Instigators-[TeamLilStraw]

Ever since dropping his “The Race” remix in 2017 TeamLilStraw has been the centerpoint of a burgeoning underground scene coming out of Nashville, Tennessee that represented a changing of the guard of sorts in the city as the artists who first pushed the Nashville underground in the early-2000’s passed the torch to the next generation, who was coming whether they liked it or not. Lil Straw led the way as countless other teens in the city hopped in the studio and worked together to push Nashville forwards and show the world how life really is in one of America’s fastest growing cities that is marketed for tourists but has a growing underbelly that natives know has always been there. As the city erases culture and razes neighborhoods in the name of profit and making California housing investors feeling comfortable, the music scene in Nashville has been the only thing to protect against the permanent erasure of the culture and vibrant history that has happened here. Despite dropping arguably the defining song for the last decade, or at least the latter end, with his self-produced track “Extra” which has eclipsed well over one-million streams and for back-to-back summers could be heard pumping out of cars on every side of town, Lil Straw has still not fully given the rap game his all, only offering us glimpses of how far he could go and other than his six-track EP Cautious that released in 2020 he has not dropped a project yet, while still feeding the streets as much as he can through chaotic videos and snippets for which he is beloved for by his small but dedicated fanbase. He is slowly but surely giving fans the full versions of all of his snippets, most recently with “Instigators” where he takes on a rousing instrumental powered by a simple but spellbinding piano loop, callously walking all over the beat with his raw southern drawl, ending his punchlines with his own brand of maniacal playfulness that keeps you off-balance. I really hope that we get more Lil Straw videos this summer, especially to the “Rock Paper Scissors” snippet on his Instagram that I have probably watched four-hundred times.