The Ying Yang Twins are two of the definitive forefathers of the Southern Crunk Movement. Their contributions are timeless and can still evoke a twerk or two from the most sophisticated ladies in the club. After more than a decade in the entertainment business, the eclectic duo is still cranking it up with their music, which includes a forthcoming mixtape with DJ scream, album and branding potential.
YNTK had the privilege of chatting with D’Roc of Ying Yang on their legacy, inspirations and current relationship with Lil’ Jon. Crunk is alive.
You’ve been in the business for 12-plus years. What inspires you to keep making music?
“The love for music. We grew up on music, so we always had a love for it. We just love working with each other and recording. Everywhere we go we try to hit a studio, just to record. We carry a studio with us, depending on how long we’re going to be in the area.”
Where are your favorite places to tour?
“Everywhere. Everybody parties differently, but everybody parties the same. Every place is the same, but every place is also different. Everybody gets crunk the same way. No matter what country you go to, even if they don’t speak any English, they know all the words to the songs. They still get crunk.”
The Ying Yang Twins have been very influential in the crunk movement. What can you offer the music scene in 2012?
“One thing about it is people are still getting crunk and are still doing the same thing. Basically, the young generation now loves dancing, so that’s a plus. The thing about us is that we always got crunk. Every video, I was cranking, so we’re still a part of it because the people are still doing the same thing. The music is changing because everybody ain’t dancing. Some people have slowed it down and are singing. Everybody is too cool to move, but if you go to the club, you’re still going to see the same thing – dropping it like it’s hot.”
Dancing is incorporated into the crunk movement. How do you keep an audience interested in that when music isn’t all about having a good time now?
“We really don’t have to do too much. If you go to the club, they’re still dancing in the club. Now I can’t say that’s happening everywhere. In New York, people go to the club and have meetings there. That’s unheard of it in the club. In Atlanta, we left work at work. Before we go to the club, we pregame, but we don’t take work to the club. The only place that does it is New York. They’re in club saying ‘We’re going to sign these contracts.’ But everybody is still dancing.”
What changes have you seen in the entertainment business since you first entered into it? How are you adapting to them?
“Well, with the Internet I see it going back to the way it used to be. Back in the day, the singles game went out. But now it’s back. People don’t have to buy whole albums. It just went back to the way it used to be. It just came back around full-circle.”
Are there artists that you listen to that motivate you to keep making music?
“Music is still in us, so we still go to work. That’s what got us here.”
What is your relationship like with Lil’ Jon and the other forefathers of the crunk movement now?
“Yeah, we’re still close. One thing about it is some of them are still like Ying Yang’s cousins. So we’re going to always be tight and like family.”
Can we expect to hear Lil’ Jon on this forthcoming album?
Who can we expect to hear on this upcoming album?
“It’s been basically me and Caine. We’ve been doing our thing. The album is in the works. We’re going to have a mixtape first and then we’ll drop the album.”
Tell me more about the mixtape.
“We don’t have a release date for it yet. Caine and I are still working on it, but it’s going to be with DJ Scream. [Mr.] Collipark is producing a lot of tracks on there. We’re doing Ike Dirty and Tech James is on there. It’s still in the works. It’s a pregame for the album and we’re going to get out and do a little promotional run on it. We’re hitting everywhere. We’re going to keep hitting the same markets that know us.”
Looking back, what has been the greatest lesson that you’ve learned?
“Make sure you read your own contracts and hire your own people.”
What do you hope that the future holds for the Ying Yang Twins? What do you want the legacy of the Ying Yang Twins to be?
“We’ll be well-branded by that point and we’ll have our brand expanded by then.”
Their current single, Fist Pump Jump Jump, is available on iTunes. Be sure to follow the Ying Yang Twins on Twitter and Facebook.
everythingYNTK for VIBEVixen.com
@EvetteDionne on Twitter