Meet AntsLive, the North London Horse-Riding Rapper Trending Worldwide
Perhaps a video of a gold-toothed Brit majestically riding a horse through the Italian Alps has made its way to your homepage, or perhaps it’s making its way through your algorithms as we speak. The North Londoner in question is named AntsLive, and he is the UK's rising rapper who is undoubtedly solidifying himself as 2023’s force to be reckoned with.
At only 23 years old, AntsLive has already amassed millions of streams independently—earning co-signs from the likes of Mia Khalifa and Stormzy—and rightfully so. The AntsLive sound sits somewhere between a movie score and moshpit, embellished in melodic keys, cinematic synths and horns, punchy 808s, and quick-witted lyricism that you can’t not blast on full volume. Earlier this month, AntsLive released his debut mixtape Just A Matter of Time. Over the course of nine songs, the rapper displays a versatility within his lyricism and production, whether it be with the standout hype-as-hell single "Number One Candidate" or in "Lightskin Beatle," the tune introducing us to the project with country-inspired acoustic guitars and light-as-a-feather piano riffs that prepare you for what’s to come.
And as if his sound isn’t catchy enough, just wait until you see the visuals. Last week, AntsLive dropped the music video for "Number One Candidate" and it has set the bar mountains high for the rest of the music videos to come this year. To quote Anthony Fantano: it is WILD. Directed by Tom Emmerson, we watch AntsLive rap while riding a horse, as elegant as ever, through the Dolomite Alps. Along the way, he befriends some singing goats, he dances across jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes, and he attempts to befriend a rural mountainside farmer and his granddaughter in the middle of a neon green field. It sounds insane, and that’s because it is. The video is addictive, laced in surrealism, bright colors, and the sort of nature you could only ever think up in your wildest dreams. It’s weird, it’s perfect, and it’s quite possibly the most memorable way to build and acquire a fan base.
I’ve never heard or seen anything quite like AntsLive, especially this early into one’s career. Although AntsLive has been making music since the tender age of eight, it was only in 2020 that he decided to publicly share his music online, and it’s safe to say it’s serving him well.
His name might be ‘Ants,’ but dynamite comes in small packages. If this is only the beginning for AntsLive, then I cannot even begin to conceptualize what might be next.
Listen to Just a Matter of Time below: