Meet rising rap star pioneering the game
Houston rapper and web3 pioneer, BIllyracxx, is paving his own way through the music landscape and into his own metaverse reality. With a legion of faithful followers by his side, it’s no wonder that he goes by the moniker: Cult Leader. If you want to see what the new music business may look like in the future, get on board, forget what you know, and spend some time with this young visionary.
Creatures, the name of the NFT characters that Billyracxx first introduced last year in a music video, are a collection of unique generative PFP avatars that unlock an immersive music and metaverse experience. By entering into the Cult Leader community, these Creatures activate special content, collectibles, as well as digital and physical experiences.
The collection currently consists of 2,222 Creatures, which sold out in four days after minting. These NFT sales generated close to $300k and set the stage for the next Creatures Drop, which is coming later this May, 2022. This will include an additional 5,508 new Creatures, and will be released on the Ethereum blockchain. New to this drop will be the introduction of Clone Pods, which allows current Creatures to generate a whole new creature on the Ethereum chain. Additionally, Creatures can access exclusive games and a first of its kind NFT Remixing Tool, where fans can use stems from Billyracxx’s new album to create their own songs.
Tied into each Creature NFT will be a copy of the new album, Cult Leader Saga, tentatively planned for a June 25th release. For those fans who are not quite ready to dive into the Metaverse, the album will be available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. The album’s first single, “Thunder”, streets on June 10th along with an accompanying music video.
Meet and Get To Know Billyracxx
Kulture Vulturez: How do you feel or how can you explain the way you found your way into music or just into arts in general?
Billyracxx: As a black man, when we’re like 21 [years old], 22 [years old], we’re trying to figure it out. We trying to really boss up financially, and we’re trying to get it quick too. It was that phase of life, me just doing a bunch of other shit, but I wanted to do something that I could call a career. I had found my way around a [microphone] a couple of times and liked how I sound on it.
“It was that phase of life, me just doing a bunch of other shit, but I wanted to do something that I could call a career.”
It was just something at that time where I could say, I could cuff that shit. I wasn’t playing football no more. I was at that point of life where it was like as a man, you out here in the real world what are you doing. [Rap music] was something I could cuff and be like this is for me, this is a career, this is what I am building towards.
Still was doing a lot of other shit in the beginning. Stuff that I wasn’t supposed to be doing, and stuff that was just normal matrix stuff, like working [a job]. I started to just do it, trying to start to identify with it more and more and more. It was a conscious decision for sure. It wasn’t like music was in my family for my whole life, my mom did music, my dad did music. It wasn’t none of that shit. It was literally a conscious decision.
BILLYRACXX – CULT LEADER (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Kulture Vulturez: Your style is quite different from other artists. How did you come about developing who you are as an artist right now?
Billyracxx: I’m a millennial, so I’m young, but I’m kind of the older of the youth. I started when I was seeing Big Sean and A$AP and them start popping, a 2014 type vibe. That’s when them guys were first getting they notoriety. They was underground, but they was coming up doing shows, traveling, probably in little sprinters. They were probably thuggin’ it too, but they was getting their looks.
“I wanted to be a caricature of just my thoughts, a caricature of who I am.”
Most of those artists around that time had a whole identities, there weren’t too many n***** that sound the same. People was developing whole identities, everybody was okay with the fact that you will probably drop seven mixtapes before you blow up. That was something you kind of okay with it, and understood and looked forward to. I started to build my style on something that was like a caricature of myself.
I wanted to be a caricature of just my thoughts, a caricature of who I am. I just started to focus on like, how could I project and sound my thoughts differently. They have to sound different off rip, if they sound like everybody else then it does not matter what I’m saying. Now you see more people kind of sounding like the next person following the formula, getting the same fans, all that.
“Originally, When I started you felt like you wouldn’t get any artists sounding like somebody else.”
When I started originally, you felt like you wouldn’t get any fans that way, sounding like somebody else. I wouldn’t regret it, I wouldn’t take it back. Like I said, that’s a conscious decision, too. Going in that studio, not being scared and just inflicting your voice different ways, [while] not being nervous. I never really brought a lot of people to the studio with me, because in the beginning I just wanted to do me.
I wanted to be confident and get all that shit out. Being in the studio and just be able to sound stupid. But when you sound stupid in the mic and you play the Auto-Tune and you get creative, that shit end up turning into some shit that have you like, Oh. If you never do that, then you don’t really get to see that other stuff. It was experimenting to create this whole caricature. I just wanted to create something. I wanted myself to be something new.
Kulture Vulturez: Were you ever nervous in the beginning, by what would people think, would you be received well or you just had all confidence?
