Days before our interview, Bfb Da Packman texts to say that we can talk, “any day any time.” When the 25-year-old rapper answers the phone, it’s clear he wasn’t kidding. His voice cuts in and out as he moves a recently delivered table inside his Houston home. From there, he hits Chick-fil-A for some french fries, yelling to the cashier, “Be smoove, baby!”, before pulling away. Then, he heads to the grocery store to buy some “pop” (soda) for his manager at the post office. Confident and polite, Bfb convinces the woman cashier to stream his music and follow him on Instagram.
On the phone, his jovial personality and disarming, unabashed honesty make him endearing immediately. There doesn’t seem to be any artifice. If nothing else, he knows his audience. “I don’t know how other artists treat you, or treat people who do interviews, but they have to respect people who do the interviews, bro,” he says early in our conversation. “I love and respect y’all, man. Y’all make the culture move. And I think y’all don’t get y’all flowers. I’m coming into the game and changing that.”
Before Bfb came into the game, he lived with his mother, stepfather, and brother on the North Side of Flint, Michigan, an area known to some as Selby Hood. “Beautiful, ghetto, rough,” he says of the neighborhood around Roselawn Dr. “But I wouldn’t choose nothing else.” Hustling for the entirety of his teens, he quit as soon as he caught a case. “I got caught up with some dope and a gun. I was like, ’Fuck this shit. I’m tired of living this street life.’” After his probation ended, Bfb left Flint to join his family in Houston, got a job at the post office that “changed [his] life,” and pursued a rap career in his off-hours.
Many of Bfb’s fans likely first learned of him via his Sada Baby-assisted single “Free Joe Exotic,” the video for which went viral in June due to Bfb’s ribald, sometimes self-deprecating bars and charismatic presence alongside the equally captivating Sada. (The video has nearly 10 million views to date.) Bfb’s rhymes encapsulate everything that makes him so entertaining on his 2019 albums STD and God Blessing All the Fat Niggas. His discursive verses are united by his unrelenting enthusiasm, polished rapping, and the unvarnished truth of every clever and hilarious quotable. He raps about everything from scamming and selling crack, to his profound love of food, “nasty” women, and the difficulties of being overweight: “My bitch bout to leave me ’cuz I’m built like Patrick, I nut super quick and I be wearing down the mattress / On the low, dog, I’m tired of this fat shit” (“Free Joe Exotic”). Detroit is in the midst of a veritable rap renaissance, but Bfb is in contention for the title of “Best Michigan Rapper of 2020.” If you don’t believe me, I dare you to deny his talent, infectious energy, and humor on “Northside Ghetto Soulja.”
What follows is a slightly condensed version of our conversation that doesn’t do justice to the joy in Bfb’s voice or comedic timing. Come for his tales of slanging male enhancement pills, and stay for his wisdom about finding happiness in your work and life.
SPIN: What were your hobbies as a kid?
Bfb Da Packman: I didn’t really have no hobbies. I was just on the streets hustling, messing with women, and hanging around with the guys. I played football, but that was for one season. I wasn’t serious about that.
How old were you when hustling came into the picture?
12 or 13. I started selling weed in middle school. I would sell everything. You remember ExtenZe, the dick pills? I paid like $10 for them. Then I was selling them for $3 a pill. I was telling niggas my dick was 12 inches. I’m like, “This shit going to make your dick grow, bro.” You’re middle school. Everybody’s dick is little in middle school, so there’s niggas like, “For real?!”
I was the ultimate hustler, anything to make a dollar. The trap is like a casino. You might walk in there and a motherfucker selling a bed, a phone, a dog. You can come up on anything: clippers, an iPhone, deodorant, tacos. One day, I gave a nigga two sacks for some tacos. I was serving a fiend and his family owned a restaurant, and he pulled up with some tacos. I gave him some crack for some tacos.
Why did you get involved so early?
I wanted money. I wanted a better life. I wanted everything I’m getting now. I wanted wealth. I don’t know about your family, but my family wasn’t well off. They never saw millions of dollars. They never seen 200 grand. My family lived check-to-check. By any means, I’m going to get more. I wanted it, and I figured nobody was going to give it to me. I still have the same attitude today. I’m going to get mine. You don’t need to give me a place. I’m going to make my own.
From your songs and videos, you don’t seem like a very materialistic person.
I’m not. They only get that shit for shock value. Me myself, I am the shock value. I’m going to make you love me. Can’t no clothes or popularity make you love me. I’m going to make you love me. I’m going to be solidified, there when you need me. I’m going to give you the best vibes. We’re going to have fun. I’m going to keep truthful with you. And I ain’t never going to do shit to hurt you.
Were you a rap fan at an early age?
Yeah. MMG [Maybach Music Group]. They were the sickest. Couldn’t nobody fuck with them boys. Hot Boys. That’s where my name came from: Weezy F. Baby. My street name was Big Baby. Bfb stands for Big Fucking Baby. Wayne birthed us all. If you were born in the ’90s and Weezy wasn’t your favorite in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009? C’mon. Weezy was killing shit!
Your earliest music video is from 2014. When did you first begin rapping in earnest?
2013. I started my channel in 2014 because of Nipsey [Hussle]. Nipsey inspired me. He made me want to stay independent. He made me say, “Fuck them. Don’t take their money.” You’re going to work hard for a company, so why wouldn’t you work hard for yourself? A lot of people don’t think like that.
