If you’re not yet aware of the little creative phenomenon that is Yung Lenox, prepare to be charmed by the seven-year-old artist who spends many of his free hours creating illustrations of rappers and iconic hip-hop album covers. From Cam’ron’s pink mink outfit to an interpretation of 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty as They Wanna Be cover, Lenox’s creations reflect his talent, enthusiasm and a magical sense of wonder.
Fascinated by Lenox, Anthony Mathile and Stacey Lee decided to film a documentary about him and—while all the footage and editing is done—there are a few finishing touches that need to be made. Currently the duo is crowd-funding on Kickstarter to ensure they can afford color correction, sound mixing, licensing and various other costs. The hope is to have “Live Fast, Draw Yung” hit big screens next year.
We spoke with Lenox and, thanks to his dad, Skip Class, some of his answers are annotated and explained: “Getting an interview from my son is different every time. You can’t really get a kid to understand why interviews are a ‘thing.’ I like to provide context and side commentary on his answers because it gives a fuller picture of how funny he really is,” he tells CH. “He will say just anything at any time. Who knows what he’s gonna say during the Q+As at the film festivals? I’m fully prepared for him to throw me under the bus just because he feels like it would be funny,” he says.
Read our interview with the seven-year-old illustrator, which proves there is almost nothing funnier than the candid nature of a child—Lenox’s answers are at times sweet, hilarious, nonsensical, yet somehow always spot on.
Do you remember the first hip-hop song you heard and what you liked about it?
I can’t remember the first song I heard. Right now, my favorite song is “Hood Pope” by A$AP FERG.
Was Cam’ron the first rapper you drew?
No, it was Gucci Mane. It’s very funny. [Skip: Does very sarcastic hand gestures during his answer]
When did you realize you were a talented illustrator?
I noticed it on like the fifth or sixth drawing I ever did… [Skip: Puts on some weird wizard voice I’ve never heard him use] It all started long ago, who was so good at drawing that everyone’s eyes popped out and his art become magic.
What do you like best about drawing—is it coming up with the idea, creating it, or seeing the finished piece at the end?
Seeing the finished piece. It looks awesome and cool. It makes me feel happy.
How does making something from scratch make you feel?
It feels OK.
What was it like being the star of your own documentary?
Made me feel awesome. ‘Cause I experienced a lot of donut-eating and fun.
How long did the crew follow you guys around?
About two years. [Skip: That’s not true, but he makes up numbers all the time—in the film he throws out random numbers for all sorts of stuff]
Cam was involved ’cause we were meeting him. I offered him some Tic Tacs.
How were Cam and Kool Keith involved in the film?
Cam was involved ’cause we were meeting him. I offered him some Tic Tacs. They were strawberry flavored. He commented on my art, I liked that he was in it.
[With Kool Keith] I had to go to this weird house that spooked the heck out of me. I gave him a drawing and he gave me an Ultra Man and his new album.
What was your favorite part about being in a documentary?
Me shooting Nerf Guns and eating donuts.
What was the weirdest part?
Having to film things over.
Other than drawing, what are your favorite things to do?
Read. [Skip: He started really getting into Harry Potter and The Hobbit and he reads for fun which his mom and I are very thankful for]
Can you tell us about your dream music festival? Who would perform? What food would you eat? Would there be rides?
There would be rides. I would have, um… A$AP Ferg, Kool Keith, Raekwon, Lil Boosie and Action Bronson. I would eat nachos and for dessert I would have ice cream fudge sundaes. There would be arcade games, laser tag, and Nerf Wars.
Do you have a really long list of things you’d like to be when you grow up?
Artist, book writer, singer, famous soccer player, video game designer, or a person that works at Nike.
To see Yung Lenox in action, support the “Life Fast, Draw Yung” Kickstarter, where rewards range from mixtapes to postcards and limited edition prints.
Film stills courtesy of Anthony Mathile and Stacey Lee