If there is indeed a distinction between old school Hip Hop and the music composed by today’s generation; Le$ is truly the bridge between the two. Fusing classic lyricism and a new age appeal, in any conversation about the hottest emcees in Houston right now, you damn well better mention his name.
Originally from New Orleans, Les’s pursuit of higher education landed him firmly in Texas at the prestigious University of Houston, in pursuit of a Psychology degree no less. Although it seemed as if his career path had already been mapped out, fate had another one waiting in the wings: Music.
Says Le$, “I was in school for Psychology and I even considered going off to Law School after I finished that; but it turned out just to be a way for me to get out of Louisiana. I used to be that guy that said; oh I never want to be a rapper.” Yet rapping would prove to be exactly where he belonged.
Following the conversion of a friends campus dorm room into a makeshift studio, so to speak, students flocked to the room intent on showing off their lyrical skills both in fun and in competition with one another. “Boys was in the towers freestyling and I’m thinking I can do that shit too. So I did,” says Le$ with a laugh.
Armed with a new passion, he would go on to hustle up the funds to purchase his own equipment. Gone was the psychology student, in his place was now the makings of a promising new artist. The result being his well-received first project titled Crack Music. New to the game and not being a native Texan proved to be an obstacle in the beginning.
Not knowing the proper people or channels to go through, Le$ developed his own strategy; put as much music out as possible, press up his CDs, and hope that it would find its way into the right hands. This is the hope that keeps all new artists dreams afloat in the beginning, the hope that eventually someone will actually stop to listen to their work and give them a chance.
I just wanted to get my music into as many hands as possible.
Through false starts and dead ends he would hold onto his dream, though at times the demands of everyday life would force him to put music on the backburner in favor of traditional work. Eventually his hard work and tenacity was returned when his music did in fact end up in the right hands; catching the attention of none other than the famed DJ Mr. Rogers, notable Party Boy DJ and Boss Hogg Outlaw collaborator.
Already talented on his own, this union would prove to be exactly what he needed to propel his career yet another step further. The combination of his sly, natural wordplay with Rogers’ golden ear would result in 2010’s Settle 4 Le$, the project that would send his name from whispers to a full buzz; a buzz that would reach the ears of the original Boss Hogg himself, Slim Thug. They had already crossed paths numerous times, each time Le$ handed his music off hoping for a break; but ironically, it would be when his sole focus was on music that a break came. Impressed with his work ethic and ability to continuously put out good music, in time Le$ would earn himself a position on the team. The Boss Hogg Outlawz had officially gained a new member.
“(Owners) Ray Face and Slim had heard of me and seen me working. I used the name and opportunity they gave me to get my buzz up, but I had to pay dues. I got in the studio and I put in the work. We never paid for to perform or for a feature, I went to work and paid my dues.” says Le$.
Where talent lies, other talent seeks to join it. Collaborations with then up and coming artists like Big K.R.I.T. or Curren$y would become common, gained off skill alone. Says Le$, “The best way to get someone to work with you is to earn it. Earning it is everything.”
Read the full story at Houston Trend Magazine - August 2012