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16-year-old Redfern rapper debuts in Billboard top ten: ‘This is more than I could of ever asked for’

A mural of The Kid LAROI in Chapel Lane, Waterloo in Sydney. Source: @scottie.marsh / Instagram

First Nations musician The Kid LAROI has debuted in the US charts with his new mixtape ‘F*ck Love’ at the age of only 16. LAROI’s ‘emo rap’ has seen him amass large followings on social media.

The Kid LAROI is a 16-year-old First Nations rapper, and a Tik Tok sensation with hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify. This week he hit the top 10 of the US Billboard chart with his debut mixtape. 

The Kid LAROI, or Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard, grew up in Redfern and has been making headlines in the Australian music scene since he was a finalist in Triple J's Unearthed High, in 2018.

Now based in LA with recording giants Columbia Records, LAROI's recent mixtape 'F*ck Love' was ranked number eight on the US Billboard charts.

And before the release of the mixtape, LAROI had over 100 million streams in the US and 30 million in Australia.

The rapper went viral on TikTok this year for a song about Addison Rae, a teenager who has 54.3 million followers on the platform.

 

LAROI’s music has been called “emo rap”, something he’s embraced in his Twitter name: “charlton (real emo thug)”. 

He took to Twitter to express his gratitude for how well ‘F*ck Love’ was received, he said, “40k first week, #8 on Billboard. I love you family. Forever. This is more than I could of ever asked for. I really can’t thank you enough. Wow.”

The 40,000 sales exceeded the numbers US hip-hop media personality DJ Akademiks predicted last Thursday, July 30.  

LAROI isn’t only making headlines in the US charts. The mixtape is sitting at number 12 on the UK album charts, and number two in the ARIA charts in Australia. 

His fans have been out in force on social media sharing just how much they are enjoying his new mixtape. 

Before the recent news of his charting success, artist Scott Marsh painted a mural of LAROI near where he grew up in Redfern, at Chapel Lane in Waterloo. 

LAROI has also paid tribute to the team he’s worked with. He said on Twitter that 60 per cent of the music in ‘F*ck Love’ was produced by Australians, people he knew before he moved to the US.