Lou Charle$ is doing something none of his fellow Fort Worth rappers are: He’s churning out new tuneage every month.
His first record, In Transit 1, came out in 2015, and since then he has already accumulated 300,000 streams on Spotify. His latest song, “Showin’ Out,” follows 10 previous monthly tracks, including “Let Me Know,” “Hate Me 4,” and “At the Moment.”
“Now that we’ve been in this pandemic, I’ve tried to stay connected to my fanbase, and the way to do that is to continuously drop music,” Charle$ said.
His debut record was followed by In Transit 2, plus dozens of singles and music videos. “Facts Only” debuted on Sirius XM’s Shade 45 in 2015, and the 2018 track “Love on Drugs” received airplay on K104. Other North Texas stations, including KXT, KTCU, The Pirate, and ALT 103.7-FM, are spinning his latest releases.
“Showin’ Out” is heavy with shoutouts to Texas, notably legendary rap label Swishahouse, and marquee Houston rapper Paul Wall guests on it: “Four-fours, I’m tipping / Wood grain, I’m gripping / Catch me lane switchin’, with the paint drippin’ / Turn your neck, and your gang missing / Lou Charle$, I ain’t different / I came up on that H-Town / That DJ Screw … that Swishahouse / Texas boys, they showin’ out.”
Charle$ said that what he’s trying to do is keep making music, stay inspired, and maintain his connection with his supporters.
“My mind is constantly turning to come up with innovative ways to continue to build and curate a community of dope vibes,” he said.
It’s not unusual for Charle$ to collaborate, though it’s not necessarily frequent. Collaborating brings different ideas to his rhyme scheme, he said, and to the beatmaking process.
“I don’t collaborate a lot, but if I do, I try to make it impactful,” he said.
Charle$ said his recordings would not have been possible without “Chico” Santiago and the Fort Worth recording studio Music in Focus.
“Chico is a mastermind at everything from mixing, mastering, and putting the tracks out there,” Charle$ said about his DJ during live performances. Along with having gigged at MASS on the Near Southside, Charle$ has played everywhere from Virginia to Portland over the years and has shared stages with Chamillionaire, Joyner Lucas, Joe Budden, G-Eazy, and A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
An earlier single, “Take Me Home,” received a lot of exposure when released earlier this year. The song, Charle$ said, had been sitting on his computer since 2018 when he pitched it to local country singer-songwriter Grady Spencer during a trip to SXSW in Austin. The resulting collaboration was picked up by the City of Fort Worth’s visitors’ bureau, Visit Fort Worth, and included in a promotional video to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
“I’m not sure when the September release is gonna be,” Charle$ said. “I’m not 100%, but it’s gonna be good.”