Alex Oliver (stylized @l3x Oliv3r) is no stranger to darkness. Whatever your mood is, @l3x will amplify it and be with you through it all. He combines the complex lyrical maneuvers of Tech N9ne with an intoxicating flow that’s reminiscent of Migos. The production style is dark, diverse, and futuristic and reminds one of the stylings of Kid Cudi or Travis Scott, but @l3x tackles subjects that aren’t typically explored in rap. Sure, he drinks too much, engages with too many promiscuous women, and smokes more hookah than any mortal should, but in the next breath he’s quoting H.H. Holmes and digging into ideas of depression, insecurity, self-loathing, and abandonment.
@l3x is unabashedly pessimistic. He weaves a loner’s narrative through enchanting choruses, a multi-syllabic rhyming style, and witty punchlines. @l3x turns off the lights and invites you to sit in the dark with him and makes you want to.
Welcome to the next enigma of Hip-Hop music. His music is hot, smoky, and reckless. It’s a quick overindulgence with someone you can’t keep your eyes off of. His rhymes are written on the small of your back, and they leave scars. It’s not for the timid, but for those that have smelled the devil’s breath and lived to tell the tale, it’s nothing short of magic.
Where are you based?
I’m originally from Macon, GA, but these days I’m based in Atlanta. It’s been amazing being a part of this city, especially with its incredibly dynamic and thriving music scene. It’s one of those places where it feels like everyone knows everyone.
How long have you been making music?
Well, I initially dabbled in rapping as a teenager, but let’s just say my skills were a work in progress back then. Officially, I began releasing songs on SoundCloud in 2018, but unfortunately, the pandemic and some personal setbacks put a pause on my music journey. However, I’ve come out of those dark times and I’m feeling much better now. So, I like to think of this year, 2023, as the real start of my music career where I’m taking things as seriously as I possibly can. It’s truly incredible to see the opportunities that are coming my way now.
What genre would you consider your music to be?
I would describe my music as primarily rap, but if I had to get more specific, I’d say it falls into the realm of “dark trap.” It’s essentially trap-style beats with a darker emotional undertone, not in the sense of promoting crime, violence, evil, or anything like that, but rather exploring deeper, heavier subject matter and emotions. Additionally, I delve into “emo rap” because life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and it allows me to express my own internal struggles and experiences. I also dabble in R&B, which caters to both women and delves into the highs and lows of my love life. Lastly, I’ve recently started experimenting with horrorcore and even gospel rap to reflect the spiritual aspect of my life, although I must admit, my spirituality might look a bit different from what most people are accustomed to.
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Honestly, pursuing a career in music just feels like my purpose in life. Something I need to do. It all started when I was a teenager, watching music videos on BET and feeling that spark of inspiration. But as time went on, the more I immersed myself in it, the more it felt like the natural path for me. Whenever I’ve taken breaks from music, I’ve always felt this emptiness inside until I pick it back up again. And now, I’m starting to gain more traction, getting interviews, and seeing new opportunities come my way. But ultimately, what drives me is the desire to create something different. I don’t want to rap about the same old streets or drugs or anything like that. I want to be a breath of fresh air for my fans, give people new perspectives, and provide them with something they can truly relate to.
What are your biggest musical influences?
My musical influences are all over the place! When it comes to lyrical and technical ability, I really like artists like Tech N9ne, Eminem, and Royce da 5’9″. But then, when it comes to musicality, I look up to Travis Scott and Kanye West. And for that emotional content, I draw inspiration from artists like Xxxtentacion, Kid Cudi, and even some rock bands. They really know how to hit you in the feels. Lastly, for that smooth and romantic vibe, I can’t help but be influenced by the likes of Drake, Bryson Tiller, The Weeknd, 6lack, and Frank Ocean. They set the mood just right. I’ve never had a woman complain about my playlists with these artists, haha.
Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
I’m actually an independent artist, doing things my own way. Yep, every single thing you see from me comes straight out of my own pocket. I’ve had a few offers before, but you know how this music biz can be. So, for now, I’m holding off on signing any deals. But hey, when the right opportunity comes along and everything aligns perfectly, who knows? I might just take that leap.
What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
Well, one of the major hurdles I faced was battling with depression for a while. Once I conquered that, the biggest challenge in my music career has been juggling multiple roles as a solo artist. I handle everything from booking gigs at festivals, collaborating closely with a select group of talented producers to bring my musical visions to life, designing my own cover art, styling myself, managing my own social media and marketing efforts, directing my own music videos, and essentially being the brain behind every aspect you see. Of course, I do have some support, but more hands on deck would mean more content and even greater possibilities.
How many songs or albums have you released to date?
I’ve currently released 22 songs, and albums hold a special significance for me. In fact, I’ve poured my heart into writing and recording over 100 songs, meticulously selecting the 12-14 that truly resonate with me. I’ve taken my time to ensure that I release music that aligns perfectly with my vision and captures exactly what I want to convey.
Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
Sure, my latest releases are “F**k it Up” and “Fantasy”. “Fantasy” was inspired by a phase in my life where I was involved with “dating” strippers, and the song naturally emerged from that experience. On the other hand, “F**k it Up” has a more playful and tongue-in-cheek vibe. While I typically gravitate towards creating serious, dark, and emotional songs, I also like to have some fun every now and then. Both tracks are part of my upcoming album, “Al3x in Wond3rland”, which I’m currently putting the finishing touches on while also gauging audience response to these singles.
Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
Absolutely! I have quite a few exciting projects in the pipeline. Firstly, I’ll be releasing a mixtape titled “Faust I”. It’s a collection of tracks that I’m genuinely thrilled about, featuring some incredible artists and talented producers. The songs on this mixtape are really special, but exclusive. Only those who support where I’m heading and want to be along for the ride will have access to this incredible body of work. In addition, I’m launching a series called 30 for 30. Over the course of three months, I’ll be dropping a brand new song and accompanying video daily on TikTok and Instagram. It’s going to be a thrilling journey, providing fresh content and engaging with my fans on a more frequent basis. Once the 30 for 30 series concludes, I will be focusing my efforts on completing my highly anticipated album, “Al3x in Wond3rland”. The album will be available on all major platforms, and I’m confident it will be worth the wait. These are truly exciting times, and I can’t wait for everyone to experience the music I’ve been working on.