MTV’s The Wrap Up keeps up to date with the hottest music coming out of the UK, but on Saturday’s, we’re taking you across the Atlantic and presenting the hottest emerging artists in North America with our weekly segment Underground Heat. These up-and-coming stars are going to blow up any minute now, and we’re here to tell you about them first…
While Mac Miller, Meek Mill, and Wiz Khalifa still remain the biggest present-day stars to come out of the historic state of Pennsylvania, Armani White is by far the most exciting name to be coming out of it in the last couple of years, and the subject of this week’s Underground Heat segment.
The talented up and comer has been in the game for a while now, but it was 2015 that brought him on to a whole other level. The release of his single “Stick Up” in the spring brought him to the forefront of underground East Coast hip hop, with players like Goldlink and Kehlani taking notice when the video and single hit the internet by storm. He then topped it off with an official remix of Troyboi’s “Do You,” commissioned for Hegemon’s one year anniversary.
With the video and stream above, it’s obvious that Armani White is a cut above the rest, and has the potential to be a key player in hip hop very soon. His personal touch to his lyrical content, bravado, and swagger all bring him one step closer to being a key figure in hip hop, and he’s been building a solid group of seriously dedicated fans.
We managed to sneak in a quick chat before the holidays, and from discussing his show/impromptu tour he had in the fall, to hearing the timeline of his career, every moment is a blessing he takes time to appreciate. Even when talking to him, his passion and dedication to his craft bursts through the conversation. When discussing the major differences of 2014 versus 2015, White mentions his gratitude towards his team as “his family,” and mentions that in the past, he “wanted to do everything [by himself] and be a one man band,” but has since learned the importance of crafting a strong group he can trust in creating the “greater product,” like his track “Stick Up.” He highlights the trials of his life earlier in the year, mentioning how much drastically his life has changed since the release, and that before the release, he was “mentally and spiritually in a much darker place,” but post-release, life had done an 180. He frequently thanks his collaborators, from his manager to “Troy[boi]” to the people he’s met through his music, and his humility and feelings of blessedness run deep. It’s beyond admirable to hear his gratitude from such a talented artist.
For “Stick Up,” he explains that he got through “two barriers” that he wasn’t able to cross in previous work. He stresses that he’s always had “a lot of ideas to [fit into his writing]” but with his writing this year he was able to balance between “being more direct/to the point and somewhat hard to digest, and [letting that] clash in a good way.” He also let’s me know that “Stick Up was the biggest highlight of 2015, because it changed [his] life.” “The track changed people from saying “Oh, you Rap?” to “Oh! You Rap!”” he explains, essentially “changing that line from a question to a statement.” He also refers back to how the track lead to a short stream of shows across the East Coast, and again takes moments to appreciate the impact of changes his life has gone through in the span of a year.
If he releases nothing for the rest of 2015, he’ll be closing it out with “Young Adults,” which sees him exclaiming that he “do[esn’t] want to grow up…” (we’re right there with ya), and a feature on a “Hotline Bling” cover/remix, both of which show that he has perfected being in the spotlight and a guest feature.
If Armani White’s ability to pair his insane lyrical genius with clever choice in production, sound, and style keeps continuing at this steady rate, it’s not going to take long for some major labels to take key notice. 2015 closed out strong for the talented artist, but there’s talk of a full length LP in the works titled Indian Giver, so we’re guessing 2016 is about to be even greater.