It might be cooling down outside as winter sweeps across the Midwest, but no one seems to have told Denny Lanez. The rapper’s latest single, “Get the Bag,” is blowing up across streaming services and the view count on his music video just keeps growing. And since he performed in Madison at the beginning of the year, the campus fan base is growing at the same rate.

It has been almost six months since Lanez released his latest album, 4 You, and it’s just as popular now as it was when it hit the scene. The rapper now has the opportunity to travel across the country to perform and recently finished a small tour thrilling crowds around the Midwest. He’s now back in his Milwaukee studio, focused on becoming the best musician possible. 

Lanez was determined to be a star from a young age, dedicated to using his creative abilities to take himself to the top. When he was nine years old he began to rap, inspired by the 50 Cent biopic, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’” and soon found he had the natural talent to rap. While he didn’t begin to release music until later on in his life, Lanez was constantly honing his craft.

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The next step on his journey into the music industry came when he was a teenager growing up in Milwaukee. He was spotted and signed by Ford (yes, the car brand) to an exclusive modeling contract. With his foot in the door, he transitioned from modeling to acting when he starred in a rendition of “A Christmas Carol” at the historic Milwaukee Pabst Theatre. He crossed over into the world of television soon after and was cast in the hit-show “Chicago Fire.”

The music bug never left Lanez’ brain, as he continued to hone his abilities in his spare time. In 2017, Lanez released his debut album, Title 96, which opened the door for one of the slickest music videos someone from Wisconsin could produce. When he thought about the best way to capitalize on the buzz from his song, “Running Back,” it seemed only natural to head up north to Green Bay. He finagled his crew onto Lambeau Field to create the proper visuals while paying homage to the hometown team.

Trying to succeed in the music industry as a kid from Milwaukee can seem almost impossible — there aren’t many hip-hop success stories to base a new artist’s journey on.

But Lanez believes he will be successful because of his hometown.

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“When people hear someone from Milwaukee for the first time, they don’t have an idea of how it should sound, so it’s all fresh,” Denny said. “There isn’t the over-saturation like from California or NYC, it’s an open canvas for the artists.”

Lanez says it’s only a matter of time until Milwaukee gets its due time in the spotlight.

Though he may be in the midst of a break from the road, Lanez said he’s been spending countless hours in the studio, working on building his brand and exploring new opportunities. He also teased a new music video dropping next week, but for now, the rapper is mainly focused on riding the buzz from “Get the Bag” and seeing how big he can make it. 

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The buzz Lanez has accumulated so far has led to an internationally soldout tour beginning next year. Lanez will stop in Africa, where he says he’s most excited to visit.

Lanez is expected to slide back through Madison before heading out on his tour because there’s nothing more fun than a concert for a homegrown artist who is beginning to blow up. Lanez is far from the end of his musical journey, but he without a doubt is well on his way to stardom.