Jamell Maurice Demons (born May 1, 1999), known professionally as YNW Melly (initialism for Young Nigga World Melly),[2] is an American rapper and singer. He is best known for his songs "Murder on My Mind", "Mixed Personalities" (featuring Kanye West), "Suicidal" (featuring Juice Wrld), and "223's" (featuring 9lokkNine). The first is considered his breakout, which garnered him further attention after being charged with the double-murder of two fellow rappers in the "YNW" collective. In November 2019, he released his debut album, Melly vs. Melvin, peaking number 8 on the Billboard 200.

YNW Melly
YNW Melly's February 2019 mugshot
YNW Melly's February 2019 mugshot
Background information
Birth nameJamell Maurice Demons[1]
Also known asMelly, Melvin
Born (1999-05-01) May 1, 1999 (age 23)
OriginGifford, Florida, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2016–2019
Labels
Criminal statusIncarcerated at Broward County Jail, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Criminal chargePremeditated first-degree murder (x2)
Date apprehended
February 13, 2019
Websiteynw4life.com

In February 2019, he was arrested and charged with two counts of premeditated first-degree murder and faces life imprisonment without the possibility of parole if convicted.[3][4][5] He is also a suspect in the 2017 murder of a sheriff's deputy in Gifford.[6] In March 2019, Demons pleaded not guilty to the double-murder charges and is currently awaiting trial.[7][8][9]

Early life

Jamell Demons was born on May 1, 1999, and grew up in Gifford, Florida.[10] He was raised by his single mother, Jamie Demons-King,[11] and does not know who his father is. Another rapper, Donte "Tha Gift" Taylor, claims to be YNW Melly's father.[12] Demons-King was 14 years old when she became pregnant with him, giving birth to him in ninth grade. Later moving to a poorer part of Gifford, his mother struggled to pay for housing and necessaries.[12][13]

Demons joined the Bloods gang at a young age.[13] He started posting his songs on SoundCloud when he was 15. In late 2015, Demons was arrested for shooting at a group of students near Vero Beach High School. He was subsequently convicted of aggravated battery, discharging a firearm in public, and two counts of aggravated assault, for which he served several months in prison.[14][15]

Career

2016–2018: Early fame, Collect Call EP, and I AM YOU

Demons adopted the stage name YNW Melly in 2016. YNW (an initialism of "Young Nigga World" or "Young New Wave") is a hip-hop collective that included Demons, Anthony "YNW Sakchaser" Williams, Christopher "YNW Juvy" Thomas Jr., and Cortlen "YNW Bortlen" Henry.[16][17]

In late 2017, while still incarcerated, Demons released his first project, an EP called Collect Call, which contained features from numerous well-known artists, including Lil B and John Wicks. In 2018, he released the singles "Virtual (Blue Balenciagas)", "Melly the Menace", and "Slang That Iron". Other singles include "4 Real", "Butter Pecan", and "Medium Fries".[18] The respective music videos have amassed 26 million, 16 million and 11 million views on YouTube, as of January 2019.

In August 2018, Demons released his debut mixtape I Am You, which later appeared on the Billboard 200 at number 192 on January 10, 2019.[19]

2019–2021: We All Shine, Melly vs. Melvin, and Just a Matter of Slime

On January 18, 2019, while incarcerated, Demons released We All Shine, his second commercial mixtape, consisting of 16 tracks.[20] The project featured collaborations with Kanye West and Fredo Bang.[21] A music video directed by Cole Bennett with Lyrical Lemonade for "Mixed Personalities" featuring West was released with the album.

As of March 2019, Demons had amassed over 200 million streams on Spotify with over 10 million monthly listeners. His most-streamed song was "Murder on My Mind", which was originally released as a single before being added to I Am You.[22]

On November 22, 2019, Demons released his debut studio album, Melly vs. Melvin.[23] It peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200, making it his highest-charting album. The album included the singles "223's", which peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100.

On March 13, 2020, Demons released a remix of his track "Suicidal",[24] making it the second single from Melly vs. Melvin. The remix included a feature from late American rapper and singer Juice Wrld, making it his third official posthumous feature. The song has peaked at number 20 on the Hot 100, becoming Melly's second top 20 entry.

