In the latest installment of the Allison Interviews podcast, viral rap sensation YelloPain candidly discusses his rise from Dayton, Ohio’s projects to becoming rap’s Gen Z voice, why many young boys are conditioned to cheat in relationships as men, his disdain for the history of Thanksgiving, the real power behind government, his fascination with the 1980s crack epidemic and 80s hip hop, and his upcoming documentary film which breaks down how voting really works.
The following are excerpts from the latest episode of the Allison Interviews podcast with host and entertainment journalist, Allison Kugel. The full podcast episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify; and on YouTube.
On why so many men cheat in relationships:
“What I would really call it is self-validation. I think as a kid you just get thrown into that world. You don't have that much knowledge. All you know is just what kids know, and if people value you based upon the amount of attention you get from females you think, ‘Hey, if I'm going to be somebody, if I'm going to have purpose in my life, if I'm going to feel good about myself, I need to be in that race,’ even at 12 and 13 years old. I'm from the hood and the young dudes brag about how many girls they had sex with. I didn't even think about having sex before being thrown into the culture of that fast-paced [life]. Everybody's trying to get something, so it became that type of chase, and as a kid you figure out, ‘How can I conquer by any means necessary? How can I not be lame? How can I not be corny?’ That's what happens to a lot of us. So, as we get older, some of those patterns, they stay in us and it becomes a part of our personality.”
On learning to value monogamous relationships, marriage and fatherhood:
“I think we are learning that more, now that it’s becoming more popularized. A lot of people think that social media is the demise of the world, but to be honest I think it’s access to information that we would never have gotten outside of our homes; a lot of things we were not exposed to. Now you can hear somebody like me and the song “The Real Reason Why Men Cheat.” You can hear that song at age 12. You have access to truth. [Now] it's not just whatever you take in at home or in your own neighborhood.”
On his dislike of the history of Thanksgiving:
“I definitely have a bone to pick with it. As I was doing research, I was reading books and I visited Indian villages. I had Zoom calls with Native American people who are still on their reservations, who know their own history. The more I found out, it just kind of got sick, and I was like, ‘How did this become permanent history for us?’ We kind of just got tied into [a holiday] that was celebratory based around murder and successfully overtaking this country, So I don't celebrate Thanksgiving. I do love the aspect of family, but what if the alternative is just another day? Another name? Just to break that tradition, kind of like how the Washington Redskins had to change their name to the [Washington] Commanders. It's like, let's just take the brutal history out of it and make it something fresh.”
On his fascination with the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic:
“This is about to sound crazy, but I would have wanted to witness the crack era, just because it's a culture I didn't see. My parents did tell me this story that when they had moved to the projects and when crack cocaine had first hit the community, it was like wildfire. People would be begging, trying to get crack off you. And you would pull into the neighborhood and they would be banging on your window saying, ‘Hey, I got this.’ They knew what it was going to do, and it was just like this crazy obsession with everybody trying to sell crack and get it. Then just seeing how that went and how indictments worked in the government, and that whole era. It’s the ‘80s and still kind of tied to Hip Hop, because Hip Hop started to shift in that time into what it is now, from what we first fell in love with. I would like to just go back there and experience it just to see how it was.”
On how crack led to Bill Clinton’s 1994 Tough on Crime bill:
“I was already into the Hip Hop culture aspect of it and watching drug movies, to see how it operated in the time period. Once I got into politics, I saw how it tied together and became this whole thing, seeing how the government works. With [Bill] Clinton, and this is my opinion and I don't really share political opinions too much, but it just kind of goes into what I say in my documentary. Politicians work for the people who vote for them. It was a very popular thing to say, ‘I want to be tough on crime.’ It still is, but back in the day it issued a level of protection that made a lot of people vote for the person. So I'm thinking Bill Clinton thought, ‘If I'm running, I have to say what the people who are voting want to hear.’ Then he had to be held accountable for the things he said, which means he's then signing a crime bill. It all kind of works together and it's a fascinating story.”
On his life’s purpose:
“Every now and then I think my purpose is one thing and then it goes into another thing. I thought I was going to be this super lit rapper and then I made a song about drug addiction that went viral. My uncle had just recently passed, and I lived in a community (Dayton, Ohio) where it was the number one city for drug overdose deaths. People overdosed right outside my front door, so it was those types of experiences that made me passionate about that subject matter. But now it's the voting space, and even in the voting space it was the song, but now it's a documentary film. I don't believe in just one purpose. I believe in assignments, and I think God puts us all on assignments. I take every assignment seriously, and I try to execute it to the best of my ability.”
About Journalist and Podcast Host Allison Kugel
Allison Kugel is a veteran entertainment journalist with hundreds of longform celebrity and newsmaker interviews published and syndicated, worldwide. She is author of the memoir, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record, and host of the Allison Interviews podcast. Watch and embed the entire interview video with YelloPain @YouTube. Listen to the audio podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Follow Allison Kugel on Instagram @theallisonkugel and at AllisonInterviews.com
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