In 2011, his group Cali Swag shot to worldwide fame when their song Teach Me How To Dougie took the dance craze to whole new heights. California-born Yung, 26, talks to Time Out Dubai about partying, laying with lions why he won’t sky dive.
Catch in Pacha Ibiza Dubai’s Red Room on Thursday night.
Yung on jet lag
After getting to Dubai from California on Thursday morning - with a quick change in Istanbul – he’s such a pro at travelling, he wasn’t even sleepy.
“Normally I’d be tired but I slept a lot on the plane. As soon as I sit down I’m out.”
On what he likes to do in Dubai
He’s performed at XO, WHITE, Armani and Cavalli in the past but there’s plenty more he likes to do here.
“I just like to party and see different Dubai. I stayed at the Armani Hotel last time I’ve been to the biggest mall, Dubai Mall.
“I kicked it with some animals at, what was that, a zoo? I got to pet tigers. I actually laid on top of one of them. Yeah, [I was scared] but it was cool, that was a different experience.
“Right now I’m staying on an island but I haven’t had to get out on the water out her yet so I’d like to jetski or boat. I don’t think I’m going to skydive, it’s a thought but I don’t think I’m going to.”
On why the Dubai party scene is different
Los Angeles club-goers aren’t as laid back as the crowd he returns to in Dubai.
“Out here there’s a lot of cigarette smoke in the clubs, it’s different. In LA, they’re kind of wild. Out here they’re pretty chilled but they still know how to turn up. In LA about 2am nightclubs close, early.
“I’m pretty much bringing LA and that swag. Getting people turned up.”
On tweeting his Dubai fans
“I think there’s nothing wrong with speaking to my fans. When people knew I was coming out here that’s when they started hitting me up. When promoters start saying I’ll be at clubs, that’s when they’re like ‘I’ll be there, I can’t wait to see you!’.
”I reply back because I’d want somebody to reply to me. I always reply when I can, unless they get too crazy and keep going with it, I’m like ‘OK you need to chill down’. ”
On his music
After two members of the group passed away, Montae "M-Bone" Talbert in 2011 and Cahron "JayAre" Childs in 2014, he and DJ C-Smoove are still close but work on solo music too.
“The passion of my two bros, they passed away. Then my other bro, we decided to go solo, we still work together a lot because we’re around each other. But we were pretty much like let’s try the solo thing, it’s been working for both of us. We just left France a few weeks ago and now I’m out here.
“We’ve both just been working. I just dropped another single, another video. I shot a video before I came out here, then when I go back I’m shooting another video. I dropped a project not too long ago, We Are Not The Same, it’s a street album mixtape.
“I’m not sure how the internet works out here, if mixtape website even exist. But when I drop things it’s to the whole world so it should be accessible to everybody.”
On teaching the world to Dougie
He’s completely oblivious to model and actress Kate Upton’s rendition of the dance at a basketball game, a clip which went viral, however he’s glad he brought the dance into the mainstream around the world.
“For real? I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen Ellen DeGeneres do it. That’s crazy. I’ll look it up.
“It came from down South, they were doing this dance forever and then one of my friends decided to tell us to make a song about the dance.
“In California late 2010, we did a song about the dance and it blew up. In my city I was well known but in LA and different parts of California, because I’ve been rapping for so long, since I was six. I got serious when I was 14. Then we did that song and just took off.”