Destroy Lonely on Why He Despises the Term 'Underground Rap'

In a wide-ranging interview with Complex, up-and-comer Destroy Lonely speaks on why he rejects labels like "underground rap" and "Soundcloud rapper."

Destroy Lonely image from Getty

Image via Getty/Jeremy Moeller

Destroy Lonely image from Getty

Destroy Lonely prefers not to be put in a box. 

In a conversation with Complex’s Eric Skelton, the up-and-coming rapper spoke on why he dislikes the term “underground rap” to the point where it means “nothing to me at all.”

“I actually despise that word. I don’t like ‘SoundCloud rapper.’ I don’t like anything that puts music in a box or even an artist. I’m going to keep saying this shit, bro,” the 21-year-old emphasized.

The Atlanta MC explained his belief in not judging others’ journeys if we all have the same resources. “In 2023, you can’t say that somebody is lesser than anything, because we’ve all got the same phones, the same internet. So the n***a that’s looking at Drake—or whoever the fuck, not even to use a n***a name—they’re also looking at the n***a who got 60 followers or the n***a who got 10,000 followers. Because everybody got the same phone.” 

He continued, “So it’s honestly just a matter of: Is a n***a playing your song or not? Do people actually know you outside of that fucking phone? And that’s what’s going to determine if you exist in this world or not. It’s not a level to it. There’s no mainstream or underground. It is just: Do you exist or not? In the real world, though, not on the phone.” 

Regardless of technology, Destroy thinks the underground label “never made sense” in hip-hop.

“I feel like people just try to dumb people down, bro. And honestly, the underground n***a probably way harder than the biggest n***a on Earth,” he said. “Y’all just keep calling him underground. Now this n***a can’t get no damn money.”

Destroy Lonely is one of the latest signees to Playboi Carti’s Opium record label. High-energy tracks such as “NOSTYLIST” and “Bane” brought him buzz on the rise to becoming a sensation.

His new album If Looks Could Kill is slated to arrive on May 5. Read the full Complex interview here.

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