Rapper Lil Yase, whose real name was Mark Antonyyo Alexander, has died, according to multiple of his friends’ messages and posts on Instagram. He was 25.
Heavy has reached out to his record label, 420 Highway Productions, for comment. On Saturday afternoon, they thanked fans for all the love and messages of support on Instagram.
Yase was shot and killed on the morning of November 28, sources told TMZ, however, the questions of how and why remain a mystery. The rapper was last seen hanging out with his crew at the recording studio in Marin County but left on his own around 11:30 p.m. He told his buddies that he’d be right back.
The “No Diss” rapper’s body was found in the southern section of East Bay, TMZ reported, “miles away from where he was last seen.”
Those who left “RIP” messages on Yase’s official Instagram page include Derek King, Slimmy B., Einer Bankz and director Jeremiah Messiah, the latter of whom shared his own Instagram video with the caption, “I’ll never forget the times brother @yasemoney600 May the Most High resurrect your soul !”
Messiah wrote in another post, “Rest In Peace to one of the coolest funniest dudes I ever met. He was different but he was himself and he always looked out and gave me more money than I asked for recording or anything. And he offered to buy me a new laptop when I got hit. My n**** forever a real one !”
Here’s what you need to know about Lil Yase:
Yase Was Born & Raised in Sunnydale, California
Originally from Sunnydale, California, a neighborhood located in San Francisco, Yase kicked off his rap career at age 18, when he started using a borrowed iPad to make his own videos for his songs, according to AllMusic.com. He began to earn national attention after he released the hit single “Get It In,” which he followed up with a series of popular tracks such as “Bum B****,” “Furl” and “Worst Way.”
After Yase dropped the music video for his song “Demon” on Halloween in 2019, a submission to Elevator magazine touted his rapping skills. “Yase has such an infectious yet conventional west coast flow that you cannot help but bob your head along to this quick banger,” the review said.
Yase released his first mixtape in 2016 entitled From the Block to Alot and in 2017, he worked with rapper G-Val to release a collaborative mixtape, What a Time to Grind 2. In December 2019, he released his first album, Sorry for the Heat, and his latest record, Kobe, was released in July 2020.
Yase Credited G-Val For Helping Him Quit Drinking Lean
The rapper revealed in an interview with Thizzler on the Roof that he had been heading down the wrong path, missing shows and feeling lazy, drinking Lean — which is also known as Purple Drank and Sizzurp.
Lean is a liquid concoction made of cough syrup, hard candy, soda and codeine, according to addictioncenter.com.
“He kept me on my toes during that little time,” Yase said of G-Val. “I really wasn’t making no music. I was missing meetings … all I was doing sip the Lean all day, probably playing video games, smoking weed, eating, not recording — that’s some lazy s*** … So, I had to finally kick the cup.”
In 2017, G-Val and Yase released an animated video for their song “Bozo,” a track featured on their mixtape What a Time to Grind 2.
Yase Helped Propel Rapper Yatta as 1 of the ‘5 Under-the-Radar Rappers from the Bay Area You Should Know About’
In 2018, Fader released an article about the five biggest up-and-coming rappers from San Francisco, a list which included Yatta, who appears on Yase’s 2015 breakout hit single “Get It In.” The 2016 remix of the song featuring G-Val, Lil Blood, Nef the Pharaoh and Mozzy, has garnered more than 3.3 million views on YouTube.
The duo also collaborated on the song “Foolin” featuring DJ Spunks, and “Bum B****.” For those wondering why Yase continued to grow in popularity while Yatta’s career seemed to stall, Fader’s Tyrese Johnson explained:
… due to a string of stints in jail, Yatta could never fully capitalize on the record’s momentum. Even today, the rapper, whose high-pitched and aggressive delivery has been mimicked and repurposed on songs by other local acts, sits in a prison cell serving a hefty sentence. That hasn’t stopped the celebrated emcee from engaging with fans through freestyles on Instagram, singles, and guest features recorded from behind the walls. … Until he’s back on the streets and in the studio, fans have steadfastly called for his release with the hashtag and phrase, “#FreeYatta til it’s backwards.”
Yase continued to hype Yatta after he was arrested. “You been hearing his lil freestyles? He’s been getting 100,000 views and s*** on this s***,” Yase said. “Jail is like a muthaf***** booster,” he added with a laugh. “You go to jail and you go up. You get out and go up. It’s basically like free promotion.”
Yase Released His ‘Big One’ Music Video a Week Before His Death
Yase released the official music video for the song “Big One” on November 17, which was produced by his company 420 Highway Productions and features NHL Reesey4. While the song didn’t blow up right away, fan comments on the official video’s YouTube page questioned why. One woman wrote, “This song should be doing numbers. i always have this on repeat everyday.”
Just one day before his death, Yase shared Thanksgiving greetings on Instagram, where he had garnered more than 110,000 followers.
Dressed in a sweatshirt and sporting an Oakland A’s baseball cap he wrote, “If my n**** trippin den I’m trippin it’s up wit UNK #HappyThanksGivin.”
Tributes Filled Social Media Following Yase’s Sudden Death
Fans, friends and collaborators took to social media to share tributes to the young rapper on Instagram and Twitter. AKA Frank shared a photo of Yase on his Instagram page and wrote, “Dam bra .. we used to record twice a week for 4 months straight … Yo energy unmatched bro always good vibes. this ain’t even right man .. I’m hurt … rest easy.”