There aren't many rappers that can say they had dreams to live this lifestyle since pre-school, but such is the case with SoFaygo. The 19-year-old Atlanta-bred artist, who had a viral hit over the last year with his song "Knock Knock," experienced his first real brush with hip-hop when he was in fourth grade. His cousin was recording in a basement studio at a house they were at and a curious SoFaygo went downstairs to see what he was up to. Next thing the rap newcomer knew, he was on the mic after being invited to make his own song. SoFaygo's parents liked what he came up with, which motivated him to commit to making more music.

A childhood full of frequent moves between homes could've affected SoFaygo negatively. However, a stay at his grandmother's house when he was in seventh grade was one of the most positive moments of his burgeoning career. At her home, the aspiring rhymer got the computer that he eventually used to record "Knock Knock" in 2019. Fast-forward to 10th grade, he then settled at a trailer park with his family. At this time, SoFaygo's music, a mix of melodic, insouciant energy, began to take off locally.

His sophomore year of high school marked a shift in his artistic development. SoFaygo began to use the video app Triller to share his music and his songs were already heating up on SoundCloud. A career in music was his ultimate goal. With little interest in college, he let his parents know he would follow his dreams of being a rapper for one year. If the plan failed, he'd head to college.

SoFaygo was on the clock to figure out his life. So, he continued hitting the studio. War, the 2019 project produced entirely by Lil Tecca, got SoFaygo recognition in the underground rap scene that year. The effort showcases SoFaygo's early songwriting chops, tons of melody, slightly Auto-Tuned vocals and lyrics centered on extreme warnings, staying caked up and trusting no one. A year later, his Angelic 7 project arrived, featuring the song that deferred university life. The Lil Tecca-produced, piano-driven banger "Knock Knock" finds SoFaygo ready for action. "Knock-knock, who's there at the door right now?/They like, 'If you don't open that ho, we gon' kick it down'/I had to grab my fire, I told them step inside/When I came around that corner, that boy almost cried," he raps.

Though the song arrived early last year, the streaming numbers have been running up in 2021 thanks to TikTok and social media. SoFaygo's breakout track has more than 54 million Spotify streams so far. A newly directed video by Cole Bennett, which pays homage to the classic 1988 film Beetlejuice and has over 12 million YouTube views since its premiere in May, has added to the song picking up more steam this spring. He's also got prime talent in his corner. Artists like Trippie Redd and Travis Scott have shown him support. After SoFaygo's 2020 project Angelic 7 was released via Scott's indie record label, Cactus Jack, it only added to the rumors that he's signed to the multiplatinum-selling artist.

Now, fans are awaiting this buzzing rapper's next move. The success of SoFaygo's music lies in his versatility and his well-developed touch on hooks. "Knock Knock," which is about catching enemies slipping, is almost impossible to not sing along to, while "Everyday" is a knocking rap ballad. The latter song can be found on his eight-song project, After Me, released last December. Fully focused on dropping a new album after his recent rise to recognition, SoFaygo is an excellent fit for XXL's The Break this week.

Age: 19

Hometown: Atlanta

I grew up listening to: "A lot of Chief Keef, [Young] Thug, I was really into the Atlanta scene. SahBabii, Migos. [Lil] Durk, L'A Capone."

My style’s been compared to: "People compare me to everybody. I really don't pay attention to the media and shit like that. I like to stay in my bubble and just stay in the zone."

I’m going to blow up because: "I'm just surrounded by the right people. I'm focused, I'm young, so I've got a lot of energy. My family was into music. During high school, I made time for it. I just kept going, and then it got to the end of senior year, and I was like, I don't wanna go to college. I told my parents that. I was like, I'ma take a year for this music shit, and if this shit doesn't pop off in a year, then I'll go to college. As soon as I got out of high school, my plan B faded away. All I got is plan A, and I'm focused on that."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: "'Hang With The Goats'" from my After Me album. I feel like people didn't pay attention to what I was really talking about. They don't understand what I'm actually talking about, in like most of my songs, they just get caught up in how it sounds, compared to everybody else that's mainstream. I just don't get it, but I just keep doing me, regardless."

My standout records to date have been: "['Knock Knock'] is a good song. Writing-wise, production-wise, we just killed that shit. I didn't really realize how good of a song it was like at the time until it really aged and I really paid attention to how people reacted to it. A lot of people sleep on that song; it's my old sound. I'm much younger at the time I'm recording that shit, and they don't know anything about my new music because I haven't dropped in six months. They're taking all my old shit, like all my old underground music, and running with it, not even really tryna hold on and look into what I'm gonna do next. That's really what I'm tryna get to."

My standout moments to date have been: "I really don't know. I don't feel like I'm anywhere near where I wanna be. I just feel like I'm workin', tryna get to that point. I just wanna be one of them guys that when I walk into a room, you can feel my presence. I just wanna be one of the G.O.A.T.s, one of the legends. And I know I'm not there, right now, but I wanna work and get to that point, and I know I can do it."

Most people don’t know: "I like to have fun. I'm a kid. I like to smoke weed, I like to play video games, anime. I'm on it. The internet puts so much pressure on younger artists, they want them to be like hella hardcore, like grown-ass killers. I don't get it. That's literally the internet."

I’m going to be the next: "Futuristic superstar."

Follow SoFaygo on SoundCloud and Instagram.


"Knock Knock"

"Off The Map"


After Me

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