YelloPain is here to take over the rap game, one viral hit at a time.
Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, the rising star prides himself in creating music with substance, touching on everything from real-life occurrences and events to societal issues such as racism and equality. Having reeled in millions of views independently, YelloPain is the definition of a go-getter, someone who went after their dreams and turned them into a reality.
In describing himself, Yello states, “I’m a very transparent artist. I try to give my heart. I try to be as authentic as I possibly can. Yellow is a color that represents happiness, and Pain represent everything I go through. I try to paint my pain in a way that can help other people.”
YelloPain is a creative in all aspects of his life, which includes being a professional videographer, photographer, graphic designer, and even producing his own music. Exploding onto the scene with his record “My Vote Don’t Count” last year, which sparked an entire movement amidst the 2020 Presidential election, YelloPain has one goal: educating and motivating the masses any chance he can.
Most recently, YelloPain unveiled his new single and music video for “Yello Wonka,” holding fans over until the release of his highly-anticipated new EP titled Images, executive produced by the legendary DJ Mannie Fresh.
AllHipHop: When did you start the yellow hair? The yellow branding?
YelloPain: The yellow hair came in 2017. Matter of fact, the name and the hair came simultaneously. It was all one idea for real.
AllHipHop: You’re from Dayton right? What was that like growing up?
YelloPain: Yeah, 937! Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, it wasn’t a very big music scene. I’ve been rapping since I was 7 so you know, it’s a tough journey. But we here now.
AllHipHop: What was the turning point when you realized you could do music for a living?
YelloPain: It’s always been the goal, forreal forreal. When I started rapping, I wanted to do it for a living. I looked up to my older cousin, he was already cemented in it. I said “I want to do that.” He was getting the girls, he was getting money, stuff that I had not been exposed to. As far as financially, it was around maybe 2018 when I really started to see that it can pay forreal.
AllHipHop: How’s the independent grind?
YelloPain: It’s lit! To be honest, I love the independent grind because of the freedom. I say a lot of stuff and I’m bold, I try to be as much as I can. I don’t want to be restricted man, I can’t. God gave me messages and I got to get the messages to the people. I got people who look up to me. I got family that looks up to me and they need to hear my voice.
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
YelloPain: It changes a lot. I got a deep voice so I get compared to different people like Kevin Gates, but then the messages be heavy so then I get compared to Eminem. My sound is unique because the sound more so than the intention behind the music. It’s really about shifting the mindset and shifting the way people think and people feel. Opening people’s minds to being able to see the world in a different light, see the way out. My sound is unique.
AllHipHop: “Yello Wonka” out now! How are you feeling?
YelloPain: I’m feeling good! Make sure y’all hit that up, it’s on YouTube right now. It’s on all platforms, executive produced by Mannie Fresh. We got a whole EP coming, I’m excited about “Yello Wonka.”
AllHipHop: Talk about creating that with Mannie Fresh, that’s legendary!
YelloPain: So with “Yello Wonka,” we was in the studio. Mannie Fresh produced the record when we was in the studio, I really didn’t have no words. I was on a plane back to Atlanta and I was listening to the song, the beat on loop. There wasn’t even no drums in the song yet. I was just rapping to a loop, that’s why it’s such an empty space in the beginning. I was really reflecting, the beat made me reflect. The first couple words is really the essence of the whole song. “I remember sleeping on the carpet, before I ever sat inside a plane and see how I departed.” I’m looking out the window of a plane and I’m remembering that time like “Dang, I remember sleeping on a carpet.” That’s how that song came about.
AllHipHop: At what point in your life were you at then, sleeping on the carpet?
YelloPain: Not giving too much information, but more in my adulthood when I was sleeping on the carpet. Because I’ve been so cemented in a dream, chasing it, that I really sacrificed almost a little bit too much. I sacrificed a lot! A lot of relationships, a lot of comfortability, in hopes that this day will come.
AllHipHop: What are your dreams?
YelloPain: I’m from a small city: Dayton, Ohio. The people that I grew up around, the environments that I grew up around, it’s not a lot of hope. It’s a lot of hatred, small town mentality. Especially in music, it’s no scene for it. I really wanted to be able to portray to people that there’s a way. Some of the heights that I reached, it’s not even the heights that I want to reach. We got so much abandoned buildings, so much abandoned companies. We got whole malls that used to be put up that’s abandoned, empty parking lots. To be able to inspire the people where I’m from and rebuild, it’s like Moses. It’s that type of mission.
AllHipHop: What were you trying to convey in the music video for “Yello Wonka”?
YelloPain: It was really more a before and after, to show people that they can do it. I don’t really like to usually show or exploit that type of lifestyle where it looks like I got the Rollie on, but I really wanted people to understand the before and after. What can come from consistent obedience. Even if people are judging you, even if people got bad things to say about you, even if people put you down — whatever you’re going through, especially dealing with people, because it’s a stigma we have to have. Especially in this day and age, we have to have the newest shoes, the newest clothes, the nicest jewelry. People kill and die to get those things. I really wanted to show people like “Hey, stay down. Stay true to yourself. Whatever your current financial state is, don’t worry about what everything else is going on in the world. Don’t worry about what people say, you could get it. You can come out on top!”
AllHipHop: RIP Dolph, that s### hurts man. In his hometown too!
YelloPain: Yeah, I just seen that. It seems like all the rappers die in their hometown right? That’s crazy. They’ve been trying to take Dolph out for a minute. I didn’t really read the backstory, but I’m really sad that it ended up coming out to that.