After a year of not releasing music and still fighting his pending murder case, on March 5, 2021, Melly recruited fellow Florida artist Kodak Black for the release of "Thugged Out".[25] This was followed up with other notable singles such as "Pieces"[26] featuring Queen Naija and "Bestfriend 4L"[27] featuring Lil Tjay. The singles leading up to Melly's sophomore studio album, Just a Matter Of Slime,[28] like Melly vs. Melvin were released while incarcerated and were put together with pre-recorded vocals prior to his incarceration.

Legal issues

Demons was arrested on October 19, 2015 on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of discharging a firearm in public, after firing shots at three people near Vero Beach High School.[29] Demons spent a year in jail before being released on probation.[30]

In 2017, Demons was arrested for violating probation and spent several months in jail before being released in March 2018.[30]

Demons was arrested on June 30, 2018, in Fort Myers, Florida for possession of marijuana, possession of weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, and drug paraphernalia.[31]

Demons was again arrested on January 3, 2019, in Fort Myers for possession of marijuana.[32]

On February 12, 2019, Demons was charged with two counts of premeditated first-degree murder in connection with the October 2018 shooting deaths in Fort Lauderdale, Florida of two YNW associates described as his close friends, rappers YNW Sakchaser and YNW Juvy.[33] Authorities purport that Demons conspired with fellow YNW rapper Cortlen Henry (YNW Bortlen) to stage the double-murder of Williams (YNW Sakchaser) and Thomas Jr. (YNW Juvy) and make it appear as if they were fatally injured in a drive-by shooting. Henry allegedly drove the victims to the hospital where they later succumbed to their wounds. Demons turned himself in on February 13, 2019.[34] He announced on his Instagram:[35]

"No I did not get locked up in Washington , but I am turning myself in today... a couple months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system want to find justice.. unfortunately a lot of rumors and lies are being said but no worries god is with me and my brother @ynw.bortlen and we want y'all to remember it's a ynw Family I love you"

— @ynwmelly

On February 22, 2019, Complex reported that Demons and Henry were suspects in the fatal 2017 shooting of off-duty Indian River County Sheriff's Department deputy Gary Chambliss in Gifford.

On November 30, 2021, YNW Melly's trial was set for March 7, 2022.[36] The trial was later delayed and set for May 23, 2022. Delayed again, the trial was pushed back until June 6, 2022. After the trial did not proceed, Demon's team decided to submit a speedy trial request on May 26, 2022. The trial must commence in the next 175 days.[37]

On July 6, 2022, it was announced that Demons would no longer face capital punishment if convicted.[8][9]

Personal life

On April 2, 2020, Demons (via management) told fans on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19.[38] He was in the process of trying to get an early release from prison due to health concerns, as 6ix9ine was released from prison due to asthma and bronchitis.[39] On April 14, his motion was denied.[40]

