iLoveMakonnen seemingly came out of nowhere over the summer, when Drake hopped on his song “Tuesday” and within weeks, he was OVO Sounds‘ newest member. Suddenly iLoveMakonnen was everywhere, doing shows from New York to L.A., and being interviewed by some of the biggest names in the game.
I’d happened to read an interview while browsing the web shortly after the “Tuesday” remix dropped, and found out a few random facts about the singer that I thought were possibly common knowledge and that I was likely late on. However, when a friend of mine thought they uncovered some “dirt” earlier this week by stumbling upon an old article about Makonnen being charged with murder, I realized a majority of the public know little-to-nothing about him, other than the fact that Drake likes him a lot and he has a catchy song. With that said, I compiled a list of 7 things you should know about iLoveMakonnen below!
1. Makonnen went to jail for 4 weeks (in isolation at that,) then did 2 years of house arrest, followed by 4 years of probation, which he just got off of this May…all for something he didn’t really do.
The day after graduating high school, Makonnen and his boys got together to smoke and drink one last time before going their separate ways into the world. He recounted the story to BuzzFeed:
My one friend was on the phone and I’m in the backseat like, “Get off the phone! Let’s hang out.” He was like, “You know, you’re really getting on my nerves.” So he pulls his gun out and cocks it and points it at me. Everyone else is like, “Bruh, chill out, we don’t even play with guns.” He takes the clip out of the gun so he has a clip in his hand, and lays the gun on his lap. I get out of the car, use the bathroom, and come back to the car. He had the gun on his lap with the clip. I’m like, this guy’s tripping and we’re about to smoke, so I’m gonna remove the gun and put it over there by the trash can until we’re done smoking. I don’t think it’s loaded or anything cause I don’t know shit about guns.
I go over to reach for the gun and he feels it falling off of his lap. As he reaches for it, it fires off and hits him in the head, cause there was a bullet in the chamber from when he cocked it and pointed it back at me. So he’s bleeding and I run in the house and get his brother. Then I’m running home crying and telling my mom, “Oh my god, my friend’s dead.” She was freaking out. It was a big freak-out fest.
That night, everybody’s stories corresponded and the police ruled it an accident and said I was free to go. But then my friend who passed away, his mom came back in town. She was raising hell and saying everything, so the police wrote up this warrant and came and got me.
2. Drake wasn’t the first big name to like iLoveMakonnen’s music.
Back in July, Miley Cyrus showed Makonnen some love on Instagram, posting a photo of the cover art for his popular underground single “I Don’t Sell Molly No More,” and captioning it with, “@ilovemakonnen da [sh*t emoji].”
3. He went to beauty school.
“I got off house arrest at the very end of 2009 and was put on probation in 2010. They wanted me to do something with my time so I went to cosmetology school,” he told BuzzFeed. “I was the only guy there and there were so many girls. I really started to understand girls a lot better. It was great. I’d be around those cats all day and have to scrap. So my mouth was getting sassy and shit. That’s all you can really do with girls at beauty school is talk shit.”
4. He carries around a doll head with him wherever he goes.
“[In beauty school,] everyone got their own doll head, and I started drawing on the face to make sure people knew it was mine,” he told Pigeons and Planes. “They were worried it was gonna scare people and no one was gonna want to come and get their hair done, and I’d just be like, ‘I’m trying to do shit for the circus, not regular bitches’ hair!’ Then when I wanted to start putting out music videos, I needed someone to film but no one believed in my music so I just started filming my doll head. That’s when people started catching on. It’s a brand now. The whole message behind it was don’t judge a book by its cover.”
5. He’s not FROM Atlanta.
Though he’s dubbed as “hailing from Atlanta,” he actually was born and lived in L.A. until he was 13.
6. iLoveMakonnen isn’t just a singer – he produces and raps as well.
Upon moving to ATL in 2002, Makonnen‘s mom bought him a keyboard, so he started playing around with music as a hobby. It wasn’t until around 2011 that he started taking producing and writing seriously, following his 2-year long stint on house arrest where he relied heavily on the Internet to keep him sane. The first song he put out following his new-found dedication was called “The Newness.” After 2012, he quit his job simply because he hated it, got a manager named Prez who he’d met online that liked Makonnen’s music he’d been posting, and began traveling to major cities to perform and go to parties. [Source]
7. He only just put out his first EP this year, after just linking with major producers Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital and Mike WiLL Made It after this year’s SXSW…and he already kind of has beef with Mike WiLL.
Fuck Mike Will! This shit is weird. He saw my music online I guess, so he says, but it was really Curtis Williams. Him and his brother Bomani, they showed Mike Will my music and Mike got all hot in the fucking pants and called me to the studio.
I got a publishing deal through him on Warner. That whole deal with him was that I was supposed to be a songwriter and he’ll help me get songs placed and shit, but none of that shit was working out, so I just made my own plans and relationships with these other producers. I met them all at the spot where I first met Metro. It’s really Metro and Sonny Digital and all them that deserve all the fucking credit for this music and this new wave, because to tell you the truth, Mike Will didn’t want none of my shit out, and my shit would still be on the low and quiet and being stolen and swagger-jacked by Future and all the other artists he works with.