The dude’s as connected as Kevin Bacon. Do a little online excavation and you’ll find that Virginian SoundCloud rapper Lil Tracy is a veritable web of links to unexpected figures. Most notably, he’s cliqued up with emo-trap heartthrob Lil Peep, but Tracy can also call prolific avant-pop innovator Ariel Pink a collaborator, as evidenced by a now-deleted Tweet, showing a photo of the pair at work in the studio. He’s the son of Butterfly, one-third of conscious rap collective trio Digable Planets, and has been on the receiving end of middle-school emcee MATT OX’s crossover during a quick game of 21 after a video shoot. Former KKK leader David Duke’s even pointed Twitter fingers at him.

Lil Tracy’s sophomore mixtape, ✧✧✧ LIFE OF A POPSTAR✧✧✧ is as sonically diverse as you’d expect from someone whose tentacles reach into so many pockets of online subculture. The record’s opening one-two punch of “POPSTAR” and “PROM QUEEN” channels a more subdued version of the synthesized sparkle and swooning vocals of J-Pop duo ClariS, while “DRUNK PUNX” drops trap percussion atop muted power chords and a bratty delivery that could be excusably mistaken for Tom DeLonge’s. Collabs with Smokepurpp and Lucki return to familiar territory — distortion caked tread beats and nimble flows.

“I’m a Goth Boy, I’m not a SadBoy,” Tracy explains on “Drunk Punx”. I doubt there’s any mission statement that could sum up his aesthetic in fewer words. Despite a fashion sense that reeks of Myspace-era scene-core, Lil Tracy’s mixtape material revels in a perpetual state of joy. Rep the sadness in the past, enjoy the comeup.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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