Courtesy of the Artist

Tacoma Rapper Yung Fern Condemns Society, and Himself

‘Weekend at Fernie’s’ is the latest addition to the city’s new wave of hip-hop.

Judging by Yung Fern’s new seven-track EP Weekend at Fernie’s, we’re all goners. Laced with haunting instrumentals and rebellious rhymes, the latest from this member of Tacoma’s Boiler Boyz collective paints a dystopic picture of a civilization that he feels cannot be saved. It’s an almost nihilistic social critique, but a critique nonetheless.

“I aim for social commentary in my lyrics,” says Fern. “I like to talk about the stuff I grew up around and was exposed to at an early age. So my music definitely has an aggressive conscious-rap feel.” This feel, represented in often-violent lyrics delivered in his distinctive monotone, places Fern firmly in the new wave of Tacoma hip-hop. The project includes guest appearances from many of his fellow Tacoma artists, including ILLFIGHTYOU’s Khris P, who shows up on the track “FUCKYOUDIE,” an anti-anthem in which they contend that everyone is lame. The record, however, is anything but.

Listening to Weekend at Fernie’s is reminiscent of walking through a spooky funhouse in a slasher flick: It’s dark and creepy, but you keep walking because you’re itching to see what’s next. Fern’s lyrics jump from the shadows, offering insightful social perspective and confessing personal indiscretions that place him in league with the tainted souls inhabiting society.

The project is fueled by sinister beats from fellow Boiler Boy Ghoulavelii, whose amazing instrumentals play like a trap horror show. “Suffer,” for instance, opens with a shrieking beat before Fern blasts in for a quick verse promising violence to his opposition. In “Kochei,” Fern expands on his dim worldview, telling the listener that “nobody seems to change in this world made of ice.” With the rest of humanity beyond salvation, Fern turns the focus on himself. He admits that he continues to stack his vices and prays for a gun to snatch another purse.

It doesn’t end there. Fern’s grim views on the worldly human experience—delivered on album and in person—also extend into the afterlife. “If there is a God and there is heaven, then heaven must be empty because the world is full of bad shit,” Fern tells me. “All the crazy stuff I saw as a kid made me feel like no one was safe. Everyone has evil tendencies that will come out at some point.”

Listen to Weekend at Fernie’s at yungfern.bandcamp.com.

More in Music

Five Must-Sees at Folklife 2017

Navigating the massive lineup can be tricky—here are some of our favorites.

Draze’s “Ain’t Nobody Talking About No Real Shit” Music Video Is One of Local Hip-Hop’s Best

With its incredibly wide-scope and commitment to realness, Draze’s latest is a 2017 highlight.

The Radical Vulnerability of Hoop’s Soft Rock

The Seattle four-piece are the ‘anti-Metallica,’ but their new album is heavy in its own way.

Six Years Later, Seattle Still Loves Fleet Foxes

The band’s long-awaited return at the Showbox was met with a rapt, adoring crowd.

How Chris Cornell Shaped Seattle Music

Through his friendship and his example, the late singer pushed his peers to new heights.

Fans Gather in Remembrance of Chris Cornell

KEXP welcomed hundreds of mourners to listen to the work of the late, great Seattle-born musician together.

Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell Dead at the Age of 52

The singer was found unresponsive in a hotel room following a Wednesday night concert.

Upstream, the Neoliberal Bumbershoot

Paul Allen’s new music festival was fun, but like the system that enables it, weird.

Skating Polly Learns Some New Tricks

The band stretches their skills with some help from Veruca Salt on their new EP.

Most Read