Hailing from Charlotte, NC, young rapper Mavi is one to watch. He created his first album, Let the Sun Talk, during his freshman year at Howard University. The project was met with praise, and so at the beginning of the pandemic, the neuroscience major decided to go home to his beloved city of Charlotte to work on his next record, the sophomore effort End of the Earth. With those two critically-praised independent records under his belt, word began to spread. He got invitations to collaborate with artists like The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt on tracks. He opened for Jake Harlow on his most recent tour. And last year, he recorded a stirring third album, Laughing So Hard It Hurts.
Laughing So Hard It Hurts is an album about pain. The pain of losing friends and loved ones, the pain of generational trauma, and of relationships ending. Though none of this is considered new territory in hip-hop, it’s what makes Mavi’s latest record so special – its vulnerability. You can hear the loneliness in the songs. Through his rhymes and the beautiful, almost subdued, production, he doesn’t just tell you about pain; you’re feeling it with him. Mavi crams 16 songs into 32 minutes on Laughing So Hard It Hurts. It’s a dense and intimate record, even a little lonely-sounding at times. We talked with Mavi about why he made that choice.
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Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
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