Yi Yang, also known as YYKBZ, has just graduated from COM (College of Communications) at Boston University and is rising in the ranks as a hip hop producer.
Yi Yang, also known as YYKBZ, was born in Shengyang, China, and left his hometown to attend a middle school education in the UK. The young man was always adept in the areas of music production. It was a passion of his that he would never let go and was something he was able to use as a form of combining his culture and his art. When he completed his schooling in the UK, YYKBZ went back to Shengyang for his senior year of high school, with a newfound love and enthusiasm for music production and a desire to take on the realms of the music industry by storm for his mother land.
Yi Yang then came to BU for his undergraduate career and studied in the College of Communications at BU. But before that, back in high school, this campus influencer didn’t run into any opportunities for producing music as a senior in high school. It proved to be a more arduous and tedious task to reach out and find gigs to perform at, especially at such a young age. Furthermore, it is rare for a Chinese high school student to have a flourishing music career because most students are, at this time and in this culture, focused on preparing for exams for their college entrances. Nonetheless, this did’t stop him from making the music that he loves and so he dedicated himself to more time and more work, applied to BU’s College of Communications, got accepted and continuing to produce music to the Chinese demographic in Boston.
In line with his musical history, Yi Yang began his hip-hop journey after he met two rising hip-hop stars at a young age. In 2014, with the help of his neighbor, he managed to release his first mixtape called “Shenyang to Chi-town” in the name of YYKBZ.
He continued his producing story in college, and this is where he met a lot of rappers in the same division as himself. Since then, his music has become more recognized by people locally and has found a place in the forefront of students’ minds. Personally, I would say that his track titled “Call Me Please,” featuring 3BANGZ, LilAKIN, and 未来星, is his most heated song online and is my favorite one so far.
After interviewing YYKBZ, he said to me, “you won’t be happy if you are making music for a living, you have to make it for love and passion; otherwise, you are not making music that belongs to yourself”.
I admire his value in music and what he has achieved for the Chinese hip-hop industry as a whole. I hope that he continues to keep producing more dope music and perhaps will have the a chance to collaborate with local artists in Boston someday.