” ‘Recovery’ is real deep,” says Yungeen Ace about the song that opens his new Don Dada mixtape. As the title implies, the track is part of the rapper’s healing after getting shot eight times in a 2018 drive-by. Though Ace would survive, the attack would take the life of his brother and two close friends. In “Recovery,” the video premiering here on HollywoodLife, Ace works through the fallout of the attack while coming to terms with his survivor’s remorse. “If I could take it all back, I probably wouldn’t do it,” he raps. “Probably wouldn’t be the man today and the pain I stood / But I’d do anything to have them back, let’s get that understood / Seem like it’s hard for me to die, I know y’all wish I could.”
“I spent like eight hours making that song,” Yungeen told HollywoodLife during an EXCLUSIVE interview. “I spent eight hours because it was I just wanted to be so heartfelt. I want you to feel it. I wanted to give you chills when you listen to it. I spoke about the situation before I got shot … I want you to feel it all. I want you to feel where I’m coming from.”
On the track, Yungeen addressed how, while still bleeding from the shooting, he was immediately arrested over a probation violation. He also claimed that the authorities told his mother that he was the one who “set up” the attack. “You should have seen how the engineer was looking at me — when I recorded [“Recovery”] I was sitting next to the engineer, and he’s just looking at me like – it’s shock. I’m like, this is what happened. This is exactly how it went. And it breaks my heart, for my mom and everybody else’s mama to look at me that way.”
“For everyone to put that blame on me, it just broke my heart,” he continued. “Those are the closest people in the world to me. I would never in my life do such a thing like that.” Ace said the shooting left him “traumatized for life. I’m still [dealing with it] to this date. I still haven’t learned to move on from it. I still cry at night. I still think about it daily.”
Though that moment in the past will forever be part of Yungeen Ace’s present, he has put his focus on the future. Don Dada is his first project after last year’s studio album, Step Harder. Though his 2019 project featured names like Boosie Badazz, Lil Durk, and Dej Loaf, Don Dada is the opposite. Outside of one appearance by King Von, Don Dada is a solo outing for Ace.
“I just wanted to be just me,” says Ace. “I just wanted it to be just me, cuz I every time, every project I got, I was always featuring somebody. And I just want this one to just be me. You know what I’m saying? ‘Cause I’m Don Dada. But, I got to shout out King Von. I complimented his last project, so It’s like, returning the favor.” However, expect there to be plenty of guests on his next album, and he tells HollywoodLife that he’s “working on [it] right now.”
Watch the above interview for more on Don Dada, filming his video for “Stretch Gang,” and if he still thinks he can dunk on Lil Durk if the two went one-on-one in basketball.