Nef the Pharaoh

Tonee Hayes (born January 11, 1995), better known by his stage name Nef the Pharaoh, is an American rapper from Vallejo, California. In 2014 he was selected by fans as the "Bay Area Freshman of the Year" in a yearly contest held by[1][2] In early 2015, his track "Big Tymin'" became a regional hit,[3] with a music video released shortly after Nef the Pharaoh signed with Sick Wid It Records. "Big Tymin'" was remixed by YG and Ty Dolla $ign in July 2015,[4][5] and his self-titled debut EP was released on Sick Wid It on November 6, 2015.[6] He released his full-length debut album titled The Chang Project on April 27, 2017.

Nef the Pharaoh
Birth nameTonee Hayes
Also known asNef the Pharaoh
Born (1995-01-11) January 11, 1995 (age 28)
Oakland, California, U.S.
OriginVallejo, California, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Occupation(s)Rapper, songwriter
Years active2014–present

Early lifeEdit

Tonee Hayes was born on January 11, 1995, in Oakland, California. He was featured on the cover of the Vallejo Times-Herald[1] at the age of 17. Hayes has cited Vallejo rappers like Mac Dre and E-40 as significant influences on his style.[1] He was given the nickname Nef (short for nephew) from his uncle, which he incorporated into part of his stage name.[1] He went to Inderkum High School and later transferred to Discovery High School.

Music careerEdit

Early releasesEdit

Starting his music career as an "internet freestyler,"[6] in 2014 Nef the Pharaoh had what Vice Media referred to as a "local hit" with the single "Bitch I'm From Vallejo."[2] In 2014, E-40 contacted Giggles about Bay Cookies,[1] and Nef the Pharaoh was subsequently featured on E-40's Sharp On All 4 Corners album.[2] In 2014 he was selected by fans as the "Bay Area Freshman of the Year" held by[1][2] Early on he performed at the last held "Bay Area Freshman" concert.[1] His single "I'm From Vallejo" was remixed with features from E-40 and Willie Joe of Vallejo.[1] As of copyright, Nef the Pharaoh was working on his new album.[1]

"Big Tymin'" single (2015)Edit

In July 2015 Nef the Pharaoh released his track "Big Tymin'"[6] which featured lyrics paying tribute to Big Tymers members Birdman and Mannie Fresh.[6] The song is "an homage to New Orleans bounce music."[7]

"Nef's other records suggest a more pertinent rap influence is the languid precision of Mac Dre — while the mood has the reassuring warmth of a springtime sunbeam. This spirit perfectly captures the whimsical goofiness of the Big Tymers. Built on the slumping Bay Area rhythmic template popularized by DJ Mustard, Nef dodges the derivative; as a rapper, he lets the energy lead and the bars follow, boasting and flexing with the kinds of memorable banalities...that make up some of hip-hop's best yet least-celebrated moments. Everything about the record suggests tossed-off effervescence, its formal components underlining its unpretentious messaging."

Pitchfork called "Big Tymin'" a "major hit," writing "its lyrics are loosely structured and almost free-associative."[3] Complex Magazine wrote in May 2015 that "Big Tymin'" is "a Bay-style tribute to classic Cash Money... compared with Bankroll Fresh, whose 'Hot Boy' flipped a similar trick, 'Big Tymin" is bright, upbeat fun—much closer in spirit to its inspiration than the ATLien's dour repetition."[8] The Vice Media site Noisey wrote about the track that "with 'Big Tymin',' he has another clap on his hands. Paying homage to Cash Money’s Big Tymers, Nef goes in on a minimal beat...."[2]

Remixes and performances (2015-present)Edit

External video
  Nef The Pharaoh - Big Tymin' (Official Music Video) (Jan 19, 2015)

The music websites Noisey and Thizzler on the Roof included "Big Tymin'" on their On the Roof Vol. 2: Mob Forever, dedicated to The Jacka in May 2015.[2] After "Big Tymin" had become known regionally,[6] Nef the Pharaoh signed with E-40's Sick Wid It label[3] in early 2015,[3] and they re-released the track.[6] "Big Tymin'" was remixed by YG and Ty Dolla $ign in July 2015,[4][5] with the remix premiering on sites such as on July 25[7] and[5]

In October 2015, Nef the Pharaoh freestyled live on the radio station Power 106,[9] and he has also performed live on KMEL-FM.[10] His self-titled debut EP was released on Sick Wid It on November 6, 2015.[6]Complex was one of the websites to stream the EP live and give it a positive review,[11] with HipHopDX also streaming it.[12] He performed a release show in downtown Oakland for the EP.[13] As of 2015, he was working on a collection of pre-rolled joints to sell at Bay Area cannabis clubs, with plans to launch an apparel line and his own music label KILFMB.[13] He released his debut album, The Chang Project.[13]

In August 2018, Nef the Pharaoh released Blow up Bed, a song which featured Los Angeles rapper 03 Greedo. The song was chosen as "Best new Music" by[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Hayes' son was born in 2014.[1] He has an older sister and two younger brothers.


