Pooh Shiesty is one of hip-hop’s hottest new rappers. He reps the streets of Memphis, has a carefree attitude and piling legal troubles that have added to his allure. After securing chart-climbing songs and plenty of headlines, Pooh Shiesty is now a 2021 XXL Freshman.

Before he received that honor, the 21-year-old artist got his start in the game almost three years ago with an appearance on fellow Memphis rapper K Carbon's remix of Three 6 Mafia's "Weak Azz Bitch." The feature on the song gave Pooh a local buzz in Memphis, prompting him to take rap seriously. In 2020, Pooh, born Lontrell Williams, caught the attention of veteran rapper Gucci Mane. The two exchanged contact information via DM on Instagram, leading Pooh to ink a deal with 1017 Records/Atlantic Records last April. Since then, the rising rhymer has gained a solid fan base and a lot of momentum.

This past January, Pooh released his track, “Back in Blood” featuring Lil Durk, putting the bubbling artist on the map. The song went viral, and had hip-hop fans turning up whether they were quarantined at home or hitting the clubs. The visual currently has over 165 million views on YouTube and is still climbing. He also locked in a No. 13 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. In the short time Pooh’s been rapping, he has already achieved double-platinum status with the hit single, along with gold plaques for “Neighbors” featuring Big30, “Twerk Sum” and his album, Shiesty Season.

Although Pooh’s rise to fame came from his infectious “Back in Blood," and he's become notorious for legal troubles as well, he’s also been sought after by other rappers for his guest verses. Pooh’s been featured on popular tracks like SpotemGottem’s “Beat Box 2,” Coi Leray’s “Big Purr (Prrdd)” and Lil Durk’s “Should’ve Ducked.” The Coi and Spotem tracks earned Pooh additional Hot 100 chart placements. He’s also become well-known for flaunting wads of cash and saying his “Big Blrrrd” ad-lib.

As fans come to know Pooh as a 2021 XXL Freshman, he wouldn't have gotten to this place if it wasn't for other rappers that came before him. The “Neighbors” spitter grew up looking to artists like Lil Wayne for inspiration. “He’s always had the craziest bars," Pooh says of Weezy's influence. "Coming up, we used to study his songs together and break down the different metaphors.” Chief Keef is also on the list of rappers Pooh looked up to. “Chief Keef, he was one of my main inspirations," Pooh shares. "I watched him come in the game.” As for Gucci, Big Shiesty says, “Gucci is the G.O.A.T. I’m always learning from him.”

While “Back in Blood” still reigns supreme on streaming services with over 120 million Spotify streams, Pooh keeps his hot streak going by releasing seasonal deluxe versions of Shiesty Season. He has another one on the way. Pooh brings the same energy heard on his Spring Deluxe to his XXL Freshman freestyle.

In the freestyle, Pooh starts off with his famous “Blrrrd” ad-lib. Then the rapper begins to spit a cappella about street life experiences and lots of money. “’Bout 80,000 in these $1,000 jeans on, I’ma sag/In event a nigga play I’ma make him throw in his flag,” he rhymes. Pooh continues to talk about more cashflow and riding in expensive, fast cars, “This for any that come in my way while I’m chasin’ this bag/In my Jag, going fast with 12 Drakes and a ski mask,” he raps.

Pooh also delivers lyrics about making sure he continues his mission for success. He refuses to let anyone see him fall: “I’m at the top and I can’t fall ’cause I know they wanna see that/Blrrrd, blrrrd” he ends his freestyle while throwing bills into the air.

Watch Pooh Shiesty spit rhymes about chasing the bag as he flashes his cash in his XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by BODYARMOR, below.

2021 XXL Freshman Class
Travis Shinn for XXL

See the 2021 XXL Freshman Class

Welcome 42 DuggIann DiorCoi LerayPooh ShiestyFlo MilliMorrayRubi RoseBlxstToosiiLakeyah and DDG to the 2021 XXL Freshman Class.

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