Tyree Jawan Thomas, raised in Flint, Michigan, is a Houston resident and U.S. Postal Service employee. He’s also a rapper with multiple songs that have netted over a million streams, including “Northside Ghetto Soulja” and “Honey Pack,” and as of Friday, he has an album featuring an eclectic roster of rappers including Wiz Khalifa, Coi Leray, Wiz Khalifa, Benny the Butcher, and Lil Yachty under his belt. It’s difficult to imagine he’ll be working for the USPS much longer.
Fat N***as Need Love Too sees Packman rubbing shoulders with the caliber of artists he used to unabashedly spam online—a tactic that earned him a block from Meek Mill on Twitter several years ago. But his eager and honest schtick is exactly what sets him apart.
“Everybody's rapping about the same thing,” Packman told VICE. “Opp music, riding down your block, ‘I'm bout to whack your whole family, I'm putting money on a n***a head. I'm selling bricks.’ N***as ain't never seen no bricks. N***as probably never sold a drug, been in the streets.”
He knows his music has clear comedic value—one of his viral hits from 2020 is “Free Joe Exotic,” after all. But like any good comedy, there’s truth underneath the jokes. “When you break the lyrics down—people laugh—but everybody can relate.”
His earnestness slips through at times, to an alarming degree. “Sometimes I feel like dying just so I can get away...still ain’t happy, you can see it in my face,” he raps on the woozy “Enilak.”
His cadence is often frantic, and carries specificity as if he’s reciting the text from hyper specific t-shirts assembled from your Facebook data. He spits glued-together non sequiturs like “I feel like Jagged Edge I had to put some ‘umph’ in it / the White House been fucked since you n***as put Trump in it / I slide in her DMs, she didn’t reply so I unsent it,” on “Big Bertha” featuring Sada Baby.
The album is filled with raunchy and hilarious quotables, though you might be too shy to recite them in public. On his release day, Packman is up against high-profile albums, including Tyler, the Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost, but he’s not sweating it. Packman told VICE he wouldn’t be listening to his own album today—he’ll be listening to Tyler’s. But he does hope this album, which he recorded in the closet in his house, can bring him closer to quitting the USPS.
VICE caught up with BFB Da Packman the day before his album dropped.
VICE: How did this album come together? Some of these features I was really surprised to see, like Benny the Butcher.
BFB Da Packman: Can I ask you a question, before I answer that question?
What features did you expect to see?
I hadn't tried to forecast it out. But I saw the track list and was surprised.
Everybody thinks I listen to a certain type of rap, but the rap I listen to is Benny [the Butcher], Wiz [Khalifa], Dom Kennedy, Schoolboy Q, Tyler, the Creator. I knew it was gonna throw people off. Everybody thinks I'm gonna collab with the most popping guys, guys that's the wave right now. But I want to collab with people I wanna collab with.
Who are some artists that people would be surprised you have in heavy rotation?
I really want to work with Diplo. I wanna work with Rod Wave. I wanna work with Vince Staples. Vince Staples was supposed to be on the album, man. I don't know what happened with that. Vince Staples, Tyler the Creator, Hit-Boy, Dom Kennedy, it's a lot of people I want to work with.
Has Meek Mill unblocked you yet?
Nope. He still got me blocked, man. I mess with his cousin. We talk almost every couple of weeks. I mess with his nephew, (too.) He told his nephew we was gonna lock in. He hasn't unblocked me, though.
Your delivery sometimes reminds me of E-40. Is he a major influence for you?
As a little kid, my mama rolled around bumping E-40. His presence is so heavy in the Midwest. I don't know why. From Flint to Pontiac to Detroit to Saginaw, Michigan. He was real heavy in Michigan, man. All the dope boys, everybody is bumping E-40 and the Click.
I love 40. I've told him that myself. When I did a show out there on his coast, he gave some game on how to move. 40 a real O.G. He gave me the sauce. Everybody in this culture, if you’re out there messing around in the Bay, you gotta hit 40, man. He’s gonna give you the rules of what to do and what not to do.
When you’re writing, and you're thinking about what makes a good punch line, what are you thinking about?
Biggie. That's all I could say, man. Notorious B.I.G. When I write my rhymes, I think about him. Would Biggie say this? Would Biggie do this? Be truthful like Biggie would be.
And I know people have compared you to Tee Grizzley—
Yeah, because we’re from the same place, and we use the same language, and we talk the same. But me and Tee don't sound nothing alike, man.
Who would you say you sound like?
I sound like me, I ain't even gonna lie. They say on certain songs I sound like Tee Grizzley, but for the most part I sound like me.
Do you think of this album as an introduction to a larger audience, or just letting people hear more of what you have to offer?
It's really just giving the people who rock with me—I don't know how big my fan base is—let's just say 10,000 people or 5,000 people. It's giving those 5,000 people the ability to see that Packman can really make a complete project and really tell a story.
Was there a point in time where you started getting recognized while [delivering mail]?
Yeah. They move me to different routes, so I won't be in the same area all the time.
Since you dropped the name a few times in the record—what do you usually get at Ocean Prime?
I get the calamari. The calamari is a top-tier dish. And I get the salmon and rice.
BFB Da Packman’s album, ‘Fat N***as Need Love Too’ is streaming now.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.