Lil Mosey's been buzzing heavily over the past year. The rapper's single, "Noticed" caught a lot of ears in 2017. However, the rapper re-released the single earlier this year with a revamped beat and a music video, and the song took on a life of its own. Earlier this month, Mosey shared the single, "Yoppa" which featured BlocBoy JB. Now, the rapper comes through with his new project, Northsbest.
Lil Mosey proves he's more than a one-hit wonder with his latest project, Northsbest. The rapper's new project features the previously released singles, "Noticed" and "Yoppa" with BlocBoy JB who serves as the only guest feature on the project. The majority of the production on Northsbest is handled by Royce David with the exception of "Pull Up" which was produced by Black Mayo.
Lil Mosey is prone to grand statements. Only 16, he confidently proclaims that his videographer Youngtada, who accompanies him to a listening session and interview at the Complex office, is “the most poppin' videographer I’ve ever seen in my life.” Of his upcoming album NorthsBest, he says without hesitation, “Every song’s a hit.” The Seattle teenager (recently transplanted to Los Angeles) may have big ambitions, but he’s also got the momentum to back them up. He’s got millions of YouTube views for songs like “Pull Up”; a new deal with Interscope Records; tours with Smooky MarGielaa, Smokepurpp, and Juice WRLD; a co-sign from Lil Xan; and a new video helmed by director-of-the-moment Cole Bennett. Complex and Hip Hop DX sat down with the youngest in the game to find out how he got here and what’s next.
Take me back to one year ago. What were you doing and where were you at?
I was still in school back then, 10th grade. I was still working on music, going to school and just chilling.
In your No Jumper interview, you say Meek Mill specifically got you into rapping, but I wouldn’t necessarily compare your sound to his. Describe your sound for people who don’t know it yet.
My sound is more like the new era, melodic rapping. It’s hard to explain. You can maybe compare it to some others, like how it sounds, but not how good it is. It doesn’t sound like anybody.
When did you know you wanted to take this seriously?
When my SoundCloud started getting like 200K, and this was last year for my song “Off White.” That was my first one and it started at like 50K, before “Pull Up.” People didn’t know who I was, but they still knew my sound. I was just dropping on SoundCloud and made a video for “Pull Up,” and now I’m here.
Do you get a lot of shit for being young?
Nah, people love the fact that I’m young.
What’s it like touring with Juice WRLD and YBN Cordae right now?
They’re both cool, I fuck with them. The tour’s active and every show has been lit and turnt up. This is my third tour. The first one was with Smooky Margielaa and the next was SmokePurpp. This one is definitely my favorite one so far. I got my own tour bus and every show has been lit. They’re screaming every word now.
What’s the tour life like?
It shocks me every day. Every day, it gets harder and harder to even go outside. People start crying and stuff. Portland was the best show so far. They showed the most love, and afterwards, we had the most fun there. Seattle was the first stop but besides there, Portland. Also LA, San Diego and New York was fire.
What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you so far with the fans?
In Atlanta, my mom came and came downstairs and we were talking like behind the crowd. People from the crowd saw me and started running towards me, asking for pictures and stuff. This girl asked for a picture, and after she got it, she passed out.
Oh my God. What did you do?
The DJ just told everyone to go upstairs. I don’t know because they just rushed me upstairs.
Damn, and your mom saw all of that go down. How does she feel about all of this?
She’s not used to it. She was low-key against it in the beginning. She always told me like, “Why do you want to do this? Why don’t you wait? You can always do this later. You could just be a normal kid. You don’t gotta do this. You could do normal kid stuff.”
But you can’t do it later. The time is now.
I don’t wanna go back. I like how we moving. I wouldn’t change it. I’ve known I wanted to do this my whole life.
Who has been really putting you on and taking you under his wing as a big bro?
I just be teaching myself. Smokepurpp, he’s told me a lot of stuff, like the right things to do. Other than that, I’ve been just doing [it] myself. My bro Kari Kash taught me a lot of stuff, too. He’s from Seattle. He’s told me a lot of stuff that he’s seen and that other people have done. Things that I shouldn’t do.
I don’t know a whole lot of Seattle rappers besides you and a few others.
Yeah, but there’s a hip-hop scene growing. They’re just waiting to break through. There’s like five people there waiting to blow up, waiting to do their thing.
What’s coming up next for you?
I got a mixtape coming out soon called North’s Best. There’s a BlocBoy JB feature on there, and we’re working on getting some others.
The most important question is, are there any good pranks on this tour with Juice WRLD? I saw the one with the robbery on the tour bus.
