Christian Cunningham, a.k.a. YBG
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 23:02
Up-and-coming musicians don’t need to leave the comfort of campus to shoot an aesthetically pleasing music video.
Sophomore undecided major Christian Cunningham, who raps under the name YBG, released a music video for his song “Myla’s Love,” last Saturday from his mixtape, Embassy Suites: The First Floor. He currently still deems himself up and coming, but his passion for music has been around since he was 9 years old. Despite his longtime relationship with music, Cunningham has made sure to explore his craft academically to make sure his lyrics are up to par with today’s hit makers.
The Spectrum had the opportunity to sit down with Cunningham for the first student spotlight – where we aim to introduce the abundant talent UB has to the student body – for some insight to his budding career and musical aspirations.
TheSpectrum: How long have you been rapping?
Cunningham: “Since I was 9. It started with just one random night, me and my brother. As I got older, I turned myself [away] from mainstream because when I first started out, it was more me rapping about fancy cars and flashy stuff I didn’t have. I actually took a break for three years and got up on my vocabulary skills and started reading the dictionary so I could be articulate and lyrical. From there I got into my inner self and digging deep into more positive concepts and things people would relate to.”
TS: Embassy Suites dropped in August 2011. Are you working on anything else?
C: “I’m working on a new mixtape called Breaking Bad. The whole concept behind that is that I kind of stuck with keeping it safe [on my previous mixtape] and now I’m doing more daring things and pushing the limit.”
TS: Could you name some of your inspirations growing up from either the old or new school rap era?
C: “[Growing up], Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Nas and older Jay-Z. Today, Kanye West.
TS: You filmed your “Myla’s Love” video on campus, and you work on your music strictly on campus, so is there anywhere you absolutely avoid visiting or eating here?
C: “Salsa [in the Ellicott Complex food court], it’s not authentic to me.”
TS: Where do you consider the best place to people watch/pick up girls on campus?
C: “The union or the gym for both.”
TS: What about the biggest struggle on campus or at UB?
C: “The nightlife. It just seems so repetitive, the same thing over and over again and parties here get shut down by midnight; I just wish they lasted longer.”
TS: What should people unfamiliar with your music expect people from you?
C: “[Music] is just in me. This is a gift that was given to me, not just anybody can make music. I actually did a song off the “Call Me Maybe” beat and I do crazy stuff like that … to show that I’m different and can handle anything you throw at me.”
TS: What’s your ultimate goal or dream as an artist?
C: “To take it to the top. Take it to a new level.”
Those interested in Cunningham’s work can access him through his Twitter account, @PureGreatnessYB; his YouTube account, YBGreatnessful; and Embassy Suites can be found on DatPiff.com