(From Man Up Band Up Mixtape Before The Mixtape; 2010)
It's always been important that rappers should have some sort of identifiable image, but it's particularly necessary in the is-there-anybody-under-the-age-of-30-in-America-who-doesn't-Rap? era when Youtube videos are crucial in getting a handle on what a Rapper's persona is about and most people couldn't pick a ham 'n' egger like Meek Mill out of an identification parade even if he were standing next to Rick Ross wearing a I'M WITH FATTY -----> t-shirt. A$AP Rocky, for example, is instantly recognisible because he's a deadringer for DJ Quik in 1991, has a stomach tattoo in the NWA font and swaggerjacks Haptronic from Superfuture's whole O.G Goth Ninja look, and Louie is equally as memorable since he manages to work the whole fat dude with dreads & chipped teeth shtick way better than Fat Trel and also pulls off the dreads protruding from under a beanie steez without resembling a lesbian Prop Joe like E-40 did when that combination became his default look in 2008 :
Given the "it was me all along, Austin!" secrete managerial curtain pulls on the Rap blogosphere with A$AP Rocky and Main Attrakionz this year, it wouldn't surprise me if Louie turns out to be an elaborate experiment in viral marketing by the SoManyShrimp team with a prosthetically disguised SergDun spitting lyrics penned by David. I guess Louie and Rocky are similar in that their music sounds equally regionally ambiguous, but the key areas where Louie differs are that his influences are broader, taking in the Bay & ATL, not just confined to a couple of specific eras, and, more saliently, he can really, really Rap and has more than 2 good songs. Admitedly this was written before I've had the chance to listen to Live.Love.A$AP but I think his manager's blog in its heyday captured the 90s Baby aesthetic Rocky's music is aiming for better than any of his actual songs, bar Peso and Wassup.
DJ Iceberg's #ManUpBandUp mixtape is the ideal entry point into Louie since it collects most of his best songs from the past year and change into one digital dollop, so I'd recommend starting with that. I've pinky sworn not to post the cuts from his upcoming Dope And Shrimp mixtape I'm privy to, but I'm Arrogant's equal in the slap stupido stakes from it We Like To Party just leaked to Youtube. It wasn't me, honest!