Although occasionally misidentified as gang literature, rising star King Louie’s seemingly Basquiat-inspired stickers are hard to miss in Chicago right now. The LEP Bogus Boys and Bo Deal might be the face of Chicago to national audiences, but Louie, through a series of locally acclaimed mixtapes, popular YouTubes and street team hustle, has become one of the area’s most promising stars. Louie’s discography is peppered with slang from his Dro City neighborhood and meme-like lyrics that pop up on multiple tracks, each with slight variation. These common strands give the listener a sense of continuity, as Louie constructs verses by pulling ideas from a growing cloud of data and mixes them with new ones. For an artist hoping to develop a career in an era of constant production, it’s a smart strategy.
The original “Too Cool” appeared on Louie’s Chiraq, Drillinois tape. This remix includes verses from buzzing ATL veteran 2 Chainz and New York’s Red Cafe (It’s a little disappointing that Louie opted not to record a new verse as well.) Download it below, and as a bonus, check out Louie’s “Smokin Dope,” the closer from this year’s Hardbody: The Mixtape, and easily one of his best tracks. If you’re interested in hearing more, his best-of tape hits all of the major notes. An album, Dope & Shrimp, is scheduled for January.
Download: King Louie, “Smokin Dope”