Though he comes across as being upbeat with a colorful personality, Young Cartoon’s coming-of-age experience was far from animated.
While his story is seemingly similar to most rap artists today, from coming up in a broken home to turning to the streets for guidance, one would never know it by listening to his music. “I make ‘feel good music;’ because I like to make people feel good, no matter what they are going through,” explains the twenty-two year old rapper.
Randy Kelly can recall the reason his parents began to grow apart. His mother worked hard to accomplish her goals as an entrepreneur, while his father grew closer to God and became a devoted Christian. Wanting his children to have a strong religious upbringing, his father was determined to raise all six of them while his mother went on to pursue her dreams. Kelly recounts, “I was hurt, but I also understood why my mother had to leave. My father’s choice to maintain a secure relationship with the church was putting a strain on his relationship with our family.”
Growing up under his father’s rearing, Kelly was restricted from listening to any music with the exception of Gospel. “Although I love all kinds of music, Gospel didn’t make sense to me at the time. It didn’t reflect what I was seeing on the streets and in the faces of the gangsters in my neighborhood,” Kelly recalls.
The exposure of Hip Hop came by Young Cartoon easy. With the influences surrounding him at school and finding his brothers’ secret stashes of mixed tapes under their beds; he was certain to start bucking the rules of the household. Soon, he began to grow weary of his father’s strict polices. At 16, Kelly left home and took to the streets. To keep his mind off current decisions of surviving the street life, he would freestyle with people in his circle. He was not on the streets too long before he convinced his father to enroll him into Job Corps. There, he calculated moments learned from his father’s home, the streets, and his mother’s sprit and realized that he could put all that energy into his hobby.
Using the nickname given to him by his mother, Young Cartoon started his first rap endeavor in a group with his cousins, Sedy Sed, and Kellz Ozborne called Young TKS. Although they were gaining popularity as a group, they were heavily influenced by their mentor, DJ Rhymer to become solo acts. The short-lived group took his advice and disbanded.
While Young Cartoon stepped back from the mic to reevaluate rapping as a solo artist, he formed an entertainment company called Scooter Entertainment. Running a fulltime promotions company in South Florida and booking local DJ’s would soon be beneficial to both Scooter Entertainment and Cartoon’s career as a solo artist.
His underground testimony can be heard in the streets of Miami, Carol City and Hollywood, Florida were his following is strong and his singles, ‘Shawty What’s Your Name’ and ‘Shawty, I’m …’ are dominating the club and mixed tape circuits. Outwardly fusing the worlds of Hip Hop, Pop, and Dance, Young Cartoon is the epitome of a Florida artist.
“Even though the streets of Florida are corrupted with killings, drugs and prostitution, my music is uplifting. It makes you want to dance and have fun.” – Young Cartoon