The underground scene in North Carolina is booming. Somewhere in Charlotte, local artist Wokreaper shares his story about music, his collaboration with Belis, his future drops, and more in his first ever interview.

How old are you and where are you from?

I’m 19 and I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina.

What made you want to start doing music?

I always grew up listening to pretty much all kinds of rap, and always wanted to be a rapper. I didn’t really listen to anything but rap music. Two years ago in high school, I really started wanting to be a rapper. I was a super dorky kid, but I would sit around and write raps. I was doing that for two years before I made a song. I’m the kind of person where I see something I like and I just wanna be a part of it. I tried it with music, and I ended up being good at it. It had me being passionate about something.

When did you first start to release music?

Officially, like, a year and a half ago, but I didn’t actually find a sound I really liked until probably 6 months ago.

Who are your musical influences?

I don’t like to talk about that because I always wondered what I would say. Everyone has this really wide, diverse number of influences. People listen to all genres of music and I think that’s really important, but honestly, I’m not really like that. I’ve always just listened to just rap, like, it was literally Drake that made me wanna be a rapper. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, I listened to that shit, it’s amazing. It’s just Drake spazzing out really hard. There was something about it that I was really fucking with and wanted to be a part of. I started writing raps after that. My favorite artists are Lil Uzi and XXXTentacion, and not because it’s the generation I come from. Lil Uzi doesn’t give a fuck about the old ideas and what it means to be a rapper. I really fuck with that. I’m really different too, and I don’t fall into the stereotypes that most rappers fall into. The fact he can be a weirdo and be different and still have success makes me really look up to him. He’s one of my idols for that reason. Lil Peep too. Obviously rap started off as a mainly black thing, it’s black culture, and there’s white rappers too, but I like Lil Peep a lot because he’s super different. I don’t like to say I’ve only been influenced by Peep because people will compare me to him, over how I have 2 different hair colors and how I’m a tall white kid. We’re not at all similar except for the fact that he’s a weirdo, and that he totally owns it, and I’ve always respected that.

How would you describe your sound?

That’s a hard question. It’s not specific, but in music I kind of look for something that makes you feel a certain way. I feel like a lot of people like to shit on music that doesn’t have a lot of layers. I just wanna convert emotions into a song. I’ve been doing a lot of sad stuff lately, but I also do a lot of hype stuff. I’ve been doing a lot of guitar and emo music lately, and I feel like people will probably call me an emo rapper, which is kind of weird. I didn’t start off that way, but I guess it kind of works because I’ve been rolling that way. I do regular trap stuff too, and I’m really good at both.

Where did you name come from?

Wokreaper wasn’t my original name, and I’m totally not gonna tell you my previous name because it’s super corny *laughs*. I had a different name a while back, but I wasn’t taking music that seriously. There was this girl I was friends with, and she said that she would always be the person to put her friends on drugs and shit. Her Instagram name was “purity reaper” because she said she would take their purity and innocence by putting them on to the bad shit. I thought that was super hard, so I told her that I was gonna steal it. I was also drinking a lot of lean that time, Wockhardt, so I just added that. It was originally my Instagram name, and I was really fucking with it, so I ended up making it my rap name. I really like it. All my friends call me Wokreaper. I really made this music thing my whole life. Every time I meet a new person who’s music related they call me Wok. Even my roommate calls me Wok, it’s kinda cool. I like it.

I see you did a song with Belis, “UDONTMATTER”, how was that? How did it come together?

Me and Bryce are really good friends. I hear about her a lot and I’m really happy seeing her get so much success. If I’m being completely honest, neither of us like that song, which is really funny. We’re working on other stuff. I don’t know when it’s gonna come out because she has a lot of stuff going on in her life.

It’s weird how we met. I literally slid in her DMs a long time ago when we first started making music. She only had 600 followers or so at the time, and we started talking and hanging out a little bit, and since we both did music we made that song. We liked it at the time we dropped it, but we’re both kinda over it now. She’s one of the most talented artists in Charlotte and I’m really proud of her success. I know she’s gonna do really great things. She’s been super supportive of me and helped me out a lot when I first started making music. She just gave me a lot of tips and tricks about range and stuff. If you listen to my last couple songs and the ones I’m about to drop, I make mostly melodic music now; she told me a lot of ways to make that easier and I really appreciate that from her.

When are you dropping new music?

