It’s brave to willingly compete with the West surname in the hip-hop universe these days – but 20-year-old Delaware rapper Lil West is up for the SEO-challenge, reviving the famous moniker with his own lil twist.
To describe Lil West’s sound is like trying to catch a cloud and pin it down. It’s ethereal, bounces seamlessly across genre borders, and defies categorization. He gives the people what they want with a raspy auto-tune vox that the masses all know and love, but his choice to sing-rap angsty lyrics over emo melodies awaken vintage sentiments c/o the early aughts.
Lil West’s voice is gravelly yet smooth, pleasant albeit a little unexpected – like brushing your hand across crushed velvet and then back again against the grain. In his productions, he practices strength and restraint, and in his themes, he balances humor (song titles like “Candy & Cupcakes, Without brushing your teeth”) with gravity, giving airtime to serious topics like suicide prevention.
In Bridgeville, DE, without access to a booming music scene, Lil West was forced to draw inspiration from every corner of the internet. And in his foraging for fresh sounds, he’s created a post-genre patchwork quilt that has something for everyone. Music that’s one size fits all. Collabs with 21 Savage, Rich The Kid and nothing,nowhere. and coverage in FADER, Complex and Pigeons & Planes prove that Lil West is bigger (and more directionally diverse) than his name suggests.
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Stream Lil West’s latest tracks on his SoundCloud page here