Weeks before his 17th birthday, The Kid LAROI dropped his debut mixtape, F*CK LOVE boasting features from Juice Wrld, Lil Mosey and Corbin. The project would debut in the Billboard Top 10 at #8 and sold over 40,000 units in it’s first week. “Not bad for a mixtape,” the young artist quoted on his Instagram feed.
The Australian born rapper came up spitting over beats and videos on Youtube. He would eventually go on to be discovered and signed by popular Chicago rapper Lil Bibby and his brother G Money to their company Grade A Productions, after discovering him on Souncloud. At the time, Laroi had posted his 2018 EP, 14 With A Dream, his first collection of songs which introduced him on Soundcloud and collectively surpassed millions of streams.
He relays, “They was tryna’ sign me for like close to a year though but we never got around to it until like a year and a half ago, and that’s when he found me.” By the time they got around to officially inking the deal, Laroi already had the opportunity to join Juice Wrld on tour during his Australian run and was preparing to join him for the American tour dates.
Being around the late “Legends Never Die” artist Juice Wrld, The Kid LAROI picked up many valuable lesson and even credits Juice for influencing him to freestyle all his songs. “That was actually something I had got from my homie, Juice. After I saw him record I was like, ‘Holy shit this looks cool,’ and I remembered I went back to the studio. And I tried it, and I actually liked it way better and just vibing because it just felt way more natural,” Laroi says.
On the F*CK Love mixtape, Laroi confirms it was definitely a conscious decision to put 60% Australian producers on the project that he knew previously before moving to America. “The Australian producers are the producers I’ve been working with, you know, comfortably ever since before I guess I was getting a little bit of clout, or whatever. So I mean, they’re the people that I love to work with the most,” he explains, “My whole thing is I wanna’ put on for my country, and my city, and I wanna’ just make it an Australian thing.”
Some of the Australian producers that are on LAROI’s latest mixtape are Khaled Rohaim and HAAN, both producers he’s known for over two and a half years. He recalls a funny story about meeting HAAN after the producer jumped a fence at a concert. Laroi recalls, “So he jumps the fence and runs on stage and he got escorted out by the security. But on the way out he looked at me and was like, ‘How are you so young and you’re in this club?’ Cause it was like an over 18 concert. He’s like, ‘How are you in here?’ And I just remember the security dragged him away. And [he] had found me on Instagram, and we just started talking from there and we just turned into friends.”
Even though F*CK LOVE pieces together with an overall concept and tells a story, Laroi says he doesn’t approach albums with a concept already planned. He relays, “Usually how it goes with me, I make a lot of music about a certain thing during a period of time. So I’ll often find myself making music about something that I’m going through. And then at the end, when I’m ready to put together a project, there will be a common theme in the music and that’s how I base the concept – with whatever I’m going through.” That’s how this project F*CK LOVE came together, the artist explains, “It was a collective of songs I was going with over time, and I remember we had like 3 or 4 songs that I was like, ‘Oh shit, this could work on a project,’ and then that’s when I had that call with that girl, which is actually now the first skit on the project.”
“Modern Day Cobain” was tweeted by The Kid Laroi last month. When asked how he feels he relates to an artist like Kurt Cobain, he elaborates, “I just love everything he stood for, really that’s all it is. I love his attitude towards life. I just feel like I carry a lot of the same attitude that he did.”
A lot of people have labeled Laroi as an “Emo Rapper” but it appears that he embraces the conclusions of listeners. “Honestly, I leave my genre up to the people, up to the fans who listen to the music. I don’t ever classify myself as one thing, cause I feel like I don’t even know what genre I’m in. So I just let the fans think what they want to think it is.” Laroi chalks up the whole “real emo thug” description, that he even has in his twitter bio to, “some funny shit that me and Bibby had been joking about one day.”
Lil Bibby, who was at the forefront of Chicago’s drill music scene, is somebody that Laroi expresses admiration for. “That’s like my real life big brother,” he says, “It’s bigger than the music for me – with Bibby, G Money, P, all of them. It’s like we’re with each other every day, we kick it, and those are like my big brothers. I feel like I’ve known them my whole life. It’s deeper than just a business relationship you know, they’re definitely like my big brothers. They definitely help me just in terms of growing up and becoming a man. They give me a lot of advice that I know regular managers or whatever wouldn’t give their artists, which I’m forever grateful for, so they really have my best interest at heart.”
The Australian rapper says he has already started working on his album. And even though he doesn’t have a release date yet, he says he might drop something in between projects. For now, he’s grateful that everyone likes the mixtape. The Kid LAROI has already started to leave his legacy and concludes, “I just want people to know that I did what I loved, and I want people to be able to do the same thing. My whole thing is I just really want to help change the world one step at a time, so I hope that I could just be remembered for helping kids who were just like me.”