He might only officially have one release on the table and have a bit of a baby-face going on, but The Kid LAROI is not here to fuck spiders. The barely 17-year-old has recently taken the US charts by storm with his debut mixtape – and has no intention of slowing down. He debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 charts earlier this month with his F*ck Love mixtape – an impressive achievement for a young ratbag from inner Sydney.
A First Nations rapper born to a mum of Indigenous descent and a French dad, LAROI has been writing music for as long as he can remember. He’s worked on perfecting his craft through stints growing up in Sydney’s inner suburbs, out in the far-flung rural city of Broken Hill, and back again, and started putting his own music up on Soundcloud from the age of 14. FOURTEEN.
If you’re wondering, yes I do feel wildly unaccomplished the more I follow The Kid LAROI. What was I doing at 17? Fucken absolutely nothing like this, I’ll tell you that for free.
LAROI, born Charlton Howard, chucked up his first EP, 14 With A Dream, back in 2018. It infused with trap beats and the kind of flow that you’d imagine from someone that’s been turning out music for years. It’s polished, impressive, and was an indication of what was to come in the years ahead for the lad from Waterloo.
Considering LAROI had his hands on pretty much every part of the process since the release of his first demos on SoundCloud – which happened because someone saw his freestyle vids online and offered him studio time for free – it’s absolutely no surprise that he’s now absolutely destroying it in the American charts.
“A guy reached out to me on Facebook saying I could use his studio for free—he gave me a bunch of studio time,” LAROI said.
“I made a whole bunch of songs and just posted them up on Soundcloud.”
After being mentored and collaborating with the late JuiceWRLD, LAROI wound up relocating to Los Angeles with his mum and younger brother and has been going from strength to strength. I mean, he’s gone from living below the poverty line in inner-Sydney, to being picked up by US producers and Columbia Records, to copping a casual 18 million views on his collab with JuiceWRLD in the space of two years – all before he turned 17 (which happened about three days ago, by the way.)
“Everything I make is the shit. I love everything I make,” LAROI said of his music.
“I take music super seriously, and I look at it as art.”
Even though 2020 has been a hell of a shitshow for pretty much everyone, it’s been a huge success for the emo rapper from Sydney’s inner-city project housing. I truly can’t wait to see what 2021 holds for him.Image: Instagram / @thekidlaroi / Daniel Prakopcyk