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From St. Louis to Stardom: Sexyy Red's Journey and Her Potential Drake Collab

From St. Louis to Stardom: Sexyy Red's Journey and Her Potential Drake Collab
Sexy Redd on Instagram

Although drill might be the hottest emerging subgenre of hip-hop right now, the South still has and always will have something to say. Atlanta and Houston have accounted for some of the biggest stars like Lil Baby, Travis Scott, and Megan Thee Stallion, but one of the sleeper cities is St. Louis. The city gave us artists like the ever-popular Nelly and underground darling Smino, but now all the attention is focused on Sexyy Red, whose popularity has reached new heights this year.

At the beginning of 2023, Sexyy Red dropped “Pound Town,” a raunchy romp with an equally spicy video that provided many TikTok videos with a sound so catchy, that it’s been played millions of times. Since the release of Sexyy Red’s single, she’s also dropped a live version (along with slowed-down, sped-up, and instrumental versions), and a remix with Nicki Minaj and Tay Keith, capitalizing on her newfound success. If nothing else, Sexyy Red’s story is one of hard work, perseverance, and understanding of how to maintain your popularity when lightning strikes.

Sexyy Red’s Deep South Beginnings

Born Janae Wherry, Sexyy Red grew up in St. Louis and, according to an interview with Complex, never quite had a filter that saw her saying things that would shock and surprise her friends. The 25-year-old rapper first started rapping after her boyfriend cheated on her when she decided to write a diss track about it. Sexyy Red then realized she had a knack for rapping and could make a career off of it.

Sexyy Red on Instagram with Goyard Purse

Sexyy Red’s first single, “Ah Thousand Jugs” came out in 2018 and sampled Vanessa Carlton’s “Thousand Miles.” She displayed her humor on the track and it amassed over 170,000 views, a far cry from the explosion she’d see five years later. Despite its lack of mainstream success, Sexyy Red continued to hone her craft throughout the rest of the decade and well into the 2020s. Her efforts culminated in the release of Ghetto Superstar, an eight-track project that highlighted her progress. It didn’t provide any massive singles, but she had grown her own local fanbase that would continue to support and encourage her as she developed.

It Just Takes One Big Single

After years of hard work and grinding, Sexyy Red finally broke through to the mainstream when she dropped “Pound Town” in January. Of course, it helps when you have Tay Keith producing the song, but Sexyy Red’s humor mixed with her ability to seamlessly flow over the fiery instrumental made the song into what it is: a worldwide phenomenon.

Sexyy Red is more than just a good rapper, however. She also knows how to capitalize on success. Through TikTok, clips of the lyrics were used on thousands (if not millions) of videos leading to people hopping on the bandwagon before she blew up further. She even used some of the lyrics to sell lip gloss. In her interview with Complex, she revealed that she named some “Gonorrhea,” “Yellow Discharge,” “Coochie Juice,” and more explicit names. Her experiment wound up working because she claims they sold out extremely fast.

Sexyy Red Collab

Naturally, with moves like this that double down on newfound success, it’s easy to keep the ball rolling if you stay focused. “Pound Town” became so successful that Nicki Minaj decided to hop on the remix. It certainly helps when one of the most popular rappers of the last decade thinks your song is good enough to warrant a verse from her. Additionally, Sexyy Red released different versions of the song, catering to TikTok trends. There’s a sped-up version, a slowed-down one, instrumental-only, clean edits, and a bass-boosted edition to fit everyone’s needs. Given the assortment, it gives her more avenues to profit off of her already massive song.

After Sexyy Red capitalized on the success of “Pound Town,” she took the opportunity to release her second project Hood Hottest Princess which also featured Juicy J, ATL Jacob, and Sukihana. The album was well-received with Pitchfork praising Sexyy Red’s ability to emulate Gucci Mane and Trina without copying them outright, while HipHopDX said it’s an ideal album for almost any upbeat setting.

Sexyy Red Kept the Momentum Rolling

More than anything, Sexyy Red knows how to make sure her name never exits the conversation. Between dropping new music consistently, one-upping herself with remixes and new versions, and releasing videos of live performances, she gives fans reasons to come back. She’s also reaping the rewards of her hard work.

Over the last week, Sexyy Red and Drake were seen together with the former joking that they were together before teasing a collaboration. It remains to be seen if the collab will ever surface and if it does, where it’ll land, but just the promise of getting the world’s biggest rapper onto your music is an accomplishment on its own. Should the single drop this year, it will likely make for Sexyy Red’s biggest hit of her career, which is saying something, considering the success of “Pound Town.”

Drake and Sexyy Redd on Instagram

Sexyy Red offers a blueprint to rappers who have been at it for years without breaking through. It’s not enough to make music that helps you stand out. You have to keep the ball rolling through every avenue available and double down on the little things that can extend the life cycle of your single. Yes, Sexyy Red is a great rapper, but she’s perhaps an even better marketer. 

In an era where it’s so hard to get noticed, you have to take all the necessary steps to stand out outside of only the artistry. Between unique and original merch, endless videos, and a personality that makes people want to learn more, it’s essential to develop all these things as artists develop their craft. Sexyy Red’s success is also a reminder that these things take time to evolve. It’s rare that an artist will blow up with a small catalogue and minimal media presence. Staying patient, but never complacent is a must for unique artists looking to build and Sexyy Red is a prime example of that.


What’s Sexyy Red’s real name?

Sexyy Red’s real name is Janae Anand Nierah Wherry

How old is Sexyy Red?

Sexyy Red is 25-years-old.

Where is Sexyy Red from?

Sexyy Red was born and raised in St. Louis.

What song made Sexyy Red popular?

Her biggest song so far is “Pound Town” which featured Tay Keith as well as Nicki Minaj on the remix.

Did Sexyy Red release an album?

Sexyy Red currently has two projects out right now.

Does Sexyy Red have a song with Drake?

Not yet, but they are working on one.

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Louis Pavlakos
I am a journalist from Montreal who's interested in music, sports, and culture. I previously interned at CBC Montreal and have written for Complex, Audiomack, DJBooth, Exclaim!, and Raptors Rapture.

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