In your music, you often talk about the Lunch Crew, which you say has just one member: you. Why did you decide to create an imaginary clique?
Because it’s me, myself, and I. That’s a trio, nigga.
I’m going to tell you some real shit. Most humans don’t like to look at the truth. Humans like imaginary shit. Why do you think one of the biggest lines in life is, “I dream”? I hope, I wish, I dream—they don’t ever look at reality. In our reality, there’s only two people that’s going to love you and do whatever for you until you’re gone: your [parents]—if they something. If they ain’t shit, we ain’t talking about them—and your kids. They’re going to love you forever. So what I’m saying is, nobody is going to ride for you like you ride for you.
Is there any chance you’ll add someone to the Lunch Crew?
Soon. But I don’t really like people who say, “Come sign me.” You don’t believe in yourself, so why would I believe in you?
Do you write lyrics that are intentionally shocking, or are they not shocking to you?
They just come up in my brain. Whatever comes up in my brain, I’ll say it.
Are most of the lyrics factual?
A lot of shit. 75%. But like, “My kids kinda ugly had to ask her if they’re really mine,” [from “Made Me Mad”], nah. My kids are beautiful. I love them dearly. I do this shit for them. I own my masters for them. If you’re not going to let me own my masters, then fuck you. Let me tell you something, bro. These record companies make billions every year because they own masters from 30 years ago. You know how many hits have been made in 30 years?
When you’re writing, do you ever make yourself laugh?
Nah. I really don’t think the shit’s funny. I think it’s true. [In a new song I say], “I see Whoopi Goldberg naked when I close my eyes / That’s not dog shit, big unc, you got a lot of fives / I fuck ugly bitches like a nigga that ran out of dimes.” I don’t think that’s funny. I think that’s true. I fucked a lot of bad hoes in my life, but ugly bitches got the best pussy.
What inspired your move to Houston? I read somewhere that you got caught up.
I got caught up with some dope and a gun. I was like, “Fuck this shit. I’m tired of living this street life.” After I was off probation, I dipped. I came [to Houston] and started over. I was 20.
At that point, what were some of the first things you did to get your career started?
I found an engineer. You have to find an engineer. They’re a big part of being a successful artist. I was going to studios and wasn’t feeling the engineers. They weren’t fucking with me. There was no positivity. It was just business. I met A Redd, and that nigga won me over. I seen that he was a real genuine cat, and he’s still with me to this day.
Before “Free Joe Exotic,” what was your most popular song?
“To Go Plate” was the one.
How has your popularity affected your work at the post office?
People will recognize me [while I’m on my route]. I tell them, “Please don’t tell nobody what part of the city I work in.” They’re like, “Oh, I’m not.” Then I’ll be like, “It was nice to meet you. Do you want a picture?” Then we just go about our business.
Your bosses haven’t said anything?
Everybody is proud of me at the post office.
What will have to happen before you quit?
I really don’t know. I just love it. It keeps me content. It keeps me happy. I’m grateful for it. It changed my life.
What would it take for you to sign to a label?
The right splits, my masters, and a good partnership. The contract has to be my way because once the record labels are done with you, they’re done with you. When you’re not hot no more, they don’t care about you.
On record and in person, you seem happy and carefree. Have you always been like that?
Yes! Why wouldn’t you be happy? You’re waking up every day and you ain’t dead. You see the light every day. I used to talk to my man Paul on the phone. This nigga would be so happy. Mind you, this nigga got six years in prison. He was like 17 when he left. If this nigga can call home and be happy… He lost his momma, his granny, and he’s in prison without any real support. Ain’t no reason I should be unhappy out here. Weigh your happiness. Weigh your stresses and anxieties. Weight your wins and losses. You should be happy every day. Even if you’re not happy, you should be temporarily sad. Another day to see the sun, my nigga, is a day you won.
You seem pretty fearless. What do you fear, if anything?
Hell yeah. I fear leaving my sons here with no guidance or with nothing. Do you have kids?
No, I don’t.
My nigga, you’ve been wrapping that little dick up, huh? Okay. I feel it, but listen. Leaving your kids with nothing, leaving them unattended… getting locked up in prison just because a pussy nigga tried to try you or you felt like he disrespected you. Now you got to go lay down and do 10 years, and your kids’ growing up out here and a nigga got in his momma’s head. She in love, so she believe anything he say. A nigga could be disrespecting my kids. That’s the worst fear in the world. Other than that, I could live with anything else.
The other day you posted the cover for your next album, God Blessing All The Fat N****S 2…
Hold on. Max, you’re white?
You didn’t say nigga, so I’m like, “Okay, he white.”
It took you this long to figure it out?
Yeah. Nigga, you don’t sound white. You must’ve grown up around a lot of black people or have a lot of black friends or something. You don’t sound white at all.
God Blessing All the Fat Niggas 2—I ain’t even done with that. I just posted that for my fans. I’m not even worried about dropping an album or no mixtape. I’m just going to keep busting their ass with singles. This is a singles game. Motherfuckers don’t give a fuck about tapes or albums unless you’re a major artist. And I really think they should be busting their ass every three weeks with a video and single. Real talk.
Are there any peers you see yourself working with in the future?
Calvin Harris, Estelle, NBA Youngboy, Wiz Khalifa, Drake, Da Baby, and Tyler, the Creator. That’s it.
Calvin Harris the EDM producer?
Of course. Who else? Sign me up. I can’t wait to meet Calvin. I’m going to kiss him on his forehead.