The music industry has quickly become oversaturated with a constant stream of new music being released online. In times like this, quality seems more important than quantity. It’s hard to keep up with multiple artists releasing projects on the same day. It’s easy to miss music from your favorite artist when so much new music is being released. What if your favorite musician dropped a project almost every week? Many fans wouldn’t be able to keep up. For Lil Xelly’s fans, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While a figure in the DMV hip hop scene for a while, Lil Xelly has seen extraordinary growth over the summer. The “Xrr” shouting emcee has not only managed to release EPs, but a collection of music videos, almost exclusively directed by MOSHPITDMV, and an album, Brenda Had a Baby, released on Xelly’s mother’s birthday.
What stands out about Xelly is not his placements, but his consistency. Yes, Xelly has worked with Warhol.SS, performed with Lil Tracy, and has countless EPs produced by acclaimed producers such as Brentrambo/NoirBrent, Danny Wolf and Lederrick. What impresses the most about Xelly is his ability to drop catchy trap bangers on every single project. Xelly’s personality also shows in his music. Xelly’s original and catchy ad libs make almost every song a hit. It’s hard to avoid screaming along to his infectious “Xrr!” “Hrt Hrt Hrt BOW!” and “WaaH!” shouts.
As Xelly admits in his interview with MOSHPIT DMV, he came from hard times. He “used to steal” iPhones at his high school, and admitted to committing robberies for only $40. As Xelly says, he is not surprised that some people call him a “loser”. Xelly’s past struggles don’t make him any less of a person, or an artist. Instead, it adds context to the wild, violent, but humbled imagery in his music. While Xelly details his reckless behavior, it is obvious he wants better for himself.
Xelly is not without criticism. At times, Xelly has trouble staying on beat. His flow has been compared to that of Hoodrich Pablo Juan. However, Xelly’s flow, in my opinion, is incredibly natural. For how frequent Xelly drops music, it does not surprise me that his music is not perfected. While this may detract from longer projects such a Brenda Had a Baby, it makes shorter EPs like the Lucky Charms series authentic.
Haven’t started listening to Xelly and don’t know where to start? Here’s where you should:
- Lil Xrr Pt. II (Hosted by Underground Vampire Club)
- Xelly World 6
- Lucky Charms 7
- Never Giving In
Xelly has announced a collaborative tape with Atlanta producer Danny Wolf and will undoubtedly be releasing more projects this year. Check out Brenda Had A Baby and more from Lil Xelly on his soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/marcell-hebron.
Want to read more of our Up Now series? Check out Up Now #2: Hella Sketchy.