Jun 5, 2019 by Eddie Fu @eddiefu
Viral hits like “Elimination” & “Thot Thot” have raised his profile from regional star to artist to watch.
Here at Genius, we’re in a unique position as a music lyrics site to discover rising artists while staying on top of the latest trends. Millions of fans come to Genius every day after using Google to find the lyrics for songs they truly love, whether they’re looking for their favorite buzzing artists or the most viral songs of the moment. Every week, we’re going to look at our data and pinpoint why fans have been searching for a selected artist. While our Top Songs charts already reflect what’s popular right now, this is a deeper dive into the data to find the hidden gems that aren’t as readily apparent.
Louisiana rapper JayDaYoungan has built buzz over the past few years by releasing a steady stream of mixtapes, boosting his profile from a regional star to an artist on the verge of breaking out. The 20-year-old native of Bogalusa, Louisiana has largely done it on his own—Jay’s biggest feature appearances to date have been on songs by fellow rising rappers like Quando Rondo and Yungeen Ace. In addition to building a fanbase without any major cosigns, Jay prefers to drops projects without any features.
Although JayDaYoungan grew up listening to Kevin Gates, Boosie Badazz, and Chief Keef, he’s only been rapping seriously for three years. Jay was more focused on hoop dreams until he got kicked off his high school basketball team.
“I didn’t take it serious until I dropped a song on YouTube,” Jay told Hypebeast in January 2018. “I got the feedback on it and the fans were loving it and they reacted to it. I got a lot of love and they were telling me I needed to take it serious and that I had the voice for it.”
JayDaYoungan found regional popularity in 2017 with “Sliding Freestyle” and “Muddy Situation” before gaining national exposure with songs like “Interstate” and “Elimination.” The latter track is taken from his July 2018 project titled 23 and remains Jay’s most popular song on Genius to date, with 111,973 total pageviews.
Thanks to JayDaYoungan’s rising prominence, “Elimination” took off faster than his previous songs. It started off strong by averaging 770 Genius pageviews in July and maintained the momentum in August with 687 average daily pageviews. Though the track’s popularity tailed off in the fall, Jay was quick to follow up with another project before the end of year.
His next project, Forever 23, earned JayDaYoungan his Billboard 200 debut at No. 86, and featured his next viral hit, “Thot Thot.” Once again, the song got off to an auspicious start, racking up 700 average daily pageviews in December before leveling out the next month with 527 average daily pageviews. “Thot Thot” maintained a similar level of interest in February (477 average daily pageviews), March (479 average daily pageviews), and April (422 average daily pageviews).
The enduring success of “Thot Thot” allowed Jay to drop a string of singles leading into his next project, Endless Pain, which debuted even higher on the Billboard 200 at No. 70 after being released on May 17. Thus far, the most popular tracks are “Repo” and “War Ready,” both of which were released as pre-release singles, but “Bang” has an opportunity to be a breakout hit. The song’s audio-only video garnered well over one million YouTube views in two weeks, and it racked up 8,709 total pageviews over the same time period.
Just a few years into his career, JayDaYoungan has shown a prolific work ethic and developed a formula for consistently delivering viral hits. While many of his contemporaries seem content with blowing up overnight thanks to a meme or a major cosign, JayDaYoungan seems to be steadily growing his fanbase organically. If the young rapper continues on this path—or scores a true breakout hit—he could become more than an artist to watch.