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"I'm feeling like a No Show, that is a ref only Garret would know" ― A infamous bar from Payden's song "AYE"

Payden Johnston, better known by his stage name Payden McKnight (formerly Ya Boy Payden and PAYDEN), is an American rapper, YouTuber, actor, singer, and stalker. He joined Flex Entertainment in Summer 2020 after being signed by Lil Squeaky and Yung Garfield. He became an executive for the label in the summer of 2021. He is known for his one-liners, self produced music and many Flex inside jokes that are started by him.

Musical Career[]

Discovery (2019)[]

Payden had always been interested in making music. His love for music had always existed, but it wasn't until he was 13 when he took it seriously. Payden started listening to countless musicians, mainly consisting of Twenty One Pilots, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, Radiohead, Kanye West, The Beatles, Barenaked Ladies, and OutKast. One day, when Payden was scrolling through YouTube, he discovered a YouTuber named Brad Taste in Music. He loved his content and watched him frequently. Payden has known about Flex Entertainment since the release of Flex Gang Volume 1. But he never had the urge to join until The Evolution of Music by Travis Scotch showed up randomly in his recommended. Then he joined the Flex Entertainment Discord Server and got to know the community really well. He became decent friends with Lil Kraqqen and Yung Schmoobin (Neither of them is friends anymore) and then finally decided to join. He now has good connections with Flex artists Depp Gibbs, J Coyn Drive, R&d, Lil Pinecone, Young Seagull, and Lil Squeaky.

Signing to Flex Entertainment & 16-Bit Fantasy (2020)[]

Payden sent a rough demo of his song "This Is My Country" to every single Admin and Executive, but only Lil Squeaky and Yung Garfield responded. They were playing Roblox: Work at a Pizza Place and decided to listen to it. They immediately signed Ya Boy Payden to Flex Entertainment after that as Lil Squeaky said to him, "Yeah, You've Got Potential." He signed the same day as Lil Kraqqen and R&d. Lil Kraqqen became a Yang criminal however and they're collaborations didn't last long. R&d and Payden ended up collaborating together on 2 songs that appear on Ya Boy Payden's debut mixtape, 16-Bit Fantasy.

16-Bit Fantasy is the debut mixtape of Ya Boy Payden that releases October 23rd, 2020. Originally called This is My Country, it's an 11 track mixtape where every track has a sample from a song from any OST from a video game on the console Super Nintendo Entertainment System (his favorite video game console). The mixtape originally was gonna be sampling songs from Donkey Kong Country, but that changed very soon. Payden, with the low budget he had, was looking for somebody to mix it. Originally R&d was going to mix the 2 tracks he was on, but Payden eventually found Daniel Ryšavý on Discord. Daniel ended up producing, mixing, and mastering every single track on the mixtape, except the 1st track which is a 17-second intro. This mixtape features the well known Depp Gibbs, Young Seagull, White Fury, and 2 features from R&d. Payden originally planned on releasing 2 singles and 3 music videos to hype up the release of 16-Bit Fantasy, but he ended up having no singles and instead just releasing 3 music videos for the songs, "The Life of Payden", "This is My Country", "The Other Life of Payen", and "Celebration". There was also a follow-up mixtape called 16-Bit Universe that got cancelled as well as a full-length LP. The song "Hoppin' in the Back" debuted at No. 19 on the Flex Hot 100, his highest-charting entry to date.

Snitching to Fame and The Wonder Years (2021)[]

Long story short, Ya Boy Payden snitched on himself after letting a bunch of people into his Zoom Physics class and then he got grounded for the entire month of October 2020. This led to him not being active which then led to him becoming an icon of the Payden Pack branding as well as Harriet Tubman memes spiking in the Flex Entertainment Discord. He announced he would be releasing various projects throughout the next few months including "The Wonder Years" and "YaBoyPayden Season." He made the bold claim that Flex would "burn to the ground" in 2021. He later apologized for his comments and returned to the label on December 15. He released a new single "Addiction To Being Humilated" on January 1, 2021 as the lead single for "The Wonder Years." He departed from Flex Entertainment on April 3, 2021. The extended play was released on April 9, 2021 to negative reviews.

