YNW Melly Talks Working With Kanye West, Moving to Atlanta in Pre-Arrest Interview


Billboard chatted with the rapper earlier than his arrest Wednesday (Feb. 13) on two first-degree homicide counts.

"My yr's finna be loopy," YNW Melly ​predicted throughout his interview with Billboard final week (Feb. 5). The remark, tied to what was slated to be a really busy 2019 for the up-and-coming rapper, proved darkly prophetic per week later. On Wednesday (Feb. 13), the Miramar Police Department confirmed that they'd arrested the 19-year-old (born Jamell Demons) and charged him with two counts of first-degree homicide. Broward County jail records present he was checked into the system round 7 p.m. that evening.

Police consider Melly was the triggerman within the Oct. 26 murders of Anthony "Sak" Williams and Christopher "Juvy" Thomas Jr, each of whom had been "finest buddies" of Melly's and a part of his YNW (Young N---a World) crew. Law enforcement alleges that the "Mixed Personalities" rapper and Cortlen Henry -- beforehand arrested in reference to the double homicide -- tried to stage the killings as a drive-by capturing.

The Florida native has since been denied bond, releasing an announcement on his Instagram previous to surrendering to authorities. "I'm turning myself in right now I would like you guys to know I like you and respect each single considered one of y’all, a pair months in the past I misplaced my two brothers by violence and now the system wish to discover justice," he wrote. "Unfortunately, plenty of rumors and lies are being mentioned however no worries god is with me."

Billboard caught up with the "Murder on My Mind" artist following the discharge of his We All Shine album for an interview earlier than his arrest. Melly had grand plans for 2019, which included a number of excursions, ending a joint challenge with Juice WRLD, and dealing with Kanye West throughout what could be his first go to to Hawaii.

When requested about struggling via the losses of Sak and Juvy, Melly said, "That was loopy. They had been my brothers -- my day one brothers," however refused to talk on particulars of the incident any additional. Later into the chat, the rapper did say that he gave all of his automobiles to Sak's mother when he moved from Florida to Atlanta.

Check out the remainder of our interview with YNW Melly, the place he touches on his childhood influences, being in-and-out of jail as recently as January, linking up with Yeezy, leaving Florida for Atlanta, music plans and extra. 

Who are a number of the artists that impressed you as a baby?

Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, and Lil Wayne. That was once I was rising up as a child. I used to be the smallest within the household, however at all times in bother. I used to be so dangerous to the purpose it was humorous. I principally had a cheat code, at 5 years-old I made an image similar to the I Am You cowl as a child. The entire background was painted and shit. I simply knew I used to be going to be a star, so I'm simply gonna be dangerous. I didn't even wish to be a rapper, I needed to sing. I couldn't sing at first, it took me a yr to be taught. I taught myself by listening to Chris Brown and Michael Jackson. 

In college, I'd by no means play with anyone. I'd stroll across the edges of the gate singing. I had my first girlfriend then. I used to be bizarre, I used to love the ghetto ladies with the greasy edges. It was one thing about these issues. I preferred when their hair smelled like grease. She left me for my sister. Not like that, I used to be a child simply being jealous [and] she needed to hang around along with her greater than me. Growing up, I used to be poor. I used to be residing with my grandma and aunt, we had been all residing in the identical home. They at all times took care of me although. 

When did you begin taking music extra significantly?

After I obtained out of jail the primary time. I went in at 15 and obtained out at 17. 

That was for allegedly shooting a gun off by your school

Yeah, I at all times had weapons again then. 

So you knew you had been about to explode if you had been in jail?

All the powerful folks stored telling me that. Even the large n----s had been messing with me and I'm the smallest individual on the compound. It's a tough surroundings in there. How did I get respect from everyone? I'm like, "Damn, I'm particular." When I went to jail, I misplaced religion for a bit bit. I didn't know what I needed to be. I made "Murder on My Mind." I didn't even like that track at first. I mentioned, "That track is ass."

The authorities used that track towards you to place you again in jail?

Yeah, they had been being petty. Basically, I used to be on probation. I'm off that now. I put out "Murder on My Mind." It was out for about seven months, however I used to be out and in of jail at that level. I in all probability went to jail no less than six or seven instances then. It was only for little shit too. 

What do you consider how going to jail truly helps unfold an artist's music?

For some folks it does, then motherfuckers will neglect about you. You obtained to have that drive if you get out. Some folks have that in them. Like me, they gave me 30 days and I used to be like, "I do know what I'm going to do. I obtained a plan."

I like the actual fact your sound differentiated from the brand new wave of artists from Florida.

Yeah, I needed to. I do like their wave. I like Kodak Black's wave, however I don't wish to be categorized with them. I obtained a chunk of all of them, however I'm not a biter. I understand how to be myself, even when we're all from Florida.

How did the YNW household kind?

We had been all simply younger collectively. This was me and my guys. I used to be simply the muscle to start with. I'm making all the things occur, from the women to the cash. I obtained all of it popping. Somebody within the clique was simply excessive as hell and mentioned one thing speaking a couple of "Young N---a World." I used to be like, "I can do one thing with that." Then we pushed it. I wish to signal a pair extra artists. 

