Who is Sexyy Red?

Sexyy Red has captured the hearts of many of the most prominent names in hip-hop and pop music this year. These include Drake, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Tyler, the Creator, Ice Spice, and more. But, this acclaim seemingly came out of nowhere to a lot of novice fans, as her online presence practically went from 0-100 right when 2023 began. So, we decided to break down the origins of Sexyy Red and examine how she made herself a household name in less than a year’s time.

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Sexyy Red’s Beginnings

Born Janae Nierah Wherry in St. Louis, Missouri in 1998, Sexyy Red’s first motivation to make music came from spite, after her partner cheated on her. Her rap name was derived from her hair color, which has been red ever since her days in grade school.

“My name was already Red, because I used to wear red hair and red stuff all the time,” she said in a May interview with Complex. “That was my name from middle school, because I had red hair ever since then. When I was trying to upload my song that I had just recorded when I started rapping, I didn’t know what name I should use, and my cameraman was like, ‘What about Sexyy Red, because you’re sexy and your name’s Red?’ I’m like, ‘Okay. I like that.’ We was putting different stuff in front of Red at first, but then when he said Sexyy, I’m like, ‘I like that.’ It fits.”

Her first official song was released in 2018 and was soon followed by four more singles in 2019. Though she did not put anything out on digital streaming platforms in 2020, she began to gain momentum as an artist in 2021, thanks to her debut mixtape Ghetto Superstar released on Christmas Eve of that year.

When 2022 came, singles like “I Love My Nickel” and “Born By the River” featuring her frequent collaborator Sukihana helped to amplify her voice in female trap-rap circles. Thanks to a whimsical, raunchy, and expressive approach, Sexyy’s music presented an elevated flair compared to her peers, and audiences certainly picked up on this.


When the calendar turned to 2023, Sexyy Red decided to turn it up a notch. On January 27, she connected with iconic trap-rap instrumentalist Tay Keith for “Pound Town.” With its sexually graphic hook, shouted loud and proud by Red, “Pound Town” began surging up the charts, gaining steam on TikTok and Instagram, and catching the eye of several notable celebs.

I’m out of town, thuggin’ with my rounds
My c**chie pink, my booty-hole brown
Were the n****s? I’m lookin’ for the hoes
Quit playin’, n***a, come suck a bitch toe

As the track continued to rack up streams, Sexyy Red would follow up with more singles like “Push Start” in March and “Female Gucci Mane” in April. Then, as spring turned to summer, “Pound Town” earned an even bigger boost, seeing Nicki Minaj hop on the remix in late May. This would lead to the song earning a spot at No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June, Red’s first appearance on the chart.

The week after her Hot 100 placement, Red kept fanning the flame with her second mixtape Hood Hottest Princess. Including even more brash hits like “SkeeYee” and “Hellcats SRTs,” as well as a feature appearance from Three 6 Mafia legend Juicy J, Hood Hottest Princess would find its way on the Billboard 200, another chart milestone for Red.

[RELATED: Shooting Near Sexyy Red Video Set in Miami Leaves One Dead, One Wounded]

Then, once July came, Red’s popularity would ascend to even greater heights. During the second week of the month, Red connected with Travis Scott at Wireless Festival in London, where Scott publicly embraced and co-signed her in the midst of rolling out his highly-anticipated UTOPIA album. A few days after this, Drake welcomed Red to a show on his It’s All A Blur Tour. There, he took many photos with the rising rap star, posting them to Instagram with frisky captions about her being “his rightful wife.”

In August Drake proved his affinity for Red even more, adding her to a few shows on his tour as a special guest opener. Then, after proving she could captivate massive hip-hop audiences, Red announced her own tour on August 25 called The Hood Hottest Princess Tour. For the tour, which began in mid-October, Red has visited both small theaters and large arenas and has announced marquee openers like Lil Wayne, DaBaby, Kodak Black, and more.

Tickets are available via StubHub, where orders are 100% guaranteed through StubHub’s FanProtect program. StubHub is a secondary market ticketing platform, and prices may be higher or lower than face value, depending on demand.

Before the tour began, though, Red earned another chart victory with “SkeeYee,” as it was named the first-ever No. 1 on Billboard‘s TikTok Top 50 chart (introduced in mid-September). A few weeks later, Red put out her latest single “Shake Yo Dreads,” which currently sits at over 3 million Spotify streams.

Most recently, Red made an appearance on Drake’s record-breaking album For All The Dogs (October 6), starring alongside SZA on the LP’s twentieth song “Rich Baby Daddy.”

Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

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