$lem is a young artist from Charlotte North Carolina. Influenced by his idols Wiz Khalifa and Travis Scott, $lem even has a Taylor gang tattoo on his chest. An upcoming artist who has often worked with his brother and producer Dane Cascade, $lem already has a few singles to his name, including “Hook up”, “No chaser” and his debut track “Therapy”. His latest single “Ain’t Worried ($upreme)” was released three months ago and has been his most popular track to date, signaling an ever growing fan-base and confidence in his skillset. The Charlotte rapper is building own his stoner-like brand brick-by-brick.
At his most compelling, $lem is a purveyor of effortless cool with a laidback demeanor that seals in the sharpness emitted by his wordplay. “Ain’t Worried ($upreme)” is peak $lem —bleary eyed, genteel and, eager to please. The melody coasts and sticks while everything is mannered, well-paced with some good ass production. Listening to the track feels like you’re resting in a seat on an airplane, waiting for takeoff.
It’s all atmospheric and chill; it’s both very inviting and relaxing at the same time. And when the beat drops and it’s straight up dope. $lem rides the beat with a great flow, and the smart bars will paint a vivid picture in your head. $lem does not bask in any obnoxious lyricism, but skillfully reflects with his penchant for seemingly loosely structured verses which work perfectly.
As so often happens with unsigned artists, “Ain’t Worried ($upreme)” strategically allows him to fire off unfiltered creativity without having to deal with the burdening pressures that come with being trapped with major label or mainstream expectation.
In an uninspiring time where commercial marketability is placed at a higher premium than talent, $lem sidesteps such perplexity to make art focused on honest introspection. Well aware that he is an anomaly to a rap world intimidated by uncontrollable industry interested in selling one-dimensional fantasy, $lem has found it necessary to portray his every facet and mood with transparency on Ain’t Worried ($upreme)”.
$lem can’t be easily classified as a certain type of MC just yet, as he is still building his brand, and it would be wrong and probably unfair to pigeonhole him into the scheme of things so soon, but without a doubt he most certainly voices the talents that usually go forgotten within mainstream channels.
$lem, makes complex sentiments sound simple and soaks relatable experiences in uncommon depth and alternative sophistication. Producer Dane Cascade’s versatility behind the boards is on full display here too, as he provides a layered musical palette that is both a base for, and enriches $lem’s musings.
The music provides just the right framework for this song. “Ain’t Worried ($upreme)” is an artful body of work that is sonically fulfilling and dripping with understated lyrical sharpness.
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Author: Buddy Nelson
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