Meet Luh Tyler, Tallahassee’s 17-Year-Old Rising Star

Luh Tyler has worked with Lil Uzi Vert, snagged an NBA Finals placement, and he's only 17 years old. We talked with the rising Tallahassee rapper.

Chris Allmei

Luh Tyler isn’t overthinking things.

“[I just be] saying what’s on my mind,” the laid-back 17-year-old tells Complex on a cloudy day in our New York City studio. The Tallahassee rapper, born Tyler Meeks, has been able to surf the wave of success he’s generated for himself with ease because he never takes things too seriously—especially when it comes to rap.

Luh Tyler started his career rapping into his phone using his wired earbuds as a makeshift mic, and he had to be convinced by one of his friends to start releasing his music. Shortly after Tyler started sharing his music, though, the young artist began to take the Florida rap scene by storm, coming out the gates hot with three viral songs early; “Planet Fitness,” “Law and Order,” and “Jayda Wayda.” One of the things that make the young rapper stand out is how he elongates his syllables when he raps, a technique he says just came from how he naturally talks.

“I ain't going to lie. I wasn't even trying to drag more words,” Tyler explains. “I was just talking on that bit. I was just saying it. Then when people start saying I sounded different, I realized I was kind of, I don't know. But I wasn't doing that on purpose.”

Even though Luh Tyler doesn’t think too much about how he raps and has freestyled some of his biggest hits, he’s still meticulous with how his songs sound. One of his most successful tracks, 2022’s “Back Flippin,” was a record that Tyler didn’t like at first because he thought it was too basic and took too long to make. 

“I was like, ‘Yeah, I know this one ain't it.’ Because [Jordan Ross] was there for the TikTok, and I was taking long, I was like, ‘Damn, I'm wasting his time.’ So I just tried to do that bit real quick. But then they were like, ‘That shit hard.’ And then he did the TikTok and it went viral.”

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The success of these individual tracks would eventually culminate into Luh Tyler’s 2023 debut album, My Vision, which comes laced with features from Trapland Pat, Babytron, and Lil Uzi Vert. Tyler and Uzi linked in person to record “Ransom” along with two other songs that Uzi still has, and the young rapper recalls how shocking it was to see how Uzi worked, especially when he would delete entire tracks because they weren’t up to par.

With several impressive accolades like a TNT NBA playoffs song placement, Rolling Loud performance, and popular album under his belt all within the first year of taking rap seriously, it’s safe to say that Luh Tyler has started his career on the right track.

We caught up with 17-year-old rap phenom Luh Tyler to discuss his meteoric rise, what success means to him, and what he still aspires to accomplish next.

You’ve been called the coolest 17-year-old in rap. How much of that coolness comes from Tallahassee?
Shit, I guess everything. I don't know. Tallahassee ain't even cool. I don't even know how it came out like this.

In your brief time in rap, what has your experience been like in the Florida rap scene? How have you gotten used to it?
Good. It’s been fun. I tap in with all the Florida rappers. We all got a connection, man. I be bringing them together.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about Florida rap or the Florida rap scene?
I ain't lie. They think Florida niggas dumb because we just waste our money on dumb shit. I ain't going to lie. I be seeing that all the time. Niggas buy a chain before he buy a house or something like that. It ain't even like that, because y'all don't understand. They don't understand.


Luh Tyler breaks down the misconceptions of Florida rap. Our full interview wirh #luhtyler is on Complex now. #florida

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What is it like out there though? If you had to describe the scene.
Hot. Fun. Summer. Way better than out here.

Who did you listen to a lot growing up, and how did that influence your sound?
Youngboy [Never Broke Again], Kodak [Black], Lil Baby. Wizz Havinn, that's coming up not too long ago. I just found out about him when I first started rapping. Wizz Havinn, L.O.E. Shimmy and Trapland Pat. But now I be with all them boys. Not all of them, but yeah. The last guys I named.

And did you find yourself, when you were listening to them, picking up any little things they did that you incorporate into how you rap now?
Yeah, because some of my fans be saying I sound like Wizz Havinn or something like that. Or we got a similar flow.

How did you develop your unique flow when you started rapping?
I ain't going to lie. I wasn't even trying to drag more words. I was just talking on that bit. I was just saying it. Then when people start saying I sounded different, I realized I was kind of, I don't know. But I wasn't doing that on purpose.

What was it about Kodak that made you want to listen to him? Why do you think he was so influential to you as a young Florida rapper?
He just be rapping. I like J. Cole and all that, but sometimes I don't be wanting to hear all that. You know what I'm saying? I don't know them, but it be too in-depth. Sometimes you just rap, say anything, it sounds good. You don't gotta try too hard. Sometimes J. Cole going to make you think he going to say something like, I don't know. I don't even know. It's going to be a punchline. You have to probably think about it for the next couple days, now. Well, that's hard, but not every day, because I be trying to chill. Listen to some vibe and shit.

