The late, great multi-platinum rapper Tupac Shakur once compared America’s city streets to a concrete warzone. Plagued by rampant murder rates, flooded with drugs and patrolled by abusive police officers, this urban jungle has claimed the lives of far too many black and brown casualties to the prisons and graveyards.
A product of these brutal battlegrounds is Baton Rouge-born survivor Young Soulja. With rhymes just as touching, real and heartfelt as his idols like Tupac and New Orleans-born martyr Soulja Slim (from whom he carries on his namesake), Young Soulja has been the newest voice to speak to other young military-minded hardheads fighting in the struggle.
“Cats like Soulja Slim, Tupac and Ice Cube gave me motivation because we’ve all gone through the same things,” Soulja reveals. “If cats like them and Lil Boosie can make it from Baton Rouge, I can make it too. All I got to do is stay prayed up and keep fighting.”
From seeing dead bodies in the gutter coming up as a kid to witnessing his cousin’s murder at age 10 to being homeless and even living on the edge of extinction with no food for days, Young Soulja has seen his share of the perils of war.
And he has placed all of his pains, frustrations and triumphs into his newest single “Racked Up.” He has already had major spins across the Gulf Coast as well as in several prominent Atlanta strip clubs and now he is preparing to drop his as-yet-untitled Ruff-N-Rugged Entertainment released mixtape set to drop in 2013.
“The music I do is about the struggles I’ve been through,” says Soulja. “Hopefully somebody can learn from my situations and cope and learn from what I’ve gone through.”
Young Soulja was born Nathan Louis Brown and raised in Baton Rouge’s seedy Scotlandville Square, a drug-infested housing projects in the middle of the seamy Scotlandville neighborhood. Reared mainly by his mother, Lil Nate (as he was called as a kid) always did his best in school as an adolescent. Let him tell it, Soulja was an average student but he felt that a grade could never express the intelligence of a person. And he knew that music was the easiest and best way he found to express himself.
At the tender age of five, Young Soulja began singing as a way to funnel his artistic energies. Since his father was rarely around, Soulja spent a lot of time with his uncle, who was a member of a local rap group called Gs and the Thugs. So naturally, at the age of nine, Soulja started rapping in imitation of his uncle.
He would continue rapping with the group until age 13 until his uncle went to jail and G’s and Thugs fell apart. But when his uncle went to jail, however, the nephew continued to invest in music on his own.
Dumb S**T USA
Mixtape Volume 1
Another highly anticipated release from RuffnRugged Entertainment artist Young Soulja.