There’s no need to read between the lines when it comes to The Kid LAROI’s debut mixtape—the title says it all. Across the 11 tracks and four phone-call skits from its original release, and the seven new tracks on this deluxe version, the Sydney-born hip-hop artist details the messy breakdown of a destructive relationship that, frankly, didn’t sound too great to start with.
The rapper and singer has taken musical cues from artists like the late Juice WRLD (who guests on “GO”) and Post Malone, blending smoky late-night beats with husky melodies and emotionally open lyrics that touch on heartbreak, loneliness and, ultimately, being every bit as flawed as those around him. “I’m not too good at admitting when I fuck up/But maybe it’s you who can save me/I’ve got love for you but I hate me,” the 17-year-old sings on “MAYBE”.
On “SAME THING”, he’s aware that his partner lies and sneaks around behind his back, but admits: “I can’t be mad at you, ’cause I do the same things.” More than just a breakup album, though, it’s one that reveals deeply painful experiences he’s already lived through. He doesn’t hold back on “TELL ME WHY”, singing, “I can’t count all the tears I cried, so many sleepless nights/Watched all of my idols die, right in front of my eyes.”
The tracks added to the SAVAGE version, just over three months after the original release, add more layers to both story and sound. On “SO DONE”, LAROI explores his inner resolve, singing, “Okay, I realise now that everything I did was wrong… Okay, I realise now that maybe I’m not ready for love,” over a warm ukulele reggae rhythm. “FEEL SOMETHING”, featuring Marshmello, and “WITHOUT YOU” are tender piano- and guitar-led tracks, respectively, in which he admits to feeling lost and being difficult to love. Meanwhile, YoungBoy Never Broke Again guests on “TRAGIC”, a sweet reflection on success, haters and the friends they’ve lost along the way, and Machine Gun Kelly appears on “F*CK YOU, GOODBYE”, a bouncy middle-fingers-in-the-air farewell—the title says it all.