June 18, 2024

Twenty-five year-old Lil Moke has been on his grind for 5 years now. Currently in a rehab program, the Bay area artist has built a catalog of 77 genre-busting songs. His latest single, “Out The Mud” (prod. Depa) sounds like Lil Moke at his most winning, equal parts atmospheric, infectious, and expertly produced and performed. It is, in fact, a benchmark from which to savor what’s familiar yet fresh in the context of this young man’s catalog.

For instance, the gentle swoop of keys at the heart of track suits the tune’s directly topical lyrics, further grounding this record. The down-to-earth realism of the words sounds all the more stirring when heard as a cautionary tale about Lil Moke’s come up. The track reinforces the impression that this man is writing and rapping like a role model for all those souls striving to rise to the top. It’s his truth. It’s his life. It’s the things he’s done.

With a new wave of sounds and artists coming out continuously, it’s hard to stand out in the hip-hop landscape right now. Having said that however, Lil Moke’s catalog of songs embodies everything from top tier flows to story-telling, melodic twists and punchlines. He successfully uses each instrumental as a canvas to elaborate on definitive moments in his life. “Substance Abuse” is another track that makes an impact.

On this track, the emcee finds sanctuary in hard-hitting bass lines, fast-paced hi-hats, shimmering guitars, and bars that tell a story of the devastation of addiction. “Drugs in my brain, drugs in my mind, fucked up,” exclaims Lil Moke.

The song will instantly cling to listeners for a plethora of reasons, the biggest being the rapper’s ability to paint a clear picture of his life experiences. Over the course of a few minutes, he details a series of dependence-driven events and the mindset that propels them.

Unlike most modern-age rappers, Lil Moke has much to say. Essentially, he doesn’t try to be flashy, instead using his tracks as an example of musical stability in the most competitive of genres. Listening to his playlist, is nothing short of a true Lil Moke experience.

I call it an experience because anyone can listen to something but the way Lil Moke uses his lyrical imagery and vocal delivery to bring you into his mindset, you will be guaranteed to be taken down a path you most likely didn’t expect.

Though he often works with melodic rhyme schemes, he sets himself apart from his contemporaries with vocal command and precise diction. One thing that’s clear from these tracks, is that Lil Moke fits neatly into today’s rap scene without being a direct clone of it. He doesn’t rely on style in place of substance. Instead he uses both, in differing measures, depending on the track he is working.

Overall, Lil Moke gives listeners a window into his narrative. His descriptions make you feel like you’re standing there with him. Moreover, the things he refers to lyrically on each track seems to reflect pieces of his real life.


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