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Son of Ozai: How Luu Rome Became the Prince Zuko of 612 Rap

At just 18 years old, Atlanta-born rapper Luu Rome is the hottest MC you've never heard of.

Fueled by fierce confidence, Rome’s blazing cadence and sharp technique make for one of Minneapolis' most fascinating young Hip-Hop stars.

Moving from Atlanta to the Twin Cities just last year, Rome is already gaining steam, sporting a collab with director Stan Juzwiak for the visuals to his hit track, 'It's in Me Not on Me’.

So how did an outspoken teen torch his trail into the pyro-poet he is today? To answer such a burning question, let's defer to the brooding fire-bender himself...

How did you go from Hip-Hop fan to Hip-Hop artist?

I used to only ever play basketball, nothing else. But after the pandemic hit, I was just sitting in the house with nothing to do. Then one day, a family friend of mine who had a home studio casually hit me up to see if I wanted to make a song. But all I'd done up to that point was freestyle here and there, so I was definitely out of my comfort zone with recording my voice for the first time. Anyway, the first track I laid down was really coached out of me by my producer friend. Looking back, I think he was trying to give me the confidence I needed to match my raw potential; I'll always love him for that.

After that first day, I only laid down the hook. But the next day I came back with the verse; I remember as I'm laying it down, I just got this feeling I couldn't describe; I was hooked. Ever since then, I've been locked in. Rap was an unexpected love for me, but I fell hard.

Who's your biggest influence right now?

Lil Baby for sure. Not just for his sound though; I really fuck with his work ethic. When he first started rapping, he wasn't all that good. But he just kept at it and now he's at the top of the game. That type of drive is mad inspiring to me as I take these first steps in my career.

📸 by Johnathan Kelso

What are the key attributes of a great beat in your opinion?

Definitely the bass. The first thing that always grabs my attention on a beat is how the bassline is hitting. If the kicks and 808s are hitting, Ima gravitate to it quick as fuck.

What's the most vital element to a great track?

Flow for sure. You gotta merge your voice with the beat. Flow is everything. That's what sets the tone for the lyrics and the wordplay.

Which technique has been the most valuable since you've started rapping?

I’d say my wordplay. Just the amount of time I put into penning punchlines that really hit. The more I focused on improving it, the more naturally it came. Also, I'd have to say my authenticity. When you have meaning in your music, it'll catch people's ears because it's human and they'll relate to it on a higher level.

What‘s the next rap trick that you’re looking to add to your repertoire?

Definitely experimenting with more hooks. I feel tight in my wordplay and lyricism, but I'd love to keep diving into newer flows, melodies, and sounds that I can lay down to grow my versatility as a rapper into more of a full-fledged musician.

How do you feel as though your approach to rapping is different than other young MCs?

I'd have to say my understanding of song structure. That’s one of the biggest aspects of music that I pay attention to just cause I know how crucial it is where you place your hook, verses, bridges, etc. That’s an aspect of songwriting that I feel never gets enough buzz in terms of how big of an impact it has on the listener.

What piece of technical advice would you give your younger self?

Pay attention to everything you see; keep that shit in your head. Write it down, record a voice memo, whatever helps you lock in the ideas that come to you every day. Your whole life is on the table. Keeping tabs on your ‘random’ thoughts is a great tool for your authenticity to really shine through in your work.

What pivotal moments in your life do you feel have shaped you into who you are today?

Last year, I was at a family function. We were making s'mores and I was sitting right in front of this big fire pit. My cousin grabbed some gasoline, poured it on, but because I wasn't looking, that shit blew up on me. I was covered in flames for 4 to 5 seconds. It was definitely an eye-opener. Before that, I was just some happy-go-lucky kid, not a care in the world. But after that experience, it really shocked me into leveling up; it pushed me to go pursue something in a meaningful way. Now I'm here.


Your music exudes a unique boldness for an 18-year-old: Have you always had that confidence?

Honestly no. My confidence is definitely something I grew into. I just had to have a talk with myself and find out who I really was, you know? But once you answer that question, you've got it. Now just commit to it. Like fuck being 100% you, be 500% you!

Number one internal battle you had to overcome?

Nervousness, for sure. If you wanna be a big-time rapper, you gotta swallow those nerves whole. People fuck with confidence in anything but especially in music, specifically rap. You can write as many bars about stunting, money, girls, etc. but if you don't believe in that shit, why should anyone believe in you?

What's your message to the MN hip-hop scene?

With all due respect, I don't know an 18-year-old out here that's fucking with me. That's just how I feel. Put your ear to my sound and be your own judge. Either way, just know I'm coming; there's nowhere I'd rather be.

The young flame may spit heat, but make no mistake: He's not blowing any smoke.

Listen to 'It's in Me Not On Me' now on Spotify and Youtube!



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-Cameron Hernandez

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