When 8-year-old Lenox Buringrud, known by the name Yung Lenox, was asked about his first impressions of New York City, during a visit to town last weekend, he responded with appropriate candor: “It’s kinda smelly,” he said. Despite it being the hometown of several of his favorite rap artists — Action Bronson and A$AP Ferg, for example — the city’s trademark characteristics, such as the steady noise and unidentifiable odors, were clearly less impressive for the Seattle-based third grader who had arrived for the premiere of “Live Fast, Draw Yung,” a lighthearted, 16-minute documentary which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last Friday.
The film, directed by Stacey Lee and Anthony Mathile, highlights Lenox as a then 7-year-old hip-hop portraitist and artist, whose illustrated likenesses of rappers such as Cam’ron, Kool Keith and Raekwon have turned the subjects into fans themselves — thanks to a sizable Instagram following. His work appeared at the Frieze Art Fair last year, and was shown at Lenox’s first solo exhibit in Los Angeles last May.
Even with the increasing attention, Lenox himself remains unfazed by it all, an advantage which his father, Skip Class, jokes has allowed him to keep his “charming and personable” personality. Meaning, he’s about as normal as any other 8-year-old. His trip to the world’s largest Toys “R” Us (“It was tall, but not like normal Toys ‘R’ Us.”), and a sighting of Times Square’s Naked Cowboy (“He had his underwear on.”) both drew shrugs, but naming his favorite moment from the film’s two-day shoot last year elicited his most enthusiastic response: “I got to eat doughnuts!”