Right now, a sentiment that I share with industry colleagues and friends is a coldness and lack of feeling in Street Rap right now. We’ve also seen an influx of street rappers whose entire M.O are their extensive rap sheets and threats against fellow rappers.
While I’m guilty of enjoying certain music like this, I’ve been craving an artist who delivers an aura outside of brutality and intensity. Luckily, California artist Lambo4oe shares my grievances and is delivering something truly refreshing.
“Nobody’s making real music with real feeling and substance. All the music that’s coming out right now, it feels bad…I’m bringing back that shit that makes everybody feel good. That’s my whole purpose…I’m chasing a feeling,” Lambo explained during our interview.
Lambo’s breakout track “Self Esteem” is the wavy, feel-good music that the West Coast has always managed to champion mixed with distinctive gravelly crooning sets him apart.
“Self Esteem” has grown from a regional standout that circulated Watts and LA housing projects to an emerging hit in the Golden State and beyond.
Artists and influencers including Rubi Rose, India Love, and Jania Meshell, have posted videos vibing to the track via Tik Tok. However, “Self Esteem” is just a hint of what Lambo is capable of.
Growing up in Watts, CA, Lambo learned how to become self-sufficient from an early age, riding the train by himself at five years old. Neither his mother nor father graduated high school and much of his dad’s side of the family was tied in with local gangs. Unlike many artists, however, Lambo doesn’t dwell exclusively on the struggles of his past.
“I ain’t out here glorifying gang banging and stuff like that and I don’t even really talk about it in my music like that. That’s what I come from but I don’t wanna keep creating that experience for myself,” he stated.
Despite a sometimes difficult upbringing, Lambo was able to witness the rise of Kendrick Lamar, Roddy Ricch, and 03 Greedo firsthand. Seeing their big breaks inspired him to do music and shaped the first stage of his blueprint: making it big in the projects.
“In LA, people really look at the projects and they glorify it but people realize ‘damn they’re really turnt the fuck up over there’…that’s how we break our artists,” he said.
During his 10th grade year, Lambo moved to Inland Empire, an area of Southern California over two hours away from Watts. Moving to the IE broadened his mindset around growing his music but he stayed focused on building his core.
“The hood is my machine right now and I gotta use that to get in the loop. As long as I stayed in the loop over there, they’d help make it go into bigger places,” stated the Watts native.
Lambo then moved back to live with his grandmother after his father and uncle tragically passed away when he was 17. These deaths motivated him to set his plan in motion. However, after gaining traction in the surrounding projects, Lambo realized that he wasn’t making the type of music felt authentic and would grab the masses.
He went back to the Inland Empire in the spring of 2022 and did over 40 shows often alongside the IE’s finest including Heembeezy, S5, and R3 Da Chilliman. By the end of the summer, “Self Esteem” began picking its head up and quickly snowballed into the hit it is now.
Lambo4oe’s story is one of perseverance, self-awareness, and creating authentic music that grabs hold of people because of how raw and emotive it is. Using the experiences of 03 Greedo and Roddy Ricch’s success, his own failures, and an ability to see what’s missing in music, Lambo has a plan to propel him to further glory. Check out “Self Esteem” below.