Yung Hurn - 1220 (Review)

Martin_Canine YUNG HURN

The Austrian trap rapper Yung Hurn managed to peak at number 2 in both Germany and Austria as well as number 14 in Switzerland with his debut studio album 1220, named after the postal code of Donaustadt, all without a hit song. The success still doesn’t come as a surprise: although it’s his first widely released record, distributed physically and digitally, he was very present in the German language hip hop underground with a bunch of mixtapes and EPs and already gathered a notable social media following, in addition to a few collaborations with Ufo361, a German trap rapper who recently rose to chart topping fame.

When listening to Ufo361, the first association that comes to your mind is probably that this guy is Germany’s answer to Future, stylistically and at the same high quality. That leaves the question who is Yung Hurn in this game? Although his eccentric style and prominent use of ad libbing make the association with Young Thug, it soon becomes very apparent he’s a kind if his own that’s however influenced by the current American scene when others are looking at France.

It’s actually even a bit hard to classify his subgenre. Fühlen, Bist du alleine, Leg dich hin and Sie hassen mich, just to name a few, are probably the closest any German speaking artist came to the American Soundcloud style that merges trap with indie, and rapping with singing. The lyrics are about relationships, dealing with hate and feeling the moment. However, unlike artists like Lil Peep or XXXTentacion, there are little to no rock influences other than the emo-ish vocals, the emotions aren’t tormenting despite straying far from the exaggerated masculinity that dominates the German hip hop scene, and the album is professionally produced and conventionally structured - it's never as rough, it's fully developed and polished. That’s still a massive step away from the hardcore hip hop and Afrotrap that’s the current core of the German language game.

The other half of the record consists of brag rap bangers with catchy hooks. On here, Yung Hurn becomes Austria’s answer to swaggers like Lil Pump or Lil Xan, completely throwing the singing overboard in favor of rapping. The lyrics become side dishes for a tasty main meal of catchy hooks and cool beats. Mhm and Y. Hurn wieso? have beats so psychotic the madness hits you the moment the blissfully weird loop starts. While the first song’s hook merely repeats the title (roughly the Austrian version of saying “yup”), the latter unfolds a first quality chant along refrain that won’t leave your head any time soon. On Lachs Anthem, Yung Hurn tries to establish the titular word, which translates to “salmon”, as a slang term for a 500 euro bill. Assumingly. At least that’s the most common interpretation after the German rap community was puzzled by why he goes to the bank to get a salmon. It’s fun, and it shows a nice bit of innovation.

Yung Hurn manages to convey the needed vibe without any outrageous looks, but simply through his music. Far more than any other rapper of the German language scene, he interpolates very modern American sounds into his music and still manages to maintain a personality of his own. Whether he’s trap or Soundcloud is debatable, but his songs are definitely a breath of fresh air, and have a completely different approach than other big German trappers before him, such as Fler or Jalil. At the same time, Yung Hurn is not as impulsive and wild as he could have been. It’s a really entertaining piece of hip hop, but there’s still room for a bit evolution.