LIVE FAST DRAW YUNG
Meet Yung Lenox. Prolific rapper portraitist. Truth teller. 8 year old. Our very good friends (with very good taste) came across this budding artiste and had the very good sense to head over to Seattle for a proper visit with their camera in tow.
They have entered the final countdown on their KICKSTARTER campaign and are oh so close to making their goal. Please wander over to their site and donate (everyone should have a Yung Lenox sticker pack at the very, very least). Trust us, this is not a moment to be missed – the doc they have put together is equal parts entertaining and enlightening.
How did you find out about Lenox?
We first discovered Lenox on Instagram. A friend of ours was buying his artwork as Christmas presents and posting about it. We were immediately struck by the endearing and unexpected juxtaposition of this geeky little kid with some of the seminal records of our youth. From WuTang to Minor Threat to John Hughes movies, these were records that were huge influences on us growing up and as we explored deeper into his Instagram back catalog of drawings it was plain to see the kid (or someone helping him) had taste. As filmmakers, we had an instant curiosity. Phone calls are always good ways to feel a story out, and after chatting with Skip a couple of times...and hearing a few of their anecdotes we knew it was worth flying out West to capture it in person.
What was the reception when you reached out to Skip (his dad) for the documentary?
The phone is always a good measure of someone's personality. From that first call we knew we had a mutual connection, we are all the same age so we had the same references, experiences with hip hop and it was just easy. In retrospect we now know that Skip & Lenox got hit up about this sort of thing all the time, so perhaps we should have been more nervous. I guess it was just my kiwi accent that wooed him. Haha.
There are quite a few “out of the mouth of babes” moments in here - which were some of your favorites that maybe didn’t make the final cut?
It's remarkable what comes out of that kids mouth. He's got a dry sense of humor, straight shooter. He started calling Anthony, Silverstein, at a time he was his most self aware of his aging hair color. He says a lot of funny things to Skip, ie / "you're the more boring version of me" - which although harsh is probably true.
Why do you think people enjoy art like this so much?
I think the enjoyment comes because people are experience the seminal albums of their youth in a refreshing new way. There is no doubt that the kid (or his Dad) has taste, so the combination of the nostalgia mixed in with the cuteness of his geeky little persona is endearing and kinda comical.
What did you learn from yung lenox?
He taught me how to play FIFA 13. He taught me about Lil Boosie. He taught me you can never have too many pink legos.
What do you feel are the main takeaways from watching the documentary?
S: Everyone goes into this film expecting a hyped up pop culture story, but the ultimate outtake is really about parenting in the modern day. it makes you think how you would do it, and how you would respond to the challenges Skip & Lenox are up against. There are no rule books. There is no best way to do it. as skip shows, you kinda learn as you go. At the end of the day, the only indication is how well you connect with your kid.
A: Yeah when I was talking to Skip about parenting one day he said something like “when I was growing up my friends’ dad built them a treehouse. I had great parents but my dad would never build me a treehouse.” And for whatever reason that sentiment really resonated with me. It’s like when you grow up you always think you’re going to do things differently or better than how you were raised. There’s room for improvement with any relationship, especially father and son. And also it’s like the ego going - “I’m gonna be like the world’s greatest dad” or whatever. So I think this story just made me think a lot about my relationship with my dad and about what kind of father I would be.