How Yung Jake Is Pioneering What It Means to Be an Artist Born on the Internet

Online persona, YouTube rap star, art world darling, and then some. Whatever he is, he’s rewriting the rules for what it means to make waves in the 21st century.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Yung Jake wants to text. This is how he wants to be interviewed for his Complex feature. He won’t talk in person, over the phone, on Skype, or even via IM. He’ll text. That’s it.

This isn’t how the people we put in this magazine (or that have ever been put in any magazine, ever) ask to do their interviews. Or the kind of thing we’d ever take seriously from any of them.

But Yung Jake—who’s already performed at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sundance Institute’s New Frontiers program, and South by Southwest—isn’t most artists. Or people. Or artist personas of real people. Because Yung Jake the artist, who is the persona of a real person, refuses to have any of these things viewed separately from one another.

That’s just where it starts.

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