Don’t let the baby voice fool you. Only a few years into his burgeoning rap career and Cochise is making big boy moves: gold and platinum plaques, millions of streams and a major label record deal. The 24-year-old rapper from sunny Palm Bay, Fla. has found his niche in the rap game via boisterous, tone-setting bangers. However, ’Chise, whose usually known for his trademark high-pitched vocals, flips the script and drops straight bars for his 2022 XXL Freshman freestyle.
The 2022 XXL Freshman Class boasts a variety of rappers from all over the map. Like his music, which is filled with high jinks, the "Tell Em" rapper’s personality shines through on the solo rap segment of the Freshmen proceedings. Cochise seamlessly transitions from detailed anime bars to money flips, spirituality and video games in a succinct 16 bars. All while sitting on a throne fit for a king.
"To be honest, my life got better when I was 5/I been in the rain feelin' pain and I ain’t talkin’ ’bout Jiraiya," he raps, referencing the character from the popular anime Naruto. "Went to the jeweler, now the earpiece heavy/Pole hit his back, now he look like Neji/See me, I throw the work to my mans like a Manning/If I ever take a L, it’s in silence like Sammy/Keep God on my mind, you would think I’m Fred Hammond/Heard you niggas gettin' hungry, that’s the point of being famine."
He continues with a little braggadocio. "Stop it, I’m takin' off just like a Houston Rocket/She said the gap look big, I told her you should see the pockets/She like, 'Boy, you need to watch it,'" Cochise spits.
He closes by delivering bars dictating his dogma for life. "Seem God on my side, I could never change," he raps. "If it’s God or some money, you can keep the change/If it’s God or popularity, you can keep the fame/I’d rather be at home with my brothers playing soccer games/We not the same."
Cochise is a different type of character, seemingly undriven by accolades and hype, though he’s receiving both, as well as a growing swarm of fans. He jumped into the game with his 2018 debut album, Pulp, which along with his 2020 single "Hatchback," earned him a deal with Columbia Records. His 2021 album, Benbow Crescent, features lively tracks like "Knicks" and the gold-selling “Hatchback," with plugg rap production aesthetics and a pitch change from ’Chise that established him as one of rap’s most recognizable voices. The 2021 platinum single "Tell Em" featuring $not further cemented the Florida artist as a budding hitmaker. It also marked the first time he entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart last year. His brand new album, The Inspection, is his next chance to level up. Cochise isn't taking anything too seriously.
"I just like to have fun," he tells XXL. "That’s my main thing, having fun. Life is short as shit. It’s like, do you want to live life just getting money or do you want to live life having fun and then potentially getting money? That sounds funner to me."
Watch Cochise’s 2022 XXL Freshman freestyle, powered by Puma, below.
Read the 2022 XXL Freshman cover story featuring BabyTron, Cochise, Saucy Santana, Babyface Ray, KenTheMan, SoFaygo, Big Scarr, Big30, KayCyy, Doechii, Kali and Nardo Wick when the Freshman issue hits newsstands everywhere on July 13. The issue includes additional interviews with Lupe Fiasco, Kevin Gates, Pi’erre Bourne, NLE Choppa, Yvngxchris, producer DJ Dahi, engineer Teezio and singer Chlöe, plus a breakdown of every Freshman Class from a numbers standpoint, a look back at what the 2021 XXL Freshman Class is doing, the story of why the 2016 XXL Freshman Class gets so much respect now, a deep dive into the world of NFTs through hip-hop’s lens and exploring rappers’ most valuable collections. You can also buy the 2022 XXL Freshman Class issue here.