Elijah The Boy
Meet New York City’s Next Up Rap Star
The East Coast is known for birthing legendary and iconic talent. One name that will surely be remembered is Elijah The Boy. A Bronx, New York native, Elijah is a bonified superstar in the making. His recent Ep “Not What It Used To Be” and singles like “Send Em Up”, “Hard Days”, and “Gotta Go” has been catching the attention of music lovers all over the world.
Growing up, Elijah found a taste for music at an early age. Writing and rhyming came naturally as the rapper has always been gifted and creative with talents stretching from drawing to playing the drums. His artistic hustle and unique story stems long before blowing up as a recording artist.
Elijah The Boy began sharing his own freestyle on social media. One, in particular, his twist to the “ten toes challenge,” elevated him to the next level and his fanbase on Instagram grew from 3,000 followers to nearly 20,000. Finding himself with newfound popularity, the rapper released his first single and video “Don’t Wanna Be In Love.” His first album, Mood Swings, was a project that expressed a lot of Elijah’s personality and depicted the spectrum of emotions he goes through in life.
In 2017 he dropped his 4-song EP 2:14 AM, a project geared towards Valentine’s Day. Elijah’s third project, Act Up, was released in 2018. 2019 saw the debut of his first Latin single “Sensaciones” which has been extremely successful streaming-wise. 2020 Elijah released his fourth and latest project Not What it Used To Be which hit number 17 on the iTunes Charts and is still growing. Elijah’s single “Send Em Up” dropped on the 20th of November of 2020 and is already gaining the attention of many. It has been played on top radio stations such as Hot 97 and Power 105.1 and many more. Elijah’s single “Send Em Up” has already acquired 5 million streams and is still growing each and every day.
A true definition of self-made, Elijah the Boy is an inspiration to youth worldwide that success can come with your own will to win and solo grind. An artist that has made a name for himself, pushing out his own projects, reaching out to book his own shows, and selling his own persona, the rapper is a true force to be reckoned with. Fans can look forward to even more music.
Elijah The Boy – Red Light (Official Music Video)
Meet and Get To Know Elijah The Boy
Kulture Vulturez: Alright, so you grew up in the Bronx, correct?
Elijah The Boy: Yeah, I grew up in Hunts Point. I spent my whole life there. I was born in Lincoln Hospital. The Bronx, I grew up here, my whole childhood.
Kulture Vulturez: Can you breakdown what was it like for you growing up there?
Elijah The Boy: Growing up in the Bronx for me, one thing I always tell people was that it was hard and it was a lot of fast paced experiences as a young kid, but one thing that was kind of beautiful about it that I never felt alone. When you grow up in low income houses, your friends are on the third floor, fourth floor, or top floor. You all hang out and you all grow up together. That was the beautiful part of it where I always had friends when I stepped outside.
“All that shit that comes with being a young kid growing up in that environment. It taught me to grow fast and also made me want more out of life.”
I never was by myself. Being in front of the building chillin’ and hanging out, it would just be a vibe. We all learning together. We all were trying to chase those same girls on the block together. There was also another side of it. Whereas we seen things early that we shouldn’t see. Interactions with cops. All that shit that comes with being a young kid growing up in that environment. It taught me to grow fast and also made me want more out of life. I feel like if I didn’t grow up there, I probably wouldn’t be what I am today.
Kulture Vulturez: Breakdown some of your earliest memories of music, or how did you get introduced to hip hop and music in general?
Elijah The Boy: Really, my biggest influence in music is my mother. My mom had me when she was super young. She had me at 14, so it was kind of like a kid raising a kid. She was kind of hip on the latest music. I remember her playing Biggie, Usher, all that stuff. I remember her watching the VMAs and music awards, and Usher performing and her going crazy. Then my mom, when I was around 9 years old, she bought me this stereo and she gave me this Eminem CD. She was always into stuff where she would just put me onto some music.
