LayWills levels up on new EP ‘Upper Class’


Spotify screenshot

Lowcountry rapper LayWills’ sophomore album, Upper Class, is all about the next step up. Taking the formula she laid down in her debut EP Preschool, LayWills upped the ante on the feel-good party vibe without losing the soul of that last album.

“[Upper Class is] more so documenting coming up in a different hustle, coming into my own as an artist,” she said.

“Escalade,” one of the rapper’s favorites from the album, portrays LayWills’ journey and success in Los Angeles, where she lives now.

“Paper flowin’ like Niagara Falls/ Phone blowin’ blowin’ up from the missed calls/ rappers reaching for a feature feature,” she raps over a driving beat.

Upper Class was recorded at TwinD1st Century Entertainment in West Ashley. The footprint of studio founder and engineer Twin can be heard throughout the EP.

The third track on Upper Class, “Heist,” is a fun and dark track that gives LayWills the chance to show off her word play and ability to change up her flow. “While you out there running miles/ I’ll be in here running business/ I’m that HBIC with that full drip I see,” she raps. 

LayWills uses the last song on the EP, “Reflections,” to show her range as a songwriter.

“I pulled up to the scene/ without a dollar, but a dream/ I only had a destination/ told my mama I would make it/ been having premonitions since ‘98/ about sitting amongst the greats with a plate/ in a seat that had my name on it.”

The rapper has a pretty extensive background in acting, a passion that she said has influenced her music. “I feel like me as a rapper, I try to give a bunch of different sounds and that’s where my acting comes in because I try to create different characters within my music,” she said.

In fact, on her debut album she tried to include a song for every listener. “My goal with that EP, since it was the first piece of music I really put out into the public, was to showcase six songs, six completely different styles,” she said. “You had the song that was a chick bop, you had the song that was a love song, you had the song that was a club song, you had a call to action song.”

While LayWills continues this trend to an extent on Upper Class, she said that she strived for a “level-up vibe.”

Support the Charleston City Paper

We’ve been covering Charleston since 1997 and plan to be here with the latest and Best of Charleston for many years to come. In a time where local journalism is struggling, the City Paper is investing in the future of Charleston as a place where diverse, engaging views can flourish. We can't do it without our readers. If you'd like to support local, independent journalism:

UP NEXT FROM

FEATURE

Charleston Literary Festival kicks off free, virtual event Nov. 6

Lillie Poland

The annual Charleston to Charleston Literary Festival released their virtual schedule.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The Agenda: 1,500 students could return to classrooms; SC cities defunding police … due to COVID-19

Charleston County Schools could bring back an additional 1,500 students for in-person learning by Nov. 11. Charleston County School District’s goal is to have 25,000 students learning in-person by Nov. 11, an additional 1,500 students and 60% of the district’s students. Source: WCSC Some South Carolina cities are defunding their police departments … due to […]

200,000 in SC could get health coverage with Medicaid expansion

Analyses from the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities predict 191,664 South Carolinians would gain health coverage if the state expands Medicaid. According to the CBPP, Medicaid expansion narrows racial disparities in health coverage and access to care, and it improves coverage and health for parents and children. It would also put the state in a better position to respond to […]

Before You Go: Clinton mentions Haley in 2024 talk; Tropical impacts in SC?

COVID-19 updates: South Carolina health officials reported 755 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, with 20 additional confirmed deaths. With 6,158 on Sunday, the 12.3 percent of tests came back positive. As of 4:45 p.m. Oct. 26, via S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:Confirmed cases in S.C.:  163,946 (+755)Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 16,608 (+26)Negative tests in S.C.: 1,670,655Deaths […]

10/26 COVID-19 update: 12.3% positive, 755 cases; 20 deaths

COVID-19 updates: South Carolina health officials reported 755 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, with 20 additional confirmed deaths. With 6,158 on Sunday, the 12.3 percent of tests came back positive. As of 4:45 p.m. Oct. 26, via S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:Confirmed cases in S.C.:  163,946 (+755)Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 16,608 (+26)Negative tests in S.C.: 1,670,655Deaths […]