Oakland, California has been home to many Hip-Hop greats. Legends such as Mac Dre, Too $hort and Mistah F.A.B have paved the way for some of today’s talents coming out the Bay representing in a major way. Keak Da Sneak, Yukmouth and recently G-Eazy have been making major noise where that region is, slowly creating their own wave where hit seekers migrate to the Oakland area to get that extra swagger to carry them over the top while scoring an major hit. Even the females from the Bay are holding their own as Kamaiyah has been unleashing heat thanks to her classic project A Good Night In The Ghetto. But there’s a rising superstar in the making who is on the prowl to prove fans that she’s just not a pretty face who is here to exploit the market of the culture. She’s here to stay, and join the elite list of lyricists who is ready to leave a stamp bigger than Steph Curry as one of Oakland’s most influential figures.
Meet Ari McFly. This talented 27-year-old MC has a swagger and charisma that would make her a major household name in the industry. With a sultry look that have the fellas breaking necks and going crazy over, Ms. Arianna Shackelford is on a mission to prove that she just isn’t a pretty face who don’t have the brains or personality to compliment it. But instead, she has the poise, witty lyrical word play and outstanding ear to great production; just the perfect elements to have the streets buzzing over of right now. A graduate of Dillard University, Ari was always been pushed to take her talents to the next level but it wasn’t til when she returned home from school to decide that it’s time to apply pressure and to lock in. With an incredible social media following (@arimcfly) and the creative mindset which challenges artistry at it’s finest, it’s no wonder why labels and many artists have her under her radar.
Recently, RESPECT was able to catch up with the talented emcee as she updated us with some of the latest things she is cooking up for the streets.
RESPECT: How long have you been rapping?
Ari: I’ve been rapping on and off since high school. But ever since I got my degree and I came back to the Bay, my friends kept on hyping me to take it a lot more seriously than what I’ve been doing. So I did that and I never looked back. I appreciate their support and the drive they installed in me to take it to the next level.
RESPECT: What kind of style do you consider your music to be?
Ari: It’s tough for me to put my style in one category because I always like to try new things and if I like a beat it won’t matter. I would say my style is versatile but if I had to put it in a box, I would say trap/melodic with a splash of gangster rap.
RESPECT: When you are in the booth or writing, what inspirations you look for in create new music?
Ari: The beat normally inspires me when I’m in the booth. It’s just a feel I get like I almost can hear the words in the beat. Also what helps me is just what’s going on in my everyday life and everyday interactions. Someone can say something and it’ll stick with me all day and I’ll write a whole song off that idea. I write a lot of notes in my phone if anything inspires me through out the day.
RESPECT: What’s your take on the state of hip hop and females in the game right now?
Ari: I feel like anyone can become a rapper nowadays it’s kind of watered down. All you have to be nowadays is be popular on social media then you’re automatically a rapper. But the good thing is a lot of female artists are flourishing so it’s making it more of a reality that there is a contending female lane in hip hop. I just hate when people put female artist against each other I think it’s time we allow more than one female artist to be on the top.
RESPECT: Who are some artists you would love to work with?
Ari: Goodness, I would love to work with Drake, ASAP Mob ,J Cole, Solange and the list goes on.
RESPECT: What kind of legacy you would like to leave on the industry after it’s all said and done?
Ari: The legacy I would like to leave is that I always stayed true to who I was with no apologies. Nowadays, you see a lot of people switch up or change on folks who support them since Day 1 and it’s a pretty messed up situation. I feel that it’s never that serious and if you feel that there’s a need to do something like that then this business isn’t for you. Don’t change who you are to feel worthy or fit in.
Here’s proof of why Ari McFly is on the verge to superstardom.