Return to Flex Entertainment and Payden Saves The World (2021)[]

He returned to the Flex Entertainment Discord Server in June 2021. Mosquito made a proposal that if Jake and Payden returned to the label, they would become executives. He started rolling out his second mixtape with various snippets on his social media platforms, ending with the date of July 30. He released his first singles back in the label "WARZONE" and the solo version of "AYE" on July 16. "WARZONE" and "AYE debuted at No. 18 and No. 72 respectively. He announced his second mixtape "Payden Saves The World" that would be released on July 30, 2021. The third single for the mixtape "MIAMI (Hotline)" with J Coyn Drive was released on July 23. It debuted at No. 5, becoming his highest debut on the chart. "Payden Saves The World" received mixed reviews from critics. The tape was praised for its production, but its concept was criticized for being underwritten. Despite the reception, it made a significant impact commercially. Every song debuted in the Top 50, competing with WT's "Thank U Next 2." The three singles reached the top 5 on the release week. The following week, "PAPERCUT" with Lil Toy Yoda leaped to the number one spot on the Flex Entertainment Hot 100 after a massive streaming surge, becoming his first career number one. Its consistent success is due to its inclusion on various twenty-one pilots playlists as it includes a sample of one of their unreleased songs "I Need Something (To Kill Me)."

101.2 & iKnight Radio (2021)[]

Payden announced he would release his third mixtape by the end of 2021. He began the rollout with the first single "Ghost Pepper Salad" on October 8, 2021. The theme of the rollout was that he would release a new single or music video every Friday at 7:00 PM PST. This run of singles would end on December 10 with the release of "IKnight Radio." "Breezy" and "One-Sided" got released on the 15th and 22nd. The three singles didn't end up making the official album but were included on the first extended play "101.2 (001-003)." "Ceiling Fan", "Raindrops and Butterflies", and "Loophole" were released on October 29th, November 5th, and November 12th. They all got complied on a second extended play "101.2 (004-006)." "Neighborhood", "Bump This" and "Insanity" were released on November 19th, November 26th, and December 3rd. They would get included on another extended play "101.2 (007-009)." The songs that actually ended up on the official mixtape were "Ceiling Fan", "Loophole", "Bump This", and "Insanity." "iKnight Radio" received positive reception from critics and fans alike, considered to be one of the best Flex Entertainment releases from 2021 and all time. Its concept was praised the most for its radio-like vibe that The Weeknd allegedly stole with "Dawn FM." The concept was said to be a massive improvement over his previous mixtape. It was his most commercially successful release, debuting the entire album in the top twenty. "Ceiling Fan" become a sleeper hit, peaking at No. 5 on the Hot 100. "Insanity" is also receiving a push on streaming platforms, peaking at No. 12 so far.

Untitled Fourth Mixtape & McDonalds (2022-present)[]

Payden announced that he has began production for his next mixtape that will be released in 2022. He collaborated with hyperpop artist Boen on his song "Caffeine", introducing each other to their audiences. It would peak at No. 6 on the Flex Entertainment Hot 100. He released a one-off single "Issa Vibe" to tie ends to the "iKnight Radio" saga. The song peaked at No. 16 on the Flex Entertainment Hot 100. It has been a subject to several memes including the use of the song title and his screaming. Squeaky and Payden announced that they would be joining forces on an album called "McDonalds." It is scheduled to release in the summer of 2022. They put out two B-Side EPs with four songs from each artist on March 5, 2022. Ever since the reception of "Issa Vibe" and the loud minority of people who despised "iKnight Radio", he has been a lot less active in the Flex server. However, he has produced several songs for other Flex artists with the biggest being Beetlebat's smash hit "Innocent."

Discography[]

Mixtapes[]

List of mixtape plays, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
BMP
16-Bit Fantasy 26
  • US: 100,000
Payden Saves the World 4
  • US: 380,000
  • FLEX: Platinum
IKnight Radio
  • Released: December 10, 2021
  • Label: Flex Entertainment
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
2
  • US: 2,130,000
  • BMP: Platinum
  • FLEX: Platinum
  • JYO: Gold

EPs[]

List of extended plays, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions Sales
BMP
The Wonder Years 38
  • US: 70,000
101.2 (001-003)
  • US: 60,000
101.2 (004-006)
  • Released: November 12, 2021
  • Label: Flex Entertainment
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
28
  • US: 260,000
101.2 (007-009)
  • US: 60,000
Days Before McDonald's: Payden's Side
  • US: 40,000

Singles[]

