Before YN Jay started beating doonies down on camera, the Beecher, Michigan rapper was extremely reticent in more ways than one. He hasn’t always been the outspoken type to teeter between humorously indecent lyrics and sometimes erotic subject matter. In fact, the self-proclaimed “Coochie” Man never had too much to say: “I’ve never been a talkative person – and just by doing that, I learned a lot.”
At the core of Jay’s sex-crazed lyrics lies “a young dude from a small community” that blossomed into something greater because people embraced him for who he was. The people in reference are none other than Flint rappers Rio Da Yung OG, RMC Mike, and Louie Ray. “I got a chance to open up in front of my friends,” Jay recalls.
A genuine camaraderie catches the space between YN Jay’s growth and development as an artist. He took to forming a supportive community as a means to find his artistic identity, making it a point to learn from his rap contemporaries while building rapport. From there, he dove headfirst into the craft, ushering in a new flow that has reshaped and revitalized the Michigan soundscape.
With Young, Wild & Free, YN Jay’s charisma and signature start-stopping flow are on full display. The 15-track project is a turning point in his career, marked by a pocket of steadily improving releases that tell his story in a way that feels uniquely his.
Speaking with YN Jay, you get the sense his greatest joy is the act of supporting others. Being a rapper, famous, it’s all secondary to changing lives for the better. “The motivation that I give to people is more than anything,” he says. ” I just want to show everyone that you can come from nothing and make it out, and do good deeds.”
Who was YN Jay before music?
I was Geronimo, man. That’s my real name. I was just a young dude from a small community called Beecher, Michigan, right next to Flint. I ain’t never used to talk growing up forreal until I get around people that I’m comfortable with – my family, my brothers, sisters, cousins, stuff like that. When I was out in public or at school, I had friends, everybody loved me for who I was, but I never used to like talking. A lot of older people would tell me, “You gon’ be straight when you get older just because you listen and watch what’s going on.” I’ve always been the type to see everything happen, almost before it happened, when it’s happening. And I can hear stuff before it happens: I can hear a situation before it happens and just know how to move in that situation and not be in the way. I knew I was gonna make it before I made it – I seen it coming. I’ve never been a talkative person – and just by doing that, I learned a lot.
What prompted you to showcase more personality?
Rio Da Yung OG and RMC Mike, being around them, they really embraced me for who I was. I got a chance to open up in front of my friends. A lot of people didn’t know how funny I was or how crazy I was. I might get to jumping around and my hat fall off or I used to have my own style with how I danced to music. They embraced it, and Louie Ray, too. Even when I came up with the light voice flow, with “Uhhhhhh / I hit it from the back / I beat her doonies down.” When I first came up with that, they told me, “This is it, man.” They made me know it was it before the world told me.
Did Rio and Mike’s reassurance play a big part in your overall development as an artist?
Yeah, that meant a lot to me. These were the guys that were the biggest rappers in my city at the time. Not even in just my city, they were some of the biggest rappers in the Midwest, and nobody really made it out of Flint, Michigan, except for The Dayton Family, they did their thing. Jon Connor did his thing, too. It was really a friendship, too. It wasn’t just music. The more we hung around each other the more we built a friendship. Rio used to hump the ground first – he made me start doing it.
You never thought that you’d be beating doonies down on camera?
I never thought I’d be doing this hump motion. My hump motion is crazy, I ain’t gon’ lie. It all come in handy though because when it’s time to have sex, all of my moves come out. All of the same moves I do on the ground and from the side, I really beat the doonies down when I’m in the bedroom with the ladies. At first, what’s so crazy – a lot of people don’t say this or may not realize it, but coming from the Coochie Man, people will believe it – in Flint, Michigan, Rio and Mike were the only ones (doing the hump motion). Even when they was doing it, I never used to see other people doing it. We shot a video together and it was like everyone was hyping each other up to do it [laughs]. Rio did it, then Mike did it, and then it got to me and I did it and everybody was tripping after that. That’s how we are: we just learn from each other and gain from each other. When I became the Coochie Man, I started doing a lot of different hump motions, and with the ground one, I just perfected it. I started doing it from the side and just different ways.
How long did it take for you to become the Coochie Man?
Shit, Ion know, but I can tell you what happened for me to become the Coochie Man. I had a threesome with two girls from my city. When we had the threesome, they told me not to tell anybody, and I never told anyone. A couple days later, I went to the club and everybody knew. I was tryna figure out how everybody knew but I guess they told people. The threesome was so good to them that they told people. I’m thinking they not gon’ say anything. Females were so attracted to me this one night in the club, females that I used to want who didn’t see me whenever I walked past them.
You didn’t have to climb the ranks of being a coochie scout?
What’s so crazy is that the Coochie Man is almost like Johnny Bravo in a way. It’s not how much coochie you get that makes you the Coochie Man, it’s about how women are attracted to you. Females did crazy shit. For example, say if I walked up to a female and hugged her in the club, she would grab my whole johnson. And then the way a female would look at you – you can tell if someone really loves you by the way they look at you. I was always a coochie scout, I always beat doonies down through the city and shit like that, but what made me the Coochie Man is the way that females love me. Not even with just having sex: females love me to the point where I done seen girls really faint over me at Rolling Loud.
That’s a coochie moment for sure.
