For Larry June, his growing empire is more than music and that’s because he made it that way. The San Francisco representative has created multiple lanes of success by putting on a hard hat and putting in work. Through the past five years, the 31-year-old rapper has evolved into one of Hip-Hop’s most unique voices and through his art and investments, he has established an organic legacy.
The Spaceships on the Blade artist pulled up to Honeybear Boba, his beverage venture in San Francisco a brisk morning in San Francisco. The sun peaked through clouds, providing necessary warmth as Larry June smiled through the wind, ready to start another day in his healthy life. As he ran down his itinerary with members of his team, the rapper described his favorite items from the customizable tea and refreshment menu to VIBE outside of the neighborhood shop.
“We got the Uncle Larry’s Dreamsicle,” recommended the “Don’t Check Me” rapper. As we stood outside the shop, business went on as usual with customers entering and leaving with their favorite boba drinks. He stood proudly in front of his storefront in the brisk air, with a Prada cap keeping his ears warm.
“Personally, what I do, I come with the strawberries, slush, no boba, light cream. Smooth, fresh little nice winter morning. Something slight.”
He had just landed in the city ahead of Red Bull’s Soundclash, where he and Babyface Ray would face off for the second time. In October, the two rappers were tasked with going head-to-head in multiple rounds of live performances in Detroit on Babyface Ray’s turf. Now, it was the Bay Area’s turn to experience the cultural similarities between the two regions through Hip-Hop music.
“Man, I feel the same, honestly. I just want to give a good show for the people, and that’s it, man,” Larry June detailed to VIBE about bringing Red Bull Soundclash to San Francisco ahead of the anticipated concert.
For Larry June, 2022 came with not only the Red Bull Soundclash but standout performances across multiple festival stages including Atlanta’s ONE MusicFest and Philadelphia’s Labor Day celebration Made In America.
Additionally, he released his album Spaceships On The Blade, featuring Syd, 2 Chainz, Curren$y, and more. He also released a joint project 2 P’z In A Pod with Jay Worthy, performed a Tiny Desk At Home show, and still has more plants to harvest.
VIBE continued to speak with Larry June about his businesses and brands, his personal style, and what else the consistently healthy rapper has coming soon.
VIBE: How has being from San Francisco impacted you creatively? What’s your favorite part about being from the Bay area?
Larry June: It’s a beautiful place, man. Just going outside, feeling that breeze and seeing that fog, waking up in the morning, crossing that Golden Gate Bridge, just the energy’s different. It keeps me feeling real good, but you can also bend some corners and make a left at that hill to the projects too, so you can get the best of both worlds. [It] you want to do it peaceful, or you can go outside and f**k around [and] do numbers.
My favorite part of being out here has been Hunters Point. Living in the projects, it was a different upbringing. It was fun. We was active, playing manhunt, different candy houses, buying icies, slap boxing, and riding bikes. Just being a kid. We used to ride our bikes all through here.
How did you get into boba tea and opening Honeybear Boba? Where did that come from?
Other than music, I’m into business and doing things that… I’m smart on my investments so we checked out the demographic in the area, it was something smooth and it was something that caters to the community and people would like, so I just invested into it. It wasn’t really nothing like rocket science behind it.
What’s the inspiration behind some of your Midnight Organic designs?
My music, really. So I looked up and years had passed in my music career. It was like an open book for me to go pick out certain things I could take from the music and the lifestyle and toss them on a shirt, or certain sayings I say… It’s more like a lifestyle brand, it’s just like you put it on, grab you a sandwich or something slight.
It’s not rocket… Everything I do is organic. So if I think about something, I don’t think too much about it, I just do it and I just see what happens and sh*t. It’s been working for me.
How do you plan to continue expanding your businesses while also staying true to your music?
Man, you gotta stay consistent. So the music is the motive of everything. So I got to make sure I’m on top of that. I’m not the biggest artist in the game, I don’t got platinum plaques. So, I use my craft and I just continue to make good music and it just builds with it. You make money, you can invest it into different things, you can save it, you can give it to somebody, I just like to diversify.
Your personal style is pretty cool to me, pretty cool to a lot of people. Do you have any style influences?
I ain’t gonna lie, my pops back in the 90s and the early 2000s and sh*t, he’d be coming through, having it on. D-Boy pulling up in the 5.0, fresh [Ralph Lauren] Polo fit on, hat to the back, [wearing] Nike. They was buying me all that stuff when I was a kid, like Jordans and sh*t, so it just kind of… Now I just wake up and put it on, whatever I see or I feel. I was fresh off the airplane so I just looked in the closet and said, “Boom.”
I tossed a hoodie on…I had to get to it. I stayed out ’til 1:00 [am] last night, you know what I’m saying? I had to get to it, but we rocking. I don’t think about it, man, I just, however, I feel. That’s why I don’t like going to operas and sh*t where it’s a dress code, that sh*t is doing too much, player.
What are three words you would use to describe your personal style?
Relaxed, organic, and numbers. ‘Cause I be having it on, you would never really know what it is unless I showed you the numbers.
You tweeted not too long ago that you just put the final touches on what you and Alchemist have together, and then you and Cardo about to go crazy…
What’s that about?
So me and Alchemist, we doing an album, probably 15 songs. I’m doing my final touches on it still, I want it to be perfect. It’s a different world than what me and Cardo do, and it’s more like Hip-Hop, working with a lot of artists I grew up listening to on that album. I just wanted to take a little more time and just make it perfect, ’cause it’s my first one I’m doing with Alchemist, so it’s going to set the tone.
So I would’ve been done, I might go to the studio, [and say] you know what, nah, I don’t like what I said, I don’t like how I said it, change that, so I’m taking my time. Then the Cardo sh*t, we got a formula already. We just get in there and start spinning, whatever comes, while chilling, moving, grooving. You just put it up.
The difference between the chemistry between you and Cardo and you and Alchemist, how is that dynamic?
Me and Cardo, it’s like we’ve been doing this for a while, and we kind of curated the sound to the point I can get in there and people already know what they going to expect. And I keep that bag separate from anything else I’m doing, so it never gets old to me. ‘Cause I’ll go do a whole album with Alchemist, where it’s like I’m rapping on smooth, movie scenery-type beats. And I get back in there [with Cardo] and it’s like, “Oh, I got a whole ‘nother book of raps for this.” It just comes easy for me. It’s fun that way. It makes it more interesting.
Is there anything you want to add?
Oh, man, shit. Nothing. Good job Larry. Good job, VIBE. Numbers.