Two years ago, YBN Nahmir, who was 16 at the time, jumped on Facebook and posted a photo of the 2016 XXL Freshman Class cover with a hilarious Photoshop job—he replaced the faces of Anderson .Paak, 21 Savage, Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Dicky, Dave East, Denzel Curry, Desiigner, G Herbo and Lil Yachty with his own. Now 18, Nahmir, some nine months removed from dropping “Rubbin Off the Paint,” a breakout single that has been streamed over 250 million times, is a 2018 XXL Freshman who doesn’t need a few obnoxious photo edits to make his dreams come true.

A Birmingham, Ala. native, Nahmir’s initial forays into rap were fueled by his Xbox and a Rock Band mic he used to record his first songs. With a dearth of Alabama-hailing mega stars, young Nahmir found inspiration from the Bay Area and MCs like Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg and Dipset as he began developing a style all his own. A charismatic mic presence, Nahmir is a versatile rhymer who can sway with the beat one moment (“Bounce Out With That”) before assaulting it with a quick-fire flow the next (“No Hook”).

Since unleashing “Rubbin’ Off the Paint” last August, the young rhymer has kept his kept his foot on the gas, delivering viral freestyles (Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” and Tay-K’s “The Race”) while gaining co-signs from Chris Brown dropping singles like “Bounce Out With That” and making his YBN crew (“Young Boss Niggas”) a name to be reckoned with. With fans that literally burst into tears in his presence, hundreds of millions of streams, a spot on G-Eazy’s Endless Summer Tour and a YBN compilation mixtape coming this summer, Nahmir isn’t trying to let this momentum go to waste. After all, getting to this point wasn’t easy.

“It took me a lot of work to become a Freshman, feel me?” Nahmir tells XXL. “Nobody just becomes a Freshman. Like it's so many people out here that I thought was gonna be a Freshman. I think [I became a Freshman] because I put in so much work and I know how to show myself to people. I know how to give them the right amount of me. Not too much, not too less, you feel me, I give them the perfect amount of me, and that's why people love me so much.”

Find out for yourself why people love YBN Nahmir so much by checking out his 2018 XXL Freshman interview and freestyle below.

See Behind the Scenes Photos of YBN Nahmir at the 2018 XXL Freshman Cover Shoot

XXL