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Texas Rapper on His Songs & Finding Confidence – Billboard


It’s half-hour earlier than the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers tip-off for a late January showdown at their shared residence of Crypto.com Area in Los Angeles, and rapper BigXthaPlug is sitting in a bought field suite along with his total crew. Had he needed, he might’ve showcased his 6’3”, 400-pound body in private courtside seats, however for the Dallas native, it’s a small token of appreciation for many who have been with him earlier than he might afford such luxuries. “I’m not finna see nothing for the primary time with out folks that was there after I had nothing,” he says.

Currently, BigXthaPlug has had rather a lot to showcase: the rapper turned in a banner 12 months in 2023, first with the RIAA-certified gold hit “Texas” that reps his residence state, and extra lately, with the braggadocious “Mmhmm.” The bass-bumping, sonically nostalgic monitor, which showcases his bellowing voice adlibbing the track’s title all through the refrain, broke by way of on a mainstream stage and debuted on the Billboard Sizzling 100 in December. “You gotta say it with a little bit extra ‘Mmmhmmm,’” BigXthaPlug instructs with a deep southern drawl that sounds naturally chopped-and-screwed.

Born Xavier Landum, the 25-year-old was raised by his mom — additionally a Texas native — who put him onto southern rap dignitaries starting from UGK to Lil Wayne, whereas his father leaned extra into the R&B acts just like the Isley Brothers. BigXthaPlug grew up with NFL desires and solely started rapping just a few years in the past, along with his self-released Bacc From the Lifeless undertaking in 2020. The EP drew the eye of UnitedMasters’ A&R Aaron Hunter, who then peppered the rapper with DMs earlier than in the end flying to Texas for an in-person introduction at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday celebration for the latter’s cousin.

BigXthaPlug signed a take care of the distributor in 2021, and shortly after, he added a supervisor in Public Figures Administration Group founder Kyle Wilson, who first found BigXthaPlug on Instagram by way of his uncooked monitor “Safehouse.” (Co-manager Brandon Farmer, a accomplice at Strong Basis Administration, joined the workforce in 2023 after watching the rapper’s SXSW set.) “His stage presence, you simply don’t actually see that,” Farmer says. “You possibly can inform when any person is a star. X is a star.”

BigXthaPlug photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

BigXthaPlug photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

Daniel Dorsa

BigXthaPlug photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

BigXthaPlug photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

Daniel Dorsa

However simply because the items of his workforce have been coming into place, BigXthaPlug was arrested on illegal carrying of weapons and marijuana possession expenses and served a 2022 jail stint in solitary confinement. The expertise was a wake-up name: as a substitute of spending the hours in monotony, he wrote rhymes on medically issued med-line paper and skim the dictionary. “I attempted to learn the Bible however I couldn’t do it,” he says.

He was launched later that 12 months, and by 2023, BigXthaPlug translated inspiration into motion: he launched his personal unbiased file label, 600 Leisure, and subsequently added artists Ro$ama and Yung Hood to the roster. He joined rapper Key Glock on tour that April, the place he met hip-hop producer Bandplay and instantly established a rapport. In June, the 2 went on a inventive retreat in Arizona, and one of many first songs that happened throughout the two-week Airbnb keep was “Mmhmm.” Bandplay first cooked up the funky beat in 2020 after listening to The Whispers’ “And The Beat Goes On” whereas watching a film. However upon initially listening to the beat in Arizona — which samples the 1979 monitor additionally prominently utilized in Will Smith’s 1998 single “Miami” — it didn’t register with BigXthaPlug.

“I’m a groovy-ass particular person,” BigXthaPlug remembers. “Bandplay was taking part in it and me and [songwriter Ro$ama] received to dancing. Bandplay stopped it and was like, ‘Y’all know what pattern that is?’ We was like, ‘Hell nah.’” Nonetheless, inside half-hour, the hit took kind.

BigXthaPlug noticed the monitor as a chance to place his pal ready to win: in a style the place many are shy about their collaborative writing course of, he requested Ro$ama to pen the track’s heavy-flexing opening verse. “I had already wrote a verse — the second is my verse,” BigXthaPlug says. “I [told him], ‘Write a verse, and if it’s good, you could possibly get factors and receives a commission.’ Quite a lot of these rappers are utilizing writers. Even in the event you don’t find yourself the largest artist on the planet, you may be the largest author. It made me deliver the power.”

After ending the monitor, BigXthaPlug headed to nightclubs throughout the nation to crystallize his instincts that he had a mainstream hit on his palms. “I’ll go to the membership day by day of the week to verify my songs are getting performed,” he says. As an unreleased model of “Mmhmm” started to dominate membership venues, UnitedMasters had him pump the brakes for the remainder of the summer season to verify the licensing rights have been so as. However as BigXthaPlug says, he “doesn’t thoughts paying that bag to get sh-t cleared,” and upon getting the inexperienced mild, he formally launched “Mmhmm” to streaming providers by way of UnitedMasters final October.

Two months later, he launched EP The Largest, which included a remix of the track that includes fellow Texan Finesse2Tymes. By mid-December, amid the inflow of vacation songs on the all-genre chart, “Mmhmm” debuted on the Sizzling 100 the place it has since reached a No. 65 excessive and compiled 75.5 million whole on-demand official U.S. streams by way of Jan. 25, in accordance with Luminate — and importantly, served as a method of validation for the rapper. “I at all times wish to have reassurance,” BigXthaPlug admits. “Typically I catch myself like, ‘Why are you continue to rapping? you not a rapper.’ Then you definately get a Billboard [Hot 100 entry].”

From left: Kyle Wilson, BigXthaPlug, and Brandon Farmer photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

From left: Kyle Wilson, BigXthaPlug, and Brandon Farmer photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

Daniel Dorsa

BigXthaPlug photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

BigXthaPlug photographed on January 22, 2024 in Los Angeles.

Daniel Dorsa

The track’s success propelled “Texas” and featured activate NLE Choppa’s “Pistol Paccin” onto Sizzling R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and because the rapper turns the web page to 2024, he isn’t resting on his laurels. He’ll launch a collaborative EP with 600 Leisure artists and comply with it with a solo album. He additionally says he has a collaboration with Rod Wave, and that Megan Thee Stallion lately reached out, too.

It’s all humbling for BigXthaPlug, who’s nonetheless getting accustomed to the thrill — however teases all the pieces will get greater, and higher, this 12 months. He’s a Texan, in any case. “I didn’t even need to make [‘Texas’],” he displays. “If I can do that after I didn’t wanna do it, what the f–okay might I do after I need to do it?”

A model of this story will seem within the Feb. 10, 2024, situation of Billboard.

By RemmyTex

Remmytex is a blogger, promoter, entrepreneur and and a businessman. Call or send a Whatsapp message for more information on +2349075664854 or you can email remmytexblog1@gmail.com

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