Adot Flips Assumptions & Defies Expectations

Photos by Julian Carr

Photos by Julian Carr

Essential Listens

Chicago has influenced and inspired countless artists, but not everyone regards it as the end-all be-all. While Adot was born and raised on the east side of the city, his music lives on the internet. He sees his hometown as a starting point in a greater journey, and in 2017 region means as much as you want it to. In Adot's eyes, he's independent in every sense of the word and while he respects the city that raised him, he’s achieved his accomplishments on his own.

From the outside looking in, Adot seems to move effortlessly within a notoriously competitive local scene. To write him off as another trap artist riding out the current wave would be embarrassingly wrong. “There’s two different kinds of waves right now. There’s typical trap, where people are talking about the same shit like their jewelry, and then there’s what I’m trying to do which is lyricism and trap at the same time. I’ve got the beats and the instrumentals so people can actually enjoy themselves while they’re listening to it. They can bounce up and down, but what I’m saying is still fire.” He’s moving through Chicago, but he’s also moving through the depths of Soundcloud, raising the bar in both sound and content

This infatuation with lyricism and imagery goes back to his younger days, taking inspiration from rappers like Earl and MF Doom, and genres such as rock and metal. Talking about his influences and the impact on his own music, he states, “I would say this is the year I really found my sound. I wanted to keep the lyrics aspect just for my sake, because I wanted to be happy with my music.” Adot’s passion for songwriting bleeds into all aspects of his life. He describes the meaning behind the small semi circle tattoo under his left eye as a reminder of the nights he stayed awake writing lyrics, watching the moon from his bed. This desire to tell stories drives his music. “I don’t try to put every detail of myself out there, but I just want to relate to people. I want people to feel something when they listen.”

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With his work, Adot is flexible and open minded, and he can make music with anyone. Some of his most important connections have emerged online. “I actually check my Twitter DM’s because you never know what you might find in there. Even if the beat isn’t that great I can take it and make it into something. I’m not ever trying to limit myself” One of his most recent hits, “Heartattack”, was the first song he ever made with producer 5heriff. The connection was instant and now they have a slew of tracks ready for release. He hints at an upcoming project, and EP based around the duality of life, but doesn’t give out too many specifics.

Adot speeding through the internet means fantastic receptions by audiences in cities such as New York and Los Angeles and Minneapolis, branching out from Chicago further and fueling his creative process. And even when he opened for Smokepurpp and Sonny Digital “Nobody knew who I was at that show at all and then I got on stage and the very first song, “Magic”, was the shit that got everybody going crazy and they just kept their attention on me.” In person his presence is low-key, but when Adot hits the stage he transforms.  “When I perform, my energy is totally different than in person. Like when it’s in person I’m quieter, somber or whatever, but on stage I get like hella energy. My music sounds druggy, but when I actually perform, it’s like smacking people because it’s fire.” Like always, Adot refuses to be simply one thing to his audience.

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Lyrics are his strong suit, but not Adot’s sole focus; he dedicates an incredible amount of thought to the quality of his music videos. Collaborating with Director’s NickVisuals and Lonewolf, Adot drove his web notoriety to the next level with innovative and fresh approaches to his visuals. Dropping snippets of his now infamous and completely animated 3D video for “Rolling” Adot created urgency and excitement amongst his core fans, spreading through the underground scene. When the video was officially released, it caught the attention of larger media outlets such as Lyrical Lemonade, propelling it even further.

His new fans are infatuated with the high level of detail included in both his videos and his music. Like clockwork, fake pages with Adot’s likeness pop up almost daily and, just recently, another rapper stole and repurposed the “Rolling” video, posting it to Instagram and racking up thousands of views before it was taken down. It’s said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and Adot seems relatively unbothered, simply intrigued and a little confused. He’s too focused on being himself in a society full of individuals wanting to be somebody else.

For someone walking a fine line between underground and breakout star, he’s incredibly humble- but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t hungry for more. When asked where he sees himself in the future, he puts on a huge smile and instantly says “Paris…I’ve always just wanted to see different things, different places, and I feel like perfecting my music is what’s going to take me there. That’s what all this work is for.”