It’s not everyday you catch the attention of Boozie Badazz, the Baton Rouge legend whom found Yung Bleu on the internet and eventually signed him. Soon after in 2017, the Mobile, Alabama native would ink a deal with Colombia Records, home to Lil Nas X, and Polo G, Lil Tjay, 24KGoldn, and now Tyga.
Real name Jeremy Biddle fondly remembers memories his days in middle school writing raps at whatever the cost. In fact, it was at the young age of 11 years old when he began recording into his white Nokia cell phone. By 16, he had officially upgraded and moved into the studio, while expanding his sound from street anthems to heartfelt love songs. Fueled by real-life experiences, he offered an honest, vulnerable perspective on romance from a male’s standpoint.
Still calling Mobile his home, Yung Bleu continues to bless the rap and R&B game with heartfelt bangers, which includes the release of his Investments projects. Most recently, he debuted the sixth installment via Colombia with guest appearances from label-mate Lil Tjay, Dej Loaf, and Blac Youngsta.
While new fans may be stuck on his single “Miss It,” which boasts 99 million views on Youtube off an audio video only, it’s actually his earlier songs that fans fell in love with first. Plus with “Ice on My Baby” featuring Kevin Gates already certified Gold, Regardless, he’s got the South on lock.
Bleu describes himself as a “Southern artist, businessman, and father,” daddy to a two-year-old and six-year-old. Now at 25, he jokes, “Yeah, I was bussin’ em young” — with a chuckle. What sets Blue apart is his ability to both sing and rap, sometimes innate that hardly takes any effort. Flaunt Mag caught up with the Vandross Music Group founder at Rolling Loud Bay Area to discuss the early days, recording at home, current goals, and signing his own artist.
How would you describe your sound?
I got more of a soulful sound. A deep, soulful, pain-driven sound… in most of my music.
Being from Mobile, Alabama, how does that play into your life and career?
It really just makes me go harder because I know how small my city is and how hard it is to make it out where I’m from. It just makes me go harder and want to prove people wrong really.
Is that where OMB Peezy’s from, Mobile?
Yeah, we from the same neighborhood. We’re good friends. We ain’t close like that, but we cool.
Talk about your hometown love, what is your fanbase like out there compared to here?
My fanbase is crazy, they all think I’m YG or something. As far as how people will treat YG down here, people will treat me the same down in the South.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
I’d say it’s important, just always try and spread your wings. Spread your music to different sides of the world. To become a mainstream artist or to become a bigger artist, you have to. You can’t just be comfortable with your region.
Favorite part about the West Coast?
It just seems like they live free out here. Everything’s just free, there aren’t as many rules. In the South, they strict on marijuana.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
It was just my favorite color. The spelling, I was working with Drumma Boy when I was 16. He had given me a CD because we had a single together that was a good single (“Go Head”). He gave me the CD with my name spelled that way and I just liked it. I’m like “I’m just going to keep it like that.” I was thinking he did it on purpose. He said he did, but…
At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
Really when I did my first sold-out show. I was getting booked in Mississippi 3 years ago. It was good just seeing a lot of people in the building for me. They all love my music. The crazy thing is, they were singing music that ya’ll don’t even know nothing about right now. They know all them early singles. “Miss It,” that shit came 2 years after I was hot in the South. I don’t have the same music as the beginning.
What were some of the songs before “Miss It?”
It was the whole Investments 2, every song on Investments 2. The Investments 3. “Miss It” was really my fourth project.
“Miss It” is at over 38 million views on Youtube alone. Did you foresee it blowing up like this?
38 million where? We got over 120 million views on YouTube. That’s just one video you’re looking at, I got 3 videos. I got an audio-video that got 99 million, I got the video that got 30 million, and I just got another that got a million. I had no idea, I just put it out.
Can you bring us back to that studio session?
