In an arena oversaturated with "Brockhampton type-beats" and "the next Kendricks," aspiring rappers bend over backwards to stand out from their peers. As per 21 Savage's whispering and 645AR's squeaking, gimmicky rap vocals have proven to be a streaming catalyst - not to mention instant meme generator. No artist quite understands this phenomena like St. Louis rapper Rahli.
Rahli released his debut mixtape Dellwood Market in 2019, and "Perc 30" quickly emerged as the standout cut. "Perc 30" features a faintly familiar trap beat and is adorned with the occasional "skrrt skrrt" adlib. However, what sets the song apart is Rahli's vocal delivery, which comes in the form of a menacing snarl. The execution is both mischievous and aggressive, illustrating Rahli's ability to walk the line between two worlds. His creative delivery caught the attention of Quality Control's Duke Deuce, who hopped on a remix of the track.
Hot on the heels of Dellwood Market, Rahli is back with a second mixtape, Still Big Rallo From Lorna. Featuring stellar contributions from Quando Rando and Bay Area heavyweight Mozzy, the mixtape is a tribute to Rahli's roots on Lorna Lane as well as his emergence as one of the Midwest's most promising emcees.
The project opens with an energetic response to Dellwood Market's "Just Rap." On "Just Rap 2," Rahli rattles off playful threats over a "Perc 30"-esque beat. "Bury Me Alive" sees Rahli display a refreshing lyrical clarity as he "takes it back before [he] had a deal." With a subdued introspection, he lays down rhymes about his experiences growing up on Lorna Lane.
With exceptional flexibility, Rahli's sophomore tape recognizes the pitfalls of being a one-trick pony. Not unlike its predecessor, Still Big Rallo From Lorna switches between infectious trap anthems and sentimental piano-led confessionals with ease. "They Good" and "Clip Hangin" channel the same growl that put "Perc 30" on the map, while songs like "Oh Boy" and "Solidified" feature autotune-heavy vocals popularized by artists like Speaker Knockerz.
"My first tape was just testing the waters," in Rahli's own words, "I really want this project to solidify my name and sound in the industry." If the tape's versatility is any indication of its potential, Still Big Rallo From Lorna may be the release that permanently carves out Rahli's niche in the rap game.
Listen to Still Big Rallo From Lorna below: