Lil Bird is something between a rapper and a modern day crooner.
His work poses the question, is he a gangster, a romantic, or something in-between? The contrast between these two sides of his character is especially evident in “Energy”, which came out in February 2019. The gangster is represented in the trap drums, subbass, and the lyrical content of the primary hook (“I could drown in your energy, I could gun down all your enemies”). These artistic choices seem to be directly derived from gangster rap and classic hip hop. However, the twist of the romantic is undeniable.
The heartfelt half of his character is evident in the bells, sweet wavering synths, melismas, delicate panning, and the lyrical content of the verses.
Y’all may think I’m spouting pseudo-academic taradiddle here saying Lil Bird is a secret sweetheart; most of his songs include some level of vulgarity; “SKRT SKRT SKRT” is obviously a prime example, and even “Worship” begins with pussy (like life), and he routinely makes references to the more dangerous elements of city life. However, the narrative of his own heartfelt bio says it all:
“Lil Bird was hatched from an orphaned egg in the canopy. The other birds took him in as family. He was the runt of the flock, he was very small and liked to sing, and his big brothers and sisters always made fun of him. One by one they leapt from the nest and flew away, mocking that he’d never be able to fly with his tiny wings. When it was his turn, he jumped out of the nest, and fell hard on the forest floor. He woke up in a strange and terrifying place, with predators all around. Over time he grew clever and learned to fend for himself. When he was strong enough, he pecked his way back up the tree to the highest branch. With his old family jeering at him, he walked to the edge of the branch, spread his wings, and pushed off….”
Plus, if you buy his album on Bandcamp, all proceeds go to Planned Parenthood! In this reviewer’s opinion, Lil Bird would be able to truly spread his wings and fly if he used less gangster terminology and talked less about pussy. I don’t believe he is a real gangster, and relying on the implication that he’s dangerous is derivative. Also, birds are not dangerous (aside from the noble Emu), nor are they sexy (aside from the Booby and the Tit), and they don’t even have pussies (they have cloacas). Real birds sing love songs, and I believe that when Lil Bird waxes romantic, he is able to access a seed of something truly beautiful. I look forward to seeing where that takes him. Perhaps I’m wrong and he IS a real gangster, but if I live to write another article, that will further prove my point that Lil Bird is a charitable, caring, and devoted person with a lot to offer the music scene (especially if he follows his heart and starts writing about something deeper than pussy).