“my biggest influence in music is my mother. My mom had me when she was super young. She had me at 14, so it was kind of like a kid raising a kid.”
Me listening to things I shouldn’t be listening to at that age. But like I said, growing up there, you grow up early and you hear things super early. She put me on to music and it kind of made me want to start doing music. Because of the storytelling aspect in music, how you would tell so much within a three minute instrumental, but you found out so much about one person you don’t even know. That is what kind of made me feel like I had a story to tell.
Elijah The Boy – Eye to Eye (Official Music Video)
Kulture Vulturez: With New York being multicultural and the Bronx being the birthplace of hip hop. Did that have any influence on you to grow up and becoming an artist?
Elijah The Boy: Yeah, of course. When you go outside, the barbershops are playing music, the corner stores are playing music. Every car passing by is playing different songs. All that stuff was kind of unavoidable. You have to love music somehow growing up in that type of environment. It’s just super urban, mixing pot of different cultures, different people, and different styles. I feel like it’s unavoidable. You have to be a music lover. It just so happens that I take it to deeper than just being a music lover.
Kulture Vulturez: Growing up with everything you’ve been through, do you feel that prepared you for the grind and everything you have to do to reach success?
Elijah The Boy: Definitely. I think it just taught me to have strong character. More of so, to depend on myself and to be aggressive with it because you get thrown in that environment. It’s kind of like everybody’s trying to be somebody. Everybody’s trying to do something. Everybody has opinions. Especially in New York, we have strong characters. Everybody is very aggressive. When you grow up in that, it kind of prepares me.
“My mom went through the worst, the worst of the worst. When I think about my Mom, what she’s been through, she’s still smiling, then I should not be tripping right now.”
My mom having me super young, moving around a lot, not having nowhere to go with her because my dad passed when I was 1 years old, he got killed when I was 1 years old. All this shit, it is so fast pace, but it is kind of teaching you to handle everything coming forward. That’s why anything I go through now, yeah, I might stress about it in the moment, but I always think that this is not the end of the world. My mom went through the worst, the worst of the worst. When I think about her, what she’s been through, she’s still smiling, then I should not be tripping right now.
Kulture Vulturez: When did you first start making music officially, pursuing a career?
Elijah The Boy: I wrote my first song really young. I have memories in my head of being 11, 12 years old writing raps. When it first started was back in the days when MTV used to play music videos on channel 188, and they would just run all day. I would just watch that, I wouldn’t even watch cartoons on TV. I would just watch music videos all day. That really made me want to start. After that, writing music in my homies crib. Being young and trying to be as creative as possible.
“that’s when I decided I’m really going to be an artist, I’m really going to do this. I was like, f*** it, I even quit my job. I’m not going to be doing none of this, I am going to be doing music.”
Then it turned into, when I got a little older, me trying to impress girls in school. Writing raps to them, rapping to them in the f***ing lunchroom, in class, or wherever. You know, just trying to get their attention. Then it grew when I got out of high school and graduated. I did a semester in college, and that’s when I decided I’m going to be a rapper. I’m really going to be an artist, I’m really going to do this. I was like, f*** it, I even quit my job. I’m not going to be doing none of this, I am going to be doing music. Around 19 and 20 years old was when I kind of really started taking it serious. Then just a year into it, at the end of 2016 was when I went viral for a video. A freestyle video that end up helping me start the snowball effect of building a fanbase.
Elijah The Boy – Gotta Go (Official Music Video)
Kulture Vulturez: Growing up and being in New York, what do you feel are the biggest obstacles to overcome within the music scene there, or at least for you?
Elijah The Boy: For me, it was a hell of a different experience because I don’t consider myself the typical New York artist. As far as right now, I feel like New York has a sound. If you are not doing “Drill” or if you are not doing anything like that, you kind of get shadowed. There’s a lot of different sounds coming out of New York City. I’m the type of artist that just does music that I feel. It’s whatever the beat is and whatever the canvas is laid out for me, I’ll paint according to that.
