Lil Nuu, the 22 year-old Chicago rapper who cemented his spot on the scene in March with the hard-hitting, streets-first anthem “Wicked Inna RaQ 2” featuring hometown hero G Herbo – whose video netted over 1 million views in its first five days out – follows up with “Emergency Room,” the brand new single + video out now via Island Records. “Emergency Room” explodes with the same caliber of fired-up energy that earned Lil Nuu his reputation last year when he first made waves with his original string of career-defining singles, “Wicked Inna RaQ,” “LaLa,” and “Up On Us.”
Lil Nuu’s artistry is deeply tied to the lineage of Chicago rappers that came before him but with a fresh sound all his own. “You can see my story and catch my vibe. I’m not faking it or forcing it,” he explains. A self-admitted “crack baby,” he was raised by a friend of his mother’s while she battled addiction. “All I knew was to depend on myself; I couldn’t depend on nobody else.”
Poverty and circumstance forced him into the treacherous east side of Chicago – between Stony Island and Rainbow Beach, a part of town that deserves credit for much of the Windy City trends in slang, fashion, and music. “If you can make it out of there, you can make it anywhere,” he paraphrases Ol’ Blue Eyes. By age 12, Nuu had seen the inside of a jail cell, but despite the pain, he insists he would not change anything.
In high school, Nuu traded his basketball and baseball skills for a microphone. A friend advised him to rap about his life, especially given his popularity and influence. “People got behind it,” he affirms. “It just went from there.” “Wicked Inna RaQ,” a hard-hitting account of life on the streets, caught the ear of entrepreneur G Herbo, who grew up in the same neighborhood, and asked if he could collaborate with an added verse.
The original “Wicked Inna RaQ” was a strategic turning point that led Nuu to Island Records via his co-sign with G Herbo. The track changed Nuu’s life – but it is just one lane. “I want to put out different types of music, and it comes with growth,” he says. “I understand both sides of the world, and I know how to talk to all people. There’s a real story behind me. I went through the fire, and I’m still going through it,” the young artist adds. He aims to become the Chi’s next star and teach the youth about all that comes with living in the street. “My music is gonna tell you what I did, but it’s gonna show you the consequences too.”
Stay tuned for more Lil Nuu in 2023.