The Kid LAROI is all grown up.
Recounting everything for THE FIRST TIME on his official debut, The Kid LAROI and his sound have matured altogether, evident on album highlights like “THE LINE,” “BLEED” and “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?” among many others.
Collecting features from d4vd, Future, Central Cee, BabyDrill, NBA YoungBoy and Jung Kook, TFT is the Australian singer-rapper’s fourth project and first official album, stemming from prior mixtapes within the F*CK LOVE trilogy and his Billboard No. 1 track “Stay” with Justin Bieber in 2021.
“SORRY” is the epitome of his unique come-up, as the album’s opener deatiling the pushes and pulls of fame through honesty and pain on the triumphant, sample-clad cut. “I mean the pressure’s immense, I’m 19 tryna navigate money and stress,” he raps. “I got used to getting paid, But no one ever told me what I’d have to sacrifice for money and fame / I got all this weight on me and I just wanna run away.”
His tutelage from the late Juice WRLD and then-signing to Grade A Productions at 14-years-old was the gateway to the his stratospheric success. “SORRY” seems to personify this experience. As a kid, LAROI admits that he didn’t fully comprehend the things happening around him at Grade A, especially concerning Juice WRLD. In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, LAROI, now 19, reflected on his relationship with Juice and how he understands the plights of fame and temptation after going through it first-hand.
“I wish I was able to meet him now where we would be able to get on a level where I could provide some type of [value] for him… I was never equipped to do that then [at that age],” he said. “There were times when I was a kid where I didn’t understand what Juice was going through, when it came to fame or all this other stuff, at all…”
“It’s funny, when I started going through this shit, I had a day where I just broke down — and it gets me emotional even thinking about it because I was like, ‘holy shit dude, I f***ing get it now,” he continued. “That was one of things I regretted was not being able to understand him properly — to understand why he was feeling the way he was.”
Themes of strife are prevalent all throughout the album, as LAROI speaks on dealing with the stresses of fame on “KIDS ARE GROWING UP”: “Growing up I watched my favorite rappers interviews / I didn’t believe them when they said ‘it ain’t what it seems’ / But now I realize they were telling truth / Cuz you sacrifice yourself for everybody needs.”
LAROI’s 20/20 hindsight is centerstage on each performance, as TFT encapsulates the essence of his maturity — both mentally and vocally — being present in his youth. It’s not only LAROI’s best project to date, it’s his most vulnerable, aesthetic and versatile when it comes to the multitude of influences he employs within his sound. His signature raspy vocals pair with the refined rap chaps he’s fine-tuned in his teen years. However, somber and emotional cuts like “BLEED,” “THE LINE,” “TEAR ME APART” and more prove to shine brightest on THE FIRST TIME. Him and d4vd’s chemistry is the most breathtaking, divulging how their lover has “crossed the line” on many levels.
A handful of skits and interludes tie the narrative together: “You always remember your first time.” And that applies to anything. The rap performances on the BNYX-assisted “WHAT WENT WRONG” and “I THOUGHT I NEEDED YOU,” where F1LTHY adds his flair on the latter with Benny, are cinematic moments “WHAT’s THE MOVE” with Future and BabyDrill reminds of his mentor Juice WRLD, and even an alt-House track like “NIGHTS LIKE THIS” further bolsters LAROI’s attempts at genre fluidity.
Between pop ballads, soft-strung guitar tracks, moody rap cuts, cinematic love-torn bangers and experimental reflections, you never forget your first time. Your first heartbreak, first death in your family, your first love, your first move… whatever it may be, LAROI is able to pack these feelings ten-fold on TFT.
Listen to ‘TFT’ below!