Interview | Lil West is the Latest Rapper to Make it Big on Soundcloud

Soundcloud puts the music world literally at your fingertips. Exhibit XYZ would be Lil West, the latest upstart rapper to make some noise on the streaming music sharing platform.

Related: Rap’s “Lil Underground” Movement Looms Large

Growing up in podunk towns in Delaware, the teenage sensation always felt like an outsider among outsiders, but found his music fam on Soundcloud, reaching out far and wide to producers and artists he admired.

Lil West experimental influences, which range from auto tuned pop ballads to Travis Scott-style trap to Hot Topic 3rd wave emo is ideal for Soundcloud, where you can pick and choose from a variety of #hashtagged music genres. The enterprising teenager’s internet collaborations have resulted in subversive streaming hits like “Gum In My Hair”, a track produced by Chicago songwriter Osno1 and online buzz, having been named as the 2nd SoundCloud x Noisey Singles creator (other recipients include K$upreme and Jae Stephens).    

I chatted with Lil West about Delaware, his sudden rise from Soundcloud, and what sets him apart from all the rest of the “Lil” rappers.

Mandatory: You’re from Delaware. Tell us something interesting about the DE that we don’t know? 

Lil West: Delaware is the first state just in case nobody knew that. Haha!!! 

There are lot of “Lil” rappers out there. How does Lil West separate himself from the rest? 

Well, when you listen to Lil West you’re not limited to just one genre, you expect way more! It will kinda sound like your listening to multiple artists but you’re just listening to one.

What was the moment you knew being a hip hop artist was your calling? 

I’ve had big opportunities because of SoundCloud! It’s definitely made a crazy switch up with everything, helped make my career so much more promising and made me understand music differently.

Soundcloud hip hop has become a genre onto itself. Creating an even playing field for indie artists to find their own audience and like-minded collaborators. What kind of effect has it had on your career? 

The reaction I got when I first uploaded on SoundCloud was actually good (lol). I mean it’s nothing like my uploads today but it was definitely strong enough to make me keep pursuing my career.

There’s a lot of different beats and genres in your music, from EDM to to emo to trap. What’s the one song that defines you as an artist. 

Prolly my “LMK” track. The story behind the track and just how it turned out and the reaction was all perfect and exactly what I wanted! I can definitely say that’s been my fave track for awhile now. That’s definitely a hit.