The world is full of creators clocking in daily to have their craft seen or heard. It is time for all hardworking and talented artists to take their craft more seriously and show the world their capabilities. We’re the Future is a movement to give local talent a platform. Each week we’re going to put you on to a new artist. We will share a project, a video, or song and some questions for the artist.

Name: YCJ

Hometown: Carbondale, Illinois

Current Location: Orlando, Florida

Zodiac: Gemini

Latest Project: Long Story Short

A lyricist, engineer, rapper, freestyler, and songwriter, Rapper YCJ is a package. I recently found out about this artist, and I was so impressed with his work. YCJ is a young creator from Illinois but now residing in Orlando, Fl. He has a good amount of work already in his discography. His Soundcloud dates back projects since 2016. YCJ says he started releasing music and building his foundation in high school by making beats and recording himself in his room. He classifies himself as a hip-hop/rap artist, but he’s looking to dive more into R&B. “I like experimenting with my voice so sometimes I’ll be focusing on melodies and singing rather than just rapping.”

His latest project, Long Story Short, was released on May 25, 2021. It’s been three years since he’s dropped; his last project, Reloaded EP, is found on Soundcloud. Since the release of Reloaded, the rapper moved to Florida, gained new life experiences, and learned a lot about himself which inspired him to write. For a year and a half, he crafted his latest project, Long Story Short. During an interview with Indie Jamz, YCJ says he feels he has evolved because of this EP and says that this is him in a project. The EP is comprised of six tracks that express where he’s at in life mentally and physically. The Ep opens with titled intro “Long Story Short,” the rapper hits the track running with his lyricism and gives you a rundown on what he’s been up to. Moving along is his single off the project, “Up!” which has become a fan favorite. My favorite from the ep is “Bag.” It’s a different sound from the artist and the other tracks bringing a melodic vibe to the piece. Long Story Short was collectively put together well. I’m sad because it’s only 19 minutes long but it leaves you wanting more from the rapper.


YCJ recently started a freestyle series where he picks one of his favorite beats from established artists and does a live recorded freestyle in the studio. He uploads the videos to Youtube and Instagram, so far he’s freestyled to Erykah Badu’s On & On, Glockboyz TeeJaee’s Wack Jumper, and more. This series of freestyles is a dope way for the rapper to show off his flow and versatility


What artist have you been listening to and inspiring you lately?

YCJ: Artists I’ve been listening to a lot lately that have inspired me include Kenny Mason (his latest album has been on repeat), Baby Keem, JID, IDK, and Smino. I often get compared to JID the most though, that’s who people usually tell me I sound like.

What can we expect from you for the rest of 2021?

YCJ: You can definitely expect more music, live performances around Orlando and finally music videos. I have a couple of projects lined up to follow this latest release, including another solo project. A joint project with producer Static, and I’ll be doing some work with producer Nandezbeats. Earlier this year I did an Freestyle series that can be found on my IG and Youtube to build some buzz. So, I’ll likely be doing more content like that as well.

YCJ is an artist to watch. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @thegreatycj. Stream Long Story Short on Spotify and Apple Music. Find him in our Hippie Radio playlist on Apple Music