Lil Key

Lil Key

After proving himself in every round, the people have decided Lil Key is the leader of The New Wave. Watch how Lil Key ran the competition.

People using screen readers may not be able to fully view information in this file. The content for this playlist is: " A piano tune plays over a hip-hop beat.                 ON SCREEN TEXT:             6 ARTISTS All 6 artists faces are shown rapidly. SWAY: The New Wave was all the way up.                 ON SCREEN TEXT:             3 ROUNDS All 3 rounds are shown rapidly                 ON SCREEN TEXT:             200,000+ VOTES SWAY: We started with six artists, but it was Lil Key who the people decided is next to take over. Lil Key breaks into a grin and holds out his microphone. Lil Key Rapping on stage: On the beat, I'm not a minute late. All time. I'm a great. Believing that you better than me? Boy, you know that just a fate. Lil Key Interview: When I come  and I deliver on a track,  you know it’s me when you hear it.  You can have your eyes closed.  You Know.  “Yo that’s Lil Key on the track right there” Lil Key Rapping on stage with a full band: Heart of a lion, got the brain of a scholar. All I do is hustle, stay gettin' legal dollaz. Lil Key Interview:  I want to change the game and let people know – You can be positive and still be popular.  So that’s why I rock with Fresh Empire and keep it tobacco-free. SWAY: His skills earned your votes to get hooked up with a feature on Complex. An audience pumps their arms as Lil Key performs onstage. The Fresh Empire logo appears over washed out footage of highways, a chain-link fence, and waves. Names of cities flash by. ON SCREEN TEXT:             FRESH EMPIRE                                                ATLANTA, GA SWAY: But that's not all. Lil Key also won that slot in the Fresh Empire tour featuring a crazy line-up you won't want to miss. ON SCREEN TEXT:             NORFOLK, VA ON SCREEN TEXT:             MILWAUKEE, WI ON SCREEN TEXT:             NEW YORK, NY ON SCREEN TEXT:             PHOENIX, AZ ON SCREEN TEXT:             LOS ANGELES, CA In a club, a fan records with his phone. An audience jumps with their hands up. Outside, another crowd bounces up and down. SWAY: That's right. You get a chance to catch Lil Key, the leader of the New Wave, live in action. Lil Key Interview:  It’s Lil Key and I keep it fresh with Fresh Empire. Lil Key bounces, then swivels his head as he performs. SWAY: So keep it locked with Fresh Empire to find out when he'll be touching a stage in your city. Lil Key performs with the band in the warehouse, then grins into the camera in front of the screens. SWAY: Fresh Empire. Keep it fresh, and live tobacco-free. A neon star unfolds to create a logo. ON SCREEN TEXT:             FRESHEMPIRE                                                KEEP IT FRESH.                                                LIVE TOBACCO-FREE.                                                FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave " For any more help, please email tobaccocampaigns@fda.hhs.gov';

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Catch the leader of The New Wave live at exclusive Fresh Empire events across the country. Check the dates and get your squad ready to celebrate with Lil Key and Fresh Empire.

Check out all the artists
Havi
40101 votes
Unghetto Mathieu
21639 votes
Nasaan
119225 votes
Mark Battles
7786 votes
Lil Key
202261 votes
Kodie Shane
14229 votes

