creates music filled with mind-bending metaphors to keep his listeners intrigued, just like his students. His talent brought him opening spots for Rick Ross and Busta Rhymes in 2017 and with this new decade ahead, I had the pleasure of talking to Will about his journey and 2019 debut album, Pronounced Young.
Being from Virginia Beach, a place carrying names like Pharrell, Timbaland, and Missy Elliot, what are some of their qualities that have inspired you as an artist?
“Just going left. As simple as that sounds, I’ve never heard a Missy Elliot record or Pharrell or a Timbaland record, that sounds “normal.” Every time you hear them, it’s a genre-bending type of music. You can’t really classify it or put it into one box. That’s what I try to take away from them every-time I do a record, it’s that I don’t want to be boxed in. If I want to do a pop record one day, I’ll do that, if I feel like rapping one day, I’ll do that, and just try to make it as appealing as possible while still remaining being an individual and being different.”
What went into the process of your debut album Pronounced Young and what was your message to listeners?
It was a culmination of just a lot of time. 2010, I’m telling people that I do music and stuff like that, and I really… I built a relationship with my engineer, one of my producer’s T-Rifik. He mixed and mastered that entire album, and produced I wanna say four beats on it. He was the one that really got me into melodies, harmonies, attempting to sing on records, and just trying different things with the music, and that takes a lot of time. With that, I was never really super confident in releasing music. I have a song on there from 2013, believe it or not. ‘Gymnasium’ is the oldest song up there. Ever since then, those 10 songs, the most recently recorded one was ‘The Past’ and that was recorded summer or fall 2018, one or the other. So it’s just time, and it was just more so, okay, I need to get a body of work out. I wanted to showcase as much as my skill as possible. So, while it’s a short project, it does cover the rapping from the beginning and then there’s a shift around track three, after “Know Me,” then to the more thought-provoking: “The Past” and “Disconnect,” and songs like that. So, just the message is just like, you know, just getting the music out. Just showing people that I can do whatever I need to do to make a good record.
How did you get involved with RVA Rap Elite and what has the community done for you as an artist?
“Man, I actually just call him my big brother Intalek, He was participating in the Lyricist Lounge when they were called Lyricist Lounge. This was 2018, and he pretty much put it out there, like, ‘Yo, go up there and rap. There’s nothing like getting on that stage.’ I was dismissive of it for a moment because, not that I wasn’t confident in my ability, but I was just kinda like, ‘I don’t feel like rap rapping. I just want to make music.’ I’m listening to this music and I forget that essence. The reason why I do this rapping, it’s putting words together. I got a talent like everybody else. So why not showcase that on a stage? I went up there, the season finale of their first season of The Lyricist Lounge. At the time, I hadn’t performed in over six months, so what a terrible way to jump back in a stage in that format. I go up there, and I choke. I stumbled through a verse and had to start over. I ended up finishing the verse, but the delivery was terrible. I actually made it to the sudden-death round with like six other MCs, and I wasn’t aware that there’d be a sudden death round. So it comes and I’m like the second name called, and I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ I have nothing in my register. So, I got to a verse that I could remember and I remembered maybe eight bars of it and I choked again and I was just like, Hey, I appreciate you, so that lit a fire in me. I started writing more verses and was just being ready. July 2019 is when I came back and ever since then, every month. Now I finish maybe second or third every time and the only person that I lose to is my brother Basic.
As far as what it’s done for me is just, there’s a different type of energy man, when you’re rapping. When you’re just rapping, and barring, barring people up, and getting those oohs and ahs, or getting the screw face, or even if somebody don’t like your bars, even that energy is good to see. It’s just made me appreciate real rap. It’s made me appreciate the essence of what we all do this for, and they’re a very, they’re really a very supportive group of people, man. I really appreciate all those guys, man, Radio, Spielberg, and Nicholas, and all those guys, my man West. Everybody really is a supportive group of people, man. They just love rap. It’s a group of people that love rap and I love that.”
On a mission of turning dreams into reality, Will is constantly creating new music to push him even further. Jung has released some new singles this year to include a bar-pack track titled “RapElite” featuring his close friend B.A.S.I.C. and “Missile,” both cover the melodic and cold-cut lyrical aspects of hip-hop and are must adds to a playlist.