Billyracxx: I was kind of looking at it with this shit, the pre-Internet stages, I’m not coming up with no big homies. I’m from Houston, but I started music when I was in college. I dropped out, moved to Austin, and I never moved back to where I had a bunch of n***** who f***ed with me from high school, just a gang of n*****, because I was never into gang shit. I never had no OG.
“I’m out doing all this shit on my own anyway, so I need to be something different.”
I was like I’m not going to do the same shit anyway. Not coming in this shit with a bunch of n***** who just know how it goes go and know how to put me through certain loops or connect me with certain people because I sound a certain way. I’m out doing all this shit on my own anyway, so I need to be something different. Build on something that’s a whole self-made foundation that includes the sound, the visuals, the way I dress, the way I treat people, everything.
“I ain’t had no OG, no big homies anyway. Best way I’m gonna get n***** to know this was because of how leftfield [I was as an artist].”
All that shit is like a new creation. I felt like that was the best way to go, because like I said I ain’t had no OG, no big homies anyway. Best way I’m gonna get n***** to know this was going on is because of how leftfield this one deep young nigga coming and confident enough to come.
BILLYRACXX & WHITE PUNK – MONSTER (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Kulture Vulturez: With your music videos, where does the concepts for the ideas of your videos come from?
Billyracxx: I like scary movies. I subconsciously took in a lot of rock music when I was growing up. Not really the music, but waking up in the morning, just laying in the bed seeing MTV and VH1, when they was playing all of those videos and I ain’t know who the fuck none of the bands was. I would see all that shit in the morning, those videos, and I was just subconsciously taking all that shit in. I’m from the hood, I’m from shit, but I always had open mind.
“I’m from the hood, I’m from shit, but I always had A open mind.”
My people put me around different things. I took in a lot of stuff subconsciously for a long time before I was able to express it. When I turned into an artist I could start expressing all this shit that’s inside that I know and I’m in touch with. Before then, I’m only man of my family, so it’s just kind of in that box like grind and get your money up, providing, what’s the right way to go about life to kind of be on pace to be able to stand on your own, not really taking risks.
“I like telling messages without being so literal about it.”
I tapped into that when I was like 22 [years old], I tapped into a late and it’s dope. A lot of people, a lot of young n***** tap into it early now. It was until I was 22 that was able to tap into, ‘Oh, I’m gonna do something.’ So with the visuals, I think it’s a lot of subconscious influence from scary movies, rock, and rap. I like avant-garde, I like telling messages without being so literal about it. I’m not interested in just being in one set, just with females dancing behind me, I like movies, so I’m trying to project that in stories and whole worlds. I’m trying to project that in visuals and music.
Kulture Vulturez: Breakdown your “Cult Leader” moniker, and how did that come about?
Billyracxx: I’m a cult leader, bro. Most of my fans are very, I want to say unique people. It’s a big amount of unique people who all gravitate towards what I’m doing. The cult leader shit is really empowerment. It just empowered myself because I feel like the past three years I’ve been prepared into a space where I’m in the industry, I’m an artist in the industry, I’m around a lot of n***** with a lot of money and I come from a different type of foundation.
“The cult leader shit is really empowerment.”
My growth looks different from a lot of other people, even though I get the respect, sometimes I don’t. I have to put a stamp on who I am and what I do and the growth because it has to be respected. Legacy, when you die what people going to remember you by. How much art do you have to tell your story, to intrigue people, to have people be like, ‘What the f*** was that n**** on.’ Somebody define you later.
People want to go back and see a music video. They saw it a couple of times, but they go back and find something new. All of that type of shit is what a lot of people not in touch, because it’s like a lot of the 15 seconds, 30 seconds, quick gratification. I just seen A$AP Rocky do ‘Drink Champs’, and he was talking about that. Him and Virgil (famous clothing designer) would have a lot of conversations on the whole stamp of music and what black people can do nowadays if they focus in on creating legacy. If you see a lot of stuff that A$AP do, it’s on that type of time.
“Totally integral for other black people if they open their mind up or if they just kind of see where we are going.”
A legacy, black artists doing this avant-garde, high level art that can still be communicated, related, and totally integral for the hood. Totally integral for other black people if they open their mind up or if they just kind of see where we are going. We getting there, it is what it is. That’s kind of what the “Cult Leader” shit is about, it is empowerment. I’m the only black artist out here call myself a Cult Leader.
BILLYRACXX – “MELT MY FACE” (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO)
Kulture Vulturez: Can you explain your involvement in web3 and how that come about?