People using screen readers may not be able to fully view information in this file. The content for this playlist is: "A hip-hop beat plays as logos appear side by side. The Fresh Empire logo stretches out above a green star, and a logo for Complex appears on a white square background. An X crosses between the logos. ON SCREEN TEXT: FRESH EMPIRE COM PLEX A title pops up. ON SCREEN TEXT: PRESENT THE NEW WAVE A neon green screen opens up to a warehouse, where a young artist with a flat top haircut interviews as a crew prepares a photo set behind him. ON SCREEN TEXT: LIL KEY LIL KEY: I'm Lil Key. I'm a sixteen-years-old aspirational rap artist. I'm from Baltimore City. You know. My main goal is to try to change this game, try to bring the lyricism back, and just be different. That's one thing I did, was dare to be different. Trying to make sure I get out here and just be big as possible, you know, I wanna be known for who I am. A photographer snaps photos of Lil Key as he poses sitting on a window sill in the warehouse. LIL KEY: I would describe my music: very aggressive and turnt up. Interviewing, Lil Key smiles. LIL KEY: You know, and I say that because when I come and I deliver on the track, you know it's me when you hear it. You got your eyes closed, you know, "Yo, that's Lil Key on the track right there." He narrows his eyes thoughtfully. LIL KEY: It's a couple things that inspired me. You know, my story that I have. I actually have a birth injury where, um, I don't have circulation in my right arm as I do in my left. It's called brachial plexus. So that gave me, you know, strength and power just to like, "Man. I gotta do something." 'Cause a lot of people always pointed out the things that I couldn't do. He shakes his head. LIL KEY: You can look any type of way. You can have any type of appearance, but at the end of the day, as long as you are different and who you are, then can't nobody stop you. And that's what I did, that's what inspired me. He smiles. LIL KEY: I ride with Fresh Empire because it's dope. To living tobacco-free? That's my style. I'm not with tobacco. And, as an artist, you can't really be doin' those type of things 'cause you need that stamina and that energy to perform, to deliver on a track. I wanna change the game and let people know: you can be positive and still be popular. You know, you don't have to be a negative rapper. He leans back, widening his eyes, then smiles. LIL KEY: You can still be positive. And that's one thing that I feel as though Fresh Empire pushes with the hip-hop side of it. So that's why I ride with Fresh Empire and live tobacco-free. Lil Key points at the camera. LIL KEY: It's Lil Key, and I keep it fresh with Fresh Empire. The Fresh Empire logo appears with text over washed out footage of highways, and a chain-link fence. ON SCREEN TEXT: VOTE NOW FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave FRESH EMPIRE KEEP IT FRESH AND LIVE TOBACCO-FREE SWAY: Fresh Empire. Keep it fresh, and live tobacco-free. " For any more help, please email tobaccocampaigns@fda.hhs.gov';

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Lil Key brings his motivational bars to the cypher in Round 1 of The New Wave competition. Check out the video to watch him go in. 

