Today’s rap and hip-hop genre is filled with young individuals who write their lines out of passion while knowing the odds of going mainstream are against them. Mark Laurence Richard Jr. better known as Witt Lowry, was once among those aspiring artists. In a way, he still is. With each album release, Witt’s followings have grown, yet he still has not signed with a record label.
Witt’s success started in 2014 with the release of Kindest Regards. At the time, the album was officially released for free on datpiff as well as being posted to his YouTube channel. In 2015 his album Dreaming With Our Eyes Open went straight to iTunes, but he continued to support free streaming on his official YouTube and Soundcloud. He stuck to the same formula for his new album I Could Not Plan This and the positive feedback on his YouTube and Soundcloud converted into debuting at #2 on the iTunes charts.
The album’s opening song “I Could Not Plan This” provides an overview of the emotions packed in the album. His father’s death, friends deceit, and his issues with love are all covered. Witt brings out the emotional side of a rap genre so often stereotyped by guns, drugs, and sex. But this may be nothing new for those who enjoyed the indie spirit Macklemore once embodied.
On the other hand, Witt also lets out his frustrations in the next track, “Blood in the Water.” He accuses other rappers of lacking “passion” and calling out the record labels who wanted him to change his music to conform with a mainstream audience. The next target is popular rapper Lil Uzi Vert, who Witt calls out for stealing his beats. He rhymes “erase your socials, I own my masters, I’m a trendsetter to these trendy rappers.” In doing so he references “Erase Your Social” a Lil Uzi Vert song from 2017 that features a beat stolen straight from the 2014 Witt song “Wake Up.”
A few more fast-paced, aggressive songs, similar to early Eminem are mixed in such as “Care Too Much” and “Lie Lie Lie.” But the core emotional aspects of the album run high in “Losing You,” “Wishing Wells,” “Let Me Know,” “Better for Me,” and “Forgot About Me.” All of the songs discuss Witt’s relationship pitfalls or hopes for future love. On some level, many listeners can relate to these faults and desires.
The apparent most popular track on the album is “Numb” where Witt tells of his departure from caring what others think of him as he has begun to “go numb to it all.” From record labels to friends, Witt has felt unappreciated and used.
The final track, “Last Letter” is among one of the most emotional songs released in 2017. A near tears Witt shares memories about his father who died of cancer this year. Having grown up with divorced parents, Witt spent the majority of his childhood with his mother and now is left feeling regret for the time he did not get to spend with his father.
Witt’s father has been referenced multiple times throughout his previous albums as he dealt with alcohol-related addiction when Witt was growing up. In the 2014 track “Kindest Regards” Witt announces how proud he his that his father has become sober. Now in “Last Letter” Witt tells the story of a girl he met at one of his concerts that had thanked him for sharing his father’s story as it helped end her addiction.
His father’s bravery throughout his bout with cancer and Witt’s disappointment in the time they could not share is emotional, particularly in a world where one day anyone can find themselves in Witt’s shoes. “Last Letter” is a deep, honest song that will make anyone who hears it reevaluate their priorities.
As the song nears the end, Witt writes to his father, “I just wish you were here so you could watch me win a Grammy, but more importantly to build a family.” Witt’s confidence, openness, and perseverance through hard times can all be heard in his music. To that regard, Witt does deserve the recognition that comes with a Grammy.