Talented rappers have experienced numerous periods of struggle and despair, however, there aren’t many who can match up to the trials and tribulations of Billy Blue. The New Rochelle born Haitian-American earned the nickname “Blue” once his devastation had evolved into a depressing character trait after his mother passed away. At the age of 10, Blue was sent to live with his aunt in Miami only to be neglected and left to fend for himself.
Eventually, “Billy” was forced to hone in on his survival skills thus taking on the aura of the notorious “Billy The Kid.” Billy Blue didn’t think he would become the mentally strong and socially conscious rapper he is today. Music was Blue’s only positive form of therapy as a kid. Years after being locked at the tender age of 13-years old and then being sent to live with his uncle in Haiti after his release — the Blumanati rapper has developed his authentic lyrics to help cope with being robbed of a childhood while trying to survive without the love from his own flesh and blood. This accumulation of unfortunate events is what drives his intense themes in his music.
“I rap about everything that stresses me or gives me problems or makes me emotional,” Billy Blue told VIBE. “Of course I’m on my street sh*t too, but most of the time I’m in a f*cked up mind state.”
Although he nearly lost faith in himself as an artist altogether, Billy Blue has triumphed over his doubts and has ascended to a level that only existed in his dreams. As an established MC with five projects under his belt, Blue has had the pleasure of working under Timbaland and Akon as Poe Boy Music Group’s rising star. Now the North Miami resident continues to make the right power moves with his own independent label Black T Music Group in order to further his career.
After opening up for Chi-town’s finest Lupe Fiasco during his “Tour For The Fans,” Blue is still feeling the satisfying high he’s been searching for all of his life. Now that his career has successfully flourished, the “Chopper” rapper plans to execute his next power moves with fresh, revitalizing energy to spread the gospel with his upcoming album Revelations.
Over time, Billy Blue has had to make several pivotal strides to get to the top and etch his name into Miami rap history. We allowed him to tell his side of the story of his journey to stardom.
Billy Blue aimed to destroy all doubts about his career right before his major break.
“One day I just finally gave up and said ‘I don’t wanna do this shit no more.’ Then I was working and I remember there was a song that kept bothering me and bothering me called “Ball Like A Dog.” I called this guy I knew Super Nova, and I told him I got this new song. He was like ‘What you telling me for?’ I thought you didn’t want to rap no more?’ I said I don’t wanna rap no more but I want to record this song. So I pulled up to his house, I went in his room and he started playing the beat. I finally record the song and get it out of my head… and I don’t like the song. It’s garbage, at least to me. Before I know, I’m playing it at the club on a Saturday night and people just started vibing. I still didn’t like it but one thing went to another and I met this dude named E-Class. He took me to Slip-N-Slide first and then to Poe Boy. Then it was smooth sailing from there. So I thank E-Class and Poe Boy for giving me that break.
He has mastered the art of storytelling thanks to legendary lyricists like Scarface.
“Scarface has really affected my craft. It was just the art of storytelling like really seeing that you can paint a picture so vivid and people can actually feel it and see it. He has a song called “Hand Of A Dead Body” and I remember just closing my eyes and just seeing and picturing everything that he did. That song… it was the greatest feeling on Earth. It was around the time I was actually living that life. It was before I even made it or before I signed into a major label. That [song] was actually a pivotal moment for me as a child. It’s like ‘Yo you can actually explain it to people and they can actually see what you’re talking about without you even having to sit down and tell them.’ You could just rap about it and they’ll know. Other experiences like my mom passing away when I was young and having to deal with my bullshit, it was like a Cinderella story from there.”
Billy Blue has established a new lane in Miami rap that hasn’t been duplicated.
“When the music came out, all I had was just me. Again, it’s a different perspective. It wasn’t all shits and giggles, it was just shits. We didn’t have it like that. Everyone didn’t have money. We were really stressed out. For me to go ahead and express that feeling, that emotional like we don’t really want to be gangsters, but we do what we gotta do even if it’s gangster shit. Yea, the lights are off. Yea, I got a 9 to 5 but I still gotta sell dope. All types of shit. It’s just being able to give them that real life, and they loved it. That’s my contribution right there.”
He learned the ropes of the music biz from the best in the music industry including Timbaland and Lupe Fiasco.
“When you’re a rookie in the game, sometimes it could be 10-15 years before you make it. But it’s all a learning process. I’m over here in the studio with Timbaland and Akon and just sit there with them. But you’ve got to take everything in. You’ve got to be a sponge. Just because you’re here, doesn’t mean it’s your time. It may be your time to learn and understand so that when your time comes, you know the ins and outs. You know what not to do and what to do. It’s been at least seven years, closer to a decade. But all of that has helped me. It’s helped me become a better person and better artist. It’s showed me more discipline. It showed me what I need in my life and what I really need to focus on.”
He keeps his raps authentic by weaving dark bars into his most personal records.
“I’m Just Me” where I’m in my late teens to early 20s where I learn to understand you need to get it how you live and you need to do what you gotta do to make it. Nobody wants to be broke in this world so some people just be broke and say “fuck it.” Get rich or die trying you know? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlBGfX5_1ps “No Pain No Gain” where I’m talking about losing one of my best friends and watching him die in my arms. Losing him wasn’t even the hardest thing for me. It was actually knocking on his mother’s door and having a bloody t-shirt. That was the hardest thing. He wasn’t with me so for her to see that it was the worst. It was one of thing I was I could take back in real life.”
Billy Blue knew Lupe Fiasco as a fan before they worked together.
“I have a song called “Every Man For Himself” and we shot the video. Shout out to Vision 13. Lupe heard it. He heard the song. That song is one of my “Scarface moments” where I tell the story so vividly that every word and lyric would project through your eyes and on to a screen. That’s one of his favorite songs. In 2011, he came to Miami because he had a tour going on. He stopped and jumped on a radio station and before their interview was over he said “Yo before I leave I want to give a very special and big, big, BIG shout out to one of my favorite gangsta rappers and as a matter of fact, he’s from Miami. People were like he’s probably going to say Trick Daddy or Rick Ross or someone like that but then he said ‘Billy Blue.’ Then my phone went to ringing! After that, it was all uphill from there. He called me. We met up with each other and we became real cool fucking friends. This tour right here was what really brought us together.”
The Tetsuo & Youth rapper also taught him think outside the box.
“I’m already a humble person, but [Lupe Fiasco] made me even more humble. He’s broadened the way I see things. He showed me that this world we’re in is like a box that we all live in. This box doesn’t have a locked door. There’s a door to this box and you actually open the door and walk out the box. You can extend your thoughts, broaden your vision and see from a different perspective. Read, you know what I’m saying? It’s not hidden. The books are there. But he says to read this book, read that book, learn about that person. He’s a great educator man. When it comes to education, he takes it so serious that it motivates you to know knowledge and learn more knowledge.”
But, above all, Billy Blue keeps God as his mentor.
“God actually helped me progress and finding him, understanding him, and being one with myself. You know you go through so much in life that you come to a point where it’s like you reach a fork in the road where you say “Fuck it, I’m going to just go through this shit and get it how I live and do what the fuck I want or I’m going to do this right and be at peace with myself and understand that everything I’ve been through is really for a reason. That makes me the better person. I think once people find that confidence in themselves to make that right turn and understand what they go through, that will help them speak up and express themselves along with knowing of a higher power. You are your greatest confidant.”