Youngs Teflon

Travis ( USA USA )

The Song ‘Sixteen’ by Youngs Teflon – Travis’ goosebump moment

(text video)

“Hi, I’m Travis Storm. I’m from the United States, and my goosebump memory is Youngs Teflon ‘Sixteen’. Listen, I’m running one day, I like to run a lot. At this moment in time in my life I feel like everything is against me, everybody’s against me. This song comes on, I’ve never heard of it in my life. It plays and he says “It was me against the world since sixteen.” And I was like, I felt that, I felt that, because since I’ve been a teenager, I felt that way. I felt like it was always me against the world. And you know, it gave me goosebumps because it came in at the right time in my life. Like I was feeling bad in that moment and the song lifted me up, gave me those goosebumps, it hit me right here in the heart. And I will always remember that song. So, Youngs Teflon, ‘Sixteen’, I gotta go with that one. Guys, yeah, I’m about to go listen to that right now, Youngs Teflon ‘Sixteen’.”


A Mix of Intense Emotions

The song ‘Sixteen’ by Youngs Teflon deals with a gambit of emotions, but primarily the relationship between pain and resilience, with Tefs breaking down numerous sources of pain which have resulted in him developing a high degree of resilience, no matter the challenge posed to him.

Indeed, on the chorus Tefs professes “It was me against the world since I was sixteen” illustrating the undeniable pain he has gone through, but by rapping “But real talk, I was better than you man when I was sixteen” he reasserts his confidence, demonstrating how his tribulations and unique experiences have molded him into someone not to be taken lightly.

If there was one word to describe Youngs Teflon, it would be esoteric. Defined as ‘intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest’, the word encapsulates this reality perfectly as despite Tef’s extremely impressive catalog of music he remains outside of the mainstream attention of the UK rap scene.

His music never was meant for the mainstream anyways. His combination of a completely unique lyrical style, mastery over his flow, delivery and indisputable artistic approach to music have established him as one of the most important rappers in the UK scene.

Emerging onto the scene in around 2008, his subsequent releases demonstrated both his ability as an artist and his sheer work rate and drive to succeed. Always championed by other rappers around him, as well as a small, dedicated fanbase, Teflon has been making high quality rap music for over a decade now.

Youngs Teflon grew up in the borough of Lambeth, attending school in Brixton. Brixton was the epicenter of the explosion of drill music from around 2014 onwards in London, with pioneering groups such as 150 and 67 originating from there. Indeed, in an interview with Vlad TV, Dimzy from 67 said of Brixton Hill “it may as well be the capital of England” as it felt like their world revolved around this place.

Artists closer to Teflon’s own age were also involved, such as Blade Brown and Mental K. All of these artists shared CarnsHill as a common friend, and despite their sonical landscapes ranging from the slow rap of Blade Brown to the much more upbeat drill anthems of 67, it felt like they were part of a very similar movement.

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