Los Angeles rapper Blueface is redefining the idea of flow. Whereas most rappers rhyme within the constrains of an instrumental's bass line, Blueface has built a dedicated fanbase by coloring outside of the lines. His off-kilter delivery nearly disregards the beat entirely, with his bars often landing not quite in sync with the music. It all makes for an unique incongruity.

A career in music came about suddenly for the 21-year-old artist. Just barely removed playing varsity football in high school and college, Blueface found himself messing around in the studio with TeeCee4800 in late 2017. After hearing his voice on the mic, he'd found his new love. Early 2018 standouts "Dead Locs" and "Thotiana" earned him some early acclaim, both displaying Blueface's sense of humor and pro-wrestler-like charisma.

Blueface's debut project, Famous Cryp, dropped in June 2018, helping him land a deal with Cash Money West. In November, he was involved in a scrum in California in which he was arrested after being accused of firing a gun at a robber. Yet his momentum hasn't slowed. Blueface was quickly bailed out and he got right back to the music, dropping videos for "Studio" and "Bleed It" and rocking his own set at Rolling Loud Festival in Los Angeles. With upcoming music alongside Quavo and Drake, things look brighter than ever for the L.A. upstart.

Learn more about Blueface in the latest installment of XXL’s The Break.

Age: 21

Hometown: West Los Angeles

I grew up listening to: "50 Cent—I liked his music and his videos was real entertaining and movie-ish—Game [and] Snoop Dogg."

My style has been compared to: "I've been compared to, like, five different people. Suga Free, Silkk The Shocker—I get that one a lot. Somebody named Freeway. I don't know who Freeway is."

My standout records to date have been: "My biggest songs are 'Thotiana,' 'Respect My Cryppin'' and 'Dead Locs' probably. If you're playing 'Thotiana' there's going to be more than 10 people. It's kind of a turn up. So you know, if I've got that many ears at one time, then it's gonna spread much faster—from car to phone, this party to that party. That's why those songs blew up faster."

My standout moments to date have been: "Probably selling-out [and] headlining sold out shows by myself. All these people coming out just 'cause my name on the flyer. It wasn't always like that. That's probably the best feeling."

My most slept-on song: "'Freak Bitch,' maybe. Definitely 'Bonco.' 'Freak Bitch,' might be a little bit too graphic; the name got a cuss word in it. I think 'Bonco' because we ain't shot a video to it yet. I probably should, actually."

Most people don’t know: "I'm humble. People don't even approach me. They approach me like I'm gonna be an asshole or something. Especially the females, 'cause the songs is all about bossin' up and shit like that."

I’m going to blow up because: "It's really just me, my brain power, my promotion and marketing. My music is not like everybody gonna love it, it's really what I make of it. I was going to schools—I wasn't booked to do that. I was just going to get the viral footage.I was 100 percent independent, driving my car, doing everything by myself."

I’m going to be the next: "Big thing."

Follow Blueface on SoundCloud and Instagram.

Standouts: Famous Cryp


"Next Big Thing"

"Respect My Crypn"

"Bleed It"

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