What do you remember about the day you recorded “Back Flippin”?
I was just making a song for a TikTok. This dude named Jordan Ross, he was coming to do a TikTok for me, but then I couldn't find no beat, so I just loaded up any beat. I just loaded that one up. I was taking a long time on that, but then I had finished it and the boy was like, "That’s hard.” But I ain't going to lie, I did not like that then.

Why didn't you like it?
I don't know, because I thought it was so basic. And I was taking so long on it. I was like, "Yeah, I know this one ain't it." Because he was there for the TikTok, and I was taking long, I was like, "Damn, I'm wasting his time.” So I just tried to do that bit real quick. But then they were like, "That shit hard." And then he did the TikTok and it went viral.

Why do you think it became so successful and picked up so much on social media?
Probably just the punchlines and shit. Catchy shit, yeah. I think so.

What was the song that you made that changed your life?
“Law and Order.” That's my biggest song. I think that be like 20 million on YouTube.

“Law and Order Pt. 2” had you riffing off of another track. So how did that one come together?
Nah, I was just playing around on the first one. Ain't gonna lie. But then when I had looked up, I was just looking at the Law and Order beat, but then, the one that blew up, that beat came up, so I just did that one because it was different. And then I needed pt. 2.

What makes you stand out from the massive amount of artists trying to make it right now, especially from Florida?
I got a different sound. I ain't rapping about killing niggas. I be rapping my shit. People in here, I be vibing, chilling. Everybody can listen to my shit.


Luh Tyler reveals what it’s like working with Lil Uzi Vert. Our full interview with luhtyler is on Complex now liluzivert

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What was it like working with Lil Uzi Vert on “Ransom”?
I think that was my first time out here [in New York]. When he hit me up he just hit my DMs, and he asked where I was at. And I was like, "Oh man." Then he was like, "Pull up to the studio." And I just pulled up on him. Then we was in that bih all night. We did another song too. But he got that one, and then we did the “Ransom.” I had went to sleep, because he was in that bitch so long, he was just doing shit. He comes in there, does a song, comes out, be like, "Nah, that ain't good enough." Delete the whole song.

What was the most surprising thing about working with Uzi in the studio and seeing his process?
I don't know. I ain't gonna lie, I thought the nigga was going to be crazy. You see that shit on the internet, but he’s regular though, bro. That boy cool as hell.

After coming out the gate with a hot streak of three successful songs, was there any pressure to keep that momentum going?
I ain't going to lie. After “Law and Order,” I ain't feeling no pressure but I was just like, "I got to make sure whatever I drop." Well not even what I drop, but I just got to keep making hard shit up in here. You don't want to be no one-hit wonder.

What's been the best part about becoming this famous as a teenager?
I don't even know. Probably just getting my family straight. I don't even know, though, so much.

Do you miss anything about going to school?
Lunchtime with everybody at the courtyard but nah. I wouldn't do that. But back there with my people, yeah. But nah, everybody's probably going to try to mob me [now].

I think it’s interesting that you don't remember a time before social media. How do you think social media platforms have helped your career?
Instagram. That's what lets everybody see my shit for real. Social media, that's how your shit get around now. Ain't no mixtape and CDs no more.

What was it like performing at Rolling Loud LA for the first time?
That was crazy. Yeah, I was nervous for my shit. But then the day before, Ski Mask [The Slump God] had brought me out, so then I was a little more comfortable with it. Being onstage and shit. But that was fun.

What was your reaction to one of your songs being played during the NBA playoffs this year on TNT?
I ain't even going to lie to you. I don't even know how that happened. Well, I was just in the studio, then Shanna talking about, "Tyler, your song's being played on ESPN." Out loud. That shit crazy. On TNT.

You have a song on the Fast & Furious soundtrack. How did that come together?
Well, I fuck with Anti Da Menace. We got two, three songs. And then I guess people from Fast & Furious hit him up then they hit us up too.

Have you seen any of the Fast & Furious movies?
I've seen eight, seven. Yeah, I seen the old ones too but I just don't remember anything about them.

For you, what does success look like as a rapper?
When your shit worldwide. Not just in the United States, but you in different countries everywhere. Niggas that don't even speak English knows you. That’s when you made it.

What's left on your rap bucket list?
Grammy. I don't know what the hell will come after the Grammy, boy. Just being able to wake up anytime you want to. Grammy, then that.

What you got coming up? I know you've been working. What's going on?
Tour coming up. June 20 first day, California.

What are you looking forward to most about touring?
Seeing all the fans in different cities. See whose city is going to be the most turnt.

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