It wasn’t even supposed to be… it was just a normal studio session. It’s really the only record that I had out at the time when Columbia came and signed me. We ain’t planned it to be a hit, they’re like “this the only record he got out, so let’s push this.” It turned out dope.
Talk about your journey with Colombia.
Most of the people that were there when I got signed isn’t there anymore. I don’t even think I know the dude’s name, but he brought me to Imran then Imran signed me. The crazy thing about it is that was the only deal I had until I signed. When I signed? I had everybody trying to sign me once I signed. But it was after I signed, so…
What was it about them?
At that moment, I just felt I had a lane over there. They were building up their urban department.
Congrats on Investments 6! How’s it feel to have your debut album out on Colombia?
It feels good. I was looking forward to it. I’m already doing shows, performing some of the songs off that. It’s been great.
What’s one thing you want fans to get from this one?
Just a full body of work. Me being diverse with the music, showing different sides of the music. I was searching all day yesterday just to find one bad comment about the album. I really couldn’t find no bad comments about the album. Everybody loved the album. I eventually found one, and I blocked ‘em. [laughs]
Talk about both singing and rapping.
The crazy thing is I don’t even really sing for real, it just be my voice. I can’t sing, it’s just my voice and I put it like that. People be thinking I’m singing but I really don’t feel like I’m singing. Back in the days, you had to be singing singing to be considered a singer. But these days if you hold a note long enough, you sing.
What songs mean the most to you & why?
Shit, the songs that make the most money. [chuckles] “Unappreciated,” “Miss It,” “Ice On My Baby.” I’m probably finna do a million views on “Playing With Your Feelings’ off this album in a week, that’s going to be a big song. It took me 6 months to reach a million with “Miss It” before it blew up, it took me a week to do it with this one.
You got Dej Loaf, PnB Rock, Blac Youngsta…
Really I just worked with people that I really, really, really have relationships with. I could’ve got anybody but I wanted people on the album who I really had chemistry with.
Did you record that shit in LA or back home?
I record that shit at my house. I do everything at my house. I mix and master it, everything. A lot of people don’t know how talented I am bruh. I’m really talented, I’m a star.
Talk about mixing and mastering your own shit. Did you teach yourself?
My original producer, he used to mix and master me. I told him I got tired of traveling because I ain’t stay in Mobile anymore. He was in Alabama. I’m like “set it up for me to just record myself.” Over the course of a year, I started recording myself and just mastered it.
How easy is it?
It’s easy as hell, it’s like anything you practice at though. Anything you practice on will eventually get easy.
Are you a perfectionist?
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Short-term goals: before this year, I want to get my third plaque. Long-term goals: to be honest, I’m really cool. I just want to keep putting out music for my fanbase and it just building up my accolades. I don’t really care about too much of… I don’t know what I want. I just love music. If I wasn’t doing a lot of streams like I’m doing, I really wouldn’t care. I’d still be doing music, I just love to do music.
Talk about signing your own artist Baby B.
Baby B finna blow, real talk. She had sent me a video of her singing in the bathroom one day, the song was called “Slide Thru.” I ended up putting it on my Investments 5 album, it went on to do 20 million streams. The first song she ever recorded, people just loved her. My fanbase loved her so that was an easy pick. She already adopted my fanbase. Sometimes artists, you have to build them to get a whole ‘nother fan base. She just adapted to my fanbase so it was an easy thing, her first YouTube video did 500K.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
People really think I be so lit, I really don’t be lit. If I don’t have a show, I’m at home. I wake up with music on my mind everyday though. Everybody on my team, I annoy the fuck out of them every day. I wake up early in the morning and annoy the fuck out of them about my music. They can never ever say I don’t care about my music because I wake up and text their ass all day. From 9am I get up thinking about music. I just be thinking though, my mind’s always racing. I be having ideas. That’s just me though, a lot of times I don’t mean no harm. I just be talking.
Are you the same way with your visuals?
