Rapper Yung Pinch Reps Bluntington Beach and The 714

“This that 714, I put on for my city now you know,” says 19-year-old Huntington Beach rapper, Yung Pinch—whose real name is Blake Sandoval, on his track “Rock With Us” which may as well be the very first recorded instance of a rapper proudly reppin' the 714 area code—one of the least hip-hop spots in America until recently. 

Yung Pinch (whose name was bestowed upon him after accidentally pinching blunts with his older homies growing up) has already opened up for some of the biggest acts in hip hop such as Young Thug, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Nipsey Hussle, Ty Dolla $ign, Nate Dogg, Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti.  He's even been added to The Observatory's highly anticiapted Day N Night festival lineup. Yet the Surf City rapper says he's not your stereotypical beach boy and his past is actually quite darker than the picture-perfect coastal town he grew up in. 

“People think they know me because I'm from HB or something else but there's so much more to my story than meets the eye,” says the soft-spoken rapper as he chats with the Weekly at the Starbucks in the Bella Terra outdoor shopping mall. 

“I grew up with kids with rich parents and what not: nice house, well off, got a car when they turned sophomores— a nice brand new car that you would work your whole life to get,” he says, “I dunno it was different for me, I grew up with my grandparents because both my parents did drugs since I was a kid, they were in and out of jail.”

It’s these hardships that Yung Pinch credits to cultivating his development as a person and as an artist, “When my grandpa died I was probably like ten or eleven, then it was just me and my grandma. That's when I really grew up and started becoming who I really am.”

So who is Yung Pinch? Well, for starters, he's a tall, skinny, long-haired, blond kid from HB who effortlessly croons smooth R&B vocals and busts stylish rap flows. “Who you know talk like this? Northside beach boy, I really walk like this.” is one of Pinch's many casual lines that feels more like a direct statement of his unique identity in hip-hop. “I'm aware that I'm white making black music and that can make people feel a lot of different ways,” he says, “it is what it is, I'm sorry, I understand but I'm not gonna stop for anyone—I'm doing what I love.” 

Even as a child Yung Pinch was always musically inclined—he picked up the drums at an early age and enjoyed dancing. He says his household was filled with everything from The Red Hot Chili Peppers to Eminem, “My mom was the one playing hip-hop for me when I was young and I definitely think listening to that had me gravitate towards it later.” Yung Pinch then started freestyling at parties during his freshman year at Marina High School and he's been creating ever since, “I kind of just fell in love with writing music and after that I never really stopped.”

Yung Pinch's love for all genres of music—especially hip-hop, is evident in is his innate ability to make various styles of rap all his own. His earliest project, called Late Nights and Early Mornings, boasted a nearly old school boom bap hip-hop style which then evolved into an aggressive trap sound on Goonie Adventure. Last month's release of the 4EverHeartBroke EP saw the rapper come of age as he melodically rapped over heartbreak and losing his friend to a car accident. Now, his upcoming 714Ever project is shaping up to be even more musically advanced than his previous efforts, “I don't want to be contained in one section cuz I don't listen to just one type of music.” he says, “I always try to do it all.” 

And unlike other musicians from Orange County or anywhere else in Southern California who prefer to rep Los Angeles in their artist bios, Yung Pinch reps the 714 and “Bluntington Beach” with absolute pride, “Artists try to connect to the LA scene because that's the only thing that's alive,” says Sam Lancaster—Yung Pinch's manager, “But it takes skill and courage to go, 'You know what? There isn't anything going on here but I'm gonna create it.'” 

Yung Pinch points to his shirt with a 4 Palms logo—a local collective he's a part of, “It's a Huntington Beach thing for sure,” he says, “hopefully we can put the city on the map in a different way.” 

Yung Pinch will perform at the Day N Night Festival on August 14th on Stage 3 @ 2:35p.m. at Oak Canyon Park. Tickets are available here. You can listen to Yung Pinch on his SoundCloud or follow him on Instagram.  

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