Foggieraw Has The Internet’s Attention. The Artist Talks Getting That “You Don’t Know My Name,” Alicia Keys Sample Cleared, And More

Over the course of his decade-long career, Maryland rapper Foggieraw has undergone a number of transitions artistically and creatively, including a name change, experimentation with genre and style, and, most recently, a calculated twist in how he markets his music.

Foggieraw, formerly known as Jayo, recently came into his own as a rapper with a charismatic persona, an animated flow, and an overall unique style. Lyrically adept, Foggie’s rap style is vivid and poetic. He navigates his wordplay with the precision of a master craftsman, deploying bars and punchlines that are engrossingly descriptive, unsuspectingly witty, and exude an aura of effortless charm. He first began releasing music in 2013; he then formally introduced himself in 2016 with the release of his debut EP The Foggie Pound. The five-track EP contained the very first song from the 30-year-old to gain significant traction in his home city: a minimal, wordplay-heavy two-minute rap cut titled “30 and 10” that put him in the conversation as one of Maryland’s new artists to watch.

But, over the last few months, the Maryland native, originally from the West African coastline country of Ghana, has garnered attention for two distinct things—the quality of his visuals and his unique approach to releasing music in that he almost exclusively releases songs in video form, on social media platforms. Most recently, he delivered a two-pack release called The Foggie Pound 3, containing “Psalm 62,” the 68-second video clip featuring smooth verses over the instrumental of the timeless R&B classic “You Don’t Know My Name” by Alicia Keys, and “Ms. Johnson,” a remake of Musiq Soulchild’s “Teachme,” another classic R&B song. Alicia cleared the sample on “Psalm 62” for Foggie, an occurrence that doesn’t happen often for the R&B and soul icon. They’ve also been in the studio together, a clear co-sign for the legendary American singer. 

“I was on the floor when I found out she was gonna clear the sample for me,” he tells Complex. “I know she had rarely cleared that sample before so I was up against the world but, you know. I was just so happy.”