AllHipHop: Talk about making music with substance and how it has healing power for you.
YelloPain: Music was always therapeutic to me. When I first started my older cousin, he was rapping about girls, jewelry, money, so I looked up to that. Which a lot of people get into Hip Hop for that reason. Around 12 or 13, I felt outcasted. I didn’t have a lot of nice shoes, a lot of nice clothes, stuff that I talk about in “Yello Wonka” and this upcoming project with Mannie Fresh. I really felt like an outcast, so I turned to music. I was able to use that as an emotional expression, as a way to get the stuff off my chest. I felt like I didn’t have a voice in the world, nobody was listening.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
YelloPain: To be honest, I’m not one of them artists that needs to drink or smoke. I just need it to be dark. I need a dark vibe. I need to be in my feelings because I just don’t write words, I gotta be in my feelings. I need it to be dark. Most of the time if I’ma record, I need Sauce in there. That’s my producer, I need my dog in there and I’m in my best element.
AllHipHop: Talk about the new EP executive produced by Mannie Fresh, and why you called it Images.
YelloPain: We on Instagram right now, Instagram is a perfect example of images. We look up to so much fabricated BS. Some of the stuff isn’t even real, but we chase that. We don’t necessarily think about the substance or the morals in acquiring those types of things. Jewelry, clothes, we go after it because there’s so much pressure on us now. When I was young, it was pressure. How Instagram is now, we didn’t even have that kind of pressure. And I was still going through pressure, still fighting depression at 12 to 13 years old.
These kids now, I can’t even imagine the level. I just heard that this little girl in North Carolina shot herself in the head. I know that it’s rooted and she was getting bullied, a boy that she liked didn’t like her. It’s that repeated cycle of depression because people don’t fit in and they’re not getting the things that they want, but that’s a part of it. A part of my story is being able to show how I overcame certain emotional setbacks and how people can overcome it.
AllHipHop: You had a viral song, “My Vote Don’t Count.” Why was that so important for you?
YelloPain: I had really recently learned about the voting system. My cousin was running for Congress at the time, I had never really got into politics so I kind of dismissed it. So many times my cousin would ask me to make a song, I’m like, “cuz, I’m not really into that. I don’t really do that. The type of music I make, I don’t want it to seem like I’m fake at all. How sincere I am, I don’t want to just be getting on any social topic.” She broke it down to me in the same way that I broke it down in the video. When I understood how much of a voice that we have as people in America, we feel so casted out. What we say doesn’t matter. Once I understood that our voices actually do matter, it felt like an obligation to my community. I had to make it.
AllHipHop: Did you anticipate that it would go up the way did?
YelloPain: You know when I made the song, it was more so based around my community, because I was really focused on local government and Congress. I wasn’t really focused on the nation. I still have a fanbase that’s more worldwide, but I was really focused on my community. I even named a couple places in my community in the song, but thank God that it was a message that everybody needed.
AllHipHop: Who’s the biggest cosign you got?
YelloPain: Whew. Biggest co-sign, I’d say Oprah. I was on Entertainment Tonight, that’s the show. The girl who interviewed me on Entertainment Tonight was one of Oprah’s sister’s daughters. I got a great publicist and she set that up, that was amazing. As far as the cosign that meant the most to me, Meek Mill had retweeted me on Twitter. That’s my favorite rapper so to know somebody that you listen to so much even heard two bars of what I’ve got to say, “Aw yeah, that’s what’s up!”
AllHipHop: I know Meek’s doing a lot for the community. What was your reaction?
YelloPain: I was at Chipotle and I think somebody sent it to me. I didn’t really believe it at first so I went back and refreshed it to see if it was Meek. I was lit. I was lit in that Chipotle, they heard me that day!
AllHipHop: What about the collabs? You got any collabs?
YelloPain: On the new project, no. I got the homie Vincent Berry II, he’s an amazing writer. He wrote for Beyonce and so many other people. Of course, I got Mannie Fresh on the joint. It’s a 6-song EP, but it’s some of my best work.
AllHipHop: How did you and Mannie Fresh tap in?
YelloPain: To be honest, I’ve been a fan of Mannie Fresh for a long time. In 2019, I had did this freestyle over a Mannie Fresh beat. When it was time to go to the next level, we were talking to my team about what direction we should go in. When they mentioned Mannie Fresh, it made so much sense to be honest. For the story of it, the manifestation of it, and the fact that it was able to come together. I’m super excited, it was a blast working with Mannie Fresh. It was one of the most euphoric musical experiences, just because the way he produced, it’s musicians around. Like a music conductor the way he put it together so it was a crazy experience.
AllHipHop: What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
YelloPain: Man to be honest, the type of music I make right… it touches a lot of people. The “oh my God, it’s Yellopain!”, that stuff is cool, but it’s really so many stories when people come up to me. Some people cry and say “you changed my life.” I was in Denver in the airport and a girl ran up to me, she was crying and telling me how much my music affected her. It’s really the situations where I know that what I’m doing has a purpose. I know that people like me go through the things that I’ve been through or go through the things that I’ve seen people go through are able to be affected and change from the music. When I tell you it’s a daily thing: it doesn’t really matter how big or how excited the fan is, it’s really that genuine emotion. It’s all on the same level to me when it comes to that.
AllHipHop: What’re you most excited for next?
YelloPain: Man I got to replug it but it’s serious though, I’m very excited for this EP. It’s called Images, executive produced by Mannie Fresh. I really think this is some of my best work to be honest, so y’all gotta stay tuned in.