Florida has already produced one of hip-hop’s brightest new faces with 2016 XXL Freshman Kodak Black, but another artist from the Sunshine State is beginning to gain some major momentum.
After releasing the street single “Haitians” in February, Lajan Slim‘s popularity has skyrocketed. Throughout the South, video of the 22-year-old Lauderhill, Fla. native performing the song began to spring up on the Internet. As a result, his name started to spread like wildfire. Rapping has always been a part of Slim’s life but fate would help him take a leap into becoming a legit artist.
“Crazy story, I got my first job at McDonalds, I used to be a cashier,” Lajan tells XXL about his first time in the studio. “This Haitian dude came in and I don’t know why I told him I rap. He was like, ‘For real? Let me hear your music.’ So I just slide him my phone and let him hear some songs that I recorded on my phone and he stayed in the lobby. He just sat in the lobby and waited for me the whole day. When I got off work, he had took me to the studio. That was my first time going to the studio. This was back in 2008-09.”
Now with a solid social media following, celebrity shout-outs from Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon plus cosigns from Meek Mill and Zoey Dollaz, among others, Lajan Slim may be the hottest young rapper in hip-hop right now. Get familiar with his movement here.
Name: Lajan Slim
Hometown: Lauderhill, Fla.
I grew up listening to: “Everything, mainly oldies like The Temptations, Five Heartbeats, that type of music. My grandma, growing up under my grandma, I would always listen to oldies and vinyls. When I first actually started listening to hip-hop, I used to ride around with my uncle and he used to play 2Pac. But when I really got into it during Cash Money era, when I used to hear it as a kid. When I started listening to Lil Wayne as a kid.
“I always been multitalented, I always used to write. When I did my first play, I was in the fourth grade, I had to rap and dance in it. Once I did that, I started to take it serious. This is what I wanted to do. I started to enjoy it. I like how everybody embraced me with it and I just continued doing that.
“Once I did it from there, I stayed at it. I ended up moving. I ended up moving with my mom ‘cause at the time I used to live with my grandma. So when I moved to Broward County. That was all I could turn to, writing. I ended up getting a microphone. I got one of those little mics you stuck into your computer and from there I got a guitar hero mic, started recording from there. Then a DJ told me I got to get [my music] mixed and mastered and that’s how I learned about that. And I just kept going.”
Most people don’t know: “I’m an English major. I graduated high school. I’m all into art. I draw, dance, I’m just so multitalented. Computers, I engineer all my own work. I try to feed my self with knowledge. No limit on myself.”
My style’s been compared to: “Lil Wayne, I always hear Lil Wayne. Big Sean, I don’t really hear too many comparisons. If I do, it’s always Lil Wayne because of my humor, my delivery, lyrics and just the style of how I put it together.
“[For me] no song sounds the same, I just tell a story. I speak to the people who actually going through struggle. I rap literally about section eight thuggin’, going through shit with my mama, swat team rushing my house. I rap about life, real life from the bottom. I can try and talk about how I met all these people and stuff like that but I choose to rap about feelings, stuff that you can relate to. That’s my style.”
My standout records or moments to date have been: “‘Haitians’ obviously, but if I had to choose another song, ‘Quik Pik’ ‘cause it’s really my story of where I came from.”
My goal in hip-hop is: “Be iconic, change lives, touch hearts, make people know that you can come from nothing. Despite what anybody say about you, it’s about what lies in your heart and in my heart is unconditional love. You can manifest from that. Getting love, taking your love and giving it to somebody else.”
I’m gonna be the next: “Legend, ‘cause of what I stand for, what I represent and what my goal in life to obtain. I always every since I’ve been doing music, the feeling that people got from it and start understanding life, start going through life, I realize through my music people can really change. I how started to changing, from listening to music ‘cause that’s all I had.”
Follow Lajan Slim on Twitter and Soundcloud.