Doctor Yizzle (aka Michael Yi) is a Korean-American artist from Los Angeles, California. He is a singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer. His versatility allows him to create a more authentic musical universe, which makes his music the gateway to his mind and heart.
Doctor Yizzle started to rap when he was 11 and posted his first track in 2018 on SoundCloud. Today, the 24-year-old artist has already released over forty songs, including three albums — For The Wrong Reasons (2018), I Have To Be (2019), Colors Of Deception (2021) — and the EP Oasis Of Serenity (2022).
Doctor Yizzle is inspired by music genres such as lofi, emo rap, rock music, drill, Caribbean music (Natural), and EDM (Don’t go). But what makes Doctor Yizzle’s sound unique? Let’s find out together!
A Self-Experience Storytelling
The songs of Doctor Yizzle are based on his personal experience or share with him an emotion he has felt many times. For example, Guns & Money tells the story of a drug dealer betrayed by his girlfriend; being betrayed and deceived by the one we care about is a recurring theme in his discography.
Another important theme is the struggle to find a sense of belonging. We follow Doctor Yizzle in his quest for musical success as well as in his journey for inner peace. His music reminds me of the end of a Bildungsroman in which he would be a disillusioned hero, disappointed with people and society.
In Cold, we hear how the abuses changed him before he even could have what people call “a time of innocence”:
The pain of my eyes, radiates brighter than the sun
That’s why it’s hard to look at me, to see what is real and what I’ve become
This personality change is also noticeable in the hook. In the first part, he is abused and mentally takes refuge in the love he bears for his abuser. This part contains an alliteration in [l] and [m]. In the second part (from “So get off my line before I break you into pieces”), Doctor Yizzles revolts against him. This uprising is emphasized by a change of alliteration (alliteration in [r] and [k]).
Tell me why you always lie to me
I would give you all of my time
My life my all
So get off my line before I break you into pieces
You changed me from your abuse, I’m cold
Fuck your POV, I’m better off alone
You will never break me I can’t do this anymore
Fortunately, there are still people who deserve his love and prayers, he is not completely pessimistic:
I’ve begged to you on my knees to heal the pain
To help the people I love and help them do the same
I wish i can go to you (2021)
As for romantic relationships, Doctor Yizzle doesn’t see life in rosy hues. With him, love is often painful and always disappointing (Gone, Don’t go, I don’t want you). They hurt him, but he hurts them too (Girls!). His true love is hip-hop. Releasing his dark thoughts gives him inner peace, quite like a catharsis. That’s why he said in Thoughts:
These thoughts again
Disconnect from the world, it’s happening again
I’m back in that dark pit, I’m rapping again
“Happening again” rhyming with “rapping again” suggests that he finds refuge in rap whenever these thoughts enter his mind. That’s how vital hip-hop is to him. We find the same idea in I wish i can go to you when he says, “Pain is the rain, flower is the music”. The parallel construction highlights the correlation between pain and music. He took his pain (rain/tears) and made something beautiful out of it (flower/music).
His rhymes are quite common; however, his writing is rendered interesting by the use of metaphors and detailed storytelling that make us feel like the scene is unfolding before our eyes.
Alternative Hip-Hop And Sound Synesthesia
In this case, sound synesthesia refers to hearing his music and seeing colors. Colors (sight) are perceived through hearing. Hence the name of his album Colors of Deception. Doctor Yizzle’s music is designed to be an auditory and visual experience. He wants his songs to evoke colors that represent his emotions. His truth. For this to happen, Doctor Yizzle pays special attention to music and lyrics.
Doctor Yizzle composes colorful instrumentals with a guitar often in the foreground during emo rap and introspective songs (Thoughts, Cold); drums are more featured during ego trips or tracks in which he expresses his determination to succeed (Invictus, Dark Knight, 98 to Infinity).
He sometimes includes excerpts from speeches, which makes the songs more alive:
- Demon Time (Intro) and Alan Watts’ speech;
- i don’t want you and the speech of XXXTentacion;
- Doctor Yizzle’s own words at the end of comfort.
In some tracks, the vocals create a dreamy atmosphere, in others, they also give another dimension to the song. In Dead of Night, a song about rap, the female singer reminds me of a mermaid song. Perhaps it is the personification of Doctor Yizzle’s inevitable attraction to hip-hop.
The idea of a captivating song also appears in Cold when he says:
You abuse me, I feel you will forever continue to do so
I can’t help it cause mentally, up there, it’s a hell show
And it won’t go, cause I won’t let it, I hate that I won’t let it
It’s a part of me so I can’t, forever repeats in my head like a chant
The background vocals, echo, and reverb are the auditory representation of this inner song, this lament that he cannot get rid of. As we’ve seen earlier, music helps him deal with his inner demons. But it is not an easy fight.