People using screen readers may not be able to fully view information in this file. The content for this playlist is: "A simple synthesizer tune plays. Logos appear side-by-side. The Fresh Empire Logo drops down above a green star, and a logo for Complex appears on a white square background. An X crosses between the logos. ON SCREEN TEXT: FRESH EMPIRE COM PLEX A title sprawls across the screen. ON SCREEN TEXT: PRESENT THE NEW WAVE A lime green title card appears. ON SCREEN TEXT: ROUND 1 In a dark room, Kodie Shane, Havi, and Lil Key stand in front of screens displaying the Fresh Empire logo over images of urban landscapes. Kodie Shane steps forward and holds a mic to her lips. ON SCREEN TEXT: FRESH EMPIRE VOTE NOW FOR UNGHETTO MATHIEU FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave KODIE SHANE (RAPPING): Ay. Okay. I just landed here. I just got back from the future. I ain't been asleep yet 'cause my...okay. I just landed here. I just got back from the future. I ain't been asleep yet, 'cause my dreams are always lucid. She should want me 'cause I'm next. I pay no attention to it. Just sit back. Watch how I do this. Hold me back before I lose it! Okay, boy, I need my check. Come on, cut it. Let's get to it. I'm at all you rapper's neck, so don't play me. Please don't do it. No false movements on the beat. I get right to it. Your girlfriend like my music. You better than me? Then prove it. Okay. Drop that top, now to get back to it. Whole lot of, yeah, okay. Drop that top now to get back to it. Pass me the rock. Watch how I do it. You ain't really trap, boy, you lying to the tease. Ay. Okay, um. You ain't really trap, boy, you lying to the tease. You ain't with me. We on opposite teams. Okay. Havi steps forward. HAVI: Yeah. Dang. Yeah. Whoa. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Look, look. HAVI (RAPPING): Hold up, beat. The difference between you and me is I'm getting paid, and you working for free. I'm young, and I'm boss, and I'm living my dream while I'm killing this rap game, bringing this heat. Whoa. I don't never get no sleep. No. Man I do it for my people. Taking money like repo. RIP to the beat, dope. Spitting facts when I rhyme. Man, I do this all the time. Yeah. Man, I’m young and on the grind. They don't want to see me shine. Man, I know it's my time. Look, I'm tired of seeing mama crying, and no, homey, I ain't lying. Yeah. No, homey, I ain't lying. Thought it was over, but man I'm back in it. I'm in it to win it. No matter the track, I'ma kill it. Know that you feel it, know that you dig it. The money the poison, and my fingers are itching. Whipping cars like a pot in the kitchen. The way I beat the beat, it might need some stitches. They like, "Oh my God, Havi too vicious." Oops, warning, I might hurt your feelings. Fall so cold I could change the weather. Talking hard, you a Mayfeather. Matter of fact, check my vendetta. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling way better. You were never ever on my level, so catch up. You might need a pedal. I'm bringing heat like a rusted kettle. I told these folks I'm feeling way better. Talking the money like como te llamo. Boy this is Havi, forget the me llamo. Man, I'm so hot, and it ain't even summer. Got to go hard on this, word to my mama. Kiss on my flame, and I feel like a partner. Run it. Run it. Chasing hundreds. Man I'm so hot, and it ain't even summer. I told them I'd go hard on this. Word to my mama. Yeah. Havi swaggers upstage as Lil Key steps forward. LIL KEY: Yo. Hey. Hey. Check it. Unh. Look. Yo. LIL KEY (RAPPING): On the beat, I'm not a minute late. All time. I'm a great. Believing that you better than me? Boy, you know that just a fate. Authentic, never fake, skills getting mastered. Been to the back, everything I write a classic. Another beat body getting fitted for a casket. Time been invested, something like a life sentence. Talking about the best? My name better be mentioned. B-more, I got us. Got my city on my back, boy. Braking, coming in, call me a dope boy. Two separate lanes, man. Can't match my flow, boy. You are just a decoy, and I'm the real dang boy, and I don't play games, man. All I do is destroy the competition daily. Seeing things really clearly. My roots run deep something like Alex Haley's. Okay. All the way up, I'm on the top floor now. Made it out the basement, all the way up. I'm on that lifetime station. I remain patient. My haters still hating. Hack my Facebook, a star in the making. Tighten up my circle like I do my laces. We so far up the radar, can't trace us. How Shaq and Kobe felt when they was with the Lakers. Let's get it. Uh huh. I got the rap game mastered. Label this a classic. Cruising in my own lane. I'm not your average rapper. Speak about my life story, I am not an actor. Team on my back, pull my weight like a tractor. Uh. Pull my weight like a tractor. Uh. ON SCREEN TEXT: VOTE NOW FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave FRESH EMPIRE KEEP IT FRESH. LIVE TOBACCO-FREE. SWAY: Fresh Empire. Keep it fresh, and live tobacco-free." For any more help, please email tobaccocampaigns@fda.hhs.gov';

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Lil Key raps along with a surprise band in Round 2 of The New Wave competition. Watch the vid to see how he did. 

People using screen readers may not be able to fully view information in this file. The content for this playlist is: "A brassy tune plays. Logos appear side-by-side. The Fresh Empire Logo drops down above a green star, and a logo for Complex appears on a white square background. An X crosses between the logos. ON SCREEN TEXT: FRESH EMPIRE COM PLEX A title sprawls across the screen. ON SCREEN TEXT: PRESENT THE NEW WAVE A lime green title card appears. ON SCREEN TEXT: ROUND 2 In a sunny warehouse, Lil Key strides out with diamond jewelry. He bobs his head as he looks to the full band that plays with him. As Lil Key grabs the mic, the band starts playing guitar, drums, and brass instruments. The Fresh Empire logo appears in the corner and text stretches out at the bottom. ON SCREEN TEXT: FRESH EMPIRE VOTE NOW FOR LIL KEY FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave LIL KEY: Mic check. Yeah. Let's go. It's Key. Whoo. Yup. LIL KEY (RAPPING): When you as nice as me the competition seem minimal. Smash the beat. I'm lyrical. Never speak, subliminal. All up in your face. Word play, nothing physical. The kid is so just lyrical when you are just so typical. Heart of a lion, got the brain of scout. All I do is hustle, stay gettin' legaled up. Got to get the money, after that I get the power. Dressed in the best, all I rock is them designers. MCM, Louis, Versace, and Gucci. Shoes with the belt, they match like I was cool. Shout out to my brothers, got you thinking this a movie. Stare in the mirror, take a look at my reflection. Workin' at my credit, fine-tuning to perfection. Waitin' on the car, can't lie here be stressing. Never second guessing, always count my blessings. Haters find new things to say about me daily. Don't bother me at all, no, not even barely. Circle tryin' to grow, 'cause they see I'm 'bout to blow, so I keep my friends close to expose all the foes. I ain't trying to ruffle feathers. I ain't trying to start a beef. I just call it how I see. Don't be mad at me, huh. Lil Key's the name. The game is my hustle. B-more city's where I'm from, and I'm surviving in the struggle. And I'm surviving in the struggle. And I'm surviving in the struggle. Yeah. A neon star unfolds to create a logo.   ON SCREEN TEXT: VOTE NOW FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave FRESH EMPIRE KEEP IT FRESH. LIVE TOBACCO-FREE. SWAY: Fresh Empire. Keep it fresh, and live tobacco-free." For any more help, please email tobaccocampaigns@fda.hhs.gov';

