Young Mass (a.k.a. Fifth Element) is, at age 21, the youngest member of the rap and hip-hop collective Digital Underground. His family moved from Chicago to San Diego when he was 10.
At the 2003 “Gutfest” in Mission Bay Park, Digital Underground producer and performer Shock G (a.k.a. Humpty Hump of “The Humpty Dance”) discovered the 16-year-old Stanton. “It was the first time I heard his jam ‘Down in Diego,’” says Shock G. “We must’ve blasted it out the ride about ten times that day, and it sounded fresh every time.”
Shock G included Young Mass on two tracks of his 2004 CD Fear of a Mixed Planet: “Cherry Flava’d E-mail” and “Hold Me Down Up.” Young Mass has shared the stage with George Clinton, Tone-Loc, and Mopreme Shakur. His self-titled CD has recently been released.
Shock G contributed to the following Q&A.
MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF PERFORMING LIVE?
Young Mass: “It never lasts long enough. It’s like a drug, and the fix only lasts for only a little while and is too far in between.”
Shock G: “When Young Mass grabs the mike, it dates us. Him just doing his regular thing makes me and the rest of Digital Underground sound like dinosaurs. I ain’t mad at him for that, though.”
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Young Mass: “Dr. Dre told me I have the potential to be the best ever if I apply and dedicate myself to my craft.”
Shock G: “NYC, L.A., or ATL — dive into the scene, work with everybody and anybody, from hip-hop to rock. Blaze everybody’s albums, shows, and mix tapes. Get the voice and production out there on as much stuff as possible.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR CD CHANGER?
1. UGK (R.I.P. Pimp C)
3. 50 Cent
5. And, of course, Young Mass.
THREE WISHES FOR A GENIE IN A BOTTLE…
1. Own a marijuana factory.
2. Have a house big enough to fit all of my friends and family in.
3. Be regarded as the best human to ever live.
FIVE THINGS THAT SUCK:
1. San Diego artist exposure.
3. Being broke.
4. Being rich.
5. Sex with the wrong person.
EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
Young Mass: “Fighting my cousin for a dollar for our parents’ amusement.”
BEST AND WORST GIGS?
Young Mass: “Worst gig moment was at the Sunset House of Blues with Digital Underground. I had the honor of performing with George Clinton and his funky violinist Lili Haydn. I accidentally knocked the violin out her hand as I went to give the crowd dap — she was steamin’.”
Shock G: “Best was ’Canes at Mission Beach, by the roller coaster. Even though we begged the staff to let our Young Mass in, they insisted that he wait outside until his turn onstage and that he could enter only to say his raps and then must leave immediately. We thought this was silly because he would cross the line anyway to do his part in the show — why can’t he chill backstage? Mass swore to stay in the dressing room and not be near any alcohol. He didn’t even drink back then. Still, they insisted. ‘No ID? Can’t chill inside!’ So when he reached the stage, first thing he did was let the doormen have it over the microphone. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but Money-B and I were crackin’ up. It was funny as hell — Mass was really salty.”