Lil Bubblegum is redefining what it means to be a global act in 2024. The 20-year-old internet-raised underground artist hails from West Auckland, and is New Zealand’s highest streaming rapper with over 338 million Spotify streams and 205 million YouTube views – driven by a cult-like fanbase that stretches across continents. Lil Bubblegum’s blinding success has broken all of the rules of the music industry.

Following the runaway success of breakout 2020 single ‘guap’, Lil Bubblegum found himself on the forefront of the ‘aesthetic rap’ movement-a group of Internet-savvy artists who took influence from the moody sonics of SoundCloud rap, as well as glitchy, kitsch visuals snatched from 2000s online archives. Lil Bubblegum’s woozy, monotone delivery and bleak instrumentals struck a chord with fans worldwide, with the vast majority of his listeners based in the United States – a notoriously difficult feat for a New Zealand hip-hop artist.

In 2022, Lil Bubblegum inked a deal with Listen2TheKids (Interscope), in a move that has helped to solidify his global presence as one of hip-hop’s most unique success stories; one that has many chapters yet to be written.