Yahya Abdul-Mateen II: New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana

Hero or villain... or somewhere in between? Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, better know as Yahya on the social media scene, was born in New Orleans and is still proud to call NOLA his hometown. Already proven himself as a diverse and accomplished actor, Yahya graduated from Yale University with an MFA in drama and was the sole recipient of the prestigious Herschel Williams Prize, which is awarded to one acting student per graduating class with outstanding ability. He was also honored with the 2018 Sun Valley Film Festival’s Rising Star Award and this certainly wasn't a surprise to any of Yahya's fans. From Netflix's "The Get Down" to "The Greatest Showman," and DC's "Aquaman," the actor is acknowledged as an up and coming talent to monitor closely. Now, starring in HBO's new series "Watchmen," which premiers in Fall 2019, as well as being tapped for the title role in Jordan Peele's "Candyman," audiences may soon be able to answer the question (or at least for those who were unusually upset when Yahya's supervillain Black Manta was defeated): hero or villain? Either way Yahya is an artist with a dynamic career to watch.

For more on Yahya, be sure to follow the artist on Twitter and Instagram.

What is your favorite word to describe New Orleans?


What word best reflects the people of New Orleans?


What is the most creative, spiritual or emotional place in New Orleans?

Any cemetery.

What is your favorite outdoor activity in New Orleans?

Second lining.

What is your favorite indoor activity in New Orleans?

Sweaty dancing.

What is your favorite sound or noise in New Orleans?

The trumpet.

What is your favorite smell or taste in New Orleans?


What drink best reflects New Orleans?

A Hurricane, of course!

A double serving of rum and suite of fruit juices and sweeteners have been packing a punch since the early 1940s, when the Hurricane was invented at Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans.

What song or type of music best reflects New Orleans?


Defined by a steady tempo ranging from 95 to 105 beats per minute, heavy brass band beats, and Mardi Gras Indian chants and call-and-response routines, this indigenous music trend is part of New Orleans’ traditions and embedded in the city’s diverse communities. Elements of bounce can be found in music across the charts: from Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” to Rihanna’s “Pour it Up.”

If Heaven were New Orleans, what would God say to a visitor when they arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

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