Studio albumsEdit

  • The Chang Project (2017)[6]
  • The Big Chang Theory (2018)
  • Mushrooms & Coloring Books (2019)
  • HearYEE HearYEE (2020)
  • SINsational (2021)[15]
  • The Tonight Show With Nef The Pharaoh (2021) with DJ.Fresh[16]

Compilation AlbumsEdit

  • Sick Wid It: The Year of the Pig (2021) with Sick Wid It[17]

Extended playsEdit

  • Nef the Pharaoh (2015)[6]
  • Porter 2 Grape (2018) with 03 Greedo[18]
  • Vice Versa (2018) with ShooterGang Kony[19]
  • CHANGSZN (2020)
  • CHANGSZN 2 (2020)


  • Rich by 25 Two (2014)
  • Neffy Got Wings (2015) with Cardo (record producer)
  • The Lost Tapes (2016)
  • Fresh Outta Space 3 (2016)


as Featured artistEdit

War With Me - Kt Foreign ft. Yhung TO, Nef The Pharaoh

Bully Tha Bullie$ - Lynne Tracy, Kent Kern

Guest appearancesEdit

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Artist(s) Album
"707" 2014 E-40, Willie Joe Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 1
"Old School Hyphy" 2015 Corn
"You Know It" DJ Mustard, Big Mike, Splacc 10 Summers: The Mixtape, Vol. 1
"Get It In" (Remix) 2016 Lil Yase, Mozzy, G-Val, Lil Blood, Yatta
"Slappin'" E-40, DRAM
"Statue of Liberty" Philthy Rich, E-40, Ezale Real Niggas Back in Style
"Tap In" A.D., Sorry Jaynari, E-40 By the Way
"Moxie Java" Rexx Life Raj Father Figure
"Stupidly Crazy" DJ Esco, Casey Veggies Project E.T.
"#1" Dev
"Max That Btch" AV, LaVish I Got the Streets
"In My Way" Kid Ink, Mozzy, Bricc Baby Shitro RSS2
"Get Me Some" J. Stalin, Lil Blood On Behalf of the Streets 2
"The Grit Don't Quit" E-40 The D-Boy Diary: Book 1
"Bring Back the Sideshow" E-40, Mistah F.A.B. The D-Boy Diary: Book 2
"Chase Dat Money" 2017 Mozzy, Show Banga Fake Famous
"Fck Some Up" June, Young Mezzy Same Enemy
"Toss It" Snoop Dogg, Too Short Neva Left
"Fail to Realize" Droop-E, E-40, Bandz Talk Trillionaire Thoughts
"Other Side" G Perico 2 tha Left
"Out Da Hood" JL DIBKIS
"Friends" 2018 Iamsu! 06 Solara
"Save All That Love" Too Short, Mozzy, Mistah F.A.B. The Pimp Tape
"Racks" 2019 Rick Rock, Goldie Gold, Mazerati Ricky Rick Rock Beats
"Charlie 2" ShooterGang Kony, Daboii, Mike Sherm Second Hand Smoke
"Can't Keep My Eyes" Berner, OMB Peezy La Plaza

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j U. Gray, Mahogany (January 29, 2015). "Vallejo A&E Source, Unique Spotlight: Tonee Hayes". Vallejo Times Herald. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Werner, Matt (May 24, 2015). "On the Roof Vol. 2: Mob Forever". Noisey - Vice Media. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  3. ^ a b c d e Drake, David (May 27, 2015). ""Big Tymin" review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  4. ^ a b Walker, Angus (July 25, 2015). "YG, Ty Dolla $ign Remix Big Tymin, Nef the Pharaoh's Breakout Hit". Music Times. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  5. ^ a b c "New Music: Nef the Pharaoh feat. Ty Dolla $ign & YG – 'Big Tymin (Remix)'". July 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Nef the Pharaoh". itunes. Retrieved 2015-07-06.
  7. ^ a b Lyons, Patrick (July 25, 2015). "Ty Dolla $ign, Nef The Pharaoh & YG - Big Tymin' (Remix) [New Song]". Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  8. ^ Drake, David (May 1, 2015). "Bout to Blow: 10 Dope Songs You Should Be Hearing Everywhere Soon, Nef the Pharaoh "Big Tymin'"". Complex. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  9. ^ "Nef the Pharaoh Exclusive Young California "Baby Boy" Freestyle". Power 106. October 16, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  10. ^ "Nef The Pharaoh - Performance - How The West Was Won". KMEL-FM. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  11. ^ Charity, Justin (November 5, 2015). "Premiere: Nef the Pharaoh Debuts His New, Self-Titled EP". Complex. Retrieved 2015-07-06.
  12. ^ Hernandez, Victoria. "Nef The Pharaoh "Nef The Pharaoh" Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklist, iTunes Purchase Link & EP Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015-07-06.
  13. ^ a b c Voynovskaya, Nastia. "Nef the Pharaoh: From Vallejo to the Big Time". East Bay Express. Retrieved 2015-07-06.
  14. ^ ""Blow-Up Bed" by Nef the Pharaoh / 03 Greedo Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  15. ^ "Nef the Pharaoh - SINsational". Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  16. ^ "Nef the Pharaoh & DJ.Fresh - The Tonight Show With Nef The Pharaoh". Retrieved 2021-11-29.
  17. ^ "Sick Wid It - Sick Wid It: The Year of the Pig". Retrieved 2023-02-03.
  18. ^ Porter 2 Grape - EP by Nef The Pharaoh & 03 Greedo, retrieved 2021-02-08
  19. ^ Vice Versa - EP by Nef The Pharaoh & ShooterGang Kony, retrieved 2021-02-08

External linksEdit