When Lil Gnar started Gnarcotic, music wasn't on his mind. He wanted to make a skate brand for skaters only—"I didn't even want people who didn't skate to wear it," he tells us. But when the brand started to take off, Gnar didn't have time to hand pick his customers. "The way shit's going, the internet is so easy. There's so much money there, you're going to make way more money than if you had a store." Gnarcotic was selling T-shirts, pants, lighters, switchblades—and Gnar was packing and shipping it all himself.
When he locked down a distribution deal, however, the bigger picture started to come into focus. Inspired by his friend Germ's success selling merch, Gnar decided to incorporate himself into the Gnarcotic brand as an artist and musician. The response was immediate. Gnar's "Ride Wit Da Fye" was released in October and became a hit online, inspiring Gnar and Germ to release the Big Bad Gnar Shit EP this past February. Other artists have noticed the Atlanta rapper's rapid rise—Gnar has already worked with Joji, Night Lovell, and IDK. Most exciting may be his recent collab with Lil Skies, "Drop Top Benz," and the Gnarly Skies tape rumored to follow.
It's been a wild year for Gnar, who only started thinking about music as a serious career option less than a year ago. "Music's easier, I'm not going to lie," he says. "I did Gnarcotic for three and a half years, stressing my brain out. I've been putting out music for six months, and shit's going how it's going...[with] music, people can connect with you more. If they hear your music and see you as a person, they connect instantly. Clothes are cool, but clothes don't move people. Music changes people's mood."
Watch our latest Music Life above to hear Gnar's story, and listen to Big Bad Gnar Shit here.