Hip Hop: Where has trap sensation, iLoveMakonnen been?

Near the end of 2014, iLoveMakonnen gained his fame with the help of his first label founder, Drake, on Makonnen’s hit single, “Tuesday”. Since then, his fame has gradually declined in the wake of pop stars flourishing in the trap community.

iLoveMakonnen is no simple man, he once towered over the industry with his subliminal visuals and unique sense of style and music taste. He was one of the first artists to make trap music something of a melodic background. Developing eerie sounds to put into his music was essential to Makonnen’s individuality in the rap game, and his fans loved it.

iLoveMakonnen faced some early challenges in life that made him into a respectable sensitive character in the underground hip hop community. While living his life as a multiracial being in a slightly unaccepting community, he also watched his parents divorce and witnessed the death of a close friend. These obstacles to Makonnen’s state of mind may have been catalysts for his drive as a musician.

The Drink More Water mixtape series led to Makonnen establishing an early fan base to spread his music to the rest of the world. To say the least, the series presented Makonnen’s unique style clearly and opened the lane for him to keep creating what he wanted.

Before Makonnen reached his peak of fame, he spent time in the studio with Metro Boomin, 808 Mafia, and Sonny Digital to help show off his musical skills early on. This early work ethic contributed to iLoveMakonnen, his first EP to receive substantial attention.

Whether he is more known for his independent work, or his work with many notable rap figures early in his career,  Makonnen showed the world that he had talent numerous times. If you’ve never heard some of his early bangers with other artists, go listen to “Look at Wrist” and “Whip It” just to start getting familiar with his craft.

iLoveMakonnen performs at the LA Pride Music Festival and Parade 2017 on June 10, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

iLoveMakonnen performs at the LA Pride Music Festival and Parade 2017 on June 10, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

Years passed by and Makonnen somewhat fell off with the OVO label due to delays of his music releases. No one completely knows the entire story that goes along with his decline, but it is obvious that he had the potential to be a very successful artist of his time. Following his coming-out party on January 20, 2017, iLoveMakonnen lost a large portion of his support in the industry and from friends alike.

This was a sad time in hip hop, as many people who once stood by Makonnen’s music decided to expose their own ways of hatred by somewhat shunning his appearance and music. So is it fair to say the Makonnen’s music was buried by the industry because he is gay? Without knowing the full story of Makonnen’s decay, it would be fair to say that this had a lot to do with it, but it may not be the full reason.

Where is iLoveMakonnen?

He was last in the spotlight in 2018 when it was reported that he would be a part of fashion designer, Alexander Wang’s WANGSQUAD campaign. Since then, Makonnen has released 2 singles and 2 EPs for his fans to enjoy. It’s safe to say that the industry may have intentionally overshadowed Makonnen’s work with “industry plants”, tabloids, and more. The creative boundaries that he helped destroy should never be overlooked though.