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Lil Tracy is dominating 2017

Tracy's gothic swag rap is propelling him to the forefront of hip hop's underground

Goth Boi Clique’s Lil Tracy is set for a huge 2017, image via Skullcandy

Gold fangs gleaming, switchblade in hand, Lil Tracy has been lurking in the shadowy realms of Soundcloud since 2014, where he first began turning heads under the name Yung Bruh.

You may also know him as Yunng Karma, Souljahwitch, or Toreshi Minaj. Confusing? Yep. His ever-changing persona has helped to build the mysterious brand that Tracy now revels in.

From the beginning, it was clear that Tracy’s music as Yung Bruh had potential – the combination of his auto-tune drenched vocals, melodic sensibilities and charismatic personality made it evident that something new and exciting was emerging.

In 2015, as part of the Seattle and Los Angeles Thraxxhouse collective, Tracy released a number of projects under the Yung Bruh moniker; ‘elegantangel’, ‘when angels cry (death has wings)’, and ‘u,_u’, all of which worked to solidify his distinctive sound and persona.

Blending dark, romantic subject matter with anime-influenced swag rap, the foundations for success were well and truly set. And to no surprise, Tracy’s profile rose dramatically in 2016.

This was helped by the addition of Soundcloud superstar-in-the-making Lil Peep to Tracy’s Goth Boi Clique (GBC) (an offshoot of the Thraxxhouse collective) mid-way through 2016.

Peep was already well established in the underground scene, with a rapidly expanding fanbase and skyrocketing views, but his switch from J Grxxn’s (now defunct) SchemaPosse label to GBC proved to be a fateful decision.

Peep and Tracy proceeded to team up and drop some of the year’s most notable underground tracks; from Tracy’s features on Peep’s ‘Crybaby’ and ‘Hellboy’ projects, to their joint EP ‘Castles’, to throwaway singles like ‘Gods’ and ‘i crash, u crash’.

An effortless chemistry between the two is evident on all collaborations, their unmistakable voices weave together seamlessly, detailing the highs and lows of excess, women and newfound fame.

It wasn’t long before Tracy began picking up serious attention as a solo artist too.

Between July and October, a collection of his singles, such as ‘Wait Hollup..’, ‘Minajatawa’, ‘Come Again’, and ‘My Bitch’ racked up hundreds of thousands of Soundcloud plays.

In November, Tracy followed these up with one of his most popular singles to date, in ‘Pictures’. Which gained a near-viral response, amassing over half a million plays in a number of weeks.

This critical reception along with a growing, loyal fanbase, has poised Tracy to have a breakout year in 2017.

And so far, he has far from disappointed.

February 1st saw Tracy release his long-awaited mixtape ‘Tracy’s Manga’, which had been repeatedly teased since August 2016.

Featuring a number of his now classic Soundcloud singles (‘Come Again..’, ‘Minajatwa’, ‘Wait Hollup..’ and ‘My Bitch’), ‘Tracy’s Manga’ brings together his frequent producers Captain Crunch and BigHead, as well as Cash Money AP, MoneyPosse and 12Million to drop off a number of new stand-out tracks.

Opening with ‘Don’t Fit’, perhaps Tracy’s cleanest, catchiest record to date, the mixtape features new songs ‘Bust Like a Glock’ featuring the sure-to-be 2017 XXL Freshman Famous Dex, ‘Orange Chicken’, ‘RackAid’ featuring UnoTheActivist, and what could be my favourite song on the project ‘Used to Be’ with fellow GBC member Horse Head.

Another big move for Tracy is a blossoming friendship with the previously mentioned Famous Dex.

Tracy’s blossoming friendship with Chicago’s Famous Dex is a promising one

Dex had one of the most decorated years in the hip hop industry in 2016, skyrocketing to fame with his label mate Rich The Kid, and gaining millions of fans the world over. He’s almost certain to gain a spot in the XXL Freshman list this year, and will undoubtedly be one of the biggest names in rap in the not too distant future.

Following his feature on Tracy’s Manga, Dex has also stated that Tracy will feature on his debut album, which has yet to be announced, and the pair will also reportedly be dropping a joint mixtape at some stage.

To continue his hot start to the year, Tracy also relinked with Lil Peep to drop ‘Castles II’, a follow-up to their previously mentioned ‘Castles’ EP in 2016.

Released in early February, ‘Castles II’ features five brand new tracks from the duo, including production from BigHead, Charlie Shuffler, Yung Cortex, Lederrick, and Lil Tracy himself.

All in all, Lil Tracy is set to become one of the year’s highest profile underground artists. There’s no question that Lil Peep will soon be a household name, however it would be ill-advised to ignore Lil Tracy’s potential star power.

Rising from relative obscurity, he’s acquired a dedicated fanbase, unmistakable sound, and one of the most intriguing personalities in the underground, all in the space of 12 months.

You heard it here first – watch this space.

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