Born and raised in Atlanta, DC Young Fly has crafted a career for himself that many people would envy. He launched his career through social media platforms such as Vine, YouTube and Instagram, and branched out to become a true multi-hyphenate; as seen throughout his work as a comedian, actor, producer, and musician. Now, audiences worldwide can see the talented entertainer as the host of VH1’s Celebrity Squares.
The new game show is a modern spin on the classic game show format featuring Black pop culture trivia. The series will bring notable figures together for 20 fun and spontaneous half-hour episodes. Celebrity guests included Babyface, Bobby Brown, Tiffany Haddish, Kirk Franklin, Bresha Webb, Luenell, Taye Diggs, and many more.
With DC’s wealth of experience in the business, it was a match made in heaven for him to be brought on as the host of Celebrity Squares. Recently starring in the House Party remake, DC host can also be seen in Candy Cane Lane opposite the legendary Eddie Murphy He’s had roles on Wild’N Out, BMF, American Soul, How High 2, Almost Christmas, and has also hosted thereboot of TRL and is a two-time host for BET’s Hip Hop Awards alongside his 85 South co-hosts.
Following the launch of VH1’s Celebrity Squares, DC spoke with ESSENCE about how he came to host the new show, what he brings to the table, how he stays inspired, and more.
ESSENCE: So my first question, man. How have you been doing lately, man? How are things with you?
DC Young Fly: Staying out the way, man. Staying prayed up. You know how that goes. Stay working, you got to stay level-headed, you know what I mean? Keeping some great energy around me. As long as you got great energy around you, you’re going to be alright.
Absolutely. So, Celebrity Squares, man. Tell me, how did that hosting gig come to you, and what made you say, “This is what I want to do”?
When they first called, they wanted me to be on Celebrity Squares, but our schedules couldn’t line up. They ended up calling back like, “Well look, can we get him to host?”, and I was like, “Maybe my schedule can open up a little bit,” you feel me? But when it came about, it was like, you know what? This is a great group of guys, man. You got folks producing it, like Kevin Hart. You know what I mean? Jessie Collins, man. Nile Evans. And it’s like, you know what? How can we bring this about? You feel me? And once we came to a consensus and we kind of agreed and it was like, “You know what? I feel like we got something that can go on for like 10, 15 years, man.”
So with that, I noticed that this is a kind of re-imagining of Hollywood Squares, so when you got this job, how did you prepare for it? Did you watch old episodes?
I watched one or two episodes just to make sure, try to get a glimpse of what’s really kind of going on, and then it’s like, you know what, all right, now I got the rules and got the game. It took me like three shows. Once I got the rules and got the game, and figured out the gist of it, now it’s like, all right, how can I add a little DC on it? How do I fit DC into this? And once I got into it, I was on autopilot by about the fourth episode. We shot 20, so that just lets you know where we were at.
You just spoke on it just now a bit, but just to get more specific, what do you think DC Young Fly brings to Celebrity Squares?
What I bring to Celebrity Squares is just a new twist to what y’all were already seeing; something we can grow with. I resonate with the old heads, and I resonate with the young. See what I’m saying? So, we’re not bringing in too much of the new, because we got to follow the blueprint, but it’s like, how do we be new, while being old for another 20 years?
You’ve got BMF, 85 South, Celebrity Squares, so many things, man. When you get all these job opportunities how do you decide which ones you want to do and which ones to say no to?
See, I’m an artistic type of guy. I like the art. I did things for a big ass check, and I did things where I’m like, “Look, you owe me, you dig what I’m saying? Don’t play with me. You owe me.” It’s more so me wanting to challenge myself, because I did hosting. I did TRL and I did the BET Hip-Hop Awards, but I had help. Celebrity Squares, I ain’t got no help. So even in my head, it was a challenge that I wanted to take on saying, “Go see if you can do this by yourself. Not only can you do it by yourself, you got the opportunity to bring people with you, because you got the Squares. Go see if you can handle this, and see if you can do it for 20 years. I want to see if you can do it.” And it was one of the things where I’m like, you know what, I feel like this a 9 to 5 type of job right here. This Celebrity Squares, so if you do this one, hey, baby, you in the Steve Harvey bag, and that’s a nice bag.
I think that you inspire so many young Black men and women across the country. Can you tell me what and who inspires you?
Man, you know what? I stay prayed up. I just love people’s success stories. Hearing them overcome adversity and just fighting through things—it motivates me. I love hearing warriors realizing that they were warriors and realizing how they had to overcome things, you see what I’m saying? Some people don’t see themselves as warriors. When you fight through, knowing you’re a warrior, that motivates me where I’m like, “you should never feel like you ain’t obligated to overcome an obstacle.” You should always feel like, okay, even if something may be holding you back for a slight moment, let me sit back, stand still, take a step back and see what you’re doing wrong. because if it’s stopping me, that means it’s something I’m doing that’s allowing me to stop me.
What do I need to do in order for this not to affect me any more? If people had that mindset, we’ll be alright. So, when I see people that’s motivated and continue to stick through, it motivates me, you know what I’m saying? And I know I got a calling, and I got a job.
It’s a lot of people depending on me; depending on me because they need a source to look at to keep going. It’s crazy that you have to look at somebody in order for yourself to keep going. For you to literally be like, “If he falls, I fall, but if he keeps going, I’m going to keep doing it too.” If that’s me, lean on me, my boy. I will not lead you to the wilderness and leave you in the woods. We’re going to come out like Moses, you understand?