The untold truth of YNW Melly

Jamell "YNW Melly" Demons possesses many of the same qualities as some of the biggest stars in the hip hop world — like a contagious exuberance and a flexible singing voice. Since first finding success on SoundCloud, thanks to his ability to create deeply honest and emotive tracks about his troubling personal life, the "Freddy Krueger" rapper has released various Billboard-charting hits, such as his most famous track, as of this writing, "Murder On My Mind." He's also released projects like I Am You to favorable reviews. His talents have impressed rap veterans such as Young Thug, who reportedly signed him to his YSL label, and earned him a collaboration with a certain A-list celebrity. But Melly also has a dark side, and he's been accused of some pretty awful things.

Though he's been featured in articles by popular publications like Complex and Billboard, there's still so much people don't know about the Florida-bred artist. From his opinions on relationships to all the drama he's allegedly been in that has slipped under the radar, here's the untold truth of YNW Melly.

He's got a story to tell

YNW Melly, who was born in 1999, hails from Gifford, Fla., a small town north of Miami that The Fader described as an "unlikely location to birth a national star." According to the rapper, "Ain't nobody ever made it out of there." Well, except one person, he told The Fader. "We had one NFL player made it out, but he brought his a** right back," Melly shared.

Melly didn't let his city define him, though. According to XXL, he started recording music in the eighth grade with a microphone loaned to him by a friend and continued to make music over the years — until the street life caught up to him. In 2015, a then-16-year-old Melly was arrested for shooting at a group of people in Vero Beach, Fla. The motive of the shooting is unclear, but the rapper was charged with "three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of discharging a firearm in public," per the TCPalm.

His biggest hit almost didn't happen

While serving time for the shootout in Vero Beach, YNW Melly penned his now-famous single "Murder On My Mind," a piano-assisted death ballad that has since gone gold and landed on the Billboard Hot 100. "I literally woke up in the jail cell and I was like, 'Wake up in the morning, I got murder on my mind. AK-47, MAC-11, Glocks, and nine's,'" the crooner recalled to Genius. However, he almost gave up on the song just as quickly as he came up with it. After, presumably, a correctional officer came calling for him, Melly explained, he said, "F*** that song." Apparently, his surroundings got the best of him. "When I went to jail, I lost faith for a little bit. I didn't know what I wanted to be," he told Billboard.

His peers apparently saw a star, however, and they urged Melly to continue with his rap career.

He's taught himself how to sing

Though YNW Melly apparently always knew that he would be a star (via Billboard), becoming a rapper wasn't exactly his childhood dream. In fact, he preferred to be a singer, similar to some of the world's biggest pop stars. "I wanted to be Chris Brown and Michael Jackson," he told XXL. He apparently loved the way Jackson could control a crowd and the way he carried himself (via The Fader), but Melly had one issue preventing him from being like Mike: He couldn't sing. So, as he told Billboard, he started to train his voice by practicing their records. "It took me a year to learn," Melly explained.

Then he discovered Lil Wayne. "That's when I was like OK, I'm Chris Brown, Michael Jackson and Lil Wayne? Oh yeah," said Melly to XXL. Since achieving fame, Melly's music has drawn comparisons to some of those stars.

Meet Melvin

YNW Melly claims to have six distinct personalities, as he revealed in an interview with The Nyla Simone Show, and three of them have yet to be revealed, as of the time of this writing. There's, of course, Melly, who the rapper described in an interview with YouTube channel MONTREALITY as "loving, genuine, turned up, and happy." He's apparently got somewhat of a temper, but, according to the rapper, it's nothing compared to Melvin's temper. Regarding Melvin, his second personality, the rapper said, "I only let him out at nighttime and I need to stop doing that." The crooner continued on to say that Melvin often comes to Melly's defense whenever there's trouble and that he's not a person to play with. "He don't play. Don't f*** with him," he added. "He got that fire inside of him."

In an interview with Genius, Melly also claimed that Melvin thinks about murder. "Every day, all day," he told the outlet. Well, that doesn't sound so good.

Fortunately, his third personality, Marcus, sounds a bit calmer, as he's who Melly becomes when he's "in disguise," when he's wearing sunglasses and a hat and is doing "some regular people s***" (via The Nyla Simone Show). 

Yeezus approves of Melly's music

Kanye West apparently fell in love with YNW Melly's musical style after hearing his track "Blue Balenciagas" while visiting Paris. He then had a representative contact the rising star in hopes of scoring a collaboration (via Billboard). Believing it was too good to be true, Melly "dodged him for a week straight" before ultimately agreeing to meet up. "He flew me to LA and then I just showed him some of my music, showed him what I had. And he was like when he heard the song ['Mixed Personalities'], he was like, 'Bro, I gotta get on this bro,'" Melly told Power 106 of his experience with the rap veteran.

According to the "Slang That Iron" rapper, West loved the song so much that he laid his verse down and even helped with the track's beat (via Billboard). Considering West's well-known creativity and producing skills, it's not so surprising that the track made its way to the Top 10 of the Billboard chart.

You can't tie him down

Some people spend their lives in search of "The One." Then there are others who are far from the commitment-minded type and prefer to live life bachelor-style. YNW Melly appears to be among the latter, as he once admitted that he has almost a handful of girlfriends. In a 2019 interview with Billboard, the "Mama Cry" rapper revealed that there were four ladies in his life. But the good thing is (we guess) that he at least kept them informed of each other. "I just let them know what time it is. You got to keep it real. They know about each other. I'm not having any kids right now," he explained to the publication.

Melly apparently doesn't mind keeping a full roster of ladies because he "ain't got no heart." The crooner continued, "A girl broke my heart, so now I don't have a heart." Well, if he and his four girlfriends are fine with their arrangement, who are we to judge?

He's been accused of a horrible crime

On Feb. 13, 2019, YNW Melly was arrested and charged with "two counts of first-degree murder" (via HipHopDX). The arrest stems from the deaths of his two "best friends" and members of his rap crew, Anthony "YNW Sakchaser" Williams, 21, (pictured left) and Christopher "YNW Juvy" Thomas Jr., 19, (pictured right) who were killed in October of 2018 (via TCPalm) in what initially appeared to be a drive-by shooting, according to HipHopDX. However, police in Miramar, Fla. reportedly say that Melly shot the pair and staged the scene to resemble a drive-by with accomplice Cortlen "YNW Bortlen" Henry. Henry reportedly drove the pair to a hospital, but Williams and Thomas were apparently already dead when they arrived, per South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Though police sources say they have evidence of Melly's involvement, as reported by XXL — including a shell casing found inside the vehicle, cell phone records, and surveillance video — the rapper has maintained his innocence. "Unfortunately a lot of rumors and lies are being said but no worries god is with me and my brother [Henry]," Melly wrote in an Instagram post before turning himself in to authorities.

As of this writing, Melly and Henry are awaiting trial.

He's been hit with additional allegations

Turns out that YNW Melly might be involved in another murder. After he was arrested for the deaths of his friends, Vero News reported that the rapper is suspected in the death of a sheriff deputy. According to the outlet, "the two rappers [Melly and Henry] were standing in a group and firing gunshots when [Garry] Chambliss, who was standing about 170 yards down the street, was struck by a stray bullet." It is apparently believed that either Melly or Henry fired the fatal shot.

An insider told the publication that they could not confirm if the two are suspects in the murder, given that the investigation is "active," but admitted that detectives have their eyes on them after their 2019 arrest. "After that shooting in Miramar, our detectives will be following up for possible information in connection to the Garry Chambliss homicide," a police source told Vero News. "Perhaps, given their current situation, they might be able to shed some light on the case."