An Instagram hit, the Seattle-based Yung Lenox, 9, doodles hip-hop artists and the album covers he loves. His work has appeared at New York’s Frieze art fair, and he's earned fans among those he seaws. A forthcoming documentary, 'Live Fast, Draw Yung' traces his unlikely story. We spoke to Lenox and his dad Skip about some of his finest works of rap art.
Drake - 'Nothing Was The Same'
Lenox’s dad: “I remember what you said when you drew Drake. You asked why people liked him. You didn’t seem impressed.”
Lenox: “Well I understand now!"
Wu Tang Clan - 'Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)'
Lennox: “The first Wu album? Umm... it was fun. I liked it.”
Lennox’s dad: “That was hard. Anything with lighting. Rendered stuff is harder for the technique he uses Because that album has a candlelight, it probably threw him off. It seems simple enough…”
GZA - 'Liquid Swords'
Lenox: “GZZZZZZZZZAAAAA! It was pretty complex, all the red, all the blue.”
ASAP Rocky - Long Live Asap
Lenox: “That was pretty fun. I liked it.”
Lenox’s dad: “Tell NME who you met the other day…”
Lenox: “Vince Staples! I met Vince Staples! But we didn’t speak to him for a long.”
Lenox’s dad: “You thought he was a DJ!”
Lenox’s dad: “I get to throw you under the bus for once. You thought Vince Staples was a DJ.”
2Pac - 'All Eyes On Me'
Lenox: “This drawing wasn’t that challenging - well, maybe the tattoos I guess…”
N.W.A. – 'Straight Outta Compton'
Lenox: “When I was four, I used to draw super-heroes. One day, my dad suggested I draw Gucci Mane. That’s how it started. Nobody at school knows I do this. And I want to be a video games tester when I grow up.”
Lenox: "He’s the best person I’ve met. The first thing I said to Cam was ‘Do you want some Tic Tacs? He didn’t."
Lennox’s dad: "Shot down that offer, even though there were two flavours."
Ghostface Killah - 'Ironman'
Lenox: “Drawing this one was pretty fun. I liked it because it’s colourful. Raekwon always hangs out with us when he comes to town. He’s pretty nice. He talks a lot.”
Lenox’s dad: “Almost all of the rappers we’ve met have been fathers. When Action Bronson met Lenox, he got emotional ‘cos he was missing his son on tour.”
'Dr Dre - The Chronic'
Lenox: “(Excited) Dr Octagon?
Lenox’s Dad: “No, Dr. Dre. Not every album is memorable to him, even though I play it for him and give him some background.”
2 Live Crew - 'As Nasty As They Wanna Be'
Lenox’s dad: “That one’s in the movie, discussing the parental advisory aspect to some of the music. Even though there’s some language issues, it’s just the beat, the melody and the syncopation of words a nine-year-old will notice. Even if you put on a Ghostface song, the swearing is so muffled and fast you wouldn’t hear it.”
Lenox: “I like his music. He’s funny. To me.”
Lenox’s dad: “I don’t think he listened to much Chief. I played him ‘3hunna’ and maybe one other song, but Chief Keef’s kind of unintelligable to most people, so I don’t think there was a big take-away on that.”
Eazy E - 'Str8 off the Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton'
Lenox’s dad: “That was just quick one. I remember listening to NWA in fourth grade - which is what grade Lenox is in now - because my buddy had the tape. I was blown away. I thought it was funny because of the swearing.”
Compton’s Most Wanted - 'Music To Driveby'
Lenox: “It’s a car and two people. They look like the old superheroes I used to draw.”
Underground Kingz - 'Super Tight'
Lenox’s dad: “He did that one of the anniversary of Pimp C passing away. Someone passed it along to Bun B and he posted it up. He’s, like, the nicest guy in rap. I think he and Lenox will eventually cross paths. Lenox drew DJ Screw for me for my birthday.”
Lenox’s dad: “That was in the first 12 drawings he did. Max had just got sentenced and I personally think he’s criminally underrated. The drawing ended up on Reddit and a couple of singles’ cover art. He’s kind of a cult artist - which we try to do rather than the most popular ones. He’s never done Kendrick or Kanye.”