Latin Grammys 2018

Lil Mosey on Touring With Juice WRLD, His Rise From SoundCloud & His Craziest Fan Experience

Jeremy Deputat
Lil Mosey

It’s not a smart move to bet against the young guy, and Lil Mosey is a prime example of why believing in the new crop of upcoming rappers will ultimately pay off. The 16-year-old rapper from Seattle already has a few hits under his belt and doesn’t show signs of slowing down soon.

About a year ago, Lil Mosey made the decision to drop out of high school and pursue music full-time after his melodic breakout hit “Pull Up” started gaining traction, pulling in over 14 million views to date.

The young MC hasn’t looked back since, but the bold move paid off, as he now tours the country with fellow hip-hop newcomers Juice WRLD and YBN Cordae, finding himself in front of crowds chanting every word to his songs.

Billboard recently sat down with Lil Mosey to speak about life on the road, his come-up, and his craziest fan experience so far.

Take me back to one year ago. What were you doing and where were you at?

I was still in school back then, 10th grade. I was still working on music, going to school and just chilling.

In your No Jumper interview, you say Meek Mill specifically got you into rapping, but I wouldn’t necessarily compare your sound to his. Describe your sound for people who don’t know it yet.

My sound is more like the new era, melodic rapping. It’s hard to explain. You can maybe compare it to some others, like how it sounds, but not how good it is. It doesn’t sound like anybody.

When did you know you wanted to take this seriously?

When my SoundCloud started getting like 200K, and this was last year for my song “Off White.” That was my first one and it started at like 50K, before “Pull Up.” People didn’t know who I was, but they still knew my sound. I was just dropping on SoundCloud and made a video for “Pull Up,” and now I’m here.

Do you get a lot of shit for being young?

Nah, people love the fact that I’m young.

What’s it like touring with Juice WRLD and YBN Cordae right now?

They’re both cool, I fuck with them. The tour’s active and every show has been lit and turnt up. This is my third tour. The first one was with Smooky Margielaa and the next was SmokePurpp. This one is definitely my favorite one so far. I got my own tour bus and every show has been lit. They’re screaming every word now.

What’s the tour life like?

It shocks me every day. Every day, it gets harder and harder to even go outside. People start crying and stuff. Portland was the best show so far. They showed the most love, and afterwards, we had the most fun there. Seattle was the first stop but besides there, Portland. Also LA, San Diego and New York was fire.

What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you so far with the fans?

In Atlanta, my mom came and came downstairs and we were talking like behind the crowd. People from the crowd saw me and started running towards me, asking for pictures and stuff. This girl asked for a picture, and after she got it, she passed out.

Oh my God. What did you do?

The DJ just told everyone to go upstairs. I don’t know because they just rushed me upstairs.

Damn, and your mom saw all of that go down. How does she feel about all of this?

She’s not used to it. She was low-key against it in the beginning. She always told me like, “Why do you want to do this? Why don’t you wait? You can always do this later. You could just be a normal kid. You don’t gotta do this. You could do normal kid stuff.”

But you can’t do it later. The time is now.

I don’t wanna go back. I like how we moving. I wouldn’t change it. I’ve known I wanted to do this my whole life.

Who has been really putting you on and taking you under his wing as a big bro?

I just be teaching myself. Smokepurpp, he’s told me a lot of stuff, like the right things to do. Other than that, I’ve been just doing [it] myself. My bro Kari Kash taught me a lot of stuff, too. He’s from Seattle. He’s told me a lot of stuff that he’s seen and that other people have done. Things that I shouldn’t do.

I don’t know a whole lot of Seattle rappers besides you and a few others.

Yeah, but there’s a hip-hop scene growing. They’re just waiting to break through. There’s like five people there waiting to blow up, waiting to do their thing.   

What’s coming up next for you?

I got a mixtape coming out soon called North’s Best. There’s a Blocboy JB feature on there, and we’re working on getting some others.