Road to riches: Local rapper Yung Dudi storms Calgary’s music scene
By Kemi Omorogbe, Contributor
If you want to introduce yourself to new rap music this year, Calgary’s upcoming artists have got you covered.
A former aspiring basketball player turned rapper, David Mabu, also known as, “Yung Dudi,” is earning his stripes in Calgary’s rap world.
21-year-old Mabu was born in Cairo, Egypt and was raised in Calgary. Rap has been one of his biggest passions since he was three years old.
He has had previous music recorded before, but Mabu has never released a single prior to 2019.
Mabu’s fear of being judged is what caused him to shy away from putting his talents on display. For most of his life, he entertained his family members and constantly second-guessed what anyone would want to do with his music.
However, in 2019, he took the steps to drop his first single, ‘Jersey’. This was his first major track and it produced more than 7,000 streams on Soundcloud.
Mabu says, “When ‘Jersey’ came out it made me feel good because people actually messed with my art. I put a lot of work into my stuff, and it made me feel more appreciated within the city rap world.”
He never anticipated the amount of support he would receive from his peers and friends in the wake of releasing, ‘Jersey’. Eventually, Mabu released two more tracks: ‘Soldier’ and ‘Road to Riches’.
Spitting lyrics about the circumstances of his life is what drives his success when putting his art onto paper.
“I’ve had family members pass away and seen a lot of insane things happen growing up,” Mabu explains. “ A lot of rappers inspired me like Tupac, Biggie, Rick Ross, Nas — it’s like their situations are kind of similar to mine so if they’re doing it, why can’t I do it too?”
The lyrics in his music reflect the world around him, which has created a buzzing Calgary audience. The debut of ‘Jersey’ was not the only success Mabu received — he also performs at local nightclubs and just recently opened for singer/songwriter and rapper, Roy Woods, at Music Calgary.
Mabu quickly realized success comes with added pressure. His popularity throughout the city has widened and his fan base has started to connect with him on a personal level, creating a set of expectations he was not completely prepared for.
“I never knew that a lot of people look up to me until I go out to clubs or if I am at the gym and people say I inspire them, so it makes me feel like I gotta go harder for them too. I can’t mess up.”
Mabu didn’t let this pressure stop him from doing what he loves. Nowadays, he doesn’t care for the judgement or what others have to say about his music anymore, which is his primary motivation to keep going and set his sights high.
“I pray I sign a deal one day. Hopefully I am more in depth in the music business, with all the big artists,” says Mabu.
Rap music is a very concentrated field, but Mabu is determined to start and finish his goals, no matter what anyone says. He explains this mindset is crucial when being a small local rapper, trying to reach the top one day.
“You go to go hard, don’t listen to anybody’s opinions. Your family or friends, if they have something negative to say, keep doing you. Don’t lose hope and once you start getting recognized, don’t change how you act. Be you at the end of the day, don’t let it change you.”
His latest song, ‘Road to Riches,’ and two other singles can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud, and follow him on Instagram @yungdudi_ and ‘Yung Dudi’ on YouTube.