Yung Sumo Talks Dialysis at a Young Age, Returning to Music, and Growing up in East Tampa


    Yung Sumo, formerly known as Heavy J, is Tampa born and raised emcee known for his aggressive style and hard truth in his lyricism. In 2018, Sumo made the change from Heavy J after losing over 200 pounds in an epiphany over his health. Even while in dialysis, Sumo took a few notches out his belt and added more in regards to EPs with a string of releases including “Broke The Scale,” “Heavy Martyr,” “Lebron Heavy James,” 33619,” and now his highly anticipated “Free Gee.” We had the chance to catch up with him for an exclusive new interview.

    So I guess we should begin with introductions, how old are you and where are you from? 

    I’m 23-years-old from Tampa , Florida.

    What got you started making music? 

    I started making music when the Biggie movie dropped because I thought that’s the only way I’d have luck with the ladies.

    Being from Florida, how is the underground music scene out there? 

    The underground scene in Florida is crazy, hectic, and frustrating yet a beautiful thing overall though.

    Do you have a process for song creation or is it more of a spur of the moment thing? 

    I listen to a beat 10+ times until I know all the flows I want to use but I try not to write anything down.

    Did you have any early music influences? Who were your favorite artists growing up? 

    I was heavily influenced by Pimp-C But I listened to Gucci, Jeezy, Webbie, Pastor Troy, 8Ball & MJG , and Do or Die growing up.

    With the release of your new project Free Gee, what do you hope listeners take away from it? 

    Before this project, I was at my lowest with little will to live and most of my core audience knows that but I want them to know I’m still THAT ni**a and although I may be down I’m never out. And my blood brother has been in prison for 8 years and comes home in January so FREE GEE.

    Talk a little bit about your name change from Heavy J to Yung Sumo

    I changed my name in 2018 because I was 400+ lbs and just living an unhealthy lifestyle just doing drugs and eating all day and all night until I was diagnosed with Kidney Failure and put on dialysis. I started eating healthy and exercising but I was and am still a big guy weighing around 220lbs so I switched to Yung Sumo because sumo wrestlers are fat but strong and you can’t win a sumo wrestling match with just muscle it takes finesse so I thought it was a good fit. 

    What is your most personal song, and why? 

    My most personal song that has been dropped so far is from my project titled PLUTO it’s a song called slippery, I can barley listen to it tho I don’t like to get in my feelings too much.

    If you were to describe your sound, how would you describe it? 

    The only way to describe my sound is Swamp Shit I make music for anybody getting it out the mud that’s why me and my guys live by gator rules we survive and thrive from the mud , were mudmade.

    What’s your recording process like? 

    I get high then I have Yung Martyr play beats and when I like one I think of the flows I want to use then I go in and just say whatever I feel in that moment.

    What is next for Yung Sumo? What do you want your supporters to know about you? 

    I got the East Tampa Santa Toy drive an event being thrown by 109House and it’s like a big charity event for the kids and we have a few artist from Tampa coming out to perform and support the movement but after that I’m just gonna keep dropping and keep my foot on they necks. 

    Well, there you have it folks. Thank you for your time Yung Sumo and glad we could give the people a clear overview of the man behind the work. Are there any last thoughts you wanted to share?

    I am on the Kidney Transplant list and if anyone is Interested in being tested as a match contact me at and FREE GEE till it’s backwards