By Blake Nelson
It’s been about a year since Lil Traffic started taking music seriously, and he’s only grown since.
Lil Traffic’s SoundCloud boasts tracks with nearly 100,000 views, something no other rapper in Reno can claim. Following the release of his track, “I wanna be a superhero,” Lil Traffic broke into the SoundCloud zeitgeist.
Different producers from around the country and the globe lend themselves to tracks for Lil Traffic, culminating in an eclectic and sometimes hectic sound. Drawing from big artists like Childish Gambino and Denzel Curry, Traffic’s sound and flow is textured and quick.
Lil Traffic still likes to keep it local though. Last weekend, Lil Traffic hosted a concert at The Holland Project titled “A Lil Traffic Christmas,” which also doubled as a charity event — canned food, clothes and hygiene products were accepted at the door for entrance. The concert drew a considerable crowd and featured other local rappers and DJs, resulting in a large load of items to be donated.
“I’d love for everybody to make it out and $5 isn’t really that much, but some people don’t have it,” Lil Traffic said. “And I think the best way to give back would be by doing some kind of clothing and food drive.”
Because of artists like Lil Traffic, DJ Young Milkcrate and Josh Alexander, there has been an emergence of a hip-hop scene in Reno. It’s not too strange to find a hip-hop concert with local artists at The Holland Project or at one of the venues around town nowadays.
The emergence of the scene has been steady; crowds grow with every show. When starting out, Traffic had a hard time getting more than 20 people to come to a concert.
“It’s just work,” Lil Traffic said. “I feel like people don’t really understand that you actually have to put in work to get what you want out of it.”
Lil Traffic credits part of his success to The Holland Project by allowing him and other hip-hop artists to perform. The venue has played a considerable role in the development of the hip-hop scene in Reno.
“We stepped in last year and it was like testing the waters,” Lil Traffic said. “We did the first one in October [of last year] and since then it’s been shows and shows and shows. Brigdon [Markward] and everybody there just loved us and became like family.”
Since beginning to play shows, Lil Traffic and Daniel Cruz, a fellow rapper, have become part of the Program Committee at Holland, allowing them to have a hand in what kind of concerts are put on by Holland.
The crowd at “A Lil Traffic Christmas” was large enough to create a party atmosphere that had everyone moving, swaying wildly from people vibing to a full-on mosh pit that enveloped the entire room at one point.
The highlights were the squad songs with almost all the artists involved grabbing mics and getting the crowd hyped.
Lil Traffic also credits Reno itself in his success.
“I don’t see a point of leaving Reno,” Lil Traffic said. “I could become a fricking billionaire and I’d still love to live in Reno. We have so many nice things and opportunities that people don’t really take advantage of, and I’ve definitely been able to learn what it can do for me.”
After this last concert, Lil Traffic will be releasing something at the beginning of next year with Young Milkcrate and Icy Dave. Beyond that he wants to stay consistent and stay up on SoundCloud, release a full album, tour and possibly play a concert at UNR.
As for now you can listen to his and various other artists’ music on his SoundCloud at soundcloud.com/luvliltraffic