Jackson is the largest city in the state of Mississippi. Despite its size and extensive history, the challenging city motivates Lil Lonnie to make his way out. The 20 year-old youthful rapper with the hickory voice released video single “Colors” in 2015, and pushes ahead. Now with more than 1.5 million views on the low-key visual, the Soundcloud audio achieved more than 100,000 plays in one month without any label, marketing staff, or a gimmick. For his peers, the colorful contents of Lonnie’s T.K.W.G.O. (They Know What’s Going On) mixtape is welcomed escape for people of Jackson and cities like it.Read more
“That made me realize that I can do this on a bigger level.” says Lonnie, who is presently studying Mass Communications at Jackson State University. The youngest of five children who lost their mother when he was only five believes that building a career at a Historically Black College & University created a network stronger than most Rap peers. “I go to school with a lot of people from different states. There’s many people from Chicago, Michigan and Texas. Those were the top three markets,” he noted after studying the analytics to his first hit. “People at school look at me different and treat me like I’m famous on campus, and all this. They just take my music home with them on break, and word travels.”
With one viral single, Lonnie followed up with “Special,” featuring Atlanta, Georgia’s K. Camp. The melodic song about teases (more than 600,000 streams online) fit into Lonnie’s repertoire of making hook-driven songs all can relate to. Ego-tarnished relationships, short pockets with grand dreams, and tireless work ethics are just some themes.
While artists use party scenes and colorful toys to draw interest, the 20 year-old student portrays himself and his city as it is. “Jackson is a motivator,” Lonnie declares. “Basically, being here makes me work harder so I can live better somewhere else. There is nothing here. You can go out and have fun, but you’re doing nothing.” Simple and straightforward has worked for the rapper who started making beats and freestyling as a teenager in the studio with his brothers.
Currently working hard on the DJ Scream and DJ T. Lewis-hosted T.K.W.G.O. 2, Lil Lonnie is rising the ranks with a Magnolia State sound all of his own. Prominent Rap vet Boosie Badazz, who calls Jackson a second home, first reached out with hopes of signing Lonnie to his label. Since then, the two have cut songs together, including “My Moment.” This is only the beginning of Lonnie’s build-out. Next up is the captivating Bryson Tiller-assisted “Change Up.” Once teased by his siblings for his lighter vocal tones, the mature-thinking, youthful-looking Lil Lonnie has become the new voice of his city, with literally millions spreading his word.
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