I don’t wanna feel alone today, I don’t
I don’t wanna feel me
Fall Apart (2020)
While Yizzle faces his battle, he encourages us to do the same.
In Demon Time (Intro), the speech is about falling in love: Well now really when we go back into falling in love. And say, it’s crazy. Falling. You see? We don’t say “rising into love”. There is in it, the idea of the fall. And it goes back[…]But this is the most powerful thing that can be done: surrender. See. And love is an act of surrender to another person. Total abandonment. I give myself to you. Take me. Do anything you like with me.
This can apply to the love of rap, but also to self-love. Learning to love ourselves is scary, quite like throwing ourselves off a cliff. But through his music, Doctor Yizzle holds out his hand to help us. We jump together, which makes the fall less lonely.
Doctor Yizzle kindly agreed to answer a few questions. Thank you. 🙏🏽
How did you come up with your artist name?
It was Christmas time, and I was in middle school. My brother and I were getting an Xbox 360 as a present from our parents. Choosing a username was extremely important to us because Xbox did not allow us to change our gamertag for free. We decided to put different names into a red box and pull a random one out. The day came, and we pulled out “Doctor Yizzle.” Since then, that has been my nickname.
You write your own lyrics and compose and produce your songs. Can you tell us more about your writing process? Do you come up with the music first, then write the lyrics, or the other way around?
My process of creating a song is ALWAYS different. But usually, the beat comes first, then I write over that, then I hum/mumble melodies and flows. Then I put drums over it and structure it accordingly. I create from a sanctuary of spiritual energy and that’s my main element to my songs. That is the most important aspect to my songs and if I listen back to my songs and I don’t feel anything then I’ll think that it’s a “bad” song.
Your music is inspired by both hip-hop and rock. Which rappers and rockers inspire you the most?
Kanye West: His story and his production. His creative mind and passion.
Nirvana: How much they revolutionized music and their sound.
XXXTENTACION: His presence and his mind. His versatility and the way he spoke.
Eminem: Wouldn’t be rapping without him. Studied his raps.
Drake: His melodies and how vulnerable he is within his music.
It is important to feel represented. But hip-hop is still a Black American dominated industry. As a Korean American, did it influence how you see and evolve in hip-hop? How did you manage to find your place?
I love this question. I definitely always thought about this aspect especially when I was starting out in music. The conclusion I’ve come to is to just be me and let people judge me based on my talent rather than the way I look. And if people want to disregard me due to my physicality then that’s that. But my music will be loud enough to the point that you cannot escape me and are forced to tune into my songs.
I found the storytelling of Guns & Money so gripping. What inspired you to write about a young drug dealer betrayed by his girlfriend and trapped in paranoïa?
I love this question even more. The whole entire concept of that project revolves around the theme of “deception”. I wanted to create a hyperbole of the concept. Therefore, I created this story. The instrumental helps tell the story and how it switches up at the end. I feel as if it is the perfect song to help paint the theme of the entire album. This is one situation that I believe is one of the most heart-wrenching kinds of betrayal on this earth.
Your latest EP, Oasis of Serenity, was released last December. The three songs on it talk about dark thoughts and the consequences of this inner struggle in relationships. It is the opposite of “serenity”. I’m intrigued, why did you choose this title?
The three songs are very vulnerable, thus the title “Oasis of Serenity”. My supporters and music are my oasis of serenity. My supporters and music are what I find peace and comfort in. Amidst all the chaos in all our lives, I want my listeners to find peace and comfort in my music as well specifically in that EP. I want my vulnerability and my art to be your Oasis of Serenity. Could be a part 2 who knows?
You often talk about your inner demons in your songs. What advice would you give to those who suffer from loneliness or feel misunderstood?
My advice would be that you are never alone. There is always another person out there that is feeling the exact way you are, and there ARE people out there who will completely understand YOU. Find the right people for YOU and spend time with yourself to love YOURSELF. You don’t NEED anyone, find solace within your being.
Do you have any projects for this year?
I have been releasing a song every month for the past 13 months. That is my main focus right now. So to answer your question, I do not have a project planned but who knows?
Is there anything else you want to tell the readers?
You’re important and you’re needed.
Thank you again, Doctor Yizzle!
If you enjoy his music, please show your support and stream your fav Doctor Yizzle songs.
Want to know more about Doctor Yizzle:
– Spotify: Doctor Yizzle
– SoundCloud: Doctor Yizzle
– YouTube: Doctor Yizzle
– Twitch: DoctorYizzle
– Instagram: doctoryizzle
– Twitter: DoctorYizzle
– Website: doctoryizzle