If you’re searching for something, chances are you’ll find it on YouTube. Other times you may not necessarily be looking for anything in particular but you discover something great and since you’re the captain of your YouTube ship, you get to invest your time in the creators that speak to you the most. Believe me there’s plenty of them! It’s all a matter of sifting through all the noise.

Several months ago came across Austin’s channel, who goes by the moniker of IAMTHEREALAK. Originally from South Brunswick, New Jersey, Austin’s shot to stardom on YouTube came from a remix he made of Desiigner’s Panda song. The video alone has received over 18M views, it’s been shared a tremendous amount of times and supporters have published reactions to that video and every single remix he’s published from that point on. I’ve been hooked myself!

 Austin recording his music in what seems like his basement

Austin recording his music in what seems like his basement

I guess you could say I enjoy rap but I wasn’t really drawn to it largely because the majority of what’s said now is beyond comprehension, it all revolves around the typical topics of sex, smoking, drinking, etc and quite frankly the only element that’s kept my head bopping is the beat itself. Coming from someone who’s not well verse with rap, all I can say is that there was never a story from any rapper which I felt made me a true fan. I knew of them but never followed them if that makes sense.

For me, IAMTHEREALAK has taken my understanding of rap to an entirely new level. My initial criticism of his music was that it felt too short which I’ve come to accept as benefit now because the sheer stories, the metaphors and enthusiasm in which he delivers his lyrics has so much depth that you’ll undoubtedly find yourself having to go back and listen multiple times to even detect all the nuisances that make his music so great. The level of storytelling in his lyrics is incredible. At this point you don't necessarily have know Austin in person to get a level of understanding of his work because he puts it all out there for you to decipher.

I’ve enjoyed every single one of his remixes but if I had to choose 5 that I recommend listening to they would be:

  1. F*ck Up Some Commas
  2. Lights Out
  3. Nocturnal Rainbows
  4. Issues
  5. Tunnel Vision

As a side-note, here’s 4 things I’ve learned from following IAMTHEREALAK’S well-deserved meteoric rise:

  1. We all go through personal struggles in life and it’s up to you to utilize those obstacles to create something by which other people can relate to you.
  2. Stay in your own lane. Don’t worry about what other people think of your work because in the end we all have a story to tell and it's the fusion of both that will make you unique.
  3. The setting in which you create your work doesn’t define you. The work itself does. As a quick example, simply observe the backdrop in which Austin recorded his videos/music. He could care less whether it was aesthetically pleasing but more so that you listened to what he had to say.
  4. You don’t need fancy gear to create. Just a willing to put in the work consistently.

Did I mention Austin is only 18? Kid has a bright future ahead and much like all the support he's received thus far, I'll be right there buying his music.