Yungeen Ace

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About Yungeen Ace

“People who have a plan B never believe in plan A,” Yungeen Ace told Apple Music. “I have no plan B.” The Florida rapper has good reason to be so determined. Born Keyanta Bullard in 1998, Ace grew up in poverty alongside 11 brothers, first in his native East Chicago, then Jacksonville. In early 2017, on the verge of breaking out with Yungeen Gang’s “Go To War,” he went to prison for a year. (Claiming that a fellow member snitched on him, he subsequently split with his crew.) Once free, in early 2018, he dropped his debut single, “No Witness,” a hard-boiled chronicle of street realism, but just months later, Bullard and his crew were ambushed. Three died, including one of his brothers, but the young rapper took eight bullets and survived. These experiences inform all of Ace’s music, beginning with 2018’s debut mixtape, Life of Betrayal. Despite his sweetly Auto-Tuned singsong delivery, Ace doesn’t sugarcoat his tales; his songs are grim testimonials of the devastation wrought by violence. But there is rare vulnerability in his music, too, as he mourns lost lives and grapples with his own past. In “Recovery,” looking back on the shooting that killed his brother and friends, he raps, “I got moments I wish I could take everything back, layin’ on that cement.” Rap isn’t just a pastime for Ace: It’s his outlet and his therapy. “I’m sacrificing everything just for this,” he told Apple music. “It’s what I want to do with my life.”

Jacksonville, Florida
February 12, 1998
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