On the Verge: Lil Weavah
[CMJ New Music Monthly 138]

Lump in Lil Weavah with the dime-a-dozen diminutives in the rap game if you must, but do so at your own peril: the
20-year-old “Southern lyricist” is going places, and he knows it perfectly well. “I will run for mayor of Atlanta,” he says. “Maybe not in the next few years, but eventually.” Indeed, while finishing college this year and setting his eye on law school, Weavah (né Weaver) has found the time to top the Georgia Soundscan charts and pull in a Southern Entertainment Award for best mix tape freestyle—though he couldn’t make it to the ceremony (“I had some papers to write,” he shrugs). Captivating the independent rap scene can’t be easy, but Weavah’s work, like 2004’s breakthrough Home Team and the forthcoming Underground Music mix, offers an earnest and versatile take on all things personal, political, and playalistic, easily exuding the street poetics of influences like 2Pac and T.I. “I will never down the lyricism in Southern music,” he says of the South’s famously vapid crunk culture. “If you can go gold [like that] I’m not gonna fault you, but I don’t know how to rap without having meaning to it.” So far it’s working, and, despite estimating a fan base around 50,000, Weavah seems undaunted by big-man-on-campus status. “At school some people don’t even know who I am,” he says calmly. “If you know, you know. If you don’t, it’s not like I walk around with a shirt that says ‘I AM LIL WEAVAH.’”