In huge news for Australian music, our very own homegrown talent The Kid LAROI has surpassed none other than Kendrick Lamar for most monthly listeners on Spotify.
The 17-year-old Kamilaroi rapper now boasts 25,569,361 monthly listeners, compared to Kendrick’s (still very impressive) 24,470,05.
So, just who is this wunderkind who is putting Aussie hip-hop on the map?
Born Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard in the Sydney suburb of Waterloo, LAROI’s mother is Indigenous Australian and his father is French. The talented rapper, whose great-great-grandfather was a part of the Stolen Generation, chose his name due to being a member of Kamilaroi people.
Growing up impoverished and always on the move with his family, LAROI began rapping around the age of 13 as a means of escapism.
LAROI released his debut EP, ‘14 With a Dream’ in 2018 and was a finalist in the prestigious Triple J Unearthed competition that same year, going on to sign record deals with Grade A Productions and Columbia Records.
However, it was his encounter with the late rapper Juice WRLD, that really got things moving for the up-and-coming Aussie artist. Juice became LAROI’s mentor, adding him as the support act for his Australian tours in 2018 and 2019.
Juice WRLD died tragically on December 8, 2019 due to seizures brought on by acute oxycodone and codeine intoxication.
The Kid LAROI relocated to Los Angeles to further his career and released his debut album F*CK LOVE in 2020. The rapper also found huge success with singles ‘Diva’ featuring Little Tecca and the track ‘Addison Rae’ named after the TikTok star. On June 12, 2020
LAROI released his highly anticipated, posthumous collaboration with Juice WRLD, ‘Go’ which became his first single to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. He also appeared on Juice WRLD’s posthumous album release Legends Never Die, with their song ‘Hate the Other Side’ debuting at number 10 on the Hot 100.
In July, LAROI paid tribute to his fallen friend and fellow rapper with the single ‘Tell Me Why’ and then again in December, by releasing the duo’s collaboration ‘Reminds Me Of You’ on the anniversary of Juice’s death.
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Meanwhile, in a surefire indicator of big things to come, the Sydney-born rapper, who has around 2 million Instagram followers, can count industry heavyweights Justin Bieber and Post Malone as admirers who might be sliding into his DMs soon.
Safe to say, The Kid LAROI has already made some serious waves, and is an Aussie talent worth watching.