List of singles
Title Year Charts Certification Album
Hot
100
BMP YT SP
"Hoppin' in the Back"
(as Ya Boy Payden)
2020 19 11 20
  • FLEX: Gold
16-Bit Fantasy
"addiction to being humiliated" 2021 The Wonder Years
"AYE" 5 4 15
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
Payden Saves The World
"WARZONE" 4 3 13
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
"Miami (Hotline 2)"
(feat. J Coyn Drive)
3 2 12
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
"I AM PAYDEN" 14 8 35
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
non-album single
"Ghost Pepper Salad" 33 21 57
  • FLEX: Gold
101.2
"Breezy" 21 44 14 33
  • FLEX: Gold
"One-Sided" 8 9 6
"CEILING FAN" 5 8 6 2
  • BMP: Gold
  • FLEX: 4x Platinum
iKnight Radio
"Raindrops And Butterflies" 11 7 15
  • FLEX: Gold
101.2
"LOOPHOLE" 11 6 13
  • FLEX: Platinum
iKnight Radio
"neighborhood" 7 4
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
101.2
"BUMP THIS"
(with TORNADO SIREN)
7 1 35
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
iKnight Radio
"INSANITY"
(with Lil Mosquito Disease & J Coyn Drive)
12 5 11 19
  • BMP: Platinum
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
"caffeine"
(with boen)
2022 6 33 3 9 TBA
"ISSA VIBE" 16 51 8
"whatudoin!" 11 10 9

Promotional Singles[]

List of singles
Title Year Charts Certification Album
Hot
100
YT SP
"Get Trucked: A Truck Gang Classic"
(as Ya Boy Payden)
2021 52 36 Flex Fridays: Episode 2

Other Charted Songs[]

List of singles
Title Year Charts Certification Album
Hot
100
BMP YT SP
"Nostalgia (Intro)"
(as Ya Boy Payden)
2020 32 23 21 16-Bit Fantasy
"This Is My Country"
(as Ya Boy Payden)
33 24 22
"The DK Island Swing"
(as Ya Boy Payden feat. R&D)
34 25 23
"My Pal Fort Fort (Intro)"
(as Ya Boy Payden)
35 26 24
"My Pal Fort Fort"
(as Ya Boy Payden)
36 27 25
"Funky The Main Monkey"
(as Ya Boy Payden feat. R&D)
37 28 26
"The Life of Payden"
(as Ya Boy Payden feat. Depp Gibbs)
38 29 27
"Get On The Bus"
(as Ya Boy Payden feat. Young Seagull)
39 30 28
  • FLEX: Gold
"The Other Life of Payden"
(as Ya Boy Payden)
40 31 29
"Celebration"
(as Ya Boy Payden feat. White Fury)
41 32 30
"Deal Wit It"
(feat. xofilo)
2021 71 54 The Wonder Years
"A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS CAROL"
(feat. Lil Mosquito Disease)
88
"SUPER MARIO GALAXY" 14 10 9 The Wonder Years
"EIFFEL" 13 11 8
"LAMENT" 36 12 22
"PAPERCUT"
(feat. Lil Toy Yoda)
1 13 1
  • FLEX: 2x Platinum
"LOCKED AND LOADED"
(feat. Hood Guy)
27 14 13
"EARTHBOUND"
(feat. xofilo)
35 15 21
"RENEGADE"
(feat. Lil Mosquito Disease)
28 16 14
"SOULMATE (Interlude)" 41 17 27
"DREAMS"
(feat. Lil Toy Yoda)
31 18 18
"STARSHINE" 37 19 23
"OREGON" 32 20 19
"MAD WORLD" 39 21 25
"SEASALT"
(feat. Depp Gibbs)
30 22 17
"SCOOTER" 33 23 20
"HEATSTROKE" 38 24 24
"ARMED AND DANGEROUS" 6 25 7
  • FLEX: Gold
"OKLAHOMA" 40 26 26
"What!?" 14 8 30
  • FLEX: Gold
iKnight Radio
"Aladdin" 15 9 34
  • FLEX: Gold
"Change / Drown" 15 9 22
  • FLEX: Gold
"Hold Me" 17 12 58
  • FLEX: Gold
"Piss Fumes" 18 14 45
  • FLEX: Gold
"Follow M3 / U2" 19 40 15 37
  • FLEX: Gold
"McDeez" 2022 42 79 22 Days Before McDonalds
"F4keFanz" 46 83 23
"Headlockz" 45 85 24
"SpazeX"
(featuring Lil Mosquito Disease)
40 75 21
  • FLEX: Gold
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