Rising rapper Li 9 released his new album, Hood Loner, via Motown Records. The follow-up to Heartless, his acclaimed 2020 independent release, Hood Loner is even rawer and more reflective than its predecessor. The 20-year-old rapper writes tear-stained diaries, using every song to rip open another wound. Backed by banging yet soulful instrumentals that reflect his Southern roots, his melodic vocals imbue each vulnerable lyric with greater poignancy. Download / stream Hood Loner HERE. See below for track listing.
Alongside the album release, Li 9 shared the official video for the track “How I Came.” Directed by Opevisualz, the cinematic visual echoes the elegance of the evocative, piano-based song with Li 9 and his friends decked out in tuxedos for a night of poker, accompanied by beautiful women. Li 9 celebrates the unlikely trajectory his talent has forged in just a year. Yet he remains haunted by memories of the struggle to survive in the rural, rundown east side of Greenville, Mississippi as he declares, “Die for to Live yea you know how that go / Live for to die imma go how I came.” View HERE.
Other stand-out tracks on Hood Loner include “Back in the Field,” which showcases his relentless hustle. Led by a scrappy guitar line and rattling 808s, the defiant track puts Li 9’s cascading flows and intuitive ear for melody on full display. Inspired by slain hometown rapper Big Stuckett, the moody “Feelin Like Stuckett,” details the grim realities of life in Greenville while Li 9 celebrates his own rising stature.
“I put a lot of emotion in these songs because that’s how I open up,” explains Li 9. “There’s something about being in front of a mic. You can say whatever you feel.”
While few Mississippi rappers have become national stars, it’s only taken a year of making music for Li 9’s soul-baring street anthems to resonate well beyond the Delta. Affirming his place as one of rap’s most moving young voices, Hood Loner is destined to resonate with anyone willing to risk it all to chase a dream.
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