AUGUST 10, 2023
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AUGUST 10, 2023
Only the best things get better with age—wine, cheddar, 401ks, the list goes on. It turns out Yung Gravy gets better with age too.
When you think about it, the name Yung Gravy says a great deal. It’s perpetually youthful, and it oozes “sauce.” As such, Yung Gravy uses his own special recipe to bring originality and positivity to make his one-of-a-kind impact on the genre. Gravy flexes his passion for soul music and oldies in his production, sampling a wide range of musical styles dating from the 1940’s to the present-day. Nostalgic and often-jubilant melodies paired with heavy trap drums form the usual canvas for his signature baritone voice—reminiscent of Barry White. Showcasing effortless flows and endlessly quotable lyrics, Yung Gravy paints something truly unique while clearly having a good time doing so.
For all of the swagger and style he exhibited upon his arrival, the recipe got even smoother since introducing himself. After streams in the billions, packed venues, and “side missions” with Martha Stewart, he stirred up his most refined dish yet on his 2022 third full-length opus, Marvelous [Republic Records].
Most importantly, it answered a question that we’ve all been asking…
“Who is Gravy?” he asks: “Shit, who was Gravy before? I’m a Soundcloud rapper from the Midwest, but the gravy got a bit more refined. I took some time to perfect my craft, and now the ingredients are top-shelf, the technique is patented, it’s cooked with a little extra love; but it’s still the same, smooth Gravy, baby.”
In the fall of 2016, Matthew Hauri was a full-time student at University of Wisconsin, Madison. At the time, he introduced the world to “Yung Gravy,” a mysterious, faceless figure—only recognizable for his unique musical style and use of vintage ads for album artwork. In the span of six years, Gravy has transformed from Soundcloud stalwart to platinum powerhouse. To date, his accolades include three platinum and four gold singles as well as 10 sold out tours of North America, Europe, and Australia. He has collaborated with his self-proclaimed musical heroes, including Lil Wayne, Chief Keef, Juicy J, T-Pain, and the late Young Dolph. Gravy became the soundtrack, and unofficial second mascot, of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and was given an honorary Stanley Cup Ring. He starred in a worldwide commercial campaign with Martha Stewart, and weeks later performed for the VMAs and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Not to mention, he partnered with Samsung and Jimmy John’s for campaigns.
We find Hauri cooking up the same Gravy we love, but with a refined recipe, improved technique, and more passion than ever before, on Marvelous.
Let the man tell it in his own words…“This feels like my first full-size record. It’s more of an ‘album’ than a compilation. The whole thing is cohesive. I’ve really learned how to create music and not just rap on it. Nowadays, I work hands-on with every song from scratch. I actually influence the whole process creatively, rather than just putting vocals over a beat that someone made. I mastered the art of Gravy, and I spread that ‘creme de la creme’ across 15 songs. It’s a collection of what I love to make, a little experimentation, some extra fine tuning, but it’s classic Yung Gravy. Just Michelin-star grade Gravy this time around.”
He introduced this chapter with the single “Betty (Get Money).” The song reimagined Rick Astley’s classic “Never Gonna Give You Up,” dripping all over the immortal chorus and synth melody. It’s the perfect backdrop for his bulletproof rhymes before updating the instantly recognizable refrain, “Never take a L no more, never take a damn thing slow, all I know is chase this dough and get money.”
“With every project I’ve done, I’ve had a continued narrative of MILF names,” he explains. “This is the eighth in that saga. The name is inspired by real people from my life, but it’s also an ode to Betty White, RIP. I’ve been reserving that title for the right moment, and this is one of my favorite songs I’ve made to date.”
Turns out, everybody else loved it too. It has already gone platinum in the United States and Canada in addition to generating hundreds of millions of global streams. Plus, it notably broke out as his first Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs Chart and vaulted into the Top 30 of the Hot 100—another first, enshrining Gravy as the hottest of the hot. Dominating airwaves, it cracked the Top 20 at Rhythmic Airplay and Pop Airplay, plus topping the TikTok Top Trending Songs Charts. Additionally, he delivered a showstopping performance of this anthem at the 2022 MTV VMAs. In total, Gravy has gathered north of 6 billion streams thus far. He’s notched four entries on the Billboard 200, two in the Top 30 of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart, and two on the Top 20 of the Top Album Sales Chart. Speaking of numbers, your boy has also already sold over 5 million units. As a live phenomenon, he sold out tours in Australia and New Zealand in addition to packing venues coast-to-coast in North America with sellouts at both the Hollywood Palladium and New York’s Terminal 5. He’ll hit the stage at Bottlerock and Hangout Music Festival in 2023.
Gravy also gave some insight on the creative process and his newfound musical skills.
“When I first started rapping, I didn’t know keys or notes,” he admits. “I had no real background. I finally had the time to learn the musical side of things. Instead of just sampling, we created original compositions and really made something new. There are a lot more layers and depth to the music.”
You can tell on Marvelous. The TV Land-style intro of “Dancing In The Rain” nods to Cuban music in an anthem where he manages to rhyme “Michelle Obama” and “Benihana.” Dwilly brought the “crazy instrumentation” to life.
The title track “Isn’t it Marvelous” [feat. bbno$] juxtaposes an anthemic yacht rock soundscape with abrasive, soundcloud era trap, reminiscent of the late XXXTentacion. The synths hum, and the guitar solo wails, attempting to prepare us for one of the craziest beat-drops we’ve heard in a while.
“It’s a smooth intro where I could talk shit,” he grins. “We needed to rail people with the first drop on the album. It shows I’m back, and this shit is going to be as hard as always. Plus my best friend on the track, it came out really hot.”
Gravy is hotter than ever.