Mari Davies is exasperated. “Do you know all the shit we went through to get your visas? Do you know how much shit we went through?”

The ICM agent has been handling booking for the YBN crew—YBN Nahmir, YBN Almighty Jay, and YBN Cordae—and has just been informed during a photo shoot that the young rappers’ upcoming shows in China have been canceled. The exact reasons are unclear to me, the Complex writer sitting nearby, but they seem related to the fact that this shoot has been exceedingly hard to schedule; that Jay can barely remain upright as he’s photographed, preferring to collapse on the floor; and that crew leader Nahmir is not present.

“I need to know—is he burned out?” Davies asks about Nahmir, whose absence from the shoot was attributed officially to an illness in his family. She questions whether the current plan—for YBN to start a European tour at the beginning of October—is feasible. At almost the same time, the Galveston, Texas-raised Almighty Jay is joking-but-not-really about escaping back to the Lone Star State and vanishing entirely from the group’s promo run for their new project, YBN: The Mixtape.

Jay: “Let’s see you not get me out of my hotel room tomorrow.”
Mari: “You’ll get out.”
Jay: “Not if I’m gone when you come knocking on the door. I’ll be in Houston already.”