The world of hip-hop has always been a wild creative space, one where free expression and endless possibilities run rampant. It’s an open, borderless front, where artists like Lil Lappy can create, blend genres, and write their own unique narratives and dive into every free and expressive idea.
While artists in the UK like Ultra_eko have worked hard to create their own sci-fi infused worlds, Lil Lappy has been taking New York’s underground by storm, pushing the envelope with his layered storytelling and clever use of intricate stylistic techniques. An artist unlike any other, he blurs the lines between modern hip-hop prophet and larger than life superhero. A mythical six-year-old artist and neoclassical composer, Lil Lappy was raised by dark magic practitioner DARKSHARK. An intriguing prospect, Lil Lappy holds the power to communicate with and control all creatures of the sea through musical means, and he can easily teleport to and from bodies of water on command.
His history is an unfolding and innovative story, one he puts to music through a stream of impressive singles and albums, dating all the way back to his debut single ‘Drippy’. In his latest titanic effort, the fifteen-track odyssey of ‘A Long Way Home’, Lil Lappy has added another chapter to his already impressive legacy, outlining the story of Lil Lappy, DARKSHARK, and Raman, three central characters who settle their argument over who will pilot the ship back to their home planet through an intense rap battle. Meanwhile, the host known as RASHID fights to understand how these events impact his psyche as well as his everyday life.
Arguably the most original independent album of the year so far, Lil Lappy does an incredible job in bringing the story to life, switching between styles and sounds to illustrate his characters, while also delivering a resilient sound inspired by the legendary Lil Yachty. As the album opens, Lil Lappy sets the stage with ‘L O U D’, a massive collaborative cut that sees the artist stitching together smooth, auto-tuned vocals with quick-steeping beats, and a rolling central melody. It’s a polished and undeniably catchy opening release, illustrating the signature ‘Lil Lappy Sound’ that builds through lighthearted tones and more melodic core sounds. From there, we’re introduced more clearly to DARKSHARK in ‘Eden’s Dying’, a darker role whose character is stitched together from emo-trap and Horrorcore influences.
It’s easy to forget that the album is all the work of one artist, particularly with how effectively and effortlessly Lil Lappy switches between styles. His characters and style are brilliantly created, stitching together dominant seventh chords and countermelodies with evolving harmonies to heighten the contrast and drive the album forward. On tracks like ‘Deluxe Money Belt’, ‘Saturday’, and ‘2003’, Lil Lappy takes the stage and controls his audience brilliantly, wielding an evocative sound that will impress even the most ardent of hip-hop fans, while his work in the latter half as DARKSHARK is a perfect example of gritty energy and dark, scathing sounds. It keeps you hooked, and it builds brilliantly to the climactic final track where the trio come to their final resolution.
While originally seen as an outcast within New York's musical climate, Lil Lappy has preserved and built his legacy, becoming one of the most innovative and impactful artists around. With an impressive following on Soundcloud, he’s been able to overcome obstacles and forge an unforgettable tale, one that stands tall amongst artists like Big Krit and Lil Yachty. Constantly experimenting and not afraid to blur the lines between both genres and realities, Lil Lappy is an artist to watch, and his new album proves it beyond any shadow of a doubt. For more from Lil Lappy, be sure to check out his socials below, along with the new album which is available now on all major streaming platforms.
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