SCARLXRD is a master at pushing those kinds of boundaries, and it’s not simple to create a culture that sends Gen Z into a frenzy. The Wolverhampton-born musician, who is only 25 years old, has created a fan base that most underground hip-hop stars could only hope for: 1.7 million Instagram followers, a number of sold-out performances, and a fanbase of at least one million people who regularly watch his music online. His ruse? must reject the established framework and carve out a different course; this is an uncharted territory for rap thus far.
His art is purposely affronting, and yet liberating to a crowd of fans who resonate with his incendiary perspective on life, brotherhood, and solitude. Laced with lewd samples, his songs offer up a headrush of grinding, scuffed trap beats that could bring down whole housing estates with the right level of decibels. When it comes to his rhymes too, the overdone tropes of rap flows are nowhere to be heard. Instead, SCARLXRD possesses a singular kind of chaotic and furious energy: he screams his self-penned lyrics, like a creative outlet cum personal exorcism.
By doing what he does so relentlessly – fusing genres, filling venues and funnelling the sombre, fucked up mood of a generation through his music – SCARLXRD has established himself as a true original. Pioneers are hard to come by, but in a sea of money-chasing hip-hop stars with their eyes on taking someone else’s crown, it’s rare to see someone running off-piste towards a different goal altogether. “I don’t think there’s going to be another SCARLXRD while SCARLXRD exists,” he says, his words prolific. “I’ll firmly have the torch. I’m the one with the story.”
Dark and intense rapper Scarlxrd started his quest for fame as a much goofier internet personality. He spent his early years posting humorous and lighthearted videos online, but turned toward powerful, distorted vocals and demonic instrumentals when he began rapping in 2015. His prolific output and shocking image would skyrocket singles like “Heart Attack,” and “Chain$aw” into platinum status. He released multiple new projects every year, working with Island Records for some albums, but opting for independent release for albums like 2021’s DeadRising.
Scarlxrd was born Marius Listhrop in Wolverhampton, England in 1994. Prior to his music career, he acquired some fame in his late teenage years as a YouTube vlogger who went under the alias Mazzi Maz. After several years of his more and more popular YouTube presence, however, he deleted his videos and shifted gears toward a new image, working briefly with the band Myth City before starting the Scarlxrd project in 2015.
Also known as Yung Scar, Listhrop developed a sound that moved from dark trap atmospheres on early singles like 2016’s “Girlfriend” to more explosive, metal-edged tracks like 2017’s “The Purge” and “Heart Attack.” A string of mixtapes surfaced along with frequent singles, including 2016’s “Rxse” and 2017’s “Chaxsthexry,” “Cabin Fever,” and “Lxrdszn.” The next year, Scarlxrd returned with the moody, screaming singles “A Braindead Civilisatixn” and “We Waste Time Faded” from his debut studio full-length Dxxm, which was released via Island Records.
A sophomore effort, Infinity, followed in March 2019. Before the year was up, he announced new album Immxrtalizatixn was planned for an early October. His third studio album and eighth full-length collection of music was preceded by several singles including “Ask,” “Up.Up.Up.,” and “Backwards.” He continued working with Island on releases like 2019’s Acquired Taste Vxl 1 and 2020’s Fantasy Vxid, and during this time his songs were used on HBO series Euphoria, as well as for theme music for a World Wrestling Entertainment event. Scarlxrd cut ties with Island for 2021 releases Dxxm II and DeadRising. 2021 also found him featuring on the Trippie Redd song “Dead Desert” and issuing collaborative EP Lxrdmage with Florida rap/metal hybrid artist Ghostemane.