BRENDAN WELLS // 8-4-2020

Australian rapper, singer, and songwriter The Kid LAROI, born Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard (oof thats a mouthful) has had quite the year for himself. After gaining popularity as a supporting artist for late friend and mentor Juice WRLD on his 2018 and 2019 Australian National Tours, Laroi has found himself thrust into the limelight on the heels of a handful of highly successful singles--Go (feat. Juice WRLD), Diva (feat. Lil Tecca), Let Her Go, and Addison Rae. At the age of only 16, Laroi has garnered a large following for himself with upwards of fifteen million monthly listeners on Spotify in addition to the nearly two-hundred million streams accumulated from the four aforementioned singles. With these accomplishments in mind, it only seems fitting that the young artist place a cherry atop his break out year with the release of his debut ‘F*CK LOVE.’

Guided by a loose narrative consisting of a series of four skits, one could say voicemails and conversations between Laroi and his girl, the Juice WRLD protégé explores the trials and tribulations of young love. Like his mentor, Laroi is just as talented at turning heartbreak into trap and emo rap bangers. The first track of the album ‘MAYBE,’ sets the tone for the project as he questions whether or not it’s his fault or that of his lover that his relationship finds itself in turmoil. Laroi does not shy away from wearing his influences on his sleeve here, utilizing the styles of Juice WRLD and Post Malone to his advantage as he croons with the rasp of the tattoo-faced superstar over a beat built upon the guitar, heavy hitting 808’s, and twinkling hi-hats that has become so associated with this genre.

Further down the rails of this rollercoaster ride of an up and down relationship turned therapy in the form of music, Laroi pays direct homage to his late friend Juice WRLD on ‘TELL ME WHY’ as he copes with the tragic and sudden loss of the rapper who unfortunately passed away this past December. Laroi seemingly calls into the void for answers as to “why it’s so hard to say goodbye” as he raps about numbing the pain with fifths of Hennesey and Backwoods through bouts of tears. The emotion of this previously released single is made both apparent and felt by the listener and serves as an unfortunate reminder that the two’s journey together was just getting started.

On the closing track ‘SELFISH,’ Laroi closes the curtains on his debut as he fittingly reflects upon past relationships and how he overcame them, making clear that he plans to put himself first going forward. He further solidifies this new mantra stating, “I just feel sorry for my next one, ‘cause I’ma be selfish, I’m gon’ be selfish, and no one can change my mind.” This serves as a warning to whoever may claim his heart next that they better not play games like the last one.

In closing, despite the fact that The Kid LAROI’s debut is strikingly reminiscent of Juice WRLD’s 2018 debut ‘Goodbye & Good Riddance’ in terms of subject matter and artistic style, do not be fooled, this young prodigy has drawn from his influences to create his own sound that aptly serves as a breath of fresh air in this ever popular genre. Laroi is just getting started, and this promising first effort proves that the young artist deserves a seat at the table yet leaves room for growth and improvement as he continues forward in his career. Laroi shows no signs of slowing down and will assuredly be here to stay. Go stream ‘F*CK LOVE’ now to see what this promising young artist is all about.

Support The Kid LAROI by streaming or purchasing F*CK LOVE.