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

Alvvays brings its dreamy Canadian indie pop to the Capitol Hill Block Party Main Stage. Photo by Arden Wray
Capitol Hill Block Party 2018 Picks

Who to see at this year’s edition of Seattle’s urban music fest.

Wimps isn’t trash. Photo by Kelly O
Wimps’ Renewable Punk Energy

The Seattle trio isn’t afraid to get dirty on its new album, ‘Garbage People.’

Can Upstream Fest Be Fixed?

In it’s current form, the Pioneer Square music festival lacks energy and identity. (Plus, a photo recap of last weekend’s action.)

The sun shines on Sasquatch!.
Sasquatch! Music Festival 2018 Photo Recap

From big bands to casual hangs, we take a look back at all the action over Memorial Day weekend at The Gorge.

Curtis Harding
The Faces of Sasquatch! Music Festival 2018

Behind-the-scenes portraits with the some the fest’s best acts.

David Byrne
The Attention-Grabbers of Sasquatch! Music Festival 2018

A look back on the weekend’s musical festivities in terms of captivation.

Vince Staples returns to Sasquatch! Festival this year. Photo by Seth Sommerfeld
Sasquatch! Festival 2018 Preview

Plan your trip to The Gorge with our picks for the weekend’s can’t-miss acts.

How Pedro the Lion’s Religious Roots Set the Stage for a Relevant Return

Two decades before #MeToo, a young David Bazan was singing about the problems with patriarchy.

Forging the Cultural Future of Northwest Folklife Festival

New Folklife managing director Reese Tanimura chats about the present and future of the annual Seattle Center celebration.

The 5 Must-See Local Acts of the Summer

Don’t miss these rising Seattle artists during festival season.

Seattle Summer Outdoor Concert Guide

Our picks for the essential open air music experiences of the season.

Album Premiere: Ruler’s ‘Winning Star Champion’

Seattle music scene utility player Matt Batey steps into the spotlight with his new indie rock album for Barsuk Records.