As he prepares to celebrate the one year anniversary of his mixtape SICK OF BEING PATIENT 2, Mississippi's own Lil' Chris Manne of R.ich O.ff C.lass is already strategizing on the next part of his musical journey.
An artist that dares to tackle anything and everything on a track, he says the response to the project over the past year makes him feel good because that means his voice is being heard. That's ironic seeing that he considers himself a "late bloomer" to the love of music. "I can remember being 10 years old in the 5th grade and not really being into music," he says. It was a couple of years later that he started playing around with it and honing his craft. What developed is a real fearlessness that comes across in every track of SICK OF BEING PATIENT 2.
"I'm a real diverse person," Lil' Chris explains. Bringing that to the table when he gets in the booth adds to his music, allowing him to talk about life, goals and having a good time.
The other thing I was struck with was his lyrical skills, allowing him to paint a picture with words. "That inspiration of wordplay comes from the artists I listen to like Lil Wayne," he says. Wayne and others inspired him to use words to say different message.
Being in a studio is one thing but Lil' Chris says the live performance is the real pay-off as an artist. "I always tell people that once you get on stage and you get a microphone in your hands you have the power and control over your audience. I feel like music is the most powerful thing on earth."
Though he calls Mississippi home, the artist is connecting with the world through social media, sharing his music with all that he comes in contact with. "I do music more to the region that I'm in," he says, but adds: "When you are able to reach these other places you get feedback from different ears." At the end of the day he doesn't want to limit himself. "I want everybody to be able to hear my music," and the Internet is definitely making that possible.
It's hard not to talk with Lil' Chris Manne and not feel the confidence he has about his craft. I asked him where that comes from, and he says it originate from the fans. "The feedback gave me this confidence. I always known I had this talent, and I would continue doing music no matter what." When he hears from others how much they enjoy it, he says "It makes you want to put more out there."
He also realizes that he's not just doing this for himself. As the word has gotten out about his gift others are watching him---and it began in his own family. "I am the oldest of four," Lil' Chris says. "I realize I have these three watching me, and they need to see me progress in anything I do to have the influence to progress themselves." One of his brothers is also his hypeman on stage."I need to make sure I do everything right myself. If anybody is going to be following me I need to be a great leader."