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Scarlxrd: the offspring of Generation Y’s subcultures

Imagine combining the influences of bands such as Korn and Panic! at the Disco with the speed of Eminem’s rap verses. 25-year-old British artist Scarlxrd is exactly what that cocktail would be like. He screams on trap beats and he has the biggest possible don't-give-a-shit mentality in hip-hop. Faded reunited goth or emo kids with real trap fans in Antwerp’s Zappa by booking the artist last month. Meet Scarlxrd, the least fitting-in-a-box artist of today’s trap scene or yesterday’s goth scene.

Article by Yaell Monas, header picture by Marine Rigo

It’s not emo rap, it’s also not trap, neither is it metal or goth. It’s nothing and everything. It’s kids with Kornshirts and combats next to kids with facemasks and A Bathing Ape shirts. It's screams that seem to come straight from the depths of hell, and it's rap verses almost as fast as Eminem on beats which vibrate the room more than a vibrator. There’s no box he fits into, and that’s also exactly what he aims to be. An unholy mixture of everything your parents warned you about. This is Scarlxrd.

Scarlxrd at Les Ardentes this year by Chase photographer Kamilia Sain

EVERYTHING BUT GRIME

We all know the United Kingdom as the country where, next to the Brexit, grime and drill artists are born and raised. But, next to those two very specific types of rap, the UK offers another variety of artists which are often underrated. Scarlxrd is one of the artists that made it into UK hip-hop history, and maybe even international hip-hop history, without being a grime or driller artist.

Eight albums later and with festivals such as Woo Hah, Splash! and Rolling Loud, and his own headlining tour on his resume, he came over to Zappa for an hour and a half of goth rap, or metal hip-hop, or something like that.

Scarlxrd's breakthrough hit HEART ATTACK

Before the show even started, we knew this was going to be a good one. One for the books, maybe. Goths and trap fans united with a DJ who knows perfectly well how to hype up a crowd by switching from XXXtentacion to Slipknot. Never have we ever seen this much energy before the show. So you can imagine, when the first beats of Scarlxrd’s most famous track ‘HEART ATTACK’ went through the room, the crowd went wild and the first of many moshpits opened up even before Scarlxrd jumped on stage.

Scarlxrd screamed his lungs out, spitting saliva all over the crowd and if the fangirls up front could, they’d probably try to catch it. The more moshpits, wall of deaths and circle pits, the better. The UK rapper didn’t even have the time to take a breath in between his songs, he just kept jumping from one side of the stage to the other side. While he keeps up with the speed of his own verses and is literally a screaming talent, he went from one song to another real quick. No talking, just performing. Kinda scared he’d pass out, but he didn’t. He’s used to this, he’s good at it and he loves it.

Scarlxrd - GXLD.

ENERGY LEVEL: HIGH

Although the rapper has been known for always wearing a facemask, not showing his mouth at all, he now decided to leave that behind. You’d think he’d do that so he would be able to breath better or to be able to drink some water during breaks, but no. Water is meant to throw onto the crowd during moshpits, breathing is for after the show. The energy level of Scarlxrd on stage could probably lighten up a whole town.

More than an hour later, Scarlxrd glorifyingly ended his show with the track ‘YXU MAKE ME SICK’. The sweating bodies of his fans were mosh pitting around for one last time, after doing this for about 70 minutes straight. A surprisingly long show later, keep in mind his last two albums contained about 20 songs each, he disappeared from the stage and left everyone catching for breath or water. And while everyone left the room, tired but satisfied, he was probably sipping hot tea with honey in the back to save his throat and voice. Totally worth it though.

Scarlxrd also made a full vlog episode about his stop in Belgium, check it out below!

Scarlxrd's vlog about his Belgium appearance


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