Photo: Paras Griffin / Stringer via Getty Images
  /  02.09.2023

On today’s (Feb. 9) episode of “Big Facts,” Big Bank, DJ Scream, and Baby Jade had a conversation with rising rap phenomenon 21 Lil Harold. During the interview, he opened up about losing his close friend, the state of hip hop culture in Atlanta, and his latest album aptly titled After The Curse.

Having already established himself through the Drake-cosigned cut “Savage” and the Latto-assisted “Muffin (Freak H**),” Atlanta’s own 21 Lil Harold took the streets over with the release of his 2021 debut project, LARRY. The release boasted features from the likes of G Herbo and Slimelife Shawty, and further propelled him into the limelight as one of the city’s shining prospects. He continued to take the music industry by storm this past summer with the deluxe edition, which updated the tracklist with four new songs and a sure-fire feature from Offset. Now, Lil Harold is back with more heat on his highly awaited first studio album, After The Curse, continuing his reign as one of ATL’s artists to watch. The 12-song effort, which just dropped last month, includes guest appearances from fellow Slaughter Gang founding member and close friend 21 Savage, as well as Young Nudy and Nardo Wick, among others.

DJ Scream wasted no time getting into the album, at which point listeners learned that Lil Harold sat on the songs for six months before releasing them. He shared that the oldest record on After The Curse is his collaborative effort with 21 Savage, “Ain’t On None,” which had been sitting in the vault for a little over a year. “You know you’re going to be your biggest critic, to the point where you get stuck in your head just trying to answer so many questions. It’s like damn, I don’t want to let anybody down. I wanna go hard. I want this s**t to be perfect,” he expressed.

Elsewhere, the rapper reminisced on his debut full-length project, LARRY, explaining the meaning of the title and various track names. “If it weren’t for Larry, I wouldn’t be 21. Larry was that stamp to me. I wouldn’t be doing this s**t if it wasn’t for me getting to know him.” It’s a name that 21 Savage has brought up time and time again in previous interviews, referring to him as his “left hand.” Although he died in 2011 during a shootout, Larry’s death ultimately brought Lil Harold and Savage closer together as not only frequent collaborators but as a family. He added, “All the other names on the tracklist, they were attached to Larry. I went in the studio and let them pick their own song.”

Despite having picked up a major influx of traffic and attention surrounding his name, Lil Harold later admitted that he’s still “one foot in, one foot out” when it comes to music and the streets. “The streets will pull you back in on some homeboy s**t and it’s easy to get caught on to that s**t,” he shared. When Big Bank asked him how he avoids going down the wrong path again, the young star replied, “Surround myself with the right crowd, the right partners. Make sure they’re more ahead of me and keep me away from certain s**t.” Pivoting from that portion of the conversation, he wittingly spoke about his McLaren and how grateful he is to have friends and family embrace him.

Among other standout moments in the interview, Lil Harold reflected on a time when he and 21 Savage almost got into a brawl while at a club, mistaking fan love for agression. “This was ‘round the time everyone thought we was Bloods, and Bloods swarmed around us. By that last song, you know, ‘Red Opps’ came on… I seen so many n**gas circle around us,” he detailed. “Savage cut the music off like, ‘What’s going on?’ All them n**gas was like, ‘Man, we love you.’ But in our head, it was like, ‘Y’all n**gas trying that,’ and [we] was still on some young n**ga [time] back then.” That led Big Bank to discuss the thin line between love and hate in hip hop culture, citing the gung-ho nature and themes of today’s music.

As for where he’s headed, the promising emcee mentioned, “ A Grammy or when I do stop doing the rap s**t, I’ll do some s**t like what Jade said… acting or some s**t. That’ll be a win to me… bring an Oscar home or some s**t like that. N**ga ain’t brought an Oscar to the ghetto yet.” For now though, 21 Lil Harold has his sights set on being the best rapper he possibly can be, and the January release of After The Curse is proof of that.

Be sure to tune in every Thursday for new episodes of “Big Facts,” and if you enjoyed this recap, don’t miss the latest episode available here.



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