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His last release, Jerry MaGuire, was a fun summer bop of well-structured whimsy and now he’s back with a brand new release today, Nov. 15. Hip-hop artist/songwriter Derek Luh talked with LadyGunn about his latest single, Hoodie, which is far from one of his first forays into the scene. The 27 year old has toured with Machine Gun Kelly and his song aptly named It’s Luh off his 2018 album has been streamed over a million times.

The California native has been on a constant craze of releases since 2013. Between the studio & the stage, Luh has amassed a following of over 500,000 fans across verified platforms and has participated in recent campaigns with Puma, Diesel, Armani Exchange, Lacoste, and Snapchat. 

Luh is the millennial perfect package. His visuals are always on point — the Jerry MaGuire video directed by Damir Inbar is Schoolhouse Rock meets Adult Swim. He’s on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram and and he knows how to use a meme. He’s the edgy boy you were too nervous to speak to, and the class clown you secretly loved in high school. Turquoise hair, a moody mouth and a natural instinct with Gen Z, he’s set to be everyone’s new guilty pleasure. He’s the face of the turn of the decade wave of e-boi’s; not just jawlines, but talent and emotional rawness.

Luh speaks as if Vine had a philosophy subsect. When I ask what his new single makes him think of visually, half of his response could be trending hashtags: “The show Euphoria. I need Rue to leave her hoodie in Jules car or Maddy to leave hers in Nates; that’s more toxic..” Before taking a moment for an aside, “also if anyone from HBO sees this put ‘Hoodie’ in the new season. Thanks.” It’s that tongue in cheek emotional intuition that makes him such an interesting but still down-to-earth-approachable character.

All that plus his devotion to his digital family brews a perfect storm of relatability. He shares the same loyalty and engagement with his fans on social media as they do with him; a feat considering how many platforms he’s active on. And while other artists find it wholly overwhelming, for him, it’s an upside of the modern world.

“It’s so cool that I can talk to someone in Australia or Italy or even Oklahoma whenever I want. I feel like it’s important they spend hours and hours supporting you, reposting your stuff, sharing your music, the least I can do is say what’s up or fuck with them on social media platforms,” explains Luh. And his fan base is only bound to grow after the release of Hoodie.

Hoodie is an understated production with a touch of Hotel era Moby with the end of summer feel of Bryce Vine. The simple beat and swirling strings make it the perfect vibe song. The sparse hip hop orchestral melody makes it perfect for the bittersweetness of cuffing season (pre and post). His carefree vocals (think Matt Champion of BROCKHAMPTON), just occasionally interrupted by a gravelly break, amplify the mellow vibe. This latest release is on brand with Luh’s new mature but still catchy sound.

On the subject of the song’s narrative, Luh ponders on what makes this latest song stand out in the long history of break up songs. “Hoodie deviates from traditional breakup songs at the fact that I was the one who broke up with my ex. Seeing her moving on with her life, while I’m still reminiscent of all the things we used to do together, on top of still riding around with her hoodie in my car…My ego made me break up with you, now my ego won’t even let me say ‘I miss you.’ I just state the fact that I’m riding around with your hoodie in my car hoping you get the hint. It’s sort of toxic,” as if smirking at his own self-awareness. 

That’s the beauty of Luh’s lyricism though; his ability to take a bird’s eye view of himself and the situation.  It’s in the space between what he muses to be right and what he struggles with internally where he finds Hoodie. The song doesn’t need a dramatic context or an obituary style mourning of love. It’s an acknowledgment that a large part of a relationship is you. So many break up songs (the non–empowerment anthem ones) focus heavily on the ‘us.’ Hoodie, instead, takes places after you’ve run through every moment, each specific speech of love, every gift exchanged. When every memory and anxiety, like a word said too many times in a row, suddenly feels distant from all the overthinking. In that grey void where its bare emotion, Luh sits crisscross apple-sauce openly taking it in and somehow putting it in the perfect Gen Z relatable words. It comes from a real place.

“The hoodie is a real thing. I’m sure after this song drops there will be this legend of the hoodie …conspiracy theories will form. To be honest, it was actually my hoodie that I let her keep and she ended up leaving it in my car but as soon as I let her wear that hoodie I knew it was hers forever.“

 The new single, Hoodie is available on all streaming platforms.



photos / Mallory Turner / @mallorymturner

story / Malorie McCall / @babyballou

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