Hip-hop artist 42 Dugg just dropped the sequel to his ‘Young & Turnt’ mixtape, and he talks with us about his ‘Hard Times’ single, working with Lil Baby, and what he’s going to do once the quarantine is over.
“Other than the coronavirus, everything’s been good for me right now,” 42 Dugg says to HollywoodLife. The Detroit native has a reason to be feeling great. He cracked the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time with “Grace,” his collaboration with Lil Baby. He scored a spot opening for MoneyBagg Yo on the Time Served Tour (before it, like everything else in the world, got postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.) He also just dropped Young and Turnt 2, the follow-up to his 2019 mixtape, Young and Turnt. The new project is being jointly released on Yo Gotti’s Collective Music Group and Lil Baby’s 4 Pockets Full imprint. So, yes – outside of a global pandemic, everything is looking great for 42 Dugg.
At one time, things weren’t so cheery for the rapper (born Dion Hayes.) At one point, he was a teenager serving a six-year sentence for carjacking and felony firearms possession. While doing a stretch in solitary confinement, the then 20-year-old began writing rap songs to pass the time. A second stint in the hole awoken something within him, and he started to focus on his art. Freed in 2017, he doubled down on his hip-hop ambitions, releasing “Mama I’m Sorry” at the start of 2018. He started to blow up, self-releasing several projects. A collaboration with fellow Motor City rapper Babyface Ray produced “The Streets,” a tribute to Dugg’s fallen friend and fellow rapper, Team Eastside Snoop. The track caught the attention of Yo Gotti, and the rest was history. Young And Turnt dropped in 2019, and 2020 brings us the sequel.
While the world waits until the Time Served Tour gets rescheduled, 42 Dugg chatted with HollywoodLife about working with Lil Baby, the biggest piece of advice Yo Gotti has given him (so far), and the first thing he’s going to do once the coronavirus quarantine gets lifted.
HollywoodLife: The world has changed since the first Young and Turnt mixtape. But, what’s the most significant difference between the 42 Dugg then and the 42 Dugg on Young And Turnt 2?
42 Dugg: There’ve been a lot of ups and downs, but I feel like I’m back on track now in my career. I’ve got a lot more fans, I’ve got more money, and I’ve stopped drinking lean. Other than the coronavirus, everything’s been good for me right now.
The first single off the project, “Hard Times,” details your own story. Though people having to work from home doesn’t really compare to being in prison, it seems the message is resonating with those currently going through their own ‘hard times.’ What has the reaction been?
A lot of people have been fucking with it! A lot of people are going through what I was going through when I wrote it, so they’ve been saying they relate to it. And I know a lot of people have been going through some shit right now, so my message to them is to ‘Just keep your head up and make the best out of your situation.’
You earned your first Billboard Hot 100 entry with “Grace,” your record with Lil Baby. Now, he’s on “Not A Rapper,” alongside Yo Gotti. What’s it been like working with him?
That’s my guy. When we go to the studio, we gotta make a song, and we really don’t leave until we make at least one song. We both have come a long way in this rap shit – he got way better, I got way better, and we bounce ideas off each other. You know he’s gonna talk his shit, so I know I can’t play, and it be vice-versa. We both freestyle – we ain’t never wrote a song. Everything we do, we freestyle the songs.
Also, what’s it been like working with Yo Gotti? What would you say is the best piece of advice or wisdom that you’ve taken from working with him?
One of the biggest things he taught me is to take my music seriously, take my opportunities more seriously, and seize the moment. That’s what he’s on. He’s always making sure I’m finishing my songs, that I’m in the studio, that I’m structuring songs right, and that I’m giving my input on music videos. He taught me to take rap seriously and do what I’m supposed to do.
What’s the first thing you’re going to do once all the quarantines and “social distancing” restrictions are lifted?
I can’t wait to get back to performing and rescheduling a tour that I had with MoneyBagg Yo. And I can’t wait to hop on my dirt bike.”
Young & Turnt 2 is out now.