“I had did a meet and greet with Reebok where 1500 kids came out. None of the industry was talking about that. how the hell I got 1500 heads to show up in the middle of Times Square and nobody’s talking about that.”
I felt like for me it was hard to really get my foot in the door in the beginning. First of all, I’m Spanish, I’m light skinned, and a lot of the world doesn’t understand that. That’s what I learned when I went viral, a lot of the world considers the only Spanish thing are Mexicans, and it is not anything else. The way I talk, the way I am, the way I look, it was already a difficult area to get over. But I ended up just really maximizing my social media presence. I was like, if I don’t know the DJs, if I don’t know this person, and this person at the labels, then I’m going to maximize my fan presence.
“That’s when I was like, “F*** it.” If they’re not going to talk about it, I’m going to body it from the outside to the point that they have to pay attention to me. That is my approach getting in the industry.”
That was my whole concept of the label I created. It’s called ONI, stands for Outsiders Never Inside. That was the concept. I had did a meet and greet with Reebok where 1500 kids came out. None of the industry was talking about that. I’m like, how the hell I got 1500 heads to show up in the middle of Times Square and nobody’s talking about that. That’s when I was like, “F*** it.” If they’re not going to talk about it, I’m going to body it from the outside to the point that they have to pay attention to me. That is my approach getting in the industry. I was like, I’m going to make so much noise that they can’t even deny me. That was my obstacle with being a New York artist who doesn’t typically make the New York type of sound music, and also have the typical look, you know.
Kulture Vulturez: Is it important for you not to be placed in a box as an artist?
Elijah The Boy: I’m the type of artist, I’ll do an R&B song, I’ll do a Spanish song, I’ll do a hip hop song. Right now, my next song, a single called “Over You.” It’s a a Jersey nightclub influence, because I moved to Jersey two years ago. I’ve been outside, I’ve been to every club, and I’m getting influenced out here. So, I’m like let me do something. I just got out of a crazy relationship and I’m talking about that in the song, where I’m like this is what I went through. It’s super relatable.
“I don’t want to do the typical things. If I’m going to speak on this, it has to be something that’s undeniable or something that catches their ears right away.”
I’m just trying to do different shit. I don’t want to do the typical things. That’s regular. If I’m going to speak on this, it has to be something that’s undeniable or something that catches their ears right away. That’s how I think. I never steer away from any type of sound. Not every song has to come out. So, I’m with being as creative as possible because it’s just us being free. If we don’t like it, we don’t like it. That is how I’m trying to go.
Elijah The Boy – Send Em Up (Official Music Video)
Kulture Vulturez: What do you feel was a turning point for your career, when you start to see success in your future?
Elijah The Boy: I feel like I have had a couple of those. I remember the first show I showed out at SOBs. I packed it out crazy. That was a turning point for me recently. I just got off tour like three weeks ago. I did a 16 city tour, me and Phora, he’s an artist out of the West Coast. That was a turning point for me, because I’m all over the world. Just doing shows after shows, after shows.
“There’s a bunch of turning points. I was getting played on the radio, I did Rollin Loud last year, just a bunch of shit where I’m like, ‘OK, this shit is working. We’re doing something.'”
There’s a bunch of turning points. I was getting played on the radio, I did Rollin Loud last year, just a bunch of shit where I’m like, “OK, this shit is working. We’re doing something.” Right now I feel like I’m going through another turning point. I just left Miami, I’m in the studio with big name artists. I’m doing all this stuff. So it’s like a lot of things that’s going to come out. Then I’m posting about and showing the world, like, ‘He’s like answering the door.’ But right now I feel like we are still answering that door.
Kulture Vulturez: Your latest single, “Red Light,” can you talk about how that song came about?
Elijah The Boy: You listen to “Red Light” you would not think I’m from the Bronx. You would think I am from Toronto, you would think I’m from L.A., you would think I’m from one of those type of places. With “Red Light” I recorded myself. I wrote it and recorded it in my living room, in my studio. I heard the beat and I was just thinking back.
