26AR is the new hottest rapper on the scene. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, the 21-year-old exploded onto the scene with his debut release “Aaron Rogers” in 2019, a braggadocious banger inspired about how he feels like the professional football player, comparing his own life to Roger’s success and accolades.
Putting on for the Brooklyn drill scene, the rising star simply states, “I’m a rapper from Crown Heights. I’m doing my thing right now, going crazy.”
Heavily influenced by rappers from Chicago to New York, from Lil Durk and Chief Keef to Biggie and Jay Z, 26AR prides himself in his ability to spit—poised to be the voice of the streets for the new generation. Fast forward to 2021, he’s unleashed his highly-anticipated debut EP titled Drench ‘Em, home to lead single “Make Your Bitch Do it” that’s taken over airwaves and clubs up and down the East Coast.
The crazy part is, he’s only been rapping for a little over a year. Flaunt caught up with 26AR via FaceTime, who was posted in Crown Heights, Brooklyn where he’s from. Read below as we discuss his roots in Brooklyn, when music came into play, his 4-year stint in jail, the creation of “Aaron Rodgers,” his new project Drench ‘Em, labels wanting to sign him, studio essentials, dream collabs, and more!
What was the household like growing up in Brooklyn?
The house was packed, full of kids there. It was a regular life. Wasn’t too hard, wasn’t too easy, just regular shit.
At what point did you realize that you could do music for a living?
When I was in jail. They kept telling me I was nice. I’d rap for my friends, they’d tell me I was good at it. They said “yo, you gotta go crazy when you go home. You’ve gotta take it serious.” When I dropped my first track, everybody was attracted to it. They fucked with it so I knew I could go crazy, and I kept going.
You’ve only been rapping for a year and some months. What were you doing before the music?
Before the music, I was getting in trouble. The music’s keeping me out of trouble, staying focused now. I ain’t in the streets no more, it feels great. Less things to worry about.
What’s the inspiration behind your name?
2-6, that’s the area where I’m from. That’s the block where I’m from. AR, my mans gave me that name when I was younger. That’s the family, I’m putting my name with it.
When you made “Aaron Rodgers,” what was the vibe? What was the energy?
That’s still my favorite song. I wish I’d dropped that shit around now, when I got the attention I’ve got now. It’s a great song, one of my best songs so far. It’s an uptempo song, a hyping song that gets everybody hyped. I’m talking my shit. I made that song in jail though, 7 months before I came home. I kept resaying that shit over and over and over.
Biggest lesson you learned from behind bars?
To always think about your actions before you do it, and think before you speak. That’s the 2 biggest things learned.
How did it feel to get out?
It feels great to be out here, I can do what I want damn near. Almost, I’m on parole. For me, I’m free. I’m not locked up around a bunch of dudes.
Have you been grinding?
Hell yeah, I know you’ve seen me going crazy. I be working. I be in the stu all the time.
How was your time in Miami?
Fucking up the clubs, throwing breesh (money) in the club. They’re playing my songs heavy everywhere.
I felt like a superstar. I felt good to have everybody singing my songs. I deserve that shit, I’ve been trying to do that shit for so long. It’s not really long when I look at it, but it felt long.
One thing you want fans to get from your debut EP, Drench ‘Em?
I want them to feel where I’m coming from, to try to relate to the words I’m saying. Try to see life how I see it, from my perspective. I want them to feel what I’ve been through.
What was the creative process behind the deluxe?
I was continuing the energy from the original, but better songs. It’s better songs. I don’t feel like I’ve made bad music at all. Even songs I don’t like, people always tell me it’s good, but I don’t be liking it. They say I don’t make bad music. I try to keep that same energy up and go crazy, that’s it.
“Make Your Bitch Do it” is the song playing in Miami clubs, right?
Yeah, that’s the song that’s about to go crazy. I actually made that song because I made someone’s bitch buy me some AMIRIs. [laughs] I made somebody’s bitch buy me some AMIRI jean, he was tight about it. He was trying to call me broke, that’s why I said “a n*gga can’t call me broke, ‘cause n*gga I get to it.”
How much were the AMIRIs?
AMIRIs are over $1000. Every pair of jeans is over $1000, like $1500. [laughs] He was tight about that.
Talk about DJ Drewski on Hot 97 playing that record too.
DJ Drewski, that’s my boy. He turned me up. I got the jail’s going crazy. I got a jail call, they told me the jail’s going crazy every time they hear that shit. ‘Cause I used to hear that shit too. At night time when you stay up, you’re locked in your cell . You stay up 11pm or 12am, that’s when they play the midnight mixes. They play the lil n*ggas from Brooklyn, all the upcoming artists. I know they’re going crazy when they hear my shit, because I used to go crazy when I heard certain shit.
What was life before you were locked up?
I was always in and out of jail, juvenile. I didn’t really have to be in there, I was making dumb decisions. I made my shit like that. I made it like that on my own, dumb decision-making. Being with the wrong crowds all the time. I was never a follower, I was just doing dumb shit.
Did you ever have a part-time job?
When I first came home from jail, I had a job teaching kids how to play chess. They had me teaching from 3 year-olds to 10 year-olds. I love kids. Kids love me. I’ve always had a relationship with kids. Kids always love me, I love them too though.
Where do you see yourself fit in the Brooklyn drill scene?
I’m the top one, fasho. Can’t nobody tweak with me in this Brooklyn shit. My flow distinguishes me, I don’t sound like how anybody else sounds. I’ve really been through situations.
Talk about the independent grind and labels wanting to sign you.
At first, it was hard. I was doing everything on my own. I found a little team and made connections so it‘s easier now. The team, the group of ladies I’ve got behind me, they’re doing their things. They know what they’re doing so it’s easier now. Labels wanting to sign me, they’ve gotta… I’ll sign to the label, they’ve gotta talk what I want to hear. To my liking. If everything sounds good, I’m gonna do it.
3 things you need in the studio?
I need the Casamigos, then I’m gon’ bring the chasers. Some snacks or some food, and I’m good. I’ma go crazy.
What snacks do you like in the studio?
I like some chips, some juice, some Gatorade. Probably order some pizza if we in the stu for a minute.
Who would you like to collaborate with?
I wanna go crazy right now. I keep telling everybody, I fuck with Durk heavy. Pooh Shiesty, Lil Baby, G Herbo, Polo G. I grew up listening to Chiraq, listening to drill music from Chicago, so I’ma say them.
What do you like about the Chicago rap scene?
They had a big influence on me. They had a big influence on Brooklyn period. I like the nonsense. [laughs] They were wildin’. Everyone in Brooklyn was liking that shit. They’re wildin’. Their story in the stu, it gets deep.
Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
My short-term goal, I want to get to 100K followers. I want to do a good major feature with somebody, one of the names I just named. My long-term goal, I want to be established forever. I want to be a household name when it’s all said and done.
Anything else you want to let us know?
Drench ‘Em, that’s it. Drench, drench, drench. Me and Rocko Ballin got a tape coming too. We got a joint tape coming soon, that’s what’s next. Right now, we gon’ keep drenching.