Zave Crayton

Every time rapper Marzavia “Zave” Crayton performs, he wants audiences to take note of his unorthodox style.

“One thing that a lot of rappers tend to do is just recite lyrics at the crowd, with no energy or participation,” said Crayton, a native Austinite whose stage name is Yung Prospect. “On the other hand, I like to move and really engage myself into bringing that positive vibe at any venue I perform at.”

In setting himself apart from other rappers, Crayton seeks to bust stereotypes.

“I really try to stay away from the common topics that most people think of when I say that I’m a rapper,” he said. “I don’t consider myself a rapper, but more like a creative music artist because I don’t mind being different from the norm.”

I don’t want to be famous, but just true to my fans and supporters.
— Zave Crayton, aka Yung Prospect

During the South by Southwest festival in Austin, audiences will get a taste of Crayton’s “different from the norm” style. He’ll be performing at least three unofficial shows during SXSW.

When Crayton isn’t on stage, he’s attending to the needs of self-storage customers as part of the Amazing Customer Experience (ACE) Team at SpareFoot. For now, music represents a spare-time creative outlet for Crayton—both rapping on the stage and writing music off the stage.

Crayton said he writes a range of music, from party tunes to “life lesson” songs.

“Before I started rapping, I used to write poems. One day, one of my friends came up to me and was like, ‘Zave, how ’bout you try to put one of those poems over a beat?’ I never really thought about it, but once I did, it changed my whole life,” he said. “After that, I was doing slam poetry and hip-hop until my senior year in high school. When I arrived in college, I decided to just do hip-hop, since I was more passionate about music.”

Zave Crayton

Artists he counts among his inspirations include Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. and Outkast. “Each artist brings something different to the table, and I like how each one is different. That is what I strive for in my music—to be different,” said Crayton, who’s been immersed in music since he was in elementary school.

Unlike his music idols, Crayton isn’t signed with a record label, but he is working on his first album, “Real As It Gets.” Several of his songs are available online; half of the proceeds go to the charity Love Hope Strength.

“I really do music for the love of it,” Crayton said. “I love to freestyle about anything that I see that’s interesting. I want to put smiles on people’s faces when I rap. I don’t want to be famous, but just true to my fans and supporters.”

As for SXSW fans, Crayton performed at a couple of unofficial events during the 2010 festival. He’s aiming to appear in some official SXSW music showcases in 2015.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be able to not only showcase my music, but to perform with some really great artists in Austin,” Crayton said. “I am humbled that people listen to my music, and I always look forward to getting to know a new music artist, even if they’re not in the hip-hop genre.”

Want to check out one of Yung Prospect’s shows? Here are some upcoming gigs: