From Humble Beginnings
Born December 24, 1994 in Peekskill, NY, Jalen McMillan was raised in a large family with three sisters and one brother. From a young age, he exhibited a desire to perform and a drive to succeed in his musical career, and in life. This inner determination has been the basis of many successes throughout his young life, spanning a wide range of academic and professional pursuits.
Throughout his high school career, McMillan enjoyed academic success and earned the distinction of being an honors student. An incident early in his teenage years helped to solidify his commitment to working hard to develop his musical talent. As a freshman, he entered a school talent competition, where he was booed off stage.
Rather than allow this defeat to end his musical aspirations, McMillan treated it as a temporary setback, becoming even more determined to master his craft and earn acclaim in the music industry. Shortly after high school, he enjoyed his first taste of fame when he uploaded a music video for his R&B song “Like You” and it went viral garnering radio airplay and even being featured at the Florida Marlins stadium.
Over the next several years, the trajectory of McMillan’s musical career would see highs and lows, but his innate love of performing could not be stifled, and despite setbacks and the pursuit of other career opportunities, he would always return to his first love: music.
A Journey to Greatness
After the initial success of “Like You”, McMillan renewed his focus on music, releasing his debut album, Genesis, online in 2014. The album, featuring popular tracks like “Until the End”, “All Over You”, and “Lust”, among others, enjoyed immediate and widespread success among the teen demographic, generating over 100,000 downloads within an hour of online release, and resulting in more than 150 million plays.
“Until the End”, featuring distinctly pop-flavored music and lyrics, maintains the distinction of generating the most views in Vimeo history. The popularity of “Until the End” launched McMillan into the mainstream spotlight and nabbed a spot on the Billboard charts.
At the time, he was gaining an astonishing 100,000 combined followers a day through social media and he had a hugely successful album. After his success, in 2015, he announced a world tour to take his music to the people with live performances.
In February of 2019, McMillan released his comeback album with a whole new sound. The rap/R&B album, entitled Triple Threat, featured tracks like “Call My Name” and “Azz Back” that once again vaulted him to fame and made him a trending topic on Twitter, prompting him to release a Greatest Hits album later in the year, featuring songs from his two prior albums, as well as popular tracks like “Air Max 95” and “No Cap” that had dropped as singles in the interim.
With plenty of music in the pipeline, McMillan followed one success with another, releasing Welcome to the Inferno in 2020. This album solidified his move into the rap and hip-hop genre, with rapid, modern flows delivered in a distinctive, clipped, staccato style on tracks like “Cash Talk”, “Nykee”, and “SWISH”. The album included a few R&B faves in the mix for longtime fans. In April of 2020, “No Cap” broke 85 million streams on Soundcloud, putting it well within the top 200 most played songs in the platform’s history.
Despite his young age, McMillan’s musical style has evolved dramatically from his earlier pop and R&B days to his current rap and hip-hop style. A gifted rapper, producer, and real estate investor, McMillan seems destined to succeed, no matter what he does, with unstoppable talent and unwavering devotion to his craft.
Essential Jalen McMillan
Over the course of his burgeoning career, McMillan has tried his hands at a number of different musical genres, from pop, to R&B, to rap and hip-hop. New fans of this brilliant artist will want to sample some of the best tracks from his
musical catalog, including:
- “Like You” (2014), his acclaimed first track, featuring sweet lyrics set to R&B rhythms
- “Until the End” (2015), from his first album, Genesis
- “Call My Name” (2019), from his Triple Threat EP, with R&B grooves that won’t quit
- “Azz Back” (2019), a rap classic from his Triple Threat EP
- “No Cap” ft. DJ PLAE (2019), arguably his most popular rap track
- “Wayyy Too Hot” (2020), a track from his latest album, Welcome to the Inferno, that showcases his current style and hip-hop swagger