via Instagram / Starlito

Starlito’s music slaps. His 2014 song “Theories” is in the pantheon of all-time deep cuts, but he doesn’t get the shine he deserves. The Nashville native has been grinding in the music game for a hot minute, having dropped over 30 tapes since ’02.

Though he’s still looking for that breakout single, he’s got a style all his own, setting himself apart from the pack. Lito’s m.o. is casual bars over lean-style beats that sound like they were made on FruityLoops.

Why hasn’t he broken through yet? There are a couple reasons he’s hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves.

First, he’s so deep in his own lane that it’s a tunnel. Put respeck on that, but realize that you’re gonna have to tweak the recipe to have commercial success. A little production from Zaytoven and Mike WiLL Made-It never hurt anybody.

Second, his partner in rhyme and chief associate is Don Trip, who has bars, but looks like Chris Paul’s inbred cousin. Unfortunately, we live in a society where ugly people can’t sell records and that Sarlito has chosen to handcuff himself to someone who just isn’t marketable.

Still, there’s hope for Lito yet. Longtime friend and collaborator Kevin Gates has catapulted from obscurity to the mainstream over the past 18 months. If Gates hadn’t also catapulted himself to jail for punting that girl, perhaps Starlito could have ridden those coat tails to stardom.

Given the success of lesser talented artists who have popped in recent years, there’s a lot of upside for Starlito.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this commentary don’t necessarily reflect the views of and/or its staff. The opinions are solely those of the author.