Arts & Entertainment Music Of the Week

Yung Gravy: A Smooth Rapper of New and Old Music

Written by Sean Smith

Yung Gravy was born Matthew Hauri on March 19, 1996, in Rochester Minnesota. Growing up and interested in music, his inspirations were Outkast and Nate Dogg, later becoming a huge fan of Currency, Action Bronson, 2 Chainz, and Juicy J. Yung Gravy liked the way these musicians chopped things up in the studio while sampling beats. He also liked older music too, especially Motown, so that’s why he tried to mix the old school with the new in his music and still does to this day.

When Yung Gravy was around 14 years old, he went to Camp Olsen YMCA, and when all the other kids would go to bed, he and his friends would freestyle for fun. Eventually they started a rap group, but didn’t take it very seriously. During one of the freestyles, he made up the name Yung Gravy because the lines he spit were smooth like gravy. Before that, he was called Mr. Butter, which had the same idea of being a smooth rapper.  He still only used his rapping skills for fun, so he didn’t post anything online or make any music in a studio.

In 2014, Yung Gravy graduated from Mayo Senior High School and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for college where he ended up getting his marketing degree. There he started taking rap seriously. His friend was cool with Lil Yachty, a rapper, at the time, so he told Lil Yachty to look out for Yung Gravy because he had talent. Yung Gravy knew he wanted to create a very unique sound by using old beats and adding new flows. He started producing music under the name Yung Gravy on Sound Cloud, but he didn’t tell anyone or reveal his face because, at the time, he was working at a job called Gener8tor and didn’t want to risk losing it.

Once Yung Gravy started posting on Sound Cloud and slowing his rap songs down, he started to gain popularity. Soon a lot of his songs were being used on basketball and fight memes, so this also brought attention to his music. When he saw the rapper Ugly become successful from a similar style as his, Yung Gravy was motivated to work harder and pursue his rap career full time.

His first song “Karen” gave him some online buzz, but soon after releasing his Mr. Clean EP (extended play music recording), he gained a good fan base. Later his song “Continental Breakfast” reached over one million streams on Sound Cloud. When he sampled The Chordettes’ “Mr. Sandman” and threw some trap drums over the top of it, Yung Gravy really took his talent to the next level. The song gained over 6.7 million Sound Cloud plays and more than fifteen million streams on Spotify. In under a year, “Mr. Clean” would eventually be certified “cold” in the U.S. When Yung Gravy made the “Mr. Clean” music video, he finally did a huge face reveal. This caused many big record labels to bring even more attention to him. Republic Records signed him and Yung Gravy is still a successful rapper with some old school flavor to this day.

Information Found at: “Yung Gravy:  Before They Were Famous.”  YouTube, uploaded by Michael McCrudden, 29 Sept. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY_xjld_Ee4.

Photo Found at: https://soundcloud.com/ygravy

About the author

Sean Smith