To achieve massive success with nothing but “a dollar and a dream” is that rite of passage for virtually every rapper, especially when it comes to lending cred to his or her mythos. And it would turn out that Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty‘s ascent to stardom was no different.
Although he’s primarily known for his music today, and he’s parlayed his celebrity status into other numerous profitable ventures, the spark to his success was actually via a different avenue: modeling.
“Today 5 years ago, I stood in the yeezy show,” Yachty posted on Twitter. “I was still living with my mom and flew on a buddy pass to New York with probably $70 bucks to my name.. but I was mad excited and I feel like my life changed from this day on. My mom and friends cheered me on via text. Thanks Ian.<3.”
The “Ian” whom Yachty thanked in his message is model Ian Connor. In 2016, he invited the rapper to model for the Yeezy Season 3 Fashion Show after a chance encounter in a Los Angeles airport, according to Creative Loafing.
Yachty further explained to Fader Magazine how he seized the opportunity and ran with it: “I was originally supposed to be standing in the very back. Then right before the show, I saw the director, ‘Excuse me, ma’am, don’t you think I should be in the front? Don’t you think I have the great hair, and the color matches the clothes?’ They switched it around and like bam, they put me in the front. That opened doors for me. A lot of fashion doors opened up after that.”
But now Yachty’s in a much different place, with his own breakfast cereal sponsorship deal, a TV show based on his life set to debut soon on HBO Max, and even being able to present Kodak Black with $50,000 in cash as a “Welcome Home” gift for Kodak’s release from prison. So borrow the words of the Cool Kids’ Sir Michael Rocks, Yachty’s definitely come a long way from “a red braid mother f—-r in a fashion show” with only seventy bucks in his pocket.