students go crazy over yalee Grace Livecchi

Anybody who was at the football game on Sept. 28 was likely to experience an interesting sight. Crowds of students were surrounding a mystery man, trying desperately to snag a selfie with him. The crowd constantly screaming out the name "Yalee." But who is this Yalee? Many were left confused.

Yalee is a 28-year-old rapper, singer, songwriter and performer. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Yalee moved to New York City at the young age of 21 to follow his dreams, according to allmusic.com. The artist’s style is a mix between R&B and Chris Brown's style of hip hop. The rapper’s most popular song is a single called “Pretty Girl Dance.” Released in 2014, it has reached over 2.5 million streams on Spotify. Yalee then collaborated with popular rapper, Fetty Wap, for “Pretty Girl Dance Pt. 2” in 2015.

Photos Courtesy of zimbio.com (left,) and bandsintown.com (right)

Though nobody was sure of the reason for the entertainers’ presence at the Staples game, many students had a lot to say about it. Some students, Eduardo Andrade ’21 included, believe that students’ intense reactions brought about underlying local concerns. “It goes to show a problem in this town, how we obsess over him and none of us knew who he was or knew any of his songs before he came here,” Andrade said.

Other students had more of a critical lens. “He acted like a big famous rapper even though nobody knew who he was,” Kylie Race ’21 said, “everyone hyped him up as a joke.”

The Staples game on Sept. 28 was not the only encounter Yalee has made with students in the area. He was seen at Wakeman Field in Westport, Connecticut in a similar fashion on Sept. 26. The rapper additionally visited the game at Tappan Zee High School in Orangeburg, New York, on Oct. 4, according to an Instagram story he posted congratulating the team later that night.

Instagram story via @yalee

Although it is unclear if the rapper is making these appearances to gain fans, or to act as a positive role model, it is likely he will return, as he posted a poll on his Instagram story asking if Staples had a pep rally, and when a student responded with a yes, he confided in wanting to perform at the event. “Start a school petition and get people to sign it,” Yalee said.

Michelle Kaminski '21 poses with Yalee at the game on Sept. 28