Lil Zay Osama x Trench Baby Mixtape
15)Ballin Dese B*tches
Lil Zay Osama makes “pain music.” That’s what the South Side native calls his combination of raw, gripping lyrics and a passionate delivery. One of Chicago’s most captivating young voices, the 23-year-old pens heart-wrenching street narratives riddled with eulogies for tragically lost family and friends. Throughout 2020, Zay has touched fans with singles like “Loyalty,” which encapsulates the emotional impact of his heaviest songs. In one half-sung couplet, he distills the callousness of Chicago street life. One of six children born to a single mother, Zay employed every hustle available to him growing up—selling newspapers, playing bucket drums, illicit grinds—to provide for himself and his family. But though Zay was in the street early, he was in the studio well before. By the time he was a teen, he was a budding star in the early 2010s Chicago drill scene alongside compatriots like Chief Keef. Zay dropped his celebrated and celebratory Hood Bible (2019) while glowing from signing to Warner Records, but his forthcoming project Trench Baby takes a different tack. He captures grief, trauma, and romantic heartbreak as much as he articulates the joy of survival.