Today, Splash Magazine sat down with Marc Zuckerman, more widely known as YNG Zuck, in Hollywood, California, to talk about his newest single, Lame Sh!t, and his upcoming full-length album, Expensive Taste. For those of you who’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple years, YNG Zuck is a well-respected urban pop artist, you’ve probably already been jamming to, without even knowing it.
One of the biggest TikTok trends of early 2021 included YNG Zuck’s hit single, Strike A Pose, in which social media creators made videos of them cheekily posing for the camera, and showing off the best versions of themselves. Strike A Pose quickly became a vital part of one of the biggest viral trends on social media and unknowingly made the world familiar with his music.
Fast forward to 2022, and the world is on the edge of its seat, anxiously awaiting the release of his first full-length album in over 2-years. Expensive Taste is on the tip of everybody’s tongue, and the world desperately wants a taste.
Lately, Zuckerman has been giving us a lot more than just music. Throughout 2022, YNG Zuck has been gracing runways, and walking red carpets in the same fashion houses that Whitney Houston, Prince, Michael Jackson, and Paula Abdul frequented, as well as announcing a fashion line collab with one of the biggest and trendiest brands, After School Special,who will co-design YNG Zuck’s entire official Expensive Taste line of merchandise.
When Zuckerman released his first full-length album, titled Corporate Sellout in early 2020, he was a newcomer, by any standard. We sat down with Zuckerman in the Club and Garden restaurant in West Hollywood’s famed SoHo House to discuss all things Expensive Taste.
“I had no clue what the fuck I was doing,” Zuckerman tells Splash. “I just knew I wanted to make music and had a lot of things I felt like I needed to get off my chest,” Zuckerman goes on to say in between bites of Salmon, and Spinach, and between sips of a double Old Fashioned.
“I started out making music just for me; it was the only way that I really felt like I could put something to bed. It gave me closure in certain situations and made me feel in control of those situations. After I started writing those experiences down, and creating music to go with them, I realized that a lot of other people were in similar situations and could relate to what I felt too. Expensive Taste is so different. It’s always been weird to hear other artists talk about a certain ‘era’ of music, but now that I’m experiencing that for myself, it makes total sense. Expensive Taste is so different than anything I’ve done before. Expensive Taste is a whole different attitude.”
Splash Magazine: Before we start talking about Expensive Taste, tell us about Lame Sh!t. What’s the story there?
YNG Zuck: “Lame Sh!t is a song I recorded with a hip-hop artist in Florida, called Dfils. He’s really talented and worked with just about everyone in the hip-hop community in the South. It was one of the last things I recorded in Orlando at Hitt Squad Studio. It definitely feels like the old YNG Zuck. I always felt like I wanted to release it, but something else always came up. I wanted to give people something to listen to, while I finished up the next record, and this just finally seemed like the right time. I wouldn’t call it a throwaway single or anything, but the difference between this single, and the next is going to be crazy. It comes out June 3rd, and I think people are going to enjoy it.”
SPLASH: Do you know what the first single from Expensive Taste will be?
YZ: “I actually don’t, and at this point, I should! We are still deciding, but have narrowed it down to three.”
SPLASH: Can you tell us the three that it’s been narrowed down to?
YZ: “(laughs) You’re gonna keep digging, aren’t you? Seriously, I wish I could tell you, but my team would kill me.”
SPLASH: Well, we know from your Red-Carpet performance in Hollywood, on Valentine’s Day, at least three of the songs that will be on the record. “Expensive Taste,”“Vibin’” and “Loose Ends,” were all showcased at that event. Can you tell us if it will be one of those?
YZ: “I totally forgot that those were already floating around in the wild. *laughs* I can tell you that one of those songs is in the running for the lead single but can’t tell you which one. Nobody knows about the other two.”
SPLASH: You’re killing us. What CAN you tell us about the Expensive Taste album?
YZ: Hmmm… I can tell you that it’s a full-length album which will….
SPLASH: We already knew that!
YZ: “You gotta let me finish! …will have 16-tracks, and a bunch of ridiculous features.”
SPLASH: Features? Can you tell us anything about that?
YZ: I probably shouldn’t. *laughs*
SPLASH: …anything? Anything at all? Ya gotta give us something!
YZ: “Okay. I’ll tell you two of the features, but that’s it. — Shit, I haven’t even told my parents this yet. — I have Scott Page from Pink Floyd playing on this record, which I am ridiculously excited about. Scott is a rock legend, and one of the most talented players on the planet. I am also stupid hype to have Xammy on this record. We did a song called ‘Six Shots’ and he killed it. He’s blowing up, everywhere. …he’s another Florida artist. By the time my record comes out, Xammy will be a household name. – I just gave you another song title too. Now, stop asking questions, before you get me into trouble.” *laughs*
SPLASH: SCOTT PAGE?! That is a crazy collab, coming out the gate. We can’t wait to hear what that’s about.
YZ: “Yeah, seriously. I’m so excited to release this record. Two-years ago, when I released my last album, I would never have imagined I would be making an album like this.”
SPLASH: What else can you tell us about Expensive Taste?
YZ: “Ummm… I’ve re-recorded two of my favorite older songs for this record. I’m not telling you which ones, but they got the treatment that they deserved the first time. I think fans are gonna be hype to hear them.”
SPLASH: Can you tell us which…
YZ: No. *laughing*
SPLASH: What else can you tell us? Are you still flying back-and-forth to Orlando to record?
YZ: “Hell no. *laughs* I record full-time in Los Angeles at HMG Studios, and have for a little over a year. I work with a few big producers but have used King Luko (Emmanuel Aluko) as my engineer for almost this entire record. Luko is a legend, and he really gets me. He understands what I’m trying to say, sometimes before I do, and puts it in the pocket, every time. HMG Studios are the best of the best. Those rooms have seen some of the biggest superstars on Earth. The energy there is just insane. HMG really allows me to be the artist I want to be, and having an engineer that really understands the assignment… There’s nothing better than that.”
SPLASH: That sounds incredible. We are so excited for this new album, as the rest of the world seems to be, as well. Without pushing too much for information, what can you tell us about the older songs you’ve re-recorded? What made you choose those songs?
YZ: “Have you ever had a conversation with someone, but left feeling like you didn’t really get to say what you wanted to say? …like, the other side didn’t understand you? That’s kind of what it was like. I’ll just tell you, one of the songs I re-recorded was Bad Trip, which I was really happy with when I released it, but then realized it wasn’t done, and I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say the first time around. This time, I felt like I did it right.”
SPLASH: That IS exciting! That has been a fan favorite for a while. So, we know that you’ll have:
Bad Trip (2022)
Six Shots (Featuring Xammy)
YZ: Wait, how do you know about Madonna?
SPLASH: The internet is a crazy place.
YZ: Ugh…. I should probably stop talking now. *laughs*
SPLASH: No, by all means, continue.
YZ: No. No. I’m done. Next time you have me, I’ll tell you more. *laughs*
SPLASH: So that’s it, it?
YZ: “That’s it, it. …but seriously, that’s it. Thank you for having me. This won’t be the last time we do this.”
A big special thanks to YNG Zuck for chatting with us today, and for making us even more excited for Expensive Taste. Be sure to check out YNG Zuck’s newest single, Lame Sh!t (Featuring Dfils), dropping everywhere on June 3rd!
Photo Credits: Zachary Jaydon/ Courtney Gail (Just Another Shot Photography)/ Ken Hugh
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