Unsurprisingly, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania rap newcomer Lil Skies has already made his Billboard charts debut with his stellar first mixtape, Life Of A Dark Horse.
Don’t let the name and face tattoos fool you. Unlike some of his contemporaries with similar monikers and ink, Skies remains laser-focused on his lyrical delivery, tightly-woven rags-to-riches narratives, and creative experimentation. As he says on Life Of A Dark Horse‘s intro track, “I got tattoos on my face, I use that sh*t as motivation / I could never get a job, so for my dream, I’m dedicated.”
As it turns out, that dedication is already paying dividends for the 19-year-old upstart, as Life Of A Dark Horse makes its debut on Billboard‘s Hot 200 at No. 23, driven by 17,000 equivalent album units. That’s not all; “Nowadays,” featuring Landon Cube hit No. 85 with 8.4 million U.S. streams and 3,000 downloads sold. On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, “Nowadays” jumped 7 spots from No. 40 to No. 33 on the back of the recently-released, Cole Bennett-directed video racking up over 24 million global views.
Lil Skies also managed to sneak in one more track, “Red Roses,” which landed at No. 98. “Red Roses” also features Landon Cube, and went all the way from No. 50 to No. 36 on the hip-hop chart. All in all, it looks like Atlantic made the right choice in signing the second-generation rapper — his dad was a rapper too, and helped provide him his stage name — who has already demonstrated all the makings of a genuine rap superstar.