Do you know where you’re going in life? Well in order to figure that out, you have to know where you’ve been? Whether we realize it or not, our past, our cultures, our heritages all play an important role in our personal development towards what we want to achieve in the future, which is something that Samoan Rap Artist, Greenberg Lam Yuen (aka Green for short) is well aware of!
Brand new to the game, Green’s personal motto, “Beaches to Buildings”, not only epitomizes his path in life, but is also quite literally written across his heart! Green says, “Beaches is Samoa and when I flew here to Cali all I saw was buildings. It defines me. That’s where I’ve been, that’s where I’m at right now.” Born in Pago Pago, American Samoa, Green’s mother moved him and his older siblings to Garden Grove, California in 1997 when he was just 6 years old. Green says, “I’m someone who’s been an outsider most of my life. When I first came here, I didn’t speak English and it was really hard in school. “It took me about a year to pick it up.” But so far that hasn’t stopped him from setting out on a career in music as a rapper.
Green says, “I love to Rap! Period! When I was 13 I bought my first album, Kanye West ‘College Dropout’ and I was in love. I could play a track over and over and I’d never get tired of it….I love his creativity, his boldness, he does what he wants!” Green places Kanye atop a list of other rappers who influence him and increase his passion for the craft, like “Lil Wayne! I love how hard he works. I love Drake’s talent; he comes up with great songs. I love J. Cole because he can touch topics that are deep that other rap artists would have a hard time with. Of course I love Nicki Minaj!” The influence that this list of greats has had on Green is evident in his lyrical abilities.
Green says when he started out, “I would write poems to my girlfriends and stuff, it was just a way to get a girl to smile, but In 2010 I wrote my first track and tried it out….As I wrote more I gained more love for rap.” Even though Green is brand new to the game, lyrically his style is not! Poetic is an understatement for some of his lines! Green’s ability to use words and language in similes and metaphors to combine seemingly contrasting concepts together echoes a Weezy and Young Money vibe.
Even though we sing along with the music as we’re drivin’ down the road, or belt out our favorite lyrics while we’re scrubbin’ in the shower, often we don’t even notice what we are saying. Most of us give little thought to what the lyrics actually mean, but if we took the time to listen to the artistic manipulation of words, especially in this lyrically genius style, it might just blow our minds!
Take Weezy’s line, “talking to myself because I am my own consultant; married to the money, f-ck the world, that’s adultery.” When you pause for a second and let the imagery of his words settle, you understand that Lil Wayne is a master at merging concepts and ideas into one thought which creates new meaning. In a similar manner, one of Green’s lyrical creations goes: “Flow’s hot like things girls make curls with; I’m so ill I make the world’s best nurse quit!” While impressive on paper, these lines take on new life when you hear them flow as an almost hypnotic lullaby.
Admittedly, Green is just barely starting out in the game and in spite of the many obstacles he’s faced throughout his life, he maintains a positive outlook and drive to succeed and learn all he can to progress in his craft. Green should be collaborating with artists like DayVid Thomas and Mace Hefner in the near future and says, “There are so many talented young people out there that are trying to blow up on their own and if someone wants to share their talent with me then I would be happy to work with them.”
When asked “What inspires you?” Green answered, “Family, my past, the hunger for a better life… My goal is to really show people that it’s okay to dream big.” Green may be young and new to the game, but he’s definitely WHATITDO! Watch for Green to do big things! Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or his Tumblr .
Article Written by: G_Writer
*Photos courtesy of Unfading Image