A life-long interest in music blossomed into a career for Melvoni, a 17-year-old Brooklyn rapper who's been hard at work the last few years. As someone who was writing rhymes since he was 5 years old, then progressed to full songs by middle school, it feels like he was destined for music. A particularly rough heartbreak at 15 years old put Melvoni in the studio, recording the song "No More You" about his lost love, which he released in October of 2018. The track is a somber, mostly sung tale about their relationship falling apart and how he'll be better off without her. "We coulda been boo'd up, but you blew it," he sings. Melvoni's higher pitched tone supports the mature subject matter and is the perfect fit for his interpolation of Kanye West's 2008 hit song "Heartless." He made the song in hopes it would blow up—proof that she made the wrong decision by splitting with him.

A month later, he met the person who would become his manager, who encouraged him to make more upbeat songs. Out of that came 2019's "No Man's Land" and "Big Rocks," the former a serious look at survival as a Brooklyn youth, the latter more celebratory. Those two tracks together account for nearly 13 million Spotify streams and more than 8 million YouTube views combined.

At that point, Melvoni was starting to make real noise in BK and beyond. He signed to Epic Records in February of 2020, then dropped his five-track debut project Who TF Is Melvoni? a month later, right before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill. He persevered through the tough times, and returned this year with the new single "Get Money" featuring Tyla Yaweh and DDG in April. He followed that right up in May with his Return to Sender EP, featuring the new banger and three more tracks.

With his journey just beginning, Melvoni chopped it up with XXL for this week's edition of The Break.

Age: 17

Hometown: Brooklyn

I grew up listening to: "Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson. Justin, when he was younger. The way he was able to change his tone, you hear me do it a lot now, where I would start off low and the pitch gets higher and higher. Mike was just a superstar that I looked up to, and how bigger than life he was. That's who I always wanted to be."

My style’s been compared to: "Everyone, and I mean that to the fullest extent. I hear so much names on a daily basis; it's because they can't group me. I feel like I'm one of the more versatile artists of our time right now. I try and I do everything, and with the feedback I get, I can assume they're good. They sound good to me. I can literally do everything. Tory Lanez, 070 Shake, [Lil] Tjay, Polo, NLE Choppa, Juice WRLD. I hear an endless amount of names. I don't really have a sound, I just have my voice."

I’m going to blow up because: "Obviously, the money's coming in. I'm thankful for that. For me, it's like, when I walk the streets and people notice me, that's why I know that what I'm doing is working. I'm in Miami right now. I walk the strip, I get noticed. Just puts a smile on my face, like, Aight, I'm doin' something."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: "Personally, one my favorite songs that I created, would be 'Had To.' I dropped that right before I signed my deal. It did pretty good, but I feel like it could've did way better. I feel like it didn't get as much attention as it was supposed to. Maybe simply because it was just audio, because the fans were giving me good feedback on it."

My standout records to date have been: "'No Man's Land,' 'Big Rocks,' 'New York.' 'Chrome' seems to be doing pretty well, too. 'Get Money' will definitely be one of my big ones."

My standout moments to date have been: "Shooting the 'Get Money' music video. So far, that has topped everything because that was my first budgeted video. Independent artists can't do this. Shit I used to see as a kid, where you see movie sets for music videos, we had trailers and shit. It was a 12-hour shoot. I'm still young, so my dreams are still dreams until they aren't. That was one of them."

Most people don’t know: "I'm 6 feet, 3 inches, almost 6 feet, 4 inches. Usually when people meet me in person, they always say some shit like, 'Oh my god, I didn't think you were that tall.' I'm tall as shit. Right after I become the biggest superstar in the world, I'ma just make my way to the NBA."

I’m going to be the next: "Michael Jackson!"

Follow Melvoni on SoundCloud and Instagram.


"No Man's Land"

"Get Money" featuring DDG and Tyla Yaweh

"Million Dollar Peasant"

Return to Sender

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