A lot of times I do my own visuals. I’m trying to make the music so good where it really doesn’t matter about the visuals. The songs I did the most views on was the quickest videos. The video I just got up and said “let’s shoot,” but the video I took my time on and was so creative, they aren’t even the craziest, biggest songs. It be the videos that I woke up and shot, like “come on.” “Unappreciated,” I just woke up and said “let’s go shoot this video,” knocked it out in 30 minutes. It’s small shit.
You don’t have to spend too much time on trying. When I get bigger, I probably will but right now, it’s all about the music. If the music’s good, if the song’s good, that person will sit there and look at anything. Their ass will look at a lemon sitting on a counter. If the music’s good, they’re going to sit there and look at that shit because they want to hear what you’re saying. It doesn’t matter.
3 things you need in the studio?
I don’t be needing nothing. I don’t need no drugs, I don’t need nothing. All I need is a beat and some liquor. I probably don’t even need no liquor for real. I probably just be looking at the liquor. I don’t even be drinking, I’m sipping it sometimes to look cool. I don’t really record at big studios either. When I’m at the house, I just be in there full ratchet. Ratchet as hell.
Ratchet meaning: see how I’m dressed? I don’t be dressed up in the studio. I just be in some gym shorts and a tank top. I’m in there in struggle mode, that’s when I make my best music. Not when I’m hot, when I’m dressed up, I make my best music when I’m looking rough. I make bangers when I’m looking rough.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I’ll just say this, I was in the streets before.
How hard was it to walk away from the streets?
Really wasn’t hard. I wanted to walk away from the streets. It wasn’t hard at all. If it wasn’t music, I’ll probably be doing something stupid. Basically.
Are you where you thought you would be growing up?
Nah, I really didn’t think it’d take this long. I really thought I was going to be a teen star. When I was 16, I had sold out at that moment. I was big in my area, I was doing shows. I had the #1 independent record on radio with Drumma Boy. Because I thought I was gonna be a teen star at 17 or 18, but that fell through. It took me a few more mixtapes to get on my feet. Then after that, I had my first $5,000 show. I was on after that.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
Got my tour bus attacked in Lafayette. I had my whole tour bus get attacked. It wasn’t my hometown but it was close by. It was 1,000 people at my tour bus, they were rocking my shit. I was just throwing money out there, I probably threw $2,500. Real talk, they love me in the South.
That’s why you’re staying there?
No, I’m staying there because it’s way cheaper to stay there. You got to spend a lot of money here. When I come to LA, I always end up spending $10K.
You shopping or what?
Nah, it just be on dumb shit. Planes, hotels, food, you always want to eat good. Then accommodating my people, crazy stuff. That’s why I don’t really like leaving the house. I ain’t got to spend no money when I’m in there, I’d be so rich if I’m at home.
How many people on your team that you have to take care of?
A lot. Everybody. I got a lot of homeboys. I do my mama, my dad, everybody really. I’m starting to start businesses.
What’s the business?
Me and my manager are working on a restaurant back home. Soul food. We don’t know the name of it, we don’t know the spot. We just working on it.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Myself. Right now, damn. [pause] Oh, probably Lauryn Hill. “That Thing,” “Ex-Factor,” all the old shit for real.
Probably Justin Bieber. I want to do something with him, he’s just dope. Kehlani. Kehlani and Kamaiyah was at my door [at Rolling Loud Bay Area] yesterday and I didn’t even get the message. David sent me a message, he took a picture of my door like “bro, we at your door right now.” I’m like damn! Why the fuck he ain’t call me? I didn’t have no service. He’s like “yeah, she fucks with you bro.”
I see you with the Dream Chasers chain.
Me and Meek got a partnership with Dream Chasers management. We just did that deal. We working with Shari [Bryant] over there at Roc Nation. Shari introduced us, she found me and introduced me to Meek. We just built from there.
How was performing Rolling Loud in The Bay?
Rolling Loud was lit, it’s always lit. Rolling Loud, they show me love. They like me.
You ever get nervous?