Lil Skies released his first-ever project, Alone, in January of 2017. By the end of that same year, his life had changed drastically: the Waynesboro, PA rapper had become one of the internet's buzziest rappers, was about to go on tour with Lil Uzi Vert, signed a deal, and even made it through his first press tour. Skies made the right allies along the way, including director Cole Bennett, the YouTube sensations CUFBOYS, and singer/songwriter Landon Cube.

The 19-year-old teamed with Bennett and Cube for the "Nowadays" and "Red Roses" videos, both of which have become breakout hits for Skies. The songs appear on the Life of a Dark Rose project, which dropped back in December. When we linked up with him in New York City, the artist born Kimetrius Foose had just announced his first headlining tour. "I'm making it, but I ain't made it yet," he told us. "This is my art... I'm trying to make all types of music for all types of crowds. I want it to be everywhere."

Part of his appeal lies in a subversion of expectations. Lil Skies might have similar traits (tattoos abound, including the numbers eight and nine on his eyelids) to the wave of "SoundCloud rappers" that dominated industry conversations in 2017, but he's coming with a different sound. Life of a Dark Rose is unique in its straightforwardness—Skies' voice is largely unimpeded by effects and filters, and he has the bars to back it up. From the opening "Welcome To The Rodeo," he's right up in your face, a defiant new voice of a generation finding its confidence. Skies' career is just beginning, but he's already sounding like a pro. "I can't stop even if I wanted to," he says. "Now I got it, so I have to keep moving. Even when shit's good." 

Watch our latest Who Is? with Skies above, and revisit his Trending Topics episode below.