There’s a phenomenal video on Twitter of Lil Gnar racing down the road in a Porsche, hopping out to hit a kickflip, then pulling out a handgun and unloading shots in the air. It’s not only pure millennial comedy, but also a perfect encapsulation of the Atlanta rapper’s aesthetic approach as he balances luxurious bars with a don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. That style and sound has led to a quick ascension over the past year, from streetwear designer with a bonafide SoundCloud hit in 'Ride Wit Da Fye' (the soundtrack of the aforementioned clip), to the ranks of TenThousand Projects alongside familiar names like Trippie Redd and (for better or for worse) 6ix9ine.

On his debut mixtape, Gnar Lif3, Gnar corrals some of the raw, unpredictable eccentricity of his initial online hits into a sleeker, more palatable product for a growing audience. The project’s opening cut “Ice Out” provides case and point as it’s an infectious hit with woozy yet wonderfully glossy production for him to gloat and glow atop: “New watch, bitch I brought the ice out/Can't get a price now, Lil Gnar bring the ice out.” That espoused extravagance becomes more believable with each repetition of the hook as Gnar hits every sonic pocket in succession like a skateboarder landing trick after trick.

Building upon the collaborative success of last year’s 'People’s Champ', Gnar notably enlists Lil Skies for a pair of guest spots on 'Grave' and 'Drop Top Benz'. It’s a move that not only up the records’ clout (it never hurts to have a buzzing Atlantic rapper in your corner), but adds a dynamic layer of gliding, autotuned melodies to complement Gnar’s gritty cadence. The two have a genuine chemistry that leads to some of Gnar Lif3’s best moments.

While not nearly as successful of a partnership, it’s worth mentioning that Travis Barker appears on the genre-bending 'SiCK IN THE HEAD'. The song attempts to tease out Gnar’s rockstar aspirations with an injection of organic percussion and guitar-work, but much like fellow headbangers 'Gnarcotic Gang' and 'Man Down', it ultimately feels forced and affirms that the rapper is better off leaning into his rebellious persona without all of the unnecessary experimentation (a lesson that isn’t limited to this one artist, to be sure).

Thus, standout singles 'Laker Guap' and 'I Don’t Sell Dope' are the type of effortless disobedience that Gnar needs to further tease out. On the former, he rides a riotous beat with a flow that comfortably fluctuates between laidback details and rapid-fire triplets, while on the latter he coolly proclaims, “No time for wastin', bitch, I could die any day.” Moments like these embody his viral, triple-threat video, and the potential to build upon them is ripe for the taking.