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Rising Music Star $tupid Young: “I would love to start a movement empowering people to never give up on themselves”

I would love to start a movement empowering people to never give up on themselves. Too many people, especially kids/teens today seem to give up quickly from bullying, to factors in their environment and home life. I would like to see a more positive change where people are more self confident, that’s when people’s real […]


I would love to start a movement empowering people to never give up on themselves. Too many people, especially kids/teens today seem to give up quickly from bullying, to factors in their environment and home life. I would like to see a more positive change where people are more self confident, that’s when people’s real talent and creativity come out!


As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Music artist $tupid Young. $tupid Young born Alex Pham is a prolific and respected Hip Hop artist that hails from Long Beach, California. Like many of his legendary predecessors from Los Angeles, Pham has had to deal with his share of legal issues from a young age. By the time he was 16 years old, Young had been incarcerated five times when he was introduced to a man named Harry Grammer who ran a rap-centric class called F.L.O.W. (Fluent Love of Words). One day during his 9 month detention at the juvenile camp, Grammer told Young, “Bless the mic.” Despite his legal troubles as a teen, Young found his calling in the lyrics and beats of Hip Hop that day nearly a decade ago. Young is currently working with Lee Adams of Vice on a documentary entitled, “Minority Reports.” His lyrics often reference his past growing up in a community with the gangs Insane and 20s Crips. Young has often gravitated to and been inspired by other street rappers from Long Beach such as Snoop Dog, Kurupt and Daz. Young continues to grow his flourishing career and empire as a solo performer and lyricist through his label Afficials that he founded in 2017. He is held in high esteem within the Hip Hop and Billboard communities earning praise from industry legends such as Scooter Braun. His latest album titled, “True Story” dropped in December 2018. Running his label clearly doesn’t slow down Young’s personal output. He has garnished 34 million YouTube views on his channel with nearly 90 thousand subscribers with records featuring numerous Hip Hop legends including Mozzy and MBNel.


Thank you so much for doing this with us $tupid Young! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born in The East Side of Long Beach, California. During this time Snoop Dogg was on the rise with Tha Dogg Pound, it was the peak of Snoop’s career. I regrettably joined a gang at the age of 14, subsequently dropped out of highschool and found myself in and out of jail due to the poor choices I was making.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path not only as a musician, but as an entrepreneur?

While I was in a youth camp for incarcerated teens, I joined a program that helped me earn an early release from my term. That program and the director really helped to jump start my interest in music, launch my career and turn my life around. Being a musician, often you see artists thinking you have to have a record label to sign you. I created my own label, so that my friends and family would also come up with me. Everyone has a role in contributing, everyone brings something unique and special to the table at Afficials The Label. I have been able to provide specific jobs that would help the label and everyone involved, while my friends and family can create an income from it.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began Afficials The Label?

One of the co-founders of Afficials The Label, a really close friend of mine for many years, was shot and killed during the first season we launched. It was tragic, and it still hurts all of us today. Thankfully, his name will forever live in the lyrics we create and produce to keep his memory and spirit alive.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting in the music industry? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Ha! Early on I had missed some shows and cancelled events. I learned my lesson, no more staying up the night before and to keep track of travel time especially when dealing with other time zones!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My newest album titled, “True Story 2” that we are dropping on Sept. 13, 2019. It features e-40, YBN Nahmir, Pacman Da Gunman and Smokepurpp among others. Fans have been patiently waiting for this next album and we can’t wait to share it with the world!

I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in the music industry? How can that potentially affect our culture? How does your brand represent this?

It’s important to have diversity throughout the entertainment industry, not just in music, because the different backgrounds might come with new solutions, different flavors and unique vibes to bring audiences and people together as a whole.

From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do to help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?

For the media to encourage more interviews, background checks, and for people to not judge someone because of how they look on their outside appearance.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story, or an example for each.

  1. Be prepared for having to sign a lot of papers and contracts. I’ve learned to trust my team and never sign anything without everyone knowing the situation at hand. I remember signing a deal renewing my distribution with Empire without discussing with my team first and they got mad. My manager feels we could have gotten a better percentage if we had sat down and discussed the matter together.
  2. You will have a lot of late nights and early mornings. There have been countless times where my late night studio sessions blur into early morning interviews with the press!
  3. Beware of new people. With success comes many new faces and lots of congratulations; but don’t let those moments blind side your vision. I have had people claiming to be my family, somehow related to me only after my career took off. Where were these people and all this energy before my career took off though, when I really needed the support the most?
  4. Bigger investments equals bigger bills. Keep planning ahead, and if you have the momentum, plan for a season ahead. When I drop new content, that material is ideally a year and a half old already. It takes time to properly market your music and products, don’t rush the process. I learned this from watching our governments, what we see today is the result of planning and orchestration decades ago.
  5. Keep humble, have faith and never give up even if you are the last one standing! I don’t think an explanation is needed for this one.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Be sure to find “your” passion, and not someone else;s.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to start a movement empowering people to never give up on themselves. Too many people, especially kids/teens today seem to give up quickly from bullying, to factors in their environment and home life. I would like to see a more positive change where people are more self confident, that’s when people’s real talent and creativity come out!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Shout out to Cee & Bob my two amazing managers, and Vijed ‘Horse’ my A&R. Without them my career would be a mess.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My friend and manager Cee, always says, “You only get one life to get it right! If you mess it up, restart over again in your next lifetime!” So strive to get it right, now!

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Nipsey hussle because his presence now would be dope

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Spotify

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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