AKA Marvin Young
Birthplace: London, England
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: "Bust a Move"
Born in London to Jamaican immigrants, Marvin Young was relocated to the New York Borough of Queens at the age of three, where he spent the remainder of his childhood and the majority of his teen years. After graduating from high school, Young moved to the opposite coast at the age of 18 to study economics at the University of Southern California. It was here that he made contact with Matt Dike and Michael Ross, co-founders of the hip-hop label Delicious Vinyl; with his Bachelor's in economics completed, the aspiring musician successfully auditioned for the label over the phone, rapping his song My Name Is Young. Shortly afterwards Young was in the studio, recording the single I Let 'Em Know (built around a sample from the Ohio Players track Skin Tight) under the name Young MC. By 1989 Young had already secured his place in music history by penning the song Wild Thing for fellow party-rapper Tone-Loc, which brought about the first appearance of a black hip-hop artist at the top of the mainstream charts (the honky hip-hop of the Beastie Boys having made the same breakthrough three years earlier).
The popularity of Wild Thing and its follow-up single Funky Cold Medina set the stage for the interest surrounding Young MC's own debut effort Stone Cold Rhymin', released later in '89. The album's Grammy-winning first single Bust A Move would become one of hip-hop's most enduring tracks, and launched the rapper into the mainstream top 10; the second single Principal's Office also made a respectable showing by breaking the top 40. This promising beginning was quick to turn sour, however, and by the start of the 90s Young and the Delicious Vinyl executives had fallen out: the rapper claiming excessive creative interference from the label, and the label suing him for breach of contract after he severed their relationship. He soon landed a deal with Capitol Records, but neither of the two albums (Brainstorm, 1991; What's The Flavor, 1993) nor their singles (That's The Way Love Goes, Special Package, both 1991; What's The Flavor, 1993) issued through this new arrangement managed even remotely to re-create the success of Bust A Move. By this time, the hip-hop scene had moved away from Young's style of upbeat, party-oriented muisc and was focused instead on the new trend of hardcore gangsta rap.
Despite this change in fortunes, Young continued to pursue his music career, sporadically releasing new albums on a series of different independent labels. In 1997 he issued the ironically-titled full-length Return Of The 1 Hit Wonder and the singles On & Poppin and Coast 2 Coast on Overall Records; some of the album's tracks deliberately moved into new territory (the MC being backed by the punk band Rubberneck on Mr. Right Now), but public reception remained lukewarm. A move to the Young Man Moving label preceeded the release of 2000's Ain't Goin' Out Like That, followed by Engage The Enzyme and its single Feel The Love on Stimulus Records in 2002. That same year, a single consisting of Bust A Move remixes was issued by Universal.
High School: Hunter College High School, New York City, NY
University: BS Economics, University of Southern California, LA (1988)
Grammy Best Rap Performance (1989)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Up in the Air (5-Sep-2009) · Himself
Beef IV (18-Sep-2007) · Himself
Beef III (15-Nov-2005) · Himself
The Player (3-Apr-1992) · Himself
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