The teenage rapper is seeing viral success.
Born in Miami but by way of the Bronx, teenage rapper Justin Rarri will soon hail the throne. In 2018, he saw viral triumph with the release of “Opps,” a captivating visual effort that instantly grabs the eye. The video amassed over a million views via YouTube only months after its release in October. Since then, it’s only been up for the 17-year-old emcee.
Fast forward to today, Rarri is only miles from superstardom. With the release of his breakout record, “W2Leezy,” 2019 turned out to be Rarri’s greatest year thus far. The standout cut garnered over nine million views on YouTube and serves as a preview of his label debut, 4EVERARRi. The 9-track project spawned several hits like “TREESHA” and “D3MONS,” including a lone feature from YK Osiris.
In our recent interview, we sat down with Justin Rarri to talk about experiencing stardom in school, singing to Interscope Records, and his collaborative effort with Lil Poppa amongst a range of other topics.
Walk me through your childhood, what was it like growing up in the Bronx and how did that sort-of make you who you are today?
It was pretty rough, but for me growing up there, it was average. It wasn’t bad for even though we were poor, my mom always kept me fly. As a kid, I was kind of spoiled so there weren’t too many bad things. I’d just say I had a regular childhood, I always went to school.
As far as music goes, how did you gravitate to that scene?
At the time, all the music on the radio, I actually thought about remixing that shit. This is when A$AP Rocky had “Fucking Problems” out with 2 Chainz, Drake, and Kendrick. I remember hearing Rocky and Kendrick’s part like “damn, they going off.” After that, that’s when I first started writing my first verses. It’s been my hobby since then.
Were you in school when you first blew up? And if so, how was it adjusting to the fame?
It was cool, no one really tripped. I don’t know, I really just be ignoring motherfuckers and I’d barely go to school. So the days I’d go to school, I’d just tune everyone out. Everyone knew who I was though, I was that nigga. I ain’t gone lie, the teachers were like “Yo, I see you was in Cali.” It was cool, the kids were all good.
You saw viral success from the release of “Opps,” how did you react to attention and what in particular changed for you?
We was just fucking around, but once that shit started going, it was like ain’t no way we up. It wasn’t something I went crazy over right away. That’s how it came about, it was my first million views in like a month or so. I was still chill, like “let’s get some more” type shit.
What ultimately made you want to ink a deal with Interscope Records?
They had the best offers for me. All that lawyer shit and stuff within the papers, it was the best deal out of everyone. Also, every rapper there is big you feel me?
You dropped your debut effort, ‘4EVARARRi,’ a few months back, how did it feel to finally drop the project?
I mean we were hype, it did more numbers than expected. Like I said, I just be scoring, I don’t really look at the scoreboard.
Tell me about your most recent single, what’s the story behind linking up with Lil Poppa for “STRONG”?
We both had our deals, getting it together. When I made that song, he had already commented on my post and I thought about adding him to it before. Linking up was simple, we had it down packed.
Walk me through your recording process, do you write raps or freestyle? Do you like being in the studio alone or around people?
It changed, now I make songs faster by freestyling. Before, I used to write my songs in like 30 minutes. Now, it’s just 15 minutes and I can really go off in the studio. I don’t waste time on trash songs. If I mess with the beat, I’ll let it play for 10 minutes and then punch in.
Are there any artists or producers in particular that you’re working with heavily at the moment?
I was just working YSN Flow, I did something for him. I’m working Stunna 4 Vegas, probably gone have that coming out soon. That song with me and Stunna though, that shit go.
What do you want people to know about Rarri?
I used to paint murals before rapping. People would call me like “Yo, paint this on my wall.” It was natural that I gave it up, I found my other passion for music. It was like who the fuck in the hood gets rich off painting?
What can we expect from you this year? Another project or any collaborations on the way?
I got a project coming in this Spring sometime and a bunch of videos. Shows, I want to go on tour for a little bit. I’m just going crazy this year, that’s all I can say right now.