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Lil OT – Violence

Avatar for Antonia Porter



Lil OT Packs A Big Punch

Lil OT packs a big punch in his latest single “Violence”, released on September 21st 2022. Lil OT hails from Hamilton, Canada. The Hamilton native first entered the rap industry with his song “First day Out”, but really made a mark with his hit single “Love Lost”. In “Violence” lil Ot’s draws in the listener/viewer with the powerful effect of his flow and delivery. Every verse hits with skill and force. Both the passion and truth specific to his experience can be felt through the lyrics and is effortlessly conveyed throughout the cinematic like visuals in the music video. Lil OT’s flow has a sort of R&B element to it and falls in the category of melodic rapping, the catchy beat, and clever rhyming works in a way that almost overshadows the “violence” implicit within the lyrics of the song. Though young in age, Lil OT exudes an aura of maturity in the nature of his lyrics and visuals, that is to say he conveys a larger than life essence evident in his lyrics when he states:

“ we like huntin, they like hidin

Shot their block up, duck and diving”

In this line Lil OT’s juxtaposition of polarities through the imagery of a predator/ prey relationship not only works to illustrate his lyrical prowess, but also his superiority in the streets. (30)

Darkness vs Light in Violence

Throughout the music video there is a classical component to both the visuals and the beat of the song, brought to life by the use of the violin. The video opens with brief snippets of gloomy, dark and desolate settings, depicted by an apocalyptic red sky and shoes on a power line symbolizing death, this is then interrupted by vivid, colourful surroundings filled with greenery and live expressions of life. The viewer is given a sense that these images are snapshots of the artist’s life and experiences. The shoe on the power line may also be a tribute to Lil OT’s friend who was murdered in his presence. This is referenced when he rhymes “ CP3, you left me all alone, why you gotta go”. Throughout the music video the images of life, is constantly interrupted with images of desolation and death depicted by the dark and red backgrounds. One is made to understand that Lil OT is a product of an environment where life and death is constantly interacting and so the violence that Lil OT raps about is an inevitable product of such an environment. The Artist is depicted as walking out of the darkness, into the light, in the beginning of the video, but is constantly plagued by the darkness that at times shapes his environment.

Lil OT Violence

Lil OT – Violence

Classism meets Rap

The violin also brings a certain level of elegance to the tough reality of “violence”, and brings to mind the idea of the intelligent gangsta. This is demonstrated when Lil OT states in the chorus “ Uh, we the one that love the violence, we got drums, we got violins”. This duality is representative of Lil OT who has had involvement with street crime, but also has a love of science, so much so he won the Arthur B McDonald Nobel Peace Prize medal at a science expo at his high school. The idea of duality is also represented throughout the music video, when Lil OT walks out of the darkness into the light that comes to life with the playing of the violin, this is also illustrated by the lady in the classy dress playing the violin, while surrounded by Lil OT and his crew adorned in street gear, and is again implicit in the imagery of Lil OT rapping next to a piano. The classical nature of the beat adds to the music video’s cinematic quality, the beginning of the music video along with the beat and violin brings a Bridgerton feel to the introduction of the visuals. There is no doubt, that what Lil OT lacks in stature he more than makes up for in lyrical agility and greatness, however controversial his lyrics, one has to acknowledge that Lil OT possess a talent that is far beyond his years, and brings a freshness to the street rap scene in Canada. “ Violence” compellingly captures the duality that exists in us as human beings.

Follow Lil OT on Instagram to learn more about the artist.