Fans may be quick to classify 26AR as a drill rapper, but he’s here to let you know he’s so much more than meets the eye. In fact, the Brooklyn, New York native has recently been exploring the genres of R&B and even his singing voice, proving he truly has no boundaries when it comes to his sound and versatility.
Born and raised in Crown Heights, the rising star has only been rapping for a few years and has already signed to one of the biggest labels in the music industry: Def Jam. And per his standout single “Hottest In My City” featuring Rob49, it’s safe to say 26AR is next up, here to become one of the greats and not settling for anything less.
When asked why 26AR is dubbed the Voice of the Streets, he states, “Because people can relate to my music. They feel that in their soul, they get goosebumps when they hear me.”
Fast forward to today, 26AR unveils his newest project titled Flyest OOTA, a term he created (similar to his name, with 26 being the block he comes from). The album serves as a testament to his hard-hitting bars, clever punchlines, and storytelling in his lyrics.
AllHipHop caught up with 26AR, who was posted in his hometown of Brooklyn rocking a chain that says “King Drench.” Read below as we discuss his take on the New York drill scene, wanting to expand into R&B, biggest lesson learned from behind bars, his new project, linking with Rob49, getting the Styles P cosign, goals, and more!
AllHipHop: How you been since the last time we talked?
26AR: S### I’ve been chillin’, just working. Progressing, leveling up.
AllHipHop: Last time we talked was April 6th, 2021 during Covid. How was the rest of the pandemic for you?
26AR: It was regular for me. I was just working. I wasn’t really worried about it.
AllHipHop: How do you view the New York drill scene and where do you see yourself in it?
26AR: I feel like it’s lit right now. The lane is wide open for me. I’m a take it over real soon, for sure. I’m not trying to be labeled as just a drill rapper. I want to be an artist, period. I want to be global. I don’t want to just be categorized as a drill artist.
AllHipHop: Are you working on a new sound? Talk about how you’ve evolved.
26AR: I’ve been trying a more R&B sound. [laughs] That’s the lane I’m trying to get into right now so you know, I’m just working on my vocals and stuff like that. Trying to get it right for the ladies.
AllHipHop: A lot of people take vocal lessons to sing. Are you doing that?
26AR: I’m saying, I do that with my brothers. I don’t really take real vocal lessons, because I almost got it down pat. You gotta make music for the ladies, that’s more style. I’ll be singing, for sure.
AllHipHop: Any artists that inspire you in the R&B lane?
26AR: Chris Brown, people like that. I f### with Chris Brown.
AllHipHop: When we talked, you had released “Aaron Rodgers.” What did that do for your career?
26AR: “Aaron Rodgers” kicked off my career man, that was the start. That was the first song I made when I came home. From there, it’s been up. I just kept going, elevating.
AllHipHop: What did you learn from being behind bars?
26AR: Being behind bars, I learned a lot. I found myself. I found out who I truly was. I learned a lot, I matured. I stuck to the plan. I made a plan incarcerated, and I stuck with it. Now, my life is changing.
AllHipHop: In what way?
26AR: For the better, in all positive ways. I’m meeting new people, meeting good people. I’m getting bigger, traveling. I never saw myself doing a lot of stuff like that.
AllHipHop: Where’s the craziest place you went?
26AR: I just got off parole so I haven’t really gone anywhere too crazy yet, but it’s coming. I’ve been to Miami, Cali, places like that. Now, I’m about to start really going places.
AllHipHop: Would you ever move out of Brooklyn?
26AR: Hell yeah, I’d move out of Brooklyn. I’d probably move to Miami or something like that. It’s cool out there.
AllHipHop: You just released your album Flyest OOTA, what does the title mean?
26AR: Flyest OOTA means be the best at whatever you do. Anybody can be a Fly OOTA. Just like you, you’re a writer, interviewer. You’re the Flyest OOTA at what you do.
AllHipHop: Does OOTA stand for something?
26AR: Nah, it’s just a word I made up. I spent countless days and nights on the project, it feels good for it to finally come out and it’s doing pretty decent.
AllHipHop: Talk about the cover art, is that your dog?
26AR: Nah. [laughs] I was on the block that I grew up on and one of my friends brought their dog out. Randomly, it wasn’t even planned. We took pictures with the dog, and we just chose it. Out of all the pictures we took, we chose that one.
AllHipHop: What’s on your jacket?
26AR: That’s this brand called Murder Bravado. It’s a new up and coming brand, they’re cool.
AllHipHop: Talk about linking with Rob49 on “Hottest in my City,” he’s fire.
26AR: Yeah, that’s my doggie. Shout out to Rob49. When we link, I bring him to Brooklyn, in the trenches. I brought him to Brower Park, we shot the video there. The most dangerous park in America, you gotta look it up.
AllHipHop: How was the video shoot then?
26AR: The video was shoot was good, it was good for the most part. The guys were outside, we had fun.
AllHipHop: What was the best memory from shooting?
26AR: The best memory, we played basketball with each other. Me and Rob played 2 on 2, that was cool.
AllHipHop: Who won?
26AR: Him and his partner won, but we weren’t really playing hard. We weren’t playing for real.
AllHipHop: How did you guys link initially?
26AR: Through my management. My management knew his management, they had some talks. We just linked up.
AllHipHop: What inspired the song “Walk Em”?
26AR: Just the beat. They played the beat and once I heard the beat, I liked it and I just started freestyling over it.
AllHipHop: How’d you find your way to Def Jam?
26AR: We had a couple meetings. They took me out and I felt the vibe. I liked the people that work there, it was good chemistry and good vibes. I just went with them.
AllHipHop: You just started rapping a couple years ago. How does it feel to be signed so early in your career?
26AR: It feels great. It’s a dream come true. I ain’t think it would happen this early or this fast.
AllHipHop: What would you be doing if you weren’t rapping?
26AR: There ain’t no telling. I guess playing chess, I don’t know.
AllHipHop: Are you good at chess?
26AR: Yeah, I like chess.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to get the Styles P cosign?
26AR: It feels amazing because he’s one of the GOATS/legends of this hip hop business. It feels good to be recognized by someone of that nature.
AllHipHop: Did y’all get to tap in in-person?
26AR: Nah, not yet. Hopefully soon.
AllHipHop: Did you listen to Styles P growing up?
26AR: Yeah, I listened to a few of his songs. My dad listened to him, he was hyped.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want fans to get from your new album?
26AR: I want them to distinguish me from other artists. I want them to know I’m not just a drill artist.
AllHipHop: Top 5 artists you’re currently listening to?
26AR: I listen to Lil Durk, Lil Baby. I listen to PGF Nuk. I got a song with him, it’s called “Finish.” He’s on the album, he’s from Chicago. That’s mainly who I be listening to. I listen to G Herbo, and Jay Z. When he makes music, which is barely now, I listen to Jay Z too.
AllHipHop: Best encounter you had with a fan?
26AR: I had a lot of great encounters with fans. They act like they don’t know me until the last minute until I’m leaving or something, and just they chase me down.
AllHipHop: Do you get the most love in Brooklyn?
26AR: Yeah, for the most part.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?
26AR: I want to be one of the biggest artists in the world. I want to have a #1 album, #1 song in the world.
AllHipHop: What’s it gon’ take to get there?
26AR: It’s gon’ take what I’ve been through and putting in work. Just keep working.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
26AR: Flyest OOTA out everywhere, go get that.