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Inside Yung Gravy and bbno$’s Friendship: ‘You Make Ridiculous Music – We Should Make Music Together’

The rappers discuss their ‘Baby Gravy 3’ collaboration, what makes their partnership work so well, and whether they’ll tour Australia soon

Yung Gravy bbno$ BABY GRAVY


The latest collaborative project from Canadian rapper bbno$ and American rapper Yung Gravy – aptly titled Baby Gravy 3 – has dropped, and it is brimming with more of the witty – and at times salacious – beats, bops and bangers that fans have come to expect from the duo.

Yung Gravy – aka Matthew Hauri – never intended to work collaboratively on music. In 2016, he began receiving some traction on SoundCloud for his track “Mr. Clean”, which is now RIAA-certified Platinum.

One person took notice of Hauri was Alexander Gumuchian, a Kinesiology student rapping under the moniker bbno$, who says he unashamedly slid into Hauri’s DMs.

“I was like, ‘Damn bro, you make ridiculous music – we should make music together,’” he says. “And it took a little while, him brushing up to me, and then we made music and that was pretty much it, really. Like, it was very straightforward.”

“Yeah, I didn’t want to collab with anyone, I was like gatekeeping and was like, ‘I just want to be my own entity and not collab,’” Yung Gravy adds. “Then I met him, and we got along really well, and we became friends, and we would give each other feedback and support and then I was like, ‘You know what, this dude’s fire.’ So, we started making music together and touring together, and now we’ve done quite a bit of both.”

bbno$ has been laying on the floor of his apartment for the duration of our chat, stretching his back out with his legs propped on a chair off-camera. Yung Gravy, meanwhile, is reclined on the floor in front of his couch. The camaraderie is evident between the two – it’s easy to picture the two men playing video games together, partying together – and that is, in fact, what solidified their friendship.

“He ended up blowing up in May 2017, if I remember correctly, and then in June I was like, ‘Fuck it, I’m never going to work a 9 to 5 ever again,'” bbno$ recalls.

“He kept on trying to say that he was going to quit rap and, like, do four more years of college and all this shit, and I was always trying to convince him not to do that, or at least keep trying the rap thing with me,” Yung Gravy interjects. “Then once I came out there and we did some shows and shot some videos, I think it kind of solidified it for both of us.”

bbno$ confirms it was a “monumental” moment for their friendship when, after shooting a music video, the pair partied together and Yung Gravy took one for the team, leaving bbno$ to hook up with a girl while he didn’t.

“Was that the first time that we met?” Yung Gravy asks. “Yeah, I remember that. Yeah, we had a very fun, exciting, first week together, because I flew out there from Montana, I think it was, and stayed at his house in Vancouver and we did a show, shot some videos and then we did a road trip down to LA, and got to know each other real well.”

Around the same time the pair started blowing up, The New York Times ran an article entitled “The Rowdy World of Rap’s New Underground”, asking if lo-fi rap, with its “unruly energy” that had found its feet on SoundCloud, could survive the mainstream.

“At that time, the jumps that we saw [on social media] that seemed huge to us were, like, not even close to what you see now with a TikTok or something,” Yung Gravy says. “It was Instagram, 10,000 views or something and we’re freaking out.”

Now, his Instagram following sits at 2.1 million; bbno$’s at 1.2 million. They’re averaging 6.7 million and 10.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify right now. One of their collaborative tracks from 2020’s Baby Gravy 2, “Welcome to Chili’s”, currently has over 21 million views on YouTube and over 100 million streams.

TikTok? That’s another beast entirely. So, is their presence on social media something they regret?

“Yes,” Yung Gravy says, without hesitation. “I don’t know if regret is the right word, but I get sick of it, for sure.”

Although he clarifies he is proud to be a SoundCloud rapper, as that is how he got his career, he never intended for his social media to be any different to any other rapper, it’s just worked out that way.

“I’m tall and visibly unique, so I get noticed everywhere, but it’s usually positive stuff and I’ll take pictures, it just can be annoying sometimes,” he says. “I know the same happens to Alex, it just depends on where we’re at.”

bbno$ chimes in. “It’s just kind of difficult because you’re like seven feet and you have incredibly, ridiculously vibrant hair, and I just look like a normal person with, like a weird goatee,” he says, laughing.

“He looks like a musketeer or something – when I first saw him, I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this guy looks cool, he looks unique,’” Yung Gravy says. “But I do stick out a little bit height-wise. If I wear a hoodie and a COVID mask, I actually started doing that and it is decently helpful, but I get sweaty really easily, so by the time I board the plane I’m dripping sweat, but I don’t have to take as many pictures.”

