Get to know the leader of New York’s lowlife trap music scene, 20 year-old Staten Island rap artist Lite Fortunato.
When did you first start making music?
“I started rapping a few years ago but I didn’t take it seriously until just recently, my senior year of highschool to be exact. I realized everyone in my high school (New Dorp) was rocking with me and I had more power than the principle. So I dropped out and made music my full time job.”
How did your family feel about you dropping out in pursuit of music?
“They have always supported me and never tried to talk me out of it; but it took them awhile to realize what I am capable of. It feels good to make my family proud because not many people make it out of Staten Island. Which is partly the reason why I freestyle everything. I used to write but now I step into the booth and spit whatever comes to my mind, it makes my music more genuine.”
Have you released any project(s) yet?
“Yeah! I just dropped my debut mixtape #Pre40, hosted by DJ Shon. I got a lot of tracks with Famous Dex on there. I also got features from Flash, ThouxandBanFauni, ASAP TyY and a few other people on there. We are actually going to throw a mixtape release party for #Pre40 soon, it’s going to be dope.”
Are you working on anymore mixtapes?
“I have a mixtape with Famous Dex dropping on October 31st. It’s called Weird Vs. Crazy. I also have a few solo mixtapes done that I’ll drop after Weird Vs. Crazy. My next solo tape will be for the ladies (laughs). I love light skin woman by the way, make sure you include that in there.”
Do you have any kids?
“Hell nah, I’ll have my first kid after I make a million dollars. Matter of fact, as soon as one million dollars touches my hand I’ll get 4 different woman pregnant on the same day.”
“I’m playing but I’m being serious at the same time (laughs).”
Tell me how you and Famous Dex became friends/collaborators.
“I’ve known Dex for a long ass time, way before he blew up. I hit him up on IG, before “Hoes Mad” dropped, and told him I was rocking with his music. We clicked immediately.
A couple months later Dex came to New York. We kicked it, smoked 5 gram backwoods, went to BAPE, and recorded our first collaberative track “New York“.
Are you signed to Famous Dex?
“Not yet. Right now I am signed to money (laughs). Me and Famous Dex are brothers though, I would kill someone for him. We talk every day; whenever I come to Cali he lets me stay in his condo. What Rich The Kid is to Dex, Dex is to me.”
So, a mentor?
“A big bro. I know Dex has my back and he knows I have his. ”
It seems like Dex has opened alot of doors for you. Would you agree?
“Of course. Dex has taken me under his wing in a way. Just last night we were in the studio with Playboi Carti and layed down a few tracks.”
Because you’re from New York, let’s talk about fashion.
“I f*ck with V-Lone, Palace and Y-3 heavy. I prefer streetwear over designer.”
“For example: I would rather wear a pair of vans then a pair of Giuseppe’s. Don’t get me wrong, I like designer clothing but it’s just not that appealing to me. I want to be seen as an individual, not as someone trying to portray a certain status. I treat my music the same way, I don’t want to seem like a rockstar or anything, just myself. I make lowlife trap music.”
Lowlife Trap music?
Yeah, flex rap. Music about making money, flexing and turning up.
That’s very interesting. Who did you listen to growing up?
“I listened to Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Dipset, Byrd Gang, G-Unit etc. My favorite mixtape of all time is No Ceilings (Lil Wayne, 2009). I can still listen to that tape, front-to-back without a problem.”
Which artist(s) do you listen to now?
“Famous Dex obviously, I also bump G Herbo, Bankroll Fresh, Lil Yachty – I actually have new music with Lil Yachty on the way -, Lil Uzi Vert and Sosa. Basically everyone on the 2016 XXL Freshman Class, except Lil Dicky.”
What’s next for Lite Fortunato?
“Alot! I’ll be going on Tour with Famous Dex for the Dexter tour soon. I have tons of new material on the way as well. I’m also working on a clothing line for #Pre40. College is still a possibility but music is my first priority. Who knows, I might make music with Katy Perry someday. I look forward to working with her, Ariana Grande, Metro Boomin and Zendaya in the near future.”