17-year-old Dallas rapper, Y Chibi, has shared his latest single “2 Many Times.”Fortified by speaker knocking 808 drums and trap handclaps, Y Chibi raps about his life coming up in Dallas’ Josey Lane Apartments. Produced by Fresh Ayr & Pitt Tha Kid, “2 Many Times” is a reflection on humble beginnings and how quickly people can change up once they see one of their peers achieving success. The new single follows Y Chibi’s recent release of the boisterous track, “Big Dawg” (500k+ streams), both slated to appear on his forthcoming EP, No Co-Sign which releases next month on on 5/21.
“I gotta move cautious, took too many losses / They ask if I’m still humble / Well sh*t would you be if you came from struggle / Strap tucked under the Ferragamo / It’s looking like I just won the lotto”
In 2020, Y Chibi released his debut eight-song body of work Pain-Tience. The deeply personal mixtape racked up millions of streams with vulnerable songs like “Two Face”and “Life Is Short” on which Y Chibi reflects upon the death of his father at the age of 14. To commence 2021, Y Chibi shared “Street Dreams,” followed by “Big Dawg” soon after. Y Chibi’s ability to blend his youthful and energetic delivery with wisdom in his writing make him a star in the making and someone worth paying attention to early.
“[Growing up in North Dallas], there was not much in the way of resources. It was tough on my mama and my dad; it broke them apart.” When Chibi was 12, his father left the family and returned to Africa. Two years later, he died, right as Chibi was becoming a man. “Things happened to me early, I had to focus on growing up. I had to grind and challenge myself; I know that my dad would not want me to feel sad. I pushed myself to become a better person and provide for my mama. Music was one of the things that helped me cope.”
“I’m a rookie who sounds like I’ve been in the game for a long time; it’s just the quality of the music I’m making,” declares 17-year-old rapper Y Chibi. The Dallas, Texas native of Nigerian heritage used his 2020 to make a powerful introduction. His Fresh Ayr-produced Pain-Tience mixtape yielded the “Life Is Short” music video as well as melodic-yet-personal tracks like “Two Face” and “Easy To Die”—all achieving strong six figures at streaming.
Y Chibi translates to “heaven-sent,” adding the initial for young. The idea of divinity is something the streetwise rapper carries with him. “I truly feel that I am heaven-sent. Through all of the predicaments that I’ve been in, I always had God with me; He guided me a lot,” shares the rapper. Chibi Okapara and his older brother grew up in North Dallas’ Josey Lane Apartments.
“It was not a good place. There was not much in the way of resources. It was tough on my mama on my dad; it broke them apart.” When Y Chibi was 12, his father left the family and returned to Africa. Two years later, he died, right as Chibi was becoming a man. “Things happened to me early,” he admits. “I had to focus on growing up. I had to grind and challenge myself; I know that my dad would not want me to feel sad. I pushed myself to become a better person and provide for my mama. Music was one of the things that helped me cope.”
Music was big in Chibi’s apartment. He was raised on Bob Marley, Tupac, and Lil Wayne. “Whenever I had time, I wrote music,” he says. Songwriting took precedence after a hip-replacement disrupted the star athlete’s plans for soccer and basketball. Starting freshman year, Chibi began using makeshift studios to record his tracks. Although the sound quality was less than ideal, his early songs caught on fast. “I put snippets on my Instagram, and people were going crazy. I just wanted to succeed and make my mama proud. I knew we were poor—I seen it. So what can I do to provide? Music became something that I realized I was good at.”
Beginning with reflective single “Street Dreams,” Chibi’s 2021 promises to kick open new doors to the industry. “I feel like every song I do should stand out,” shares the artist who blends wisdom in his writing with a youthful, energetic delivery. “Whenever I reach a ceiling, I try new things to break it.” From out of the gutter, Y Chibi is taking his career to glory.
© 2021, Seth Barmash. All rights reserved.