As an adolescent, Le Thach’s imagination ran wild. Living stagnantly is not something the budding artist has ever allowed himself to do - he sees the bigger picture in everything he pursues. Exhibit A: Thach is on a car ride with his father. In the middle of a light-hearted freestyle, his father turns to him and exclaims, “get a mic.” This isn’t a joke. Shortly thereafter, Thach purchases his first piece of recording equipment. In that moment, Lil Shock is born.
Lil Shock, a 19-year-old native of Roxboro, North Carolina, was unsure of his sound to start. Initially, Shock envisioned a career in hardcore rap. Upon being introduced to guitar-laden beats, however, Shock fell in love with the music of Juice WRLD and XXXTentacion. When Juice WRLD responded to one of Shock's friends who sent Juice his music, Juice responded - telling him to “never give up” - Shock took his inspiration’s advice to heart.
His big moment came on Twitch, when world-famous Fortnite streamer Hamlinz jumped around his room to “Rockstar” in front of thousands of viewers. The NC native’s popularity suddenly skyrocketed. “Rockstar” reached 5 million streams, a number most new artists can only dream of touching. Just a few days ago, the single’s music video eclipsed 1 million views. From this point forward, Shock’s musical ambitions became far more clear.
Since joining Stray Dogs Music Group this past year, Lil Shock has further cemented himself as an exciting new MC, gaining heavy traction amongst fans in the social media and gaming worlds. His use of strings in his production has led to his pursuit of learning to play the guitar - just one of many steps Shock has taken to perfect his craft. At just nineteen years of age, it feels as though the sky isn’t high enough a limit for Thach.
Today, we sit down with Lil Shock to discuss his music, the importance of social media, his dream car and plans for the future as part of a 6-part series covering and speaking with one of music’s most exciting new assemblies - Stray Dogs Music Group.
Hunter McNeeley: Where did you grow up?
Lil Shock: I was born in Durham, but I lived in Roxboro. Growing up in NC, it was mostly chill. There’s a lot of space; a lot of room to do whatever. It’s just been a quiet place for my whole life. Roxboro is a really small town. It has around 8,000 people, or under. When I was a kid all the way up until now, I’ve always seen the bigger picture. My imagination was out of this world. I wanted to do this, do that; I just didn’t want to stay in one place and just live my life there. I wanted to do something great and I have a crazy imagination. I look towards the future and when I was younger, I just wanted to pull up in a foreign car; I want to have a big house, live in LA, do all of that. Now that I have a chance, I’m glad to have an imagination because people in my city don’t see the bigger picture. Everyone has asked me, “you’re not supposed to be from here, are you?” or, “you’re not meant to be here.” I know that’s the case.
How did you decide on the name Lil Shock?
I was going through a lot of names, and I just stumbled upon that. I want something that means something to me. I got Lil Shock because I wanted to shock the world and prove everyone wrong. I stuck with it from there.
How did you actually get into music?
No one really does it out here...but how I got into music - I was freestyling in the car one day and then my dad was like, “get a mic.” I was like, “yeah, whatever bro,” but he was serious and so I got one. Then I just started recording music.
Did you know what you wanted to sound like from the jump?
Not at first. I knew I wanted to be a little different from everyone, but I didn’t actually know what I wanted to sound like until I got some other inspirations. When I first started rapping, I used to want to just do hardcore rap and then I changed it up and wanted to do melodic stuff, because I saw Juice and X doing melodic-type music. I fell in love with guitar beats after I heard them, so I was like, “oh yeah, I gotta try it.”
We noticed that you’ve included guitars in multiple music videos. Do you actually play, or is it just something you really like?
It’s just something I really like. I can play just the bare minimum, but that’s something I really want to learn so it’s not just for show.
Your single “Rockstar” has over 5 million plays. When you were making that track, did you have a feeling it was a hit?
I knew it was a hit because when I made it, I was running around my room screaming like, “yo, this is crazy!” Then, there’s some songs where I’m like, “Yeah, this isn’t that good,” but then I drop it and it does fairly well and I’m like, “wow, that’s crazy.”
How does it feel like being able to look at that like, “Damn, I really hit 5 million plays”?
It’s a blessing, bro. That’s something I prayed about every day, so to see that it happened just makes me want to keep on going. I don’t take that for granted, because not everyone can have this. I look at it every day; I don’t even realize that it’s me. Like wait, I did that for real.
We noticed that Fortnite and Twitch streamers play a big part in your music. How do you feel about that?
They started using my songs, especially “Rockstar”. I was like, “yo, this is crazy.” I’m friends with Mongraal and Mythic Fish and all those big Fortnite players; they all like my music. I never thought that would be able to happen to me.
Did you get noticed when you were on vacation?