A Definitive Guide To The New School 'Lil' Rappers
Don't have the faintest idea of the difference is between Lil Pump and Lil Peep? DW, we've got you covered.
It seems every rapper and his dog is going by the moniker 'Lil' these days.
And while the '90s and 2000s gave us its fair share of Lils -- including Lil Bow Wow, Lil Jon, Lil Wayne and Lil Kim -- the trend seems to have made its way back into the rap game, with several new artists -- predominantly those who found fame through Soundcloud -- going with the popular prefix.
It can be daunting trying to wrap your head around the who's who of the new generation of 'Lil' rappers, so we've gone ahead and done it for you. You're welcome!
READ MORE: Lil Xan Is Headed To Rehab
Probably the top/best/most important of the 'Lil' rappers (I think my bias may leaking again?) Lil Peep -- aka Gustav Elijah Åhr, -- was a 21-year-old rapper who was one of the first 'Soundcloud Rappers' to find fame in the mainstream after he began releasing music on the platform in 2014.
His debut album, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1, was subsequently released in August 2017. Three months later, however, on November 15, 2017, he died on his tour bus before performing in Tucson, Arizona, after taking Xanax that was later found to be laced with the deadly opioid, fentanyl.
Just prior to the one year anniversary of Peep's death, a posthumous album Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 was released by his estate, which debuted number 4 on the Billboard 200 charts and sold 81,000 copies in its first week.
Originally going by the name 'Yung Bruh', Lil Tracy (real name Jaz Butler) was born into a musically-inclined family, with his mother being a part of '90s R&B group SWV, while his father is a rapper with Digable Planets. Most famously, he featured in the hit track "Awful Things" alongside his former best friend and Gothboiclique member, Lil Peep, and created joint mixtapes castles and CÅSTLES II together.
Earlier this year, the 22-year-old suffered a heart attack after mixing what he said was cocaine with THC-infused lean he mistook for Sprite. Fans found him on the side of the road, and after the rapper told them he believed he was having a heart attack, they drove him to the hospital.
“I don’t know what would have happened if they weren’t there,” he says. “It was kind of depressing. I just feel wrong since it’s happened. But it makes me want to work more. It made me want to work on this EP. If I didn’t have the heart attack, I’d probably be f*cked up somewhere right now.”
Following the incident, which was said be brought on by his devastation after Lil Peep’s death, he declared himself sober, though one of his most recent Twitter posts show a photo of what looks to be several bars of Xanax. As well as this, he posted an emotional message saying that he would be "quitting music for a while."
Lil Tracy's EP Sinner dropped on November 2.
Best known for the 2017 track "Gucci Gang", Lil Pump (real name Gazzy Garcia) has been on the rise ever since he released his self-titled debut studio album in October 2017.
Most recently, he teamed up with Kanye West for the hit tune "I Love It", which garnered more than 76 million views in its first week alone and broke the record for the biggest-ever global debut for a hip-hop video on YouTube.
Like Lil Peep, 20-year-old rapper Lil Skies was born in Pennsylvania and found fame after amassing a large following on Soundcloud.
He opened for fellow rapper Fetty Wap in October 2016, and has since gained a steady cult following after dropping his first major label mixtape -- Life of a Dark Rose -- in January this year. It went on to hit the #10 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.
He kicked off his first major tour in May this year, however, he was later forced to cancel the final few shows "due to unforeseen health issues."
"It's my hope and prayer to get well soon so that I can continue to give you guys the show that you deserve," Lil Skies explained in a now-deleted tweet. "As much as it saddens me to do this, I know it's in the best interest of my health and my future."
If you don't know Lil Xan (aka Diego Lenaos) for his music, then you may recognise him thanks to his highly publicised relationship (and even more public breakup) with singer Noah Cyrus. That, or his uncanny resemblance to Shameless star Ethan Cutkosky.
He came into the mainstream realm after his breakout hit "Betrayed" became certified platinum and peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Despite still repping the prescription drug Xanax as his moniker, the 22-year-old has since spoken out against the addictive drug following the death of Lil Peep, and has been open about his own struggles with substance abuse.
"I got anxiety in April of 2014," he told MTV. "I was hospitalised for two weeks and they didn't know what was wrong with me, and at the end , they gave me a low dosage of Xanax. Before the whole anti-Xanax message in what I do, I was actually pro-Xanax culture."
He also told HYPEBEAST, "With the recent Lil Peep thing, I think it brought a lot of eyes to the situation... I think they’re more aware, but people are going to keep doing what they’re doing. All I can do is try and help them."
The rapper recently revealed had decided to go to rehab for opioid addiction following the death of Mac Miller. “I just dropped out of SoundCloud Uni to go to rehab, I leave in like 5 days And I couldn’t be happier with this choice,” he wrote in a deleted Instagram post.
He's performed with hip hop heavyweights like Snoop Dogg, Fetty Wap, T-Pain, and initially, Rich Homie Quan -- the comedian whose real name is David Burd -- began rapping "simply to get attention comedically, so I could write movies, write TV shows and act".
However, he "fell in love with rapping" and is "not leaving that game until I've proved my point." And it seems to be going pretty well -- in fact, he toured across New Zealand and Australia in July this year.
Miles Parks McCollum -- aka Lil Yachty -- is a 21-year-old rapper who grew up around hip-hop greats like OutKast, Goodie Mob and Lil Jon as his dad -- Shannon McCollum -- was a photographer in Atlanta.
He first blew up in 2015 when his song "One Night" was used in a viral comedy video by YouTube comedian Caleon Fox (aka senseilefox) called “When Bae Hits You With ‘So What Are We?’”
Then in February 2016, Yachty debuted as a model in Kanye West's Yeezy Season Three line at Madison Square Garden, and since then has released two studio albums and even landed a lucrative deal as the face of Nautica.
Lil Uzi Vert
After the Philly-born muso gained recognistion after the release of his Luv Is Rage mixtape, the 24-year-old was offered a record deal with Atlantic Records.
His debut into the mainstream came with his release of single "Money Longer", which debuted at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100 and he later featured on the hit track "Bad and Boujee" with Migos, which gave him his first-ever number one hit on the Billboard 200 chart.
His next single "XO Tour Llif3" was another hit, reaching top 10 on the charts, as well as winning him MTV Video Music Awards' 'Song Of The Summer' award in 2017.