Washington D.C. rapper Gleesh established himself as an influencer within the funk subculture of go-go music, and the independent hip-hop circuit before penning his record deal with Asylum Records. As a self-proclaimed “pioneer in mumble rap,” the emcee broke through as a viral sensation with gritty audiovisuals to tracks “SKRONG,” and “Its Sad Boy.” Gleesh’s animated persona and delivery of hard-knocked truths were swiftly solidified as “next to blow,” by XXL, and an array of publications to follow.

Apart from developing a cyber fanbase, his rhymes notably garnered the attention of his favorite rapper Gucci Mane. In addition, he maintained a longstanding friendship with the late Chicago lyricist, Fredo Santana. Gleesh’s and Santana’s close-knit bond would endure beyond the studio sessions of his early projects such as, Ain’t Shit Changed, and Your Favorite Rapper’s Favorite Rapper, to a joint FADER interview from Santana’s home — until his untimely passing. “The people I musically inspired did well,” said Gleesh. “So, I learned not to go in the booth second-guessing myself, mumble rap is about flow.”

His drawled freestyles further resonated through massive streaming numbers on Cleansides Finest 3 trap earworms, “Wasabi,” “Water,” and more. “Recording is a means of expression, but I love performing. It is the best thing for me to do,” affirmed Gleesh. And, in the name of showmanship, Gleesh finessed his signature footwork (the Gleesh Walk) for upward of forty-eight million in A$AP Rocky’s “Multiply,” music video. The popular dance would go on to earn an HYPEBEAST-acclaimed verse for the collab, “Telephone Call” alongside the A$AP Mob. Each step was in preparation for the dawn of a new era, his 2018 Gleesh Walk Tour.

Through the agency of wordsmithing, and the remembrance of his fallen friends — Gleesh recorded the song “My Condolences,” while on the road. Even so, his tour represented joy. “I dance to get the crowd hype. Performances are not meant to make fans think about what they have been dealing with all week. It is more than a vibe. I want them to party,” Gleesh affirmed.

This fresh momentum pushed the success of his social media spoof against President Trump’s MAGA campaign, which encouraged listeners to “Make America Gleesh Again.” Followers cleared out the correlating merchandise before his release of the self-titled major debut, GLEESH. The hard-nosed body of work jolts the street anthems he’s celebrated for on, “Get Out,” and “My Fault.” With an improved mindset, the artist considers GLEESH his “stepping stone,” to elevate musicality. The release of Hot 97’s “Who’s Next” playlist nods Gleesh’s fan-favorite, “Pew Pew,” as promising.

“My father always told me when you die you want everyone to remember you as a good man, the type that never lied. That is how I want to be viewed. I always want people to love me,” Gleesh confessed. Love is what the artist manifest, as “Leap Year,” his latest creative vision is taking off on YouTube. Beyond one-of-one rap soundscapes, the subjective inventiveness on GLEESH is to be respected. With D.C. rhythmic poetics, Gleesh forges his unique legacy with his latest mixtape, released July 13, 2018, via Asylum Records.


By Bianca Alysse Mercado for WMG

About The Author

Bianca Alysse is a creatively driven Bronx-born writer and editor. Before becoming The Knockturnal‘s music editor she served as Latina‘s creative coordinator and was a contributor at Billboard. The Boricua scribe has a lengthy resume in the music industry and has penned for Universal Music Publishing Group, Epic Records, G.O.O.D. Music, Compound Entertainment, Artistry & Récords, and Arcade Creative Group. Her work has been seen on platforms like VIBE, mitú, TIDAL, Remezcla, and behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. As an independent contractor, she has written for Sony Music Entertainment’s global business affairs department, Warner Music Group, and currently Roc Nation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.