Billyracxx: It’s another thing that kind of helps me make people to realize that I’m standing on that Cult Leader shit. With web3, it started off really just another medium to really show art in. But me being independent, this is another medium you can monetize quicker for bigger bucks. I’m like, I’ve got to figure this shit out because I’ve been over here as a black artist creating this high level shit, creating a whole world. It’s kind of like coming at it like Kanye, but more of not having the audience yet, still being discovered.
“It’s kind of like coming at it like Kanye, but more of not having the audience yet.”
I’m going to go ahead to take advantage of this space and get my bag up. It’s like the gold rush, when the internet came about. I’m going to get into all of that shit because I deserve it. I’ve been at a high level creating artist who thought about my music and communicate my music in a lot of mediums. So, here we go, boom. If this shit is mainly 3D shit, I got a whole story to tell. I’ve been telling it. Let me just bring it over here. So it started out like that, just another medium. Then I started just pushing and networking it more.
Meeting developers, and really start to understand the tech and the type of people that were over here. Once you realize that, you understand this is really this is the new form of Internet. When you had Bill Gates and all the people getting rich around that time, these are the same people that are in this space. Now it’s art. Now they got stock where you can do art, the art is just stock. I’m like, ‘Shit, I’m about to go crazy. I’m about to get into the mix of this because this is rare.’ You don’t really get to be in those rooms or be in those type of conversations with VCs and all those type of people as black creatives, especially coming from we come from.
Nobody in my family is corporate. That really fueled me to try to say, ‘Okay, I met these developers. These developers are inspired by me. They want to work with me. They love the art. They love the story I’m telling. They love the connections I have from the web2 space.’ How can I leverage that to build something that could get me close to being in conversations like these VCs making millions of dollars off projects. That’s me taking advantage of the fact that now stock is in art.
If they did not have NFTs I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this shit because I don’t understand stocks in the form of corporate business side, a business is stock. I understand NFTs I know how to go and look at these different projects and say, ‘Oh, if art is cool or not, their community is cool. They got a cool use case, they’re doing some cool shit.
“When you had Bill Gates and all the people getting rich around that time, these are the same people that are in this space. Now it’s art.”
They got cool stuff that they’re bringing to in real life. This project is probably going to go far.’ It’s easy to understand for creatives. I’m kind of trying to lead the way on that as an independent artist. Proof of concept of monetizing music, web3, visuals, and going for six seven figures. As independent, those are big milestones that need to be crossed. And then, when I cross those, I got to be transparent about it so that other independent artists can understand that they can do it.
Kulture Vulturez: Talk about the characters that you have created through web3?
Billyracxx: I feel like there’s no use case on the web3 like these characters. These characters started out after I dropped the project last year called Creatures with a Russian producer named WHITE PUNK, we dropped a ten track project called Creatures. The creature is just like the inner me. It’s who I am inside. It’s just like one of my characters. You got the band Gorillaz, who created these digital characters and these representations of the different parts of them, and they’re dynamic. So, I’m the same thing.
“The creature is just like the inner me. It’s who I am inside. It’s just like one of my characters.”
You look at all my different sounds and everything I do, I wanted to bring that character to life. We created a costume for it before I was ever in web3. My girl is a one to one designer. She worked out a lot of stuff for artists like Billie Eilish, Young Thug, Coi Leray, myself. She made the creature costume and it was mainly just like the mascot costume. It was just my costume as a mascot for my project so I can perform with it on stage. I could shoot the cover art, do a music video in costume. Then web3 came about, I ended up jumping to web3 right after that project.
We had made a 3D video of the creature, too, before I ever got into web3. We had the 3D costume, we made a music video, then we decided to make a 3D video as promo and another piece of content to push the project out. And then we was like, ‘Oh shit,’ we’ve seen this web3 shit we seen make all this money, and we were like, ‘Yo, we already created a 3D medium. We have all the 3D assets. Let’s bring creatures to web3 as well.’ That’s how it came about. I did a lot of stuff with my imagery, with the creature imagery, like one of one art and a lot of different other things.
When it came about for me to do a generative project, it was a no brainer that I had to do the creature. The creature has became such a staple in my imagery. I perform with it on stage, I performed with that costume. The use case is unreal. The use case is crazy to how far this creature that can go. It could be a collectible, a toy, a baby doll, it can be keychains, it can be merch, it can be greeting cards. The use case in connection to real pop culture and web2 is unlike a lot of projects on web3.
“I pride myself as an independent artist, being one of the first generative projects that’s showing a lot of culture in [web3].”