Like I said, my mom’s a big influence for me. When I was young, she used to make me watch this 80s movie called the Lost Boys. It’s a vampire movie, but in the movie, they will play the same song. They didn’t have a soundtrack. They’ll just play the same song over and over again throughout the movie. It just felt like nighttime. I felt like driving. The moon is beaming in the sky, it felt like that. I was just like, I want a song that feels like that. I want a song that feels like how driving feels at night. That’s when I made that song.
“I heard the beat and I was just thinking back. my mom is a big influence for me. When I was young, she used to make me watch this 80s movie called the Lost Boys. In the movie, they will just play the same song over and over again throughout the movie. I was just like, I want a song that feels like that.”
I had a freestyle in the beginning and my boy was in the living room with me at my crib and he was like, “I like that.” I was like, “Alright, let me finish it.” I finished it that same day, and then I slept on it for a little bit. I just kept it in the tuck. Then I had did a show in L.A. last February. I went and did the show in LA, and my boy recorded this iPhone video. He’s a videographer, so he kind of dragged it a certain way, and I liked how it looked. I decided to throw it up on Instagram, and I’m going to throw it up on TikTok. When I threw it up on TikTok, it went super viral. I didn’t expect that.
Everybody was asking for the song, “Drop this,” “Drop this,” “Drop this.” I was like, “Damn, I think I gotta drop this.” I ended up dropping it and now it has been doing great. Mind you, I’m an independent artist and I don’t even have a manager. I’m independent 100%. On Spotify it is literally doing over 15k streams a day just on Spotify right now. I just had 1.5 million on Spotify and TikTok is over 3 million.
Kulture Vulturez: Do you see yourself needing to get signed to take it to that next level, or just want to stay independent?
Elijah The Boy: I’m not against being signed at all. I’m not against it, it’s just that I was forced to be an entrepreneur in this music shit. I was forced to learn every aspect. To kind of deprogram myself, to let everybody else handle it, it’s very difficult for me. It is very difficult for me to just let people tell me, “Don’t even worry about that. I’m not going to even tell you about it. I’m gonna handle it. I’ll get it done.” It’s so hard for me to do that because I’m super hands on. I’m talking about, I’m packing out, I’m selling out the shows myself. I’m packaging merch, selling my merchant, and shipping it myself. I’m doing all that. Writing the songs, recording myself, helping write the treatments for the videos, like I’m doing all that.
“I was forced to be an entrepreneur in this music shit. I was forced to learn every aspect. To kind of deprogram myself, to let everybody else handle it, it’s very difficult for me.”
It’s like now, to have help with that, when you get signed, a lot of that gets taken away. It just has to be the right situation. Most importantly to me, it has to be with a team that I feel genuinely believes in what I’m doing. Because a lot of people will sign off hype. Then the people you sign to might just be off that hype, like they know that you’re going to make money, but they might not see your vision, they just see that moment. So for me, it’s just like finding a team that genuinely understands who I am and what I’m trying to do, and that are all in with me. I’m gonna be in the field. So if I’m in the field, you got to be on the field. Kissing hands, touch the babies, all that shit.
Kulture Vulturez: Following all of your releases, what is next for you?
Elijah The Boy: I’ve got a lot of music and a few music videos. So my next my next single is “Over You.” It’s a special song because it’s honest and it’s literally what I went through word for word. Literally what I went through. I was in a 5 year relationship and my ex cheated on me. I put that in the song, I wrote about it, that I found out while I was on tour.
That’s my next single, but I’ve been playing it and testing it. Being out, traveling and just testing it with different types of people. I played it while we was on a yacht. It’s just a special song. It’s a special song. So that song is my next single that I’m going to drop. Just expect more music for me. Just being super consistent, with music, shows, more merch and drops from my clothing brand. Don’t stop, this shit just has to keep going. It’s just about not stopping for nobody. A lot more of everything on the way.