Rap has taken over the world, but here in New York City where the genre originated, there will always be young artists who want to follow in the footsteps of those before them. Enter Jay Gwuapo, the 18-year-old Brooklyn rapper who brings both sing-songy rhymes and vulnerable lyrics about relationships gone awry.

His biggest release so far is last year's catchy track "Downbad," which has more than 1 million streams on Spotify and nearly 4 million views on YouTube. His follow-up tracks, "Lifestyle" and "No Good for Me," are no slouches either, adding more plays to his already-rising catalog. With his debut project, From Nothing Pt. 1, out now, Jay Gwuapo proves why he's one to watch by spitting some bars for XXL's What I Do freestyle series.

Jay starts out showing some appreciation in his freestyle, then quickly gets more serious. "I just wanna thank to the Lord that I made it here/My daughter turn 1 in another year/I swear to God, play with her, ain't throwin no hands, we gettin ’em outta here," he raps, vowing to protect his little one at all costs.

"The way that I'm movin, they tryna stare/My money got longer so I don't care/I really came up from the trenches/You think that I'm losin', just know I ain't playin fair," he continues.

So how did Jay get here? According to Jay, who hails from the East New York section of Brooklyn, a lot of other people in his neighborhood started making music, so he decided to give it a shot. That track is what lead him to create "Downbad."

"It just started going crazy," he shares. "The whole Brooklyn knew about it at first. My high school was separated with a middle school, the middle school had they side of the gym, so they was goin crazy every time they see me in school."

All of his local popularity paid off quickly, as he signed to Polo Grounds/RCA Records in April of this year, just four months after "Downbad" was released in February. Things are moving fast for this rising rapper. The release of From Nothing Pt. 1 will surely keep his momentum going.

Watch Jay Gwuapo put his skills to the test in his freestyle up top.

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