Discography

References

  1. ^ Stephanie Dube Dwilson (June 30, 2020). "YNW Melly Arrested: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  2. ^ "Who is YNW Melly? Everything to know about the upcoming rapper charged with murder". NME. February 17, 2019.
  3. ^ Holmes, Charles (February 14, 2019). "YNW Melly Charged With Two Counts of First-Degree Murder". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Aswad, Jem (February 14, 2019). "YNW Melly, Kanye West Collaborator, Arrested for Double Murder". Variety. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Florida Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty for YNW Melly". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  6. ^ Cowen, Trace William (February 22, 2019). "YNW Melly Reportedly Now a Suspect in Deputy's Shooting Death". Complex. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  7. ^ YNW Melly Pleads Not Guilty to Double Murder Charges | Billboard
  8. ^ a b "YNW Melly Death Penalty Dropped From Double-Murder Trial". July 6, 2022.
  9. ^ a b "Today Melly wins motion to remove death penalty against prosecution - management 👏👏👏". July 6, 2022.
  10. ^ Charles Holmes (August 21, 2018). "YNW Melly on Breakout Mixtape 'I Am You,' Interpolating Chris Brown Throwbacks & His Favorite 'Lion King' Solos". Billboard. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  11. ^ FNR TIGG (March 13, 2019). "YNW Melly's Mom Claims She Was Threatened by Rapper's Alleged Murder Victim". Complex. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "YNW Melly's father remixes "Murder on My Mind" to proclaim son's innocence". Revolt. April 30, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  13. ^ a b Moore, Mary Helen. "Gifford rapper YNW Melly documentary gives eerie look at friendship with murdered artists". TCPalm. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  14. ^ "How YNW Melly turned his pain into beautiful rap ballads". The FADER. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Grand jury indictment: YNW Melly fired the gun, killing the friends he grew up with". USA Today. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  16. ^ Hogan, Marc (February 20, 2019). "YNW Melly Is Charged With the Murder of Two Friends. What Happened?". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  17. ^ Giacomazzo, Bernadette (February 28, 2019). "Everything To Know About YNW Melly & His Pending Murder Charges". HipHopDX. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  18. ^ Fred, Thomas. "YNW Melly". AllMusic. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  19. ^ "Hip Hop Album Sales: A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie Earns His 1st No. 1 Album On Billboard 200". HipHopDX. January 14, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  20. ^ "YNW Melly Drops "We All Shine" Featuring Kanye West". HotNewHipHop. January 18, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "YNW Melly Releases "We All Shine" Project With Kanye West Guest Appearance". HipHopDX. January 18, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  22. ^ "YNW Melly". Spotify. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  23. ^ Espinoza, Joshua (October 26, 2021). "YNW Melly Releases 'Melly vs. Melvin' Album". Complex. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  24. ^ Johnson, Patrick (October 26, 2021). "YNW Melly and Juice WRLD Collaborate for "Suicidal" Remix (UPDATE)". Hypebeast. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  25. ^ Price, Joe (March 5, 2021). "YNW Melly and Kodak Black Team-Up on New Single "Thugged Out"". Complex. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  26. ^ "Pieces (Feat. Queen Naija) by YNW Melly on Spotify". Spotify. July 2, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2021.
  27. ^ "Best Friends 4L (Feat. Lil Tjay) by YNW Melly on Spotify". August 5, 2021. Retrieved August 6, 2021 – via Spotify.
  28. ^ Rose, Jordan (August 13, 2021). "Listen to YNW Melly's New Album 'Just A Matter of Slime' f/ Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Future, and More". Complex. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  29. ^ "Teen charged with firing gun at group near Vero Beach High School". TC Palm. October 20, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  30. ^ a b "How YNW Melly turned his pain into beautiful rap ballads". The FADER. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  31. ^ Jamell Maurice Demons Arrest Information. Ft Myers, FL: Lee County Sheriff's Office. June 30, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  32. ^ Jamell Maurice Demons Arrest Information. Ft Myers, FL: Lee County Sheriff's Office. January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  33. ^ Jamell Maurice Demons Arrest Information. Miramar, FL: Miramar Police, FL. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  34. ^ Johnson, Jazzi. "Florida Rapper YNW Melly Turns Himself In After Being Charged In The Killings Of His Best Friends - Blavity". blavity.com. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  35. ^ Levenson, Eric (February 14, 2019). "Rising rapper YNW Melly grieved publicly for two friends. Police say he killed them". CNN. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  36. ^ "YNW Melly Double-Murder Trial Date Prompts Passionate Reactions from Hotboii & YNW BSlime". November 30, 2021.
  37. ^ "YNW Melly Demands To Get Murder Trial Underway". May 26, 2022.
  38. ^ "YNW Melly Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Jail". Pitchfork. April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  39. ^ McLaughlin, Kelly. "Tekashi 6ix9ine has been released from prison to serve the rest of his sentence at home because of the coronavirus". Insider. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  40. ^ Espinoza, Joshua (April 15, 2020). "Judge Reportedly Orders YNW Melly to Remain in Jail Despite COVID-19 Diagnosis". Complex. Retrieved April 19, 2020.

External links