Lil Karma Explains Why He Gave Up Basketball For Hip-Hop

Lil Karma talks about his music, lost friends and giving up his basketball career to pursue rap.

Lil Karma is next up out of New Jersey.

They always say, no matter how great your numbers are, if you’re selling tickets to your show, you’re doing something right.

The 20-year-old has performed his last eight shows with a capacity of 2,000 to 3,000 people, bringing his one-of-a-kind sound and energy to the stage.

With his most recent single “Lonely” (dedicated to his late friend Jaleel), he displays vulnerability, strength, and authenticity.

AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is Lil Karma?

Lil Karma: I’m from Orange, New Jersey. I started making music 3 years ago. I don’t really have a genre, I’m just lit. [chuckles]

AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?

Lil Karma: My sound is amazing. [whistles] My sound is literally amazing, I can’t even describe my sound to you. You just gotta really hear it and listen to the music.

AllHipHop: Talk about dedicating “Lonely” to Jaleel.

Lil Karma: That’s my friend who passed away, Rest In Peace. I dedicated that to Jaleel because he was the first person to really support me. He was the first person to really, really show me that love musically-wise. Because I was shy when I first started singing and rapping. I was shy to show people my songs.

I didn’t want to show people my songs because I thought they would think it was not good, etc. I had a lot of problems with that stuff, I was too shy. But then Jaleel was just feeling it so much that every day, we were lit. He supported me. He rocked with me so I dedicated that song to him, because I lost him. I was supposed to link him for a video shoot, but it didn’t end up happening because he had to work. Then it happened.

AllHipHop: How did he pass away?

Lil Karma: Vehicle homicide. That was back home. Rest In Peace to him, he’s the reason all these blessings are coming my way.

AllHipHop: In “Grind” you say “mama always said shoot for the stars,” what do parents think now?

Lil Karma: My mom is proud. She’s proud of me. They all in now. It took a little minute for them to get all in, because I used to play basketball. Pretty soon, it happened.

AllHipHop: Talk about trading the hoop dreams for the rap.

Lil Karma: It wasn’t even really tough. It was way more hurtful quitting basketball than the decisions I made after what happened. Basically I loved basketball, but I accepted the fact that I can’t be down because it’s not panning out the way I wanted it to pan out. So instead, I just kept focus and said “okay if this ain’t the one, I’ma try something else.” And music was there, it was destined. Literally destined.

AllHipHop: What can we expect music-wise?

Lil Karma: Music-wise, oh my god. I got 40 unreleased songs right now, fully mixed and mastered. It’s about to get lit this year. I got 2 mixtapes coming up and an album. Right now, I just shot 2 videos for 2 singles I’m about to drop at the end of this month.

AllHipHop: Who’s in your Top 5?

Lil Karma: Biggie, #1. I’m a huge Biggie Smalls fan, Rest In Peace. I don’t really listen to a lot of people though… Lil Uzi. I’ll give lil Uzi. Who else is lit? I don’t really listen to a lot of music like that anymore, that’s why I’m having a hard time. I know the songs but I don’t listen to them like I’m a huge fan or something. Let me throw out some names” Biggie Smalls, Lil Uzi, PnB Rock. I used to f##k with him heavy, he’s lit. Damn… Lil Baby and Gunna.

AllHipHop: What’s your favorite Biggie Song?

Lil Karma: It’s between “Suicidal Thoughts” and “Sky’s the Limit.”