Blueface Will Never, Ever Stop Performing

The crip-walking, office-disconcerting adventures of Los Angeles’ most iconoclastic new rap star Blueface never stops performing. As soon as the iconoclastic Los Angeles rapper enters Rolling Stone‘s office, phones begin buzzing with notifications asking who he is and why the men’s bathroom smells like freshly rolled blunts. Strolling out of the restroom, he does an elaborate crip walk, even though his only audience is a reporter and two publicists. Later, he leans close to a senior editor and asks if he knows where to find “any good pussy around here.” The minute he hears a laugh or sees a confused look, he moves on. It’s the work of a man in love with his audience. “The energy inspired me to do something to get more energy,” Blueface says. “I feed off the energy when I perform.” He’s discussing his live shows, not midday office visits, but the metaphor still works. The man who once rapped, “Tatted to my face, fuck a job,” knows exactly how to entertain and terrorize an office with his charisma. His Ben Franklin face tattoo is an outward symbol of a way of life, he explains: “It was just establishing that I wasn’t going to work no regular job.” Blueface’s songs are short, surreal and hilarious. His biggest hits — “Thotiana” (which has been streamed 88 million times on Spotify), “Respect My Cryppin’” (12 million), “Dead Locs” (8 million) and “Freak Bitch” (5 million) — are all built using the same unorthodox approach. His flow doesn’t fit into the traditional pockets of the beat, most of his songs are under three minutes and his lyrics concern two main topics: gang life and women. In person, his jokes border on the misogynistic, and weeks after we speak he’s called out for posting transphobic comments on Instagram. It’s difficult to detect where the trolling stops and the offensive begins.