Presented by Billboard’s THE STAGE at SXSW presented by Doritos
Profound, yet buoyantly energetic, Armani White wants to trademark happy hood music. Pairing dexterous flows with dense introspection and spurts of impassioned melodies, the 26-year-old delivers a colorful, but poignant soundtrack for survivors. On songs like 2021s “Grateful,” he channels wounded optimism as he reflects on evolving relationships, tragedy and perseverance. Meanwhile, for more free-wheeling tracks like “Billie Eilish,” he lets loose, fusing zany wordplay with machismo he earned from his upbringing in West Philadelphia. Bouncing across an infectious wood flute sample from N.O.R.E.’s “Nothin,” Armani unloads swaggering couplets that are dismissive as as they are confident: “Put it in perspective/Bitch, I got everything I wanted and some extra/I am not the type for turning into a detective/Got two of my own phones, barely even check 'em.” With a nimble flow, quick-fire flexes and a playful nod to a pop superstar, “Billie Eilish” is a feel good theme song laced with irony and a trace of menace. The single has earned TikTok ubiquity and over 12 million Spotify streams since its May release. It’s also marked just the latest step in the journey for one of the most unique vo
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