Melbourne VIC, Australia
I started putting out music in August 2017, but I’d been freestyling on open mics for a few years, as well as freestyling with mates since I was like 15-years-old. I used to write poems as my Instagram captions and I think it was just a natural progression to start making them into raps, but I never thought I would ever have more than 100 listens or something. I wasn’t trying to get listens at the start to be honest, I just wanted to put myself out there so that if I die tomorrow I can at least say, “I did it.” I got to give a huge shoutout and so much love to everyone who has supported me from day one. You all know who you are.
I don’t think I was ever a “regular kid.” I was born in the United States and moved here with my mum, who’s Australian, when I was 6 years old.
I have always listened to, and been influenced by American rap. From the chains and shoes to the brands of clothes and cars, I’ve always wanted to see myself living that “rapper lifestyle.”
I never cared much if I offend people and I’ve always tried to challenge authority, so it’s no surprise I’ve done what I’ve done, and rap about it.
Getting stabbed changed my life dramatically, to say the least. I felt like life could be taken in a second, and that it probably would be, so I lived my life more in the extremes after that.
I stopped thinking that I have a future, and started treating every day like I have nothing to live for. I developed some degree of PTSD from the experience, and learning how to cope with that has been an ongoing problem for me. Making the music I make helps me to feel that self worth I had before I was stabbed. It gives me something to live for I guess.
Eshay is the word “he’s” in piglatin. It comes from people saying, “he’s lad” or “eshay adlay.” Eshay, as a “culture” is all about graffiti, pilfering, vandalism, squatting and drugs.
The fashion comes from athletic gear and its difficulty to steal or its retail value, it also comes from an imitation of how a typical “Dad” dresses, you know, blue jeans, sports jacket or rugby jumper, white kicks and a cap. There’s very particular brands that are acceptable to wear, like Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Nautica, Nike, Adidas, ASICS, Gant, Tommy Hilfiger, a lot of brands that gained their mainstream popularity in the 90’s.
Eshays differ slightly depending what city or state you’re in. Lads in Sydney prefer to wear their collars up and wear lots of colours, whereas Melbourne lads generally wear darker and less vibrant colours.
I see what other people are trying to do, the grime scene is real strong atm and I fuck with a bunch of the rappers in the Australian grime scene. As for rappers trying to put on accents, wear fake designer brands and pretend to be drug addicts, I don’t really like spending much time thinking about that shit.
I think that putting an accent on when you rap is as good as lying on your tracks, and I swear a lot of these gronks do lie in their music. It’s such a weak attempt at being something, and I’m not saying taking drugs and any of the shit I rap about is cool, that’s up to my fans to say, all I’m doing is giving an unadulterated view into the life and mind of me under the title Lil Sknow. I don’t change my accent, I don’t make up shit, and I use local colonialisms.
Wouldn’t it be weird if American rappers put on English accents, or even if a California rapper tried to rap like a New York rapper? Why would people want to listen to someone pretending to sound like Young Thug or Drake or Kendrick, when they can just listen to, Young Thug, Drake or Kendrick?
All I’ve got to say is, man up and either sing so you don’t have to use an accent, or be genuine and rap how you sound.
Rumour has it Lil Sknow is retired and working in Real Estate
Melbourne VIC, Australia