Over the past few months, many popular stand-up comedians have been venturing into the world of music. Jaboukie Young-White is one of them, and he has an interesting perspective on this trend. He believes that the rigid notion of sticking to one form of art is not a concept that resonates with him as a Black artist. This topic came up during a recent Zoom interview about his new album, “All Who Can’t Hear Must Feel,” which has just been released by Interscope.
The album is an eclectic mix of influences, drawing from experimental rap and electronic dance music. It was created during the live entertainment shutdown of 2020, and its title is derived from a Jamaican proverb warning that those who don’t learn from instruction will learn from bitter experience. As a stand-up comedian, artist, and activist, Young-White’s experiences are varied and extensive.
In his stand-up routine, Young-White often challenges ideas about identity, masculinity, and sexuality. These themes are also explored in his music, but it’s not what some might label as “conscious rap” or message-driven rap. Across the album’s 13 tracks, Young-White delves into these themes while also letting loose and encouraging listeners to shake off their blues.
During the interview, Young-White discussed his role in the HBO hip-hop dramedy “Rap Sh!t,” his experience working on a Juice WRLD film, and his journey into music production. He also shared his thoughts on the increasing number of comedians venturing into music and the overlap between humor and lyricism in hip-hop.
Young-White’s journey into music began with playing the trumpet in fourth grade and later experimenting with GarageBand in college. He started making experimental industrial house or hip-hop music, even using the sound of peeling an orange in one song. However, it wasn’t until the live entertainment shutdown in 2020 that he had the time to focus on creating songs.
The comedian-turned-musician believes that his album captures the current experience of listening to music, with constant genre changes and flipping through songs. He hopes that this project will resonate with listeners as an honest reflection of his feelings and observations about music, technology, and life.
Young-White’s album “All Who Can’t Hear Must Feel” is now available via Interscope Records.