I do know you misplaced Sak and Juvy again in October throughout a capturing. Can you communicate to what they meant to you?

That was loopy. They had been my brothers -- my day one brothers. 

Were you focused in that as nicely?

Nah, I can't actually communicate on that. 

What does We All Shine imply to you?

That's my little set. That's simply how I felt on the time. I would like everybody in my circle to shine. It's not gonna be only one individual icy. Everybody's gotta be dripping. 

How lengthy did it take to document the album?

The album was already recorded final yr. It was accomplished by October, however I used to be simply vibing. I used to be anxious to drop it as a result of I had all the things accomplished, then Kanye simply flew me out to Los Angeles.

Walk me via the way you linked up with Kanye West.

Kanye was in Paris together with his A&R and he was asking about me. He heard "Blue Balenciagas." He mentioned he preferred it and flew me out. I assumed he was mendacity as a result of [his A&R] stored calling me. I'm like, "Who the fuck is that this." He's like, "Ye needs to fuck with you, bro." I used to be like, "Hell no. He doesn't wanna try this." I dodged him for per week straight. Kanye was on my ass, he referred to as my supervisor. Shit is loopy. 

We pulled as much as his studio and performed songs for him. When I performed "Mixed Personalities," he was like, "I gotta hop on this." He put his verse on there and killed it. He helped with the beat and all the things. I used to be making an attempt to get him on one other track, however he was like I gotta be on ["Mixed Personalities."] I advised him I used to be making an attempt to drop my challenge quickly. He goes, "Man, we might do that proper now!" He was like, "This is my life! I obtained combined personalities. This is me!" We finna go to Hawaii for a complete week simply to document at any time when I get some free time. I've by no means been there, I wish to shoot a video on high of a volcano. 

I like listening to concerning the inventive retreats Kanye would set up in Hawaii. Travis Scott had a rap camp of his personal for the Astroworld classes over the summer season on the market. 

I used to be simply with Travis in Atlanta across the Super Bowl. We had been simply vibing within the studio speaking about footwear. I used to be drunk. No music, I used to be too lit. Gunna was recording and I simply left to go to the membership or one thing. 

How did you get Kanye for the "Mixed Personalities" video too? Was that every one Cole Bennett's thought?

Yeah, however I added my little sauce to it. Cole's like my brother. We obtained that very same mentality. We simply click on. Cole's little bizarre ass killed it. He had the robotic consuming the spaghetti and all of that. I simply advised him it's gotta be blue and inexperienced as a result of that's my colours. It's just like the earth. It's a Young N---a World. Everything I contact is blue and inexperienced. Kanye's the GOAT bro. My half was shot in Los Angeles and Kanye shot his in Calabasas. I needed to flip myself in. He was together with his household. 

What did your girlfriend take into consideration the video?

I obtained 4. I simply allow them to know what time it's. You obtained to maintain it actual. They find out about one another. I'm not having any children proper now.

How does somebody with 4 girlfriends make a document like "No Heart?"

It's as a result of I ain't obtained no coronary heart. A lady broke my coronary heart, so now I don't have a coronary heart. It is a couple of woman, but it surely's for the followers and anybody who performs along with your love like that. 

How about "Mixed Personalities" sitting at No. 86 the Hot 100?

I'm simply comfortable, that's a blessing. I obtained much more girlfriends due to that. I woke as much as that. I didn't even know I'm on Billboard.

Why gained't PNC Bank allow you to take out as a lot cash as you need? You addressed them on "F*ck PNC Bank."

The video's going to be loopy. I'm going to stroll into PNC Bank and curse everyone out. I wish to be throwing cash in all places with a PNC Bank cash gun. Every day they make me mad. I ask them for $20,00zero in all $20s and he or she mentioned, "No, who do you assume you might be?" I mentioned, "What do you imply? I'm Melly, give me my cash." We had been simply arguing in there and I mentioned, "Fuck PNC." Sometimes it's a $6,00zero max. I would like an extra-long Lamborghini. I don't have automobiles anymore, bro. I simply been chilling. I'm finna get a blue and inexperienced G-Wagon with the earth camouflage. I would like one tire blue and one tire to be inexperienced.

Can you even drive?

My license is suspended. I gave my automobiles to Sak's momma and moved out to Atlanta. Florida's not likely a music state. They attempt to lock you up for all the things, bro. I'm in it now. Everybody felt that I needs to be in Atlanta at this level. There's nothing however bother left for me in Florida. 

Didn't you meet Young Thug and Future if you moved to Atlanta?

I used to be simply with Thug and Future. I met them for the primary time at Rolling Loud. I obtained like six songs with Thug now. I simply made a track with Future too. When I go away for Los Angeles, we'll do some extra. I obtained shit with Juice WRLD. We're engaged on a challenge too. I obtained like six or seven songs with Yung Bans and he needs to drop them ASAP. It could be an EP. Me and Tee Grizzley's is completed, we simply must discover a date. My yr's finna be loopy. I'm not going to drop a challenge with everybody in a single yr. You can't do all the things in the identical yr. Then your ass is flopped the following yr. I'm chilling, however as soon as they see the idea of those movies, this [album's] going to go.