The rapper and singer’s debut album, “Self Made Vol.1,” dropped earlier this month. The project features songs like “My Band,” “Look At Me Now” and “Love Song.”
The songs are filled with references to his hometown of Atlanta. In one verse he raps about being broke, while another mentions how he got a girl pregnant. He even goes into detail about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, saying she had sex with him while he was high.
In addition to his lyrics, there’s some controversy surrounding Melly. A video surfaced online showing him shooting up heroin during a party. This caused many people to question whether or not he was really making music.
Melly responded to the backlash by releasing a statement explaining himself and defending his actions. He wrote, “I am very sorry for my actions and I hope you understand why I did what I did.”
He continued, “I’m just trying to make it out here, do good things, and show people that I’m still alive.”
Jamell Demons was born in Gifford, Fla., on May 1, 1999. His mother, Jamie Demons-Kingsley, had been struggling financially since her husband died in 2013. She worked odd jobs to make ends meet, including cleaning houses and taking care of children. But she couldn’t keep up with the bills. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she told BuzzFeed News. “I just knew that my kids needed me.” In April 2017, she gave birth to twins — one boy and one girl. They named him Jamell because he was born on Mother’s Day.
She wasn’t sure how she’d raise them alone. So she turned to Facebook, where she found a group called “Motherless Dads.” There, she met other people like herself. Many of them had lost custody of their children. Some had never even seen their newborn babies. Others simply hadn’t known they were pregnant. As she looked into it further, she realized the group was actually about fathers raising sons. One day, she saw someone post a picture of a little boy dressed in red and white. “He looked identical to my son,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is exactly what I want.'”
The next morning, she posted a photo of her son dressed in matching clothes. Soon, she began receiving messages from strangers across the world. “They were telling me things like, ‘You’re doing a great job,'” she said. “And I was like, ‘This is crazy!'” She continued sending photos of her son and soon received requests to adopt him. Her friends urged her to take him home immediately. “But I was scared,” she said. “What if something happened?”
So she waited. And waited some more. Eventually, she got word that the state had granted her guardianship over her son. Then, in June 2018, she brought him home.
Demons’ rise to stardom began in early 2016 with the release of his debut mixtape, titled I Am You. On the tape, Demons rapped about his life growing up in Baltimore and how he became involved in the drug trade. He was arrested in May 2016 and sentenced to three years in prison. While serving time, he wrote and recorded several songs, including “Collect Call,” “I Am You,” and “F*ck Donald Trump.” After being released from jail in November 2018, he continued recording music and releasing it under the moniker YNW Melly.