Get the Strap



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Labeled one of the most coveted artists of 2022, Dominican rapper LightUpp has released a steady stream of powerful music and visuals over the past two years of the pandemic.

From bouncy singles like “Influence”, where the native Bronxite experiments with the leisurely energetic sound that has captured the attention of Detroit rap audiences, to the more reflective “Lord Knows”, where he touches on colorism, mass incarceration, and poverty in America, Lightupp has proven himself a capable orator and a voice for the masses.

Lightupp’s debut album, Besa La Mano, released in 2019, is a triumphant collection of records that illuminates his complex and tumultuous past, describes his rise to prominence in his hometown of the Bronx, and sets a course for a surely promising future based on the character and quality of his storytelling. His forthcoming project, Influence, due in 2022, describes both his tendency and ambition to influence those around him to lead a life of success, and occasional excess, as any self-respecting rapper must surely appreciate.

Influence is a fitting name for the project, as an homage to both the outside influences which made its fruition possible and the sonic influence that LightUpp himself has exerted over the underground sound of New York as an artist, producer, and engineer for the past half-decade.


With an undeniably charismatic personality, a sizable online following, and a look and sound that sets him apart from what we might call the typical Bronx artist of today, it seems likely that LightUpp will be a leading figure in his hometown for some time to come. However, can

his message of authenticity and individuality resonate with younger artists and lead them away from the overwhelmingly destructive material that has consumed much of the borough’s airwaves in recent times or will his trajectory be an exception to the rule? Only time will tell.


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