A lot of projects on web3 are very tech and indigene, very one dimensional. Web3 is going to turn into the culture. Everybody’s going to come in to web3 at some point, all the big brands, everything. People are going to understand it more. They’re going to be pulled into it more. I pride myself as an independent artist, being one of the first generative projects that’s showing a lot of culture in use case.
Kulture Vulturez: You also have a new album coming out called Cult Leader Saga. Can you talk about what is to be expected with its release?
Billyracxx: Cult Leader Saga, is a 13 track project. Super excited to drop this, some of my best music to this day. It is really like cathedral amphitheater music. It’s exactly how it sounds, Cult Leader Saga. What does that sound like? You can imagine a n**** standing on top of a mountain with the whole crowd of people just waving. You could just imagine him jumping off the got damn mountain, some dramatic shit landing and crowd surfing on the people.
“You can imagine a n**** standing on top of a mountain with the whole crowd of people just waving.”
Just thinking about that. It’s like real cathedral music, real amphitheater music, real rage music, but a lot of it also has soul and it’s melodic, too. It’s just big music. It’s my saga. My whole journey being crazy. I feel once I blow up, when I hit that moment and all this footage that I compiled over the past five years of my life and my journey through music, just really living this shit [because] I ain’t worked a real job in five years, six years, I think it’s going to be crazy inspiring for people to see the day to day art I lived.
“It’s my saga. My whole journey being crazy.”
Even when I ain’t have shit to being where I’m at now, to being where I’ll be at very soon and beyond that. So, it’s just a saga. Where I’m at is definitely a saga, and kind of a journey. It’s crazy. A lot of people feel crazy about their life, I ain’t tried to gas my shit up.
Kulture Vulturez: Your first single is “Thunderstruck”? How is that going to come out? Is there also going to be a video to go along with the release?
Billyracxx: We got a video rolling out. The single rollout June 3rd, and then we’ll have a music video rolling out shortly after that. The music video is the first video to the Cult Leader Saga. It’s a mixture of cinematography and 3D. I think, a lot of my fans to this point know they see me as a big visual artist. So, I got a lot to live up to already, just from the standard that I put it out for myself.
I’m looking at Kendrick [Lamar] new videos, I’m looking at a lot of the new shit, and I get inspired by a lot of the [best and unique] shit. Not a lot of the normal. Just know, the Cult Leader Saga, the visuals, the imagery is real crazy. A lot of people who would take the time to read this already know where I’m coming with the visuals, so for me to even say some of this stuff is my best work is enough said. I’m working to get more people to anticipate my shit and [gain] more fans. So, I let the shit speak for itself, I don’t really have a lot of words.
Kulture Vulturez: What do you feel you need to do to get to the the next step or take it to the next level?
Billyracxx: Keep doing what I’m doing. It’s like, you can’t do nothing but stay consistent. You grind. Most of the biggest success stories will tell you they don’t even know how it happened. It’s more about living this shit. Creating every day, making dope ass bodies of work, putting them out and try to up your strategy.
I’m in a space right now where ain’t nothing to do but to make it happen. The next level is what I’m doing now. It’s just about will the world react to it. That’s where everything is, when the world react to when you’re working as hard as artists like I am. There’s a lot of my peers who are going crazy, and they can’t necessarily tell you what the next next step is. They’re just going to tell you like their next shit is about to be their best shit.
Kulture Vulturez: What else are you working or focusing on for the future?
Billyracxx: I would say mainly just to focus on for people to know that we revolutionizing the music industry. I made six figures off an NFT project that is my album. Technically, if you have to communicate it into layman’s terms to people who don’t really understand NFTs, Billyracxx has made six figures off a project that hasn’t even dropped on DSPs (Digital Streaming Platform) yet. People talk about streaming and their money on streaming so much and and they’re not doing this.
“focus on for people to know that we revolutionizing the music industry.”
If you want to get their attention, you tell them an independent artist made six figures before he even put his project on streaming platforms. That’s what the world needs to learn. That’s what I’m out here being transparent about, as we turn this next corner we make seven figures. It won’t just be the web3 people who knows who the “Cult Leader” is, it’ll be the whole world. Like I said, I pride myself on being transparent about this process. I want to speak about it in publications.
“If you want to get their attention, you tell them an independent artist made six figures before he even put his project on streaming platforms.”
I definitely want people to understand that this is my best body of work that I’ve made so far music wise, and I’ve managed to create it in one of the most innovative ways in the world right now. There are other artists that are going to do it. There are bigger artists that are doing it, but independent artists is doing it. It’s about making sure the world know that. You playing a part in that, y’all publication playing is playing a part in that.