2023 has seen the rise of a handful of new talents within the Hip Hop community. One of the most divisive artists of the lot is undoubtedly the Manhattan-based drill rapper, Lil Mabu. He made his Billboard Hot 100 debut earlier in the year with his viral song “Mathematical Disrespect.” Consequently, the hit track has helped Lil Mabu achieve considerable success and infamy. Attention has been drawn to his background since then, which has since sparked controversy. The rapper definitely shows some promise. Still, he is a relatively new face and it’s hard to determine whether his antics will serve to help him achieve longevity. Outside of the controversy and his hit song, Lil Mabu has yet to become a household name. However, Lil Mabu’s newfound collaborative relationship with Chrisean Rock has been a profile booster.
Early Beginnings: Inching Close To Stardom
Lil Mabu was born Matthew Peter DeLuca on April 4, 2005. Developing a keen interest in Hip Hop at a very young age, he started rapping before he was even a teenager. By the time he was 14 in 2019, he kicked off his professional musical career. His progress since then has been impressive, especially as he has garnered a substantial following. Lil Mabu’s first notable release was his 2020 single, “Miss Me.” He was 15 years old at the time, unsigned, and without a manager or distribution deal. Considering those circumstances, the song’s 300k YouTube views was a major win for the rapper at the time.
“Miss Me” is not a bad song per se, and it showcased that the youngster had talent. Nevertheless, Lil Mabu sharply pivoted with his following releases. In May 2021, he released “Demon Time,” a track that evidently showed that his flow had switched up since “Miss Me.” The song performed even better than its predecessor, raking in a few million streams for the young star. He followed it with “King Of The World” three months later, further establishing his new style and sound.
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A Controversial Background
Following the young rapper’s swift rise to fame, reports about his affluent upbringing have since surfaced. In a New York Post piece released in January 2023, Lil Mabu is described as a model student at a rich prep school. At the time, he was a senior at Collegiate School, an Upper West Side private school that costs $60,000 a year.
The rapper’s father, Peter DeLuca, is a big shot in Manhattan. The 71-year-old serves as a funeral director and is well-to-do enough to afford the family’s luxe lifestyle. DeLuca seems to fully support his son’s musical endeavors, and even made a cameo in the music video for “TRIP TO THE HOOD.” While that is in no way a bad thing, Lil Mabu has caught flack for drawing from underprivileged Black culture. Some Black audiences who listen to Drill consider Lil Mabu inauthentic. They also consider the rapper to be partaking in cultural appropriation.
Maturing Sound And Entering The Drill Scene
The rapper has evidently matured, and his voice and artistry have grown with him. In 2022, Mabu released a seven-track drill project, Double M’s, with features from prominent artists in the scene. Sha Ek appears on “EVERYONE K,” Dougie B on “I’M NOT a COP,” DThang on “NO LOVE,” and Dusty Locane on “NO SNITCHING” and “KING of the WORLD (Remix).” “NO SNITCHING” with Dusty Locane turned out to be Mabu’s most successful track of 2022 and has stayed one of his most popular songs overall. Considering his rising popularity and growing fan base, it was only a matter of time before Lil Mabu blew up.
2023: A Viral Year For Lil Mabu
In the music video of “TRIP TO THE HOOD,” Lil Mabu quite literally documents what the title suggests. The video features him leaving his glamorous neighborhood and accompanying a pair of his Black friends on a trip to a less charming neighborhood. The rapper received backlash over the video and the content of the song. Still, his numbers continued to rise. Although the music video was directed in a comedic and lighthearted way, it was understandably frowned upon. Nonetheless, Mabu’s fan base and reach certainly grew in the process.
Read More: Lil Mabu Disses Jaidyn Alexis During Twitter Spat With Blueface
Lil Mabu Strikes Gold
After dropping “TRIP TO THE HOOD,” Lil Mabu capitalized on the controversy for three months before releasing his next single. On May 4, 2023, the 18-year-old dropped his biggest song to date. Upon the release of “Mathematical Disrespect,” TikTok swept the song up and made it into a viral hit. It is considered his breakout single and brought him a horde of new fans. “Mathematical Disrespect” was also the rapper’s first song to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It debuted at number 90 and peaked at number 47. In the five months since it was released, the song’s live mic performance video has amassed over 43 million views.
On October 16, 2023, the rapper dropped a Blueface diss track with Chrisean Rock. The suggestive track was accompanied by a music video that has already racked up over three million YouTube views. The song, “MR. TAKE YOUR B**CH,” has gained significant popularity since it was released. Whether a publicity stunt or not, the two have used the record as a way to flaunt their alleged relationship. Chrisean recently debuted a new tattoo underneath her abdomen that appears to read, “Mabu’s P*ssy.”
In summary, Lil Mabu’s reality is quite different from the things he raps about. This hasn’t hindered his ascent though. The rapper was recently spotted with rappers like Fivio Foreign and Lil Durk. Still, he is climbing up the ranks in the music industry. He may not be loved by everyone, but if he continues to rise at the pace he has maintained, he will certainly become a prominent figure in drill.