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“WELL$ flows atop the audio grit with some clever rhymes contained by a confident delivery…[the track] leaves us with high expectations…”Potholes in My Blog

“Charlotte-based rapper Well$ is redefining swag one music video at a time.” – OkayAfrica

“With its sludgy riffs, dusty drums and “real n***a, wassup!” ad-lib, it’s a discernible throwback to that ’90s New York aesthetic.” – MissInfo.tv

“Watching him rhyme while sitting on the couch next to his grandmother is not only a beautiful sight, but also shows how easily he has this rap thing down.” – Noisey/Vice

“Charlotte, N.C., may not be the first city to come to mind when thinking of hip hop hotbeds, but thanks to a rising echelon of talent, that’s about to change. Leading that charge is 19-year-old Leroy Shingu, who goes by the name of Well$.”Huffington Post

Like most kids in his native town of Charlotte, North Carolina, Leroy Shingu had a head filled with hip-hop dreams growing up, even trying his hand at freestyling when he was all of nine years old. But a trying background starkly different from the blissful suburban reality of his peers would compel the rapper better known as Well$ to turn that childhood fantasy into a promising career as a rapper.

Quietly released in 2012, $ay La V, Well$’ debut EP rose steadily on the Bandcamp charts to peak at number 5 and eventually become the most downloaded album in the Charlotte area. This remarkable ascent as well as the video for the song “State of Ecstasy The Interlude Part 1” hauled Well$ out of virtual anonymity, and shoved him onto high profile stage performances with artists such as G-Eazy, Chris Webby, Johnny Polygon, and one of his idols, Pac Div. Well$’ mixtape, MTSYD: Revenge of The African Booty Scratcher, dropped in February 2014.

[wpex click for full bio]

“Proud To Be An American, one of Well$’ standout tracks off $ay La V, is the assured declaration of a young man who has come to terms with his identity and adopted home, flaws and all. Yet it wasn’t always this way. Born in the US to Congolese illegal immigrants, Well$ has encountered the ins and outs of America’s legal system for as long as he can remember. What started as a routine police search ended with his mother serving a six-month jail stint, when it emerged that she was in the country undocumented. Left mostly in the care of a grandmother who barely speaks English, Well$’ teenage life slowly spiraled downwards into delinquency. Dabbling in car theft, drug dealing and eventually dropping out of high school caused his concerned mother to ship him off to New Orleans to stay with his cousin Alec Lomami in the hope that he could steer him back on to the straight and narrow. Lomami (nowadays producer and Immaculate Taste label owner) averted Well$’ focus to music as a means to channel his feelings of angst and isolation. In 2010 the two of them began work in earnest on Well$’ debut, marking the turning point for him.

Well$’ MTSYD: Revenge of The African Booty Scratcher, which released February 2014, is a wry nod to the ethnic shaming he experienced as a child. “Growing up with a last name like mine, I got called African booty scratcher. My parents got made fun of when they came to my school but I learned to appreciate my origin. Me and my lil brother are the only Americans in my house so I grew up around French, Lingala, Kitetela, and I’m finally able to take proud ownership of my origin.”

On the album, fatherhood is one of many subjects that Well$ explores, himself a father to a three-year-old. The lead single “Black Swan” explores the life choices of a young woman affected by an absent father. Elsewhere, on “Major Pain,” Well$ walks in the shoes of his own imperfect dad. In “Dreams of an Insomniac,” Well$ stands on the edge of a cliff and meticulously lays out fears of flying – those pesky “what if” questions that keep him up at night.

The rare and commendable honesty Well$ displays comes from his admiration of the now era rap stars that Well$ grew up listening to, like Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Pac Div, and more. “Their music came out at a pivotal point in my life,” says Well$ of the aforementioned rappers, “and helped me see that it was cool to just be me and rap about my story.”


Press Releases

Well$ Wilds Out in a Warehouse in the Dark-Night-of-the-Soul Visual for “Demo 1”
Well$ Breaks the Fourth Wall and Crafts Homegrown Anthem in “Strictly For My Niggaz” Visual
Well$ Channels His Inner Romanov with All Kings Get Their Heads Chopped Off, His Innovative New Noisey-Premiered EP
Well$ Salutes His “Day Ones” In This Whirling Dervish of a New Single, Premiered by Pigeons & Planes
Charlotte’s Well$ Drinks “Rosé” and Eats Calamari in a Woozy New Love Song, Premiered by Pigeons & Planes
Well$ Hops On Saul Williams’ Remix of Belgian/Congolese Artist Baloji’s “Unité & Litre” Along With Labelmate Alec Lomami
Acclaimed Charlotte Rapper Well$ Is HERE RIGHT NOW on “XXX”
Following Last Week’s Mixtape Release, Well$ Declares War On the World On His New Remix
Charlotte’s Well$ Matures, But Still Makes His Mom Nervous on New Mixtape
Charlotte’s Well$ and NOLA’s Lucho Team Up For a Tropical Flavored “Sad Dance Song”
Unlikely Bedfellows; Durham’s Indie Pop Duo Sylvan Esso Join Charlotte-based Rapper Well$ for “Young Man”
Charlotte Emcee Well$ Premieres the Raucous Visual for “’98 Juvie” via 2DOPEBOYZ, The Way I’m Living Makes My Mom Nervous Out Soon
Well$ Drops Official Video for “130,” Debuted by Pigeons & Planes
Well$ Lives Young and Reckless in One-Take “130” Video, Premiered by Mass Appeal
Debuted by Billboard, Well$ Links With Metro Boomin for “Heaven’s Door”
Well$ Joins Kool AD On Rapper/Producer Duo Weekend Money’s Latest Single, Premiered via Pigeons & Planes
Debuting via XXL, 20-Year-Old Charlotte Rapper Drops Loosie In Anticipation Of Forthcoming Sophisticated Trap EP
Following the Successful Week of Well$, the Charlotte Rapper’s September Continues to Shine on the Latest Single with Producer Gifted, Premiere via HotNewHipHop
Premiered by Billboard, The Charlotte, NC Rapper Visits A New York City Strip Club For A Video From His Critically Acclaimed MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher Mixtape
Along With a Limited Edition Physical Package of His New Album, Charlotte, North Carolina Native Well$ Releases New Single via 10.DEEP and debuts at The FADER
Following His MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher Mixtape, the 19-Year-Old Rapper Debuts a Loose Single via Complex
Congolese Rapper Well$ Joins CyHi Da Prynce On Remix Of His Track, “Mandela,” Honoring the Leader On His Remembrance Day
MP3: 19-Year Old Rapper Well$ Shares Latest Single From Controversial Mixtape
The FADER Premieres Mixtape from 19-Year Old Rapper Well$, MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher, Available for Free Download via Immaculate Taste
Shot in Cape Town, The FADER Debuts “Django” Video from 19-Year Old Rapper Well$, whose MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher Mixtape will be Released May 19th
HipHopDX Announces May 19th Release Date for Forthcoming MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher Mixtape
Complex Premieres Latest Single From Forthcoming MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher Mixtape
The Huffington Post Interviews the 19-Year Old Rapper, Debuts Third Single
Charlotte Rapper Well$ Releases Latest Video, Premiered by Noisey
Charlotte Rapper Well$ Releases First Single “Black Swan” For Upcoming MTSYD EP Via HipHopDX
Charlotte Rapper Well$ Releases Teaser For Upcoming EP MTSYD

Press Photos

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