The coochie moment, forreal. With the Coochie Man, I do the craziest shit that you can do, what people wanna do but they scared to do it. For instance – stand on a bar in the club and make all the security try to put you out of the club, turning up to the point where you sweating like you just played three games of basketball. Even if it’s seven people in the building, I’ll make people remember who YN Jay was. How I became the Coochie Man was really a one day process. It was an idea, the Coochie Man. I wanted to create an alter ego, another version of myself. My people didn’t understand what I meant but slowly but surely I made them into believers. I’m a cool dude, I really don’t talk like that. I made the “Coochie” song when I was 19 or 20. When I made that song, I was fire then, but at midnight, I turn into the Coochie Man all the way until 12pm the next day [laughs].
Is Young, Wild & Free a sign of the Coochie Man’s evolution, or what’s the energy with this project?
It’s the Coochie Man with money. The Coochie Man being at the top, almost. The Coochie Man having sex with a lot of models and rich females. At first, the Coochie Man, with the other albums I put out, was me finding out who I really was. Now, I almost know exactly who I am and I’m almost at an elite style. I almost have a godly flow with this music shit. I used to really think about what I’m saying when I rap, but now I go in the studio and just like how I’m talking to you and words are coming out of my mouth, that’s how I rap now – I can just talk and by the time I stop rapping the song is done.
Agreed. I feel like you have a conversational flow, so much so that it’s almost like you’re talking in complete sentences on beat and not just “rapping.”
It’s really a one of one thing. That’s why I love this shit so much, too. That’s why I appreciate myself. I really thank myself for bringing what I did to the table and doing what I done. I came in the game young as a 19-year-old male from a small place that nobody really knows and I came up with a style that captures the whole world. The motivation that I give to people is more than anything. I never really cared about being a rapper. I always wanted to change the game and play a part in that. I feel like what I’m bringing to the table gon’ have something to do with what’s going on in the next 2-3 years, with the next big hit that drop. A guy might use my flow but in his own way. I hear it everyday now but I don’t call it out as much. I can hear myself through the industry for sure.
Your efforts don’t go unnoticed, especially when it comes to music. What do you enjoy most about looking out for other artists?
I’m giving people a chance to be heard because you never know who that next person is that could be the biggest artist in the world. Some people just need a chance and that’s what people don’t get. I never really got a chance until I got older. The (feature) money never really helped me, forreal. My features are to help other artists and really give people a chance to do a song with me. I just did a feature last week for $2,000 just because he sent me his music and I liked it. I feel like everybody deserves a chance. I really charge $5,000 on the regular but if I can see a person taking it seriously and see that they really want it, I’ll at least give them a chance. If I like the song, sometimes I’ll post it just because. Support can change based on how people think. I know some people that were born killers, raised to do some crazy shit, and right now I’m motivating them to make it out the hood, giving them game, giving them a chance to become rich and change their outcome. People that I be around, people that I do features with, these people feel like it’s only death or jail. People I really thug it with and try to give a chance to, they’re almost lost in a way. I was lost too at one point so I know how it feel, especially when you ain’t got no one in your corner. That’s why I do toy drives in my city. By now, I’ve invested over two hundred thousand (dollars) into kids, donations, and toy drives for younger people. I just want to show everyone that you can come from nothing and make it out, and do good deeds. Anybody can do this shit.
You came from nothing and now you’re in a position to give back to your community, and change lives for the better along the way. That’s a dream come true.
It’s so many moments in my life that I dreamed about and vividly seen it with my own eyes, and it’s happening right now. Dreams come true, literally. I really dreamed about me buying a house in Miami and looking at the ocean with a basketball court in my backyard. Now, I really got that – the first house I bought in Miami, I can see the whole ocean in my backyard and I got a basketball court and all types of crazy shit. When I’m looking off my balcony, I can really see my dreams. I really saw myself performing at a club that looks exactly like Truth in Detroit. I seen myself being a rapper, walking through some real tall doors, then you walk in and it’s blue lights. That’s exactly how Club Truth is set up. When I seen it, it really felt like my dream. It’s crazy.
In a past interview, you mentioned how you were inspired by DMX.
His aggressive flow, the aggressiveness about him, it motivated me. It always made me a loud person. When I listen to DMX, I get real loud – I might rap this song loud [laughs].
His contributions to the musical world will never be forgotten, but DMX was a great actor, too.
He made some of the best movies in the world. Belly, that’s my favorite movie. The way he flipped the script, the way he can get mad at any moment, it was crazy. He’s really one of the greatest artists I’ve heard in my entire life. He’s amazing, he’s amazing, he’s amazing, he’s amazing.
Would you ever consider trying your hand at acting? You have the personality for it.
What’s so crazy, that’s what I’m planning on now. Right now, I’ve been tryna come up with a TV show. I dropped a video with Louie Ray, it’s called “Nobody Proud,” it’s a cartoon video. I’m using the same editors that made that video. It’s a real cartoon video and it looks like a show – I want everybody to go watch it and see exactly what I mean. I’m coming up with a show with those exact same people and I’ma name it Coochie Man. It’s gon’ be a cartoon that’s based on true stories. But you know, every show has to have a little bit of everything: fiction, non-fiction, just to fill it in. I ain’t gon’ lie, I need writers to hit me up. I need a real good writer. A writer that writes really good movies, someone to bring my ideas to life. I need a little help putting this shit together. It’s gon’ be funny, it’s gon’ be a lot of real stuff happening in it. It’s gon’ be a couple of real events that happened in my life, like Coochie Land – it’s gon’ be a real place, almost like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It’s almost gon’ be like Alice in Wonderland, like how you can go into a tree and it takes you to a different world. It’s gon’ be a portal that you can go through to get to Coochie Land. Everything about sex gon’ be there. You gon’ see some of the biggest people in the world on there, I got some people that said they’ll be in it, their voice – all we doing is voiceovers because it’s a cartoon. I’ma play my real self, I’ma have my real brothers in it….