Life

YNG Martyr Sucks: “People Generally Do Not Give A Fuck What You Are Doing”

YNG Martyr

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One of my strongest-held beliefs is that the hip-hop scene in Australia desperately needs more albums — moments that bring the scene together. Naarm-based Wiradjuri MC YNG Martyr’s debut album, Lovesick, has just dropped, and it is absolutely a moment for the scene.

There are many highlights on the album, but gun to my head — as someone that has been listening to beloved Australian rapper Allday for a decade — it’s a delight hearing him pop up on ‘As I Should’. YNG One’s appearance on the punky ‘Hate U’ is similarly excellent, and should result in him becoming a go-to vocal feature for other Australian artists. 

Lovesick may appear to be a slight left turn for those that only know YNG Martyr from his more uptempo, hedonistic tracks like ‘Nike Ticks’ (at least in parts), but the album encapsulates what makes his music special. Sometimes you need to be comfortable sitting with your feelings, and sometimes, you’ve gotta let that pent-up energy out. Lovesick allows you to do both within just 26 minutes. 

To celebrate this momentous occasion, YNG Martyr spoke to Junkee about bullying kids on Roblox, putting his life back together after an overdose and being obsessed with dubstep. Much like Lovesick, his answers are equally insightful and irreverent — and while being lovesick might suck, this album will provide some welcome comfort. These answers? Maybe not so much. 

Junkee: A mistake that turned into an opportunity? 

At this risk of sounding like a broken record — taking drugs. I overdosed, fucked my life up and then was able to pull the pieces back together with a more carefree outlook. This event truly showed me that the only thing I WANT to do is to create music. 

I’ll touch on this more later.

Cringe quote you used to live by?

“Dubstep is the future.” (I still love dubstep by the way). I was 12/13 when the trend kicked off, and it was life changing. I downloaded a cracked version of FL Studio to make dubstep in, and then I slowly got into rap music from there. I still use FL to this day.

Worst advice you got and blindly followed?

When I was younger, I was awkward as shit. I went DEEP on self-help and I read online that the way to develop self-confidence was to walk around a busy shopping centre and clap loudly. I did this numerous times. To be honest though, people would look at me for a split second, and then back to their phones. It was kinda dank because it showed me that people generally do not give a fuck what you are doing, they are caught up in their own world.

Maybe not the worst advice, but still pretty cringe.

The worst failure you’re up for sharing, and what you learned from it? 

Ingesting a shit tonne of synthetic acid and overdosing at 17. This taught me basically every single thing useful that I now live by. I stopped being afraid of things, started taking my life more seriously, and realised that the only way to make myself happy is to embark on some purposeful creative venture. Drugs are rarely the answer. This was super important for me.

Anything you used to be wrong about?

Synthetic acid lol.

Embarrassing Internet habit?

I play Roblox. Majority of Roblox players are like 8-14 years old, so I go into FPS games and absolutely demolish them. It’s fantastic for my self-esteem. 

Ideal morning routine versus actual morning routine?

Ideally I arise from my silk sheets, gaze into the distant Aegean Sea, from my Greek villa and reflect on my immeasurable wealth and positive impact on the world.

In reality I wake up in a Melbourne share house, slam an iced coffee and search for rap beats on YouTube. Let’s go.

Something very off-brand for you?

This is super niche, and maybe not “off-brand” but this developed when I was young. I fucking love watching numbers go up, whenever I’d be playing Bloons Tower Defence or some old video game I’d stare at the coins meter and rub my hands together viciously while watching the $$$ go up.

It is genuinely odd. I still do it, I sit there and just violently mash my hands together while staring at my streaming stats sometimes. 

Weird shit man.

Bad health decision? 

Uber Eats. 

What do you waste money on?

Uber Eats. Drip. Roblox. 

Worst procrastination habit?

On a real note, I waste a fuck tonne of time being stuck in my head, over-analysing and being critical of myself, trying to find “a way through this problem” when in reality, the real problem is that I’m stuck in my head, thinking about problems all day.

Either that or video games.

YNG Martyr’s debut album Lovesick is out now.


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Illustration credit: Matt Lauricella, @pigeonboyart