For many artists, keeping up with social media is one of the most tedious parts of their job, and despite their apparent success with it, Yung Gravy and bbno$ aren’t big fans of it, either.

“I really try to lie to myself that I don’t mind it, I just get sometimes bogged down in the simulation that we live in, because we have x amount of followers, and we can post a video that we genuinely think is dope but if it’s not in the confines of the specific algorithmic favouring bullshit, then we get cucked by the algorithm, and it’s just like alright, that’s fucking stupid,” bbno$ says. “But at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter, because if you make a good song, that’s the only thing that matters.”

Yung Gravy explains that when he’s with other friends, he sees them scrolling through apps and enjoying content as it’s intended to be consumed, but when he opens the app it feels like work and he’s stressed and forcing himself to do it.

“I’m never scrolling through it for fun, I’m just posting something because someone is texting me making me do it,” he says. “It took the fun out of social media, but obviously there’s a lot of other jobs that I’d less rather be doing than this, so it’s one of the things we’ve got to deal with.”

Working on Baby Gravy 3, however, was not a stressful process. Although the pair are in constant contact, talking about musicor otherwise, bbno$ says this album was the most the two had worked together in person, grabbing snatches of time wherever possible within their hectic schedules.

“We find two or three day pockets where we meet up to shoot a music video or meet up in LA and do an album release party, and it’s literally just slamming our schedule with the days off that we could hypothetically have, but just making it more efficient I guess. We just work every day, that’s really how it happens, honestly.”

“And it’s the most we’ve ever really worked on the production together,” Yung Gravy adds. “I think together we put a lot more work on this one than others.”

Limited time doesn’t mean the pair limit their potential, though. Both always aim for the best possible outcome, even if it means completely re-working a song. “Super Smash Bros” is one such track on this album, which both now claim to be one of the best on the project.

“It started with a whole different beat,” Yung Gravy explains. “We recorded it over a different beat that sounds completely different and then we didn’t love it, so we re-produced around the lyrics, which ended up working out pretty well.”

bbno$ says a similar thing happened with one of the pair’s biggest tracks, “Shining on My Ex”.

“I made this song with Y2K, and it was on like a G-funk beat, it was almost like a Blueface beat, and I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t know man, I think the hook is great, but we could change the beat,’ and it’s one of our biggest songs without question,” he says.

“I think this has happened on other songs as well, where I came into the studio and they were working on it, and it was really fire and I was like, ‘I want to be a part of this, I better deliver,’ so then I got really into my zone and wrote a crazy verse and then was like, ‘Alright, what do you guys think of this?’” Yung Gravy adds. “And then it became a song that was a collab, whereas he started it and it could have ended up being a whole different song.”

“C’est La Vie”, which was released last year, has become a staple favourite in the pair’s live sets, with Yung Gravy calling it “one of the most hyped songs live, ever,” and is a favourite closer for the BABY GRAVY shows.

“Yeah, that song absolutely goes ding dong mode live,” bbno$ agrees. “In shorter festival shows I do my walk out and then I say one stupid, obnoxious thing and then I play it immediately, and then it just hypes everyone up beyond belief. It’s an immediate tone-setter, to be honest. I love that song.”

While Drake recently made headlines for the size of bras fans were throwing on stage, Yung Gravy turned the tradition of throwing underwear at rappers into a tangible positive when the pair toured the US together last year.

“Rap shows – or any live show – people will throw underwear on stage, but I started noticing a lot of it and we would hang it up sort of as a trophy on the video wall, and I thought, ‘Let’s turn this into something good,’ because they’d be cleaning up the venue at the end and have all these extra bras laying around,” he says. “So rather than throwing them away I was like, ‘Let’s collect these and donate them,’ and I made a pledge to give 50 bucks per bra – that was kind of the price that I figured out a decent bra costs – and by the end of that tour and the few shows I did before and after we had 2,000 [bras], so I donated $100,000 to breast cancer awareness.”

The big question is: will Australia see any BABY GRAVY shows in the near future? bbno$ was most recently in Australia for Groovin the Moo this past May, and Yung Gravy did a run of headline shows in February – calling his two Sydney the “littest” shows he had ever played.

“We’re bugging our agent. We have the same agent and we’ve been bugging him about it, so maybe we’ll hit him up again after this and see how it’s coming along,” Yung Gravy says. “We want to do it within a year of now, hopefully sooner than later.”

“Yeah, I don’t want to tour that much, but I would go to Australia with you, because that would be dope,” bbno$ adds. “If we do it, we should spend like a week before, so we can get acclimatised and just chill for a bit. It’ll realistically be next year, or like top of 2025.”

BABY GRAVY’s Baby Gravy 3 is out now.