I have 5-6 finished songs right now, and I’m working on EP called Angels. I haven’t told anybody that name. It’s gonna have a bunch of artists from Charlotte on it that are pretty popular. It’s going to be mostly sad stuff, but it’s got some bangers on it too. I’m gonna drop a single in the next couple of days, and the next tape should be out in a month or two. I always drop music really far apart. I don’t know why, probably because I’m really picky. I’ve only been dropping music for a year and I learn something new every time I make a song, so a few months later I end up not liking the song anymore. I’m just extremely picky. I only drop songs I really like. I have a lot of finished songs. I’ve been working on a lot of music, and even though I haven’t put anything out, I never stop.

Who’s somebody on a song you wanna work with?

That’s hard. As far as producers go, there’s a lot I really like. I would really like to work with a producer called Cap’nCrunchbeats. As far as features go, I would love a Chief Keef feature. I look up to him a lot, he would be one of my first choices. Locally, I don’t really know, because a lot of the people I would wanna work with I’ve already worked with, or have a song with them out. There’s a lot of really talented artists in Charlotte, and I love working with people in my city. I’ll work with anybody in Charlotte if I like their music.

Outside of music, what do you do?

Music takes up most of my time. Other than that, if I’m being completely honest, my life is in shambles right now. I do a lot of bullshit. I don’t know man. I honestly hated last year, and I’m just now getting back on my feet, recovering from a lot of bad mistakes and shit that I’ve made. I’m doing really good right now for the first time. I have my own place, and a car, shit like that. I’m working on music a lot which is my main priority. I don’t have a lot of time for other shit. I just hang out with my friends, get drunk, and make music.

What do your parents think about your music?

I’m lucky enough to be close with them. They both support me. They’re both the creative types, like writers and artists, that kind of creative. I grew up around that stuff. Of course, there’s a side of my music that my parents don’t like. My mom won’t listen to some of my songs. She definitely gets angry, but she’ll survive. At the end of the day they really do support me, see my talent, and see that it’s a good thing to put a lot of time and effort into.

I see that your latest song “fml” has a more alternative guitar sound than your usual trap sound. What made you go that direction?

I always liked that stuff. Like I said, I’ve been listening to more alternative-sounding music in the last year. Honestly, I had just been going through a lot. The reason I like “fml” is because it’s a really genuine song. Every single thing I talk about really happened, or I was really going through. I was going through a really rough time. I was fucking struggling with drugs, struggling in my realtionship, I had just gotten out of jail, and I was sad as fuck. I was taking a break from social media and I felt super alone. I was feeling so much and wanted to pour it out into a song, and the guitar shit was the only thing that had the kind of feeling I was going for. I put my heart out into that song and I’m definitely going to do more guitar stuff in the future. This next project is 40-50% guitar shit. I’m doing a lot more of it.

I saw that you performed at the Nascar Aloe and Ronsocold show a while back. How was that?

It was a good show. I feel bad because I basically just showed up, did my set, and left because I had been awake for 3 days straight before that, and I didn’t eat anything. So when I got there, I felt like I was gonna die and throw up. I did my set and the crowd was super supportive. It was a good ass show. When I left, my car got wrecked. I got hit by a drunk driver and it got totaled. My shit got obliterated. It was a rough day, but the show itself was super good. I wish I could have stayed longer to see everyone perform, but the people I did see did a really good job. I’m glad you asked me about this, because I know a lot of people were wondering why I left so early. I’m happy I finally got a chance to explain that.

If you had never started doing music, where do you think you would be?

I would be doing other weird shit. I can’t do normal shit. I got kicked out of school because I didn’t care about it at all. The path everybody wanted was to go to school, then to college, and get a job. I don’t want that. That would make me unhappy. I’ve always hated school and working. I would rather be doing something creative. My entire life I’ve been doing something creative. I would be doing some kind of art or something. So yeah, if I wasn’t doing music, I don’t know exactly what I would be doing, but I’d be making something and putting all my time and energy on it, like I’m doing with my music.

Anything you want to make clear?

I wanna make it clear that my name is Wokreaper, not Wokereaper. People always say my name fucking wrong so that’s the main thing I want people to know. You say it like Wok, not Woke.

Any shoutouts?

Damn, that’s hard. Big shoutout to Belis. Shout out Lil Shorts, snowlilhoe, and many more. They know who they are. Everybody that supports me in what I’m trying to do.

You can keep up with Wokreaper on his Twitter and Instagram, both @wokreaper, or follow his Soundcloud below.