Cooley has been through it all. From getting shot three times (one in the face and two in the chest), the Atlanta rapper finds music to be his calling. Not only is this his own form of therapy, but it’s an outlet to express himself and his feelings. The name Young Cooley derives from the fact that he’s “a cool person from Atlanta that does music and talks a lot of shit.” Read more…
But the shit-talking is something he can back up. It’s his persona, his lingo, his energy that speaks volumes to his character beyond just the artistry. It’s not every day someone is able to collaborate with Future, something he doesn’t take for granted. He states, “That means something, he doesn’t just work with anybody. You gotta be that n*gga or you gotta have something different for him to work with you.”
We caught up with Cooley at REVOLT Summit in Los Angeles to discuss his upbringing in the A, making a song called “R Kelly,” the independent grind, and more.
How would you describe your sound?
Very unique and different. Happy music, makes you want to pop.
Being from Atlanta, what were you seeing growing up?
A lot of the same old things: poverty. Hard times for a minute, then you come up. I don’t really talk about the streets. I talk about the streets sometimes but I talk more about the imagination. What I want to do, the future. I talk about the picture, the painting. I don’t really be rapping about the struggle and all that. Everybody has to struggle, they don’t want to hear that no more.
I like real shit though.
It’s real! What I rap about is real, but you have to be more rich and cool. You have to be in good spirits to listen to my music.
But you come from the struggle?
Yeah, I can rap about it. I got certain lines in there about the struggle, but my music’s more exciting. I want to rap about the exciting part of life.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
It’s pretty cool, LA vibes. I need to see the honeys though, you’re the prettiest girl I seen around this motherfucker [REVOLT Summit]. I like the shopping, the stores, the food. It’s cool.
What’s your favorite food spot out here?
So far I haven’t went anywhere yet. I just went to In N Out Burger, trash! It taste like Wendy’s, it taste like some trash. I been to Fatburger, that was good. I’ma go to berri’s, I’ma go to Mr. Chow’s, I’ma go to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
When everybody started stealing all my stuff, every time I do something. I dress a certain way, I cut my hair a certain way, I talk a certain way, I rap a certain way. they find a way to try to duplicate it.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Being very very very cool. [chuckles] My real name’s Cooley. Pull up Cooley, my picture going to pull up.
You released My Turn Now in July. What’s one thing you want fans to get from the project?
To learn how to be yourself and be cool at the same time. You don’t gotta steal all my shit to be lit. Do your own thing, pop your own shit, and you gon’ be okay. You don’t gotta come to my page. You ain’t gotta bite all my lingo. You ain’t gotta try to be me to be cool, that’s what the mixtape is about.
Talk about making a song called “R Kelly.”
It was trending at that time. Everybody knows I got a lot of girls. I’m Cooley Kelly, but I ain’t doing all that stuff. I’m not kidnapping girls and all that. If they don’t want to leave, that’s on them. It was just a cool song, a trendy song at the time. We made a nice little beat. Nothing against R Kelly, but I’m not cosigning none of that crazy stuff he doing.
Talk about the independent grind, what are the pros and cons?
The pros are if you spend a lot of money, you can make a lot more money. The cons are if you do it wrong, you’re going to fuck up a lot of money. So we ain’t trying to fuck up no paper, we trying to do it the right way. Just make it big. Make everything big, that’s the thing.
How important is social media for your career?
My career, 100. My life, none. I’m lit in real life. For my career, it does major things. I like it.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on IG?
I follow supermodels, DJs, and people I really know. Me personally, my lifestyle and the way I really been popping and kicking it my whole life, they should follow me. I’m not following nobody. I’m really entertaining, I promise. Follow me, you’ll see.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
I normally wake up, hygiene, couple blunts, exotic breakfast. That real food: big steak, cheese, eggs, big ole lambchop omelettes. Shrimp and grits, all that. I ain’t talking about oatmeal and goddamn Frosted Flakes.
3 things you need in the studio?
Protection. Vibes, meaning females. And food. Snacks.
Protection like guns?
Yeah, big old guns.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I’d probably be a stylist or an entertainer/comedian. I have a really great sense of humor. Or probably be a pimp or I’d probably do porn. I got a lot of pros on my end. I’m a ladies man. If she don’t like me, she might be gay.
Favorite song to perform in a set?
“Yes I Did,” because that motherfucker’s lit. That’s the first song I recorded after I got shot. The energy and everything just hit, and it’s a banger.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Sex. I’m just being honest. What else am I going to get from a fan? I’m not trippin’ off nothing else. I haven’t really signed too many autographs yet… I have before though.
How does that work? Is it very straight forward?
It’s like “you coming with me tonight!?” She’s like “yeah, I’ma come.” She knows what I’m telling her to come for, and we do it. I mean, she’s going to be in good hands. It’s not like she’s coming and we going to straight sex. We gon’ smoke. We gon’ drink. We gon’ vibe. We gon’ eat. By the time we done chilling, she gon’ want to do it. I ain’t gotta do nothing.
Who’s in your top 5 artists?
Drake #1. Lil Wayne #2. Future #3. I don’t really listen nobody after that honestly. I like T.I. I used to like T.I.’s old music. Honestly, he’s a cool person with all the little talking he’s doing, but I like the old T.I.
His new music isn’t bad!
It’s not bad at all, but he’s more chill and richer. That hungry T.I. was the one. But he’s on the list, put T.I. at #4. #5, Andre 3000. I like Andre.
Drake. I can get in with the boy Drake. We got a lot of girls, we’ll vibe.
What advice do you have for an aspiring Young Cooley?
Just be yourself. Grind, be yourself and get your business in order, and you’ll be okay. Be original, don’t try to be me.