I mean, that’s the only one we did. We started making vlogs and stuff. We haven’t dropped any—that was our first one. That was, like, a vlog, but it was a prank.
Let’s take it back to how a lot of people first heard about you. How did the “Pull Up” video end up on the website Elevator?
I just kept sending it in to the website, the Twitter, the owner’s Twitter. And then the owner, Bryan [Zawlocki], he seen it in the messages, and he was just saying he wanted to drop it. It was, like, a Saturday; he said “I’mma drop it on Tuesday.” It went crazy after that.
When did you notice that people were listening to it? Did it hit immediately?
Yeah. Everyone around me was just listening to it in my city. And it just kept getting farther. Because the first day it hit 10k, second day it hit, like, 30, then it hit 60, then, like, a hundred, 180. Then it kept going [up] to a million.
You went on tour with Smooky MarGielaa. How did that come about?
They just asked me if I wanted to get on the tour. It was probably because we were both the youngest in the game.
During that tour, you signed with Interscope. How did that happen?
I had a lot of meetings with labels back then. I chose Interscope because I like the people there and the environment that was there. And the fact that not a lot of people get signed to Interscope.
You did a talent showcase about two years ago. Was that your first performance?
Yeah, that was my first. I don’t really count it, but that was my first performance.
What do you remember about that night?
I remember I was with all the bros; we was chillin’. I was nervous, but it just went away when I got onstage. Then I was like, yeah, I wanna keep doing this.
I’ve heard that the shows are going well. Do you feel like you’ve been developing as a performer?
Yeah. Every show gets better. Now I feel like I could perform in front of any audience. I used to get nervous, but I don’t get nervous no more.
Lil Xan brought you onstage in Seattle as you were first heating up.
That was my first real performance as an established artist. I met Steve Cannon in L.A.—they were staying at my hotel. They invited us to some function and then they told me they had a show in Seattle. They just asked if I wanted to come out as a special guest.
Speaking of Seattle, you said on No Jumper that there’s nothing going on in that city, and then some people got mad, and you ended up sort of apologizing. Did you learn anything from that whole process?
I don’t know. I ain’t say nothing. I just didn’t explain what I really meant. I said less than I really meant to.
How did Cole Bennett come to direct the video for “Noticed”?
I met him at a video shoot for another artist, and then me and my manager sent him my music. They just fell in love with “Noticed” and wanted to do that one.
Bape is a big thing for you. Why that brand?
Kari Cash. He was Bape from head to toe, so I’ll always be Bape from head to toe. And some Gucci, of course. He liked Gucci, too.
I saw a video of you playing the piano. Is that something you’re doing more of now?
Kind of. Whenever I see a piano, I just play on it.
You think you’re going to produce beats yourself?
Yeah. Once I get off tour and I have more time, I’ll probably spend more time on it.
The new Rolling Loud lineup was announced. How does it feel to be on it?
It feels good. Seattle, they like the Bay a lot. They like the Bay area sound, the West Coast sound. Our [sound] was influenced by the Bay area, so to be in a festival there is fire.
What appeals to you about your producer Royce David’s beats?
He just knows exactly what I like. He engineers me, too, so he knows exactly how much Auto-Tune I use and different stuff like that. I don’t use that much Auto-Tune.
What do you think of the term “mumble rap”? Do you think it applies to you?
I wouldn’t consider myself a mumble rapper, because I don’t know what that is. But when I talk, I mumble. So it’s in my music because that’s how I talk. I’m not going for that sound. I tried to make myself be able to talk better than that and I couldn’t. That’s how I make music. It’s fire like that, though, so I don’t gotta change nothing.
One last thing: In the “Noticed” video, you put your lean in an Icee cup. Is that something you made up?
Yeah, that’s my thing, because we cold. It’s frozen out here. I ain’t see nobody else do [it], so I’m pretty sure I started that.
It’s not a smart move to bet against the young guy, and Lil Mosey is a prime example of why believing in the new crop of upcoming rappers will ultimately pay off. The 16-year-old rapper from Seattle already has a few hits under his belt and doesn’t show signs of slowing down soon. About a year ago, Lil Mosey made the decision to drop out of high school and pursue music full-time after his melodic breakout hit “Pull Up” started gaining traction, pulling in over 14 million views to date. The young MC hasn’t looked back since, but the bold move paid off, as he now tours the country with fellow hip-hop newcomers Juice WRLD and YBN Cordae, finding himself in front of crowds chanting every word to his songs. Billboard recently sat down with Lil Mosey to speak about life on the road, his come-up, and his craziest fan experience so far.
Source: Complex, Hip Hop DX