Rising Star Yella Beezy knows Music, knows Hustlin’, knows his state’s Hip-Hop Legacy, and knows his Rightful Place – at the Top of The Charts and in the Center of Attention.



Ink Tone Swep
Images Peter Martinez
Looks Lassalle
Creative Director Yezenia “Yang” Roldan
Creative Director Asst Jermaine “ALZ 369” Reyes 
Location Urban Myth Studio, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

When you are the most popular new artist in rap, with the top song on Billboard’s Hip Hop/Rap Chart, and the biggest remix since the Kanye West stirred “Swagga Like Us”, that has to be pressure right? Well, not necessarily. Not in the rarest sense of cockiness and confidence bartender blended with honesty and humility like something the Lord made to establish the prototype for today’s posterboy lightning rod of rap regalia. Not if you are the leader of the few school. Not if you are Yella Beezy. His expectations of self are far higher than anyone’s, so he has his own standards to live up to, and only himself to impress or disappoint. “I always do that to myself,” Beezy begins, discussing with us the process he trusts. “I do that. So, yea. I do feel pressure to do great and to be great. To achieve great things in music and to be consistent,” he continues. “And all that’s only because that’s what I told myself going into this. Look man, if you’re going to win at this we’re gone’ win big,” he elaborates. “And that takes applying pressure and also responding to it. Pressure is like a tough question on a test or somebody might ask. If you got the answer. You don’t feel no pressure.”

Dallas and Houston are separated by three hours, roughly, yet it always seemed that the two Texas towns were worlds apart, with H-Town representative of a more Black culture influenced, fast-paced, rap themed settlement while The Big D appeared to be more about Jerry’s Cowboys, southern tradition, Who Shot Jr?, and Fortune 500 company headquarters like American Airlines and ExxonMobil – a city with limits. In effect, Dallas was considerably bleedng-heart conservative in comparison with Houston’s far more liberal pulse. Rapper Yella Beezy, a Dallas native whose breakout hit “That’s On Me” exhales that rarest of Billboard #1 air, says the cities are night and day; couldn’t be more different. “The whole scenery of Dallas is even different from theirs. Just everything about it,” says Beezy. “How we dress, walk, talk, act. Even our hairstyles,” he continues, summarizing that “Dallas is a whole ‘nother world. Used to be a little slower here but we sped this thing up.”

Texas artists have always made dope music, and their impact on rap’s sound, style and culture is well documented. From the scenes signature DJ Screw-created chopped-n-screwed sound, to legends like Geto Boys, UGK, and Trae Tha Truth, to dream chasing upstarts like Trill Sammy, Post Malone, T-Wayne, and Dice SoHo, Texas artists have always had their own since of individualism, even within the sound symobolizing their mid-South region. Beezy is no different, by being different than everyone else that is. That’s simply how they do it in Texas, everybody has their own swag, but still reps the big gun-toting state. “I’ve always had my own style and lingo,” he says, sliding into a Givenchy sweater at his exclusive cover shoot in Brooklyn’s artsy Williamsburg district. “Certain things about me are just gone’ stand out. How country I am, for one, and the way I talk is just how I rap,” Beezy continues, now pulling on a Roberto Cavalli leather while stylist Lassalle adjusts his jewelry. “I don’t have no character or persona I go into or none of that. This me all day every day. What you see and hear is who I am and how I move.”

For Texas natives, there is a running barbershop debate as to who is The Lone Star State’s greatest rapper of All-Time. So many greats from the region, including underground legends like Slim Thug, Lil Flip, the deceased Fat Pat, and your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper Bun B. Beezy elevates the debate once and for all by sharing his perspective. “It’s between Face and Pimp, Scarface and Pimp C,” he begins, excitedly discussing a hometown topic. “With Pimp it was the way he said shit. How he described our culture here was just accurate down to his details of everyday life. And Pimp didn’t take shit off anybody and would talk shit to anybody, he made that well known and everybody to this day respects him for it,” Beezy continues. “Scarface. Man! Face was our Pac. A star in rap, he told the best stories. Some of his songs were like movies or episodes from like a crime show. And as a lyricist, Scarface ranks right there with any other great hip-hop legend. The Jay Z’s and Tupac’s, he’s in their company,” he closes, adding. “I can’t choose between Pimp and Face. But it has to be one or the other.”

Beezy’s “That’s On Me” remix is huge. It’s a challenge to recall the last time a hit song dropped, went #1, then a remix featuring collaborative guest efforts from so many legends and new stars reppin’ the same region followed with equal impact. Always one to raise the bar and apply pressure to the status quo, Beezy did just that. “We just reached out to different artists we thought would fuck with it and they did,” he says, sharing the seamless process of easily assembling a classic collab on top of a Billboard smash. “Those who acted accordingly just blessed us. They wanted to be a part of it, and all of them was dope on their verse,” he continues. “Each artist brought they own swag and they own style to the song. I knew, this is my first one. So might as well go big as I possibly could. Wasn’t no sense in holding back. Hold back for what? We here to get it.”

The official “That’s On Me” remix features Beezy alongside dirty south kings 2 Chainz, T.I., Jeezy, and Boosie Badazz, then adds in rising southern state stars Rich The Kid, Trapboy Freddie, and Beezy himself – arguably the fastest rising star in music. And he has done his hip-hop homework. “I came up on UGK, Bun and Pimp, Three 6 Mafia,” Beezy begins, giving us a leg to stand on by introducing his sound foundation. “Man! Cash Money, No Limit, Get Boys, Kevin Gates, T.I., Gucci, Boosie, just a lot of south artists I guess,” he says. “I just pulled game from all of them and added it to what I saw and learned every day being in these streets.”

This year has been a particularly violent one for rap, especially in the south. On the night of October 29th, rapper Young Greatness was tragically shot in his own city of New Orleans. Rising superstar XXXTentacion, a south Florida native, was killed just four months earlier near his home town. Within that aforementioned timeframe, on October 14th, Beezy survived an attempt made on his life. When crossing the Sam Rayburn Tollway just outside Dallas, he was the sole occupant of his Mercedes truck when it was riddled with drive-by bullets, hit over ten times, striking Beezy four. Today, the artist is alive and well, attending his LOOT & RIOT cover shoot with his left arm in a gunfire recovery sling. Most would be bed-ridden, popping painkillers, and watching sitcom reruns while recovering. Not Beezy, he’s bacc at work because he’s not returning to the streets he recently left to pursue the very career he is today excelling at, on the fast track to stardom. Never let a setbacc set you up for failure. “That comes from the old lifestyle,” the God-fearing artist begins. “The old person I was. I was tired of being broke and tired of not having certain things, so I turned to the streets,” he continues. “But I wanted to better myself by looking beyond that. Looking past that to something better. And here I am,” he closes. “And I Ain’t Going Bacc.”

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