Luh Tyler: My Vision

Since the mid 1980s, when 14-year-old rapper Roxanne Shanté’s diss track “Roxanne’s Revenge” sent the New York rap world into a frenzy, teenage rappers have been prone to blowing up fast without trying all that hard. That happened in the fall to Tallahassee’s Luh Tyler, who was 16 when a couple of breezy, punchline-fueled singles recorded directly into his iPhone suddenly made him the talk of Florida’s hip-hop scene. He raps about three core concepts—getting girls, getting high on weed, getting money with the guys—with a conversational flow and the raspy voice of Marge Simpson. Early singles, like his theme song flip “Law & Order Pt. 2” and the ode to Instagram influencer “Jayda Wayda,” are boyish and grown at the same time. 

Luh Tyler Is the Coolest 16-Year-Old Rapper in America

Now 17, Luh Tyler arrives with his fast-tracked debut mixtape My Vision. It easily could have been overstuffed with label-purchased features and trend-chasing one-offs, but it’s kept relatively organic with beats that lean on the bounce of Florida rap and only a couple of out-of-state visitors. “Can’t Move Wrong” is a highlight: Assisted by Broward County’s Trapland Pat, Tyler coasts on the skittering beat with regional specifics like the thick bassline and bits of steel drum. Meanwhile, his lyrics are low-key one-liners that stick out based on how they’re said: “Pull up to the club, rock the stage, got your bitch amazed” is given life by the way his scratchy vocals drag out “amazed.” He channels similarly chill energy in “Santa” with Pompano Beach’s Loe Shimmy, which isn’t as vibrant as their November collab “A Day in the NOYA,” but their shared iciness gels. Previously released day-in-the-life joints “Back Flippin” and “Fat Racks Pt. 2” still sound bright and beachy, even if they’ve been worn out in my headphones—and even though “Fat Racks” didn’t need a BabyTron redux. 

My Vision would be even better if Tyler cared more about the minor but important particulars that elevate storytelling. His lyrical vagueness makes me appreciate non-sequitur wizards like Flint’s Rio Da Yung OG and central Florida’s Goldenboy Countup, who fill each line with so many details that the ordinary becomes colorfully wild. Tyler isn’t as naturally animated, but bars like, “Niggas hoes, on my trail, nigga, they like, ‘Oh he rapping’” on “Moncler on My Coat” are still too fuzzy. Whose girlfriends are they? Is it the rapping itself or the rap lifestyle that’s impressing them? Is this interaction happening in person or in the comments? The closest he gets to fleshing out his world is “You Was Laughing,” a slightly reflective look at what he’s been through during the grueling grind of the past, uh… six months. 

But hey, these are songs for and about chilling, and they serve their purpose well—most specifically the two tracks that bring in producer Polo Boy Shawty, a pioneer of the hazy, summer-ready plugg sound. His work on the laid-back intro “My Vision” makes me dream of Tyler’s version of Tony Shhnow’s Plug Motivation mixtape. And on “Hit the Top,” Tyler doesn’t have much going on outside of rolling blunts and going to Rolling Loud, but the trippy rhythm paired with his cloud of punchlines delivered in that middle-aged cigarette smoker voice makes doing absolutely nothing sound cool as shit. You don’t need to be a teenager to get behind that.