Who is Johnell Young?
Johnell Young is an American actress, probably best known to the world as rapper GZA in the TV series “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” (2019-2023), in addition to several other notable roles he’s had so far in his young career.
Johnell Young Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Johnell Young was born on 3 June 1990 ,in Staten Island, New York City, USA, then spent his childhood in various areas of New York City, including Harlem, The Bronx, and Brooklyn, attending high school in both The Bronx and Brooklyn. Basketball was a central part of his early life, and he subsequently continued to pursue this passion during his time at Clark Atlanta University. Despite his aspirations in basketball, the NBA draft in 2015 did not unfold in his favor. However, he was on the brink of making it to the New York Knicks – he reached the final cut during the tryouts, thanks to his talent and athleticism. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury which altered the course of his career. Nevertheless, with the same passion he had for basketball, he redirected his focus toward a new chapter, acting.
In 2017, Johnell Young made his acting debut with an uncredited role as Ray Luv in the film “All Eyez on Me”. Directed by Benny Boom, the movie revolves around the controversial rapper Tupac Shakur, portrayed by Demetrius Shipp Jr. The film covers Tupac’s rise to prominence as a hip-hop artist, poet, actor and activist, along with his jail time and what was going on at Death Row Records. The main stars alongside Demetrius Shipp Jr. included Danai Gurira as Afeni Shakur and Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett. After his debut, Johnell secured his first lead role as Young Blood in the 2017 film “Making Moves” . Directed by Jeff Estinel Bazile and Milos Story, the movie stars Sean Anthony Baker as Quendal, Chandra Currelley-Young as Mom, and LaKeta Booker as Angela. The story, written by Jeff Estinel Bazile, explores the challenges and decisions associated with pursuing ambitions and breaking away from the status quo. Johnell next had a starring role in the short romantic drama film “Nostalgia” (2018). Written by Alexis Nicole and Jasmine Putmon, and directed by Jasmine Putmon and Rachelle Neal the film, revolves around a young couple, portrayed by Chloe Stafford and Young. It explores the emotional consequences of the choices made by the characters, providing a glimpse into the complexities of their relationship. Young combined his basketball and acting skills in the film “SWA-TECH” (2018), written and directed by Rome Williams. The movie revolves around basketball at Southwest Atlanta Tech (SWA-TECH), where the sport is everything. The plot explores the realization of the athletes’ worth and the impact they have on the game; without them, there is no game. The main stars included Johnell as Mario, Racquel Bianca John as Layla, and Darren Cain as Edward ‘EJ’ Johnston, among other stars.
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Rise to Stardom
Johnell Young’s breakthrough came with his role as GZA in “Wu-Tang: An American Saga”, a series that chronicles the formation and rise of the Wu-Tang Clan. Created by RZA and Alex Tse, the show gained widespread acclaim for its authentic portrayal of the iconic rap group’s journey from the New York streets to international fame. The series features main stars such as Ashton Sanders as Bobby Diggs, Shameik Moore as Sha Raider, Siddiq Saunderson as Dennis ‘D-Love’ Coles, Julian Elijah Martinez as Mitchell ‘Divine’ Diggs, and many more. Young’s portrayal of GZA, a key member of the Wu-Tang Clan, contributed significantly to the show’s success. Moreover, “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” propelled Johnell into the spotlight, establishing him as a rising talent in the entertainment industry. The positive reception of the series marked a significant turning point in his career, opening doors to new opportunities and solidifying his position as a notable figure in the world of entertainment. Most recently, the show has been renewed for the third and final season, and Johnell is set to return to the role of GZA.
In addition to his significant role in “Wu-Tang: An American Saga”, Johnell has made waves with notable appearances in various projects, further displaying his actor versatility. One such role is Troy Brown in the film “A Holiday Chance” (2021), directed by Jamal Hill. In this family drama, Young shares the screen with Nafessa Williams, Sharon Leal, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Tobias Truvillion as the cast navigates through holiday challenges. In “Blind Currency”, directed by Tray Williams, Johnell takes on the role of RaMelo. The plot revolves around three brothers scheming to collect an 18-year-old debt on behalf of their infamous father, OG Eddy. However, their plans face complications when the heir to the throne, Lucky, becomes entangled in a love affair in the wrong place. The cast includes Siya, Travis LaBranch, and Jacob Berger, with Young portraying RaMelo. His next significant role was in the 2022 film “Secret Society 2: Never Enough”. Written by Miasha Coleman and directed by Jamal Hill, the film explores the challenges faced by Celess and Si Si, portrayed by Reyna Love and Adejah Parrish respectively, as they climb the ranks of Hollywood, on the verge of making it big. However, their past begins to resurface, reminding them that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Most recently, Johnell Young appeared in three episodes of the TV series “Kold x Windy”, which premiered in 2023. The series is about Malika, a hip-hop artist, as she strives to improve the odds for herself and her son on the dangerous streets in the south side of Chicago. The main stars include Sh’Kia as Malika ‘Kold’ Wise, Nijah Brenea as Renee ‘Windy’ Johnson, Kruz Valero as Detective Sandoval, and Fred Thomas Jr. as Detective Caine.
According to authoritative sources, Johnell Young’s net worth is estimated at $1.5 million, as of late 2023.
Personal Life, Dating, Girlfriend, Single
When it comes to his personal life, Johnell is very secretive about it. As a result, there is no reliable information on his love life. According to some sources, Johnell is currently single, and solely focused on his rising career.
Hobbies, Interests, and Trivia
In addition to his acting career, he has a keen interest in fashion, often showing his creative side through his clothing choices. He’s an advocate of manifestation, emphasizing the importance of asking the universe for what one desires and being prepared to receive it. Travel is a significant aspect of his life, which only contributes to his personal and professional growth. One interesting thing about his role as GZA is that he secured it by actively responding to a casting call on social media. His Staten Island roots played a crucial role in establishing a connection with the iconic rap group, and his affiliation with Wu-Tang Clan was further solidified when he had the opportunity to perform with them on stage.
Appearance and Body Measurements
Johnell Young has black hair and brown eyes. He stands at a height of 6ft 3ins (1.91m), while he weighs approximately 190lbs (81kgs). His vital statistics are unknown, but he has an athletic figure.