Growing up looking for inspiration in a sleepy town, rapper Lil West built an insular music world that drew from aspects of experimental pop songwriting, EDM production, and trap minimalism. His uniquely open approach to rapping found him collaborating with emo-rap act nothing,nowhere. and took further shape on 2019's Vex, Pt. 1 mixtape.
Lil West was born in 1998 and raised in the small town of Bridgeville, Delaware. He spent much of his youth in the quiet town combing the internet searching for exciting music. He began making his own music as a teenager, heavily influenced by his eclectic listening habits. He released his first songs in the form of the 2015 EP Indigo, a dark and druggy mashup of early-2000s hard rock influences and seething raps. One of the tracks, "Soon to Be," caught the ear of Rich the Kid, who gave the song a remix treatment in 2016. Things took off from there for Lil West, who was still in the tail-end of his teenage years as his music career took flight. He collaborated with 21 Savage on the 2016 single "WYM," and the next year issued the album-length project LW17. Later in 2017 he contributed a brief verse to the song "REM" by nothing,nowhere., as well as being featured on the song "Promise" by JUDGE and releasing several one-off singles of his own. His experimental style deepened throughout 2018 as he offered up new singles whenever the impulse struck him. In early 2019 he collected seven new tracks on the release Vex, Pt. 1, a mixtape that included contributions from Yung Bans and Tommy Genesis. ~ Fred Thomas