Reppin’ Amsterdam’s new gen, this young creative is spearheading the hip-hop scene while painting lyrical pictures unlike those in which artists of colour—in particular rap artists—are stigmatized. Hoping to further defy such prejudices, Glenn Ascencion, alias Yung Nnelg, creates politically charged songs that form a counterwave to anything trapping his body into a confined space. Luckily his “million dollar mindset” is still free. Bringing the heat with every sound he drops, Glenn’s Ghanaian roots are continuously felt in his forward beats. We caught up with the artist for our Body Politics issue.
Would you say your work is related to body politics?
Definitely. As a young black man in the Western world there are certain stigmas linked to your skin colour. People might feel intimidated by my appearance, might have some stereotypical opinions about me being a young black artist or might try to approach me in a derisive way. A lot of people tend to categorize you as this “rapper” or whatever, but I’m here to break those prejudices for all young black men, whether you’re pursuing a music career or not. Apart from that, I’ve been doing a lot of self-study in the past months, which eventually resulted in this state of self-awareness. In my opinion the most important thing to realize is who you really are and where you’re from. As soon as I understood this, I noticed a boost in my confidence in everything I did.
Do you see your music as a form of protest?
Yes, I would see my craft as a protest. You could link this to the first answer. My whole form of protest is breaking the stereotypes of young black men who make hip-hop or are influenced by hip-hop. I do this by thinking out of the box whenever I’m creating.
What impact do you think social media have on shaping our ideals of beauty?
At first thought, I’d say social media has a negative impact on our beauty ideals. It’s easier to go to some “pretty girl/guy’s” account and compare yourself. You even have the ‘explore’ section on Instagram that recommends a lot of faces and bodies to you, whether you like it or not. People are so busy with their appearance on social media, it’s like a new world we got sucked into. Just know who you are, accept it and be proud of it.
Do you believe your body limits you in any way?
I get my confidence from sharing and receiving information. Every bit of information gained from whoever gives me more knowledge, even if it’s a six-year-old keeping me up to date with a new cartoon. The cool thing about sharing information is that you can help someone out. But know whenever you’re giving too much information, haha.
As a young artist, what do you daydream about?
Everyone that I care about. And living a carefree life.