For 23-year-old rising rapper Yvng Ev, music is all about storytelling.
Narrative to his core, the Brooklyn-based emcee is a true reflection of the tales he tells. His music is not only cinematic, but uplifting in the sense of stumbling upon something you’re excited to listen to — like picking up a book you can’t put down. All stories come from within, and for Ev, it just seems easier than most.
“I started making music because every time I heard a beat, it was like I already knew what I wanted to to say,” he said. “As a kid, I would love to write stories, mostly Halloween stories and love stories. So when I started making music, I would come home from school and write a verse or hook every day.”
Steadily dropping since 2018, Ev has evidently turned a corner in his career this year. Holding just over 4,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, he’s still hard at work building out his brand and discography. However, his previous 2022 singles in “Therapy” (Feb. 18) and “Hear Me Out” (April 29) seem to be in sonic conjunction with one another — touting pitched gospel choirs, airy auto-tuned ad-libs and puts little emphasis on the tracks’ percussive elements. His latest single “Mama” (May 6) is further evidence of his enigmatic presence, as the track sees him appreciating the ups and downs he and his mother have gone through in their lives — all in time for Mother’s Day.
Letting his stories come to life within the music, Ev’s ability to immerse listeners into his emotional recollections is integral to his swooning, off-kilter soundscape. Boasting a deep, ear-catching voice, Ev is the true definition of an “underground savant” — and not in context of the new wave’s pluggnb-centric sound — as “Mama” sees Ev float over an ethereal, woozy guitar loop while singing about the strifes he and his mother have combatted over the years.
“The song came to me a year ago when I had a big argument with my mom. Growing up, I loved my mom with all my heart, but we had a bumpy relationship a couple years after my dad moved out. My mom always expected the most out of me. When I felt like I couldn’t get that done, I would be upset with myself and her at the same time.”Yvng Ev to Our Generation Music
He casts a spell over you with his voice — transporting you into his world as if he’s reading chapters from a novel. “Mama said don’t keep worrying about the battles that you’re fighting for your dreams” he croons, as Ev is both entrancing and completely open on yet another drum-less low-spoken ballad — finding all the right words to describe he and his mother’s relationship on the most honest of levels.
“This song shows parents do things out of love, but as a kid we don’t see that because it feels overwhelming and too much pressure. I wanted this song to bridge that gap between children and parents to come to an understanding that both sides can be happy with. The real voicemail from my mom in the beginning to the end shows truly that.”Yvng Ev to OGM
While “Mama” is another robust example of Ev’s poise and talent, he’s also able to shapeshift into a plethora of genres. Whether it be the stripped-down R&B he showcases on “Still Hope” or the vocally-charged melodic sing-rapping on “Lexy Sove,” Ev’s range and versatility are able to take him anywhere he chooses. “Tell me that you love me, but don’t leave / you took my heart and put on your sleeve,” he sings on “Still Hope,” further channeling the emotional embrace — and sometimes torment — of a loved one on his latest effort.
His sound is not only cohesive over the course of his discography, but undeniably different in the way he attacks his song structures — finding balance between what’s trendy and what’s true to him. Motivated and hungry for more, Ev is always finding ways to relate to others, because in the end, it’s what keeps him going.
“Not only is my motivation to have my family and my parents be more comfortable, but when I see kids DM me saying my music saved them from terrible times in their life, I really respect that because it saved me as well. Knowing they can relate to it keeps me going.”
Listen to Yvng Ev’s “Mama” below!