Allow Me to Re-introduce Myself, My Name is YOUNG!!

9 Dec

Everybody screamin’ “Oh My God!,” it’s the newest power forward of the squad! – Twista

The first thing running through the minds of devoted Speech is My Hammer readers has to be, “Hold up, this isn’t Will! Where’s Ketchum hiding at?” The answer is that this isn’t 1996, nor am I the blog version of an over-the-hill Hulk Hogan prepared to deliver a leg-drop to a prone Ketchum with the intent of taking over his blog in a hostile manner. For those who don’t know who I am, my name is JYoung The General (or on my Clark Kent days, Jahshua Ajene Kyle Smith), Underground Emcee Esq., who along with Ketchum and the homie P.H.I.L.T.H.Y. complete the Founding Fathership of the Michigan Music collective “The BLAT! Pack.” The homie will just also happens to be me and P’s manager.

Some of you may be sighing, viewing my addition to the roster as the fruits of sycophantic brown-nosing on my part, not dissimilar from the vein of rappers who abuse take advantage of their handler’s resources only to turn it into ad-space for whatever product their hawking. Well Jahshtradamus won’t lie, thy general getteth thy hawk on, but not nearly as much as your typical self-aggrandizing blowhard.

My pedigree runs pretty deep as far as this journalism thing goes. Both Will and myself graduated from the School of Journalism at Michigan State with a Bachelors in tow, and we both hosted the wildly successful Cultural Vibe underground hip-hop show at MSU’s official radio station, WDBM 88.9. Alongside that, other dues paid include a stint as Minority Representative/Entertainment Writer at the school paper The State News (which as one of five minority staff pretty much ensured I wrote about hip-hop and African-American culture predominately to make up for at least five years of neglect), and the Lansing weekly known as City Pulse. My subject matter ranged from interviews with R&B heartthrobs (shouts to Lloyd), covering the yearly renaissance fair (*sigh*), to battling endless throngs of faceless racists objecting online to columns straight from my socially conscious soapboax (*double sigh*).

That being said, my time here at Speech carries three purposes.

  • To help take some of the pressure off of Sir Ketchum by helping post content and keep the flow of the blog moving while he takes care of business  in other venues.
  • Get my Stephen Hawking on and post content surrounding my debut EP, Jahshua 1:6, every once in a while to increase my visibility as an artist. To keep it fair, anytime you see “The General’s Shameless Plug,” it serves as a spoiler alert to let those who don’t like me run for the hills.
  • Scratch the itch to break out of a year long hiatus from Journalism and post content that interests me (and in turn might interest you), and to stimulate conversation and provoke thought. That may be hip-hop, social activism, blatant human fuckery, or picture of cute puppies that make us all go “awwwwwwwwwwww.” Jahsh keeps ’em on their toes!

I’m honored to be the latest member of the Speech staff, and as a coveted free agent someone grateful for the opportunity to gregariously ignore AP style as a journalist once again, here’s to the next level of the JYoung/Ketchum connection.


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