Young Chris of the Young Gunz recently explained why he signed with Jay-Z over Dame Dash during the infamous Roc-A-Fella split in the mid-2000s. Appearing on Math Hoffa's My Expert Opinion podcast, Young Chris recalled how Jay-Z pitched himself to him and Freeway while the two were on the road. The legendary rapper told the two that this "shit about to be over."
"I remember Dame was telling me to do a solo project," the State Property MC recalled. "That's kind of why I went with Jay, you know? My loyalty to Neef [Buck]. We already did the first album and I'ma follow up, you feel me? That was my situation. I think back on it sometimes 'cause I never looked at it as being the Bobby of the group. Dame was probably looking at the shit, but we went with Jay and we did what we did."
Young Chris On "My Expert Opinion"
Young Chris joined Roc-A-Fella as one-half of the Young Gunz alongside Neef Buck. At the time, Jay-Z was publically planning to retire following the release of The Blueprint 2 in 2002. In the wake of that decision, Damon Dash was trying to bring in tons of talent to the Roc-A-Fella roster. The label already boasted Kanye West, The Diplomats, Beanie Sigel, and more. Jay-Z then accepted a position as the CEO and president of Def Jam Recordings. Dame and fellow co-founder Kareem "Biggs" Burke eventually gave in and sold their stake in the label to Island Def Jam, before forming their own label.
Young Gunz later released their second and final album Brothers from Another with Jay-Z in 2005. The album peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard 200, while selling 138,000 units in the US. It features guest appearances from Pooda Brown, 112, Daz Dillinger, John Legend, Kanye West, and Memphis Bleek. The lead single from the album, "Set It Off," was produced by Swizz Beatz and peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. They also worked with producers Chad Hamilton, Boola, Bangladesh, and more across the tracklist. In the years since, Chris has continued releasing his own solo music.