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Can Lil Key show out for the crowd in the final round of The New Wave competition? Watch the vid to find out.

People using screen readers may not be able to fully view information in this file. The content for this playlist is: "A hip-hop beat plays as logos appear side-by-side. The Fresh Empire logo stretches out above a green star, and a logo for Complex appears on a white square background. An X crosses between the logos. ON SCREEN TEXT: FRESH EMPIRE COM PLEX A title sprawls across the screen. ON SCREEN TEXT: PRESENT THE NEW WAVE LIL KEY: Ay. Let me get everybody to clap like this, man. A lime green title card appears. ON SCREEN TEXT: ROUND 3 In a dimly lit warehouse, Lil Key claps his hands together, holding a mic in one. The crowd claps as he steps back. Lights flicker behind him. A Fresh Empire logo appears in the corner and text stretches out below. ON SCREEN TEXT: FRESH EMPIRE VOTE NOW FOR LIL KEY FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave LIL KEY: Clap, clap, clap, clap. This a real easy hook. I want y'all to say it with me. It go like this. LIL KEY (RAPPING): We put in that work. We put in that work. We put in that work. Say it with me. We put in that work. Say what, say what? We put in that work. Yeah. We put in that work. Put it in. Put it in. Ay. Put it in. Put it in. Work. Put it in. Put it in. Let's go. Put it in. Put it in. We put in that work. We put in that work. Say what? We put in that work. Say what, say what? We put in that work. Yeah. We put in that work. We puttin' it in. Put it in. Put it in. Whoa. Put it in. Put it in. Yes. Put it in. Put it in. Check. 24/7/365 I be working. Trying to be consistent, ain't never gonna be perfect. Get it how I'm living. I'm living, like, with a purpose. Reaching my potential, ain't even scratching the surface. Put my dues in, so the payoff gonna be worth it. Haters doin' they job, on my pages they be lurking. All they gonna see is a person that is worth it, interviews. I'm working. Studio, I'm worth it. I do this for my city. I'm tired of seeing them hurting. Do this in my sleep. I ain't never gonna retire. The kid so fresh, man, I run the empire. Everything I spit, man, I swear it's gonna be fire. Brother man, stand up, 'bout to get my stacks up. Ahead of this game, half these rappers got to play catch-up. Started from the bottom, and I'm destined to be first. I'ma stay on top 'cause I always put in work. We put in that work. Say what, say what? We put in that work. What we do? We put in that work. Yeah, yeah. We put in that work. Let's go. Put it in. Put it in. Whoa. Put it in. Put it in. Yeah. Put it in. Put it in. Whoa. Put it in. Put it in. Let's go. Let's go. We put in that work. What, what? We put in that work. What we do? We put in that work. Ay, ay. We put in that work. Yeah. We puttin' it in. Put it in. Put it in. Whoa. Put it in. Put it in. Yeah. Put it in. Put it in. Whoa. Put it in. Put it in. We put in that work. Say what? We put in that work. Huh, huh? Let's go. Let's go. We put in that work. Yeah. Put in that work. What we do? CROWD: We put in that work. LIL KEY.: Huh? Huh? CROWD: We put in that work. LIL KEY: Let's get it. As the audience cheers, a neon star unfolds to create a logo. ON SCREEN TEXT: VOTE NOW FreshEmpire.gov/TheNewWave FRESH EMPIRE KEEP IT FRESH. LIVE TOBACCO-FREE. SWAY: Fresh Empire. Keep it fresh, and live tobacco-free." For any more help, please email tobaccocampaigns@fda.hhs.gov';

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