With many quick to write off the ‘slow sippin city’ of Houston as just another casualty in a fickle industry, there is a group of lyrical, yes lyrical, savages clamoring to be heard.
Standing firmly within Slim Thug’s influential Boss Hogg Outlawz camp, Le$ has quickly made his own name and gained an impressive following through sheer skill and lyrical prowess.
Having already performed alongside the likes of Dom Kennedy, Mac Miller, Paul Wall, Big K.R.I.T., Slim Thug, and the legendary Bun B just to name a few, Le$ is well on his way to solidifying his own spot in Houston.
Though, if MTV Hive is to believed, he’s already currently one of the five best underground artists in the city. AllHipHop.com checked for more of Breeding Ground's Le$:
AllHipHop.com: When speaking about the growing underground scene in Houston, your name consistently comes into the mix. What first brought you into the game?
Le$: I used to be the guy that said oh I never want to be a rapper. I was in college (University of Houston) for psychology. I used to hang around on campus, and boys would be freestyling and I’m thinking, I can do that sh*t, too. So I did.
AllHipHop.com: Just like that, eh? So what prompted the transition from college student to artist?
Le$: Once I figured out I was actually any good at it, I hustled up the money and bought my own equipment. I liked college, I even considered going to law school after getting my psychology degree, but it was really just a way to get out of Louisiana. Once I officially got into music, I put my all into it.
AllHipHop.com: Louisiana? So you’re not a native Texan?
Le$: Nah I’m originally from N.O., but I’ve been in Houston for over 10 years now, though.
AllHipHop.com: In just four years, you’ve gone on to release over 10 projects on your own, not to mention collaborative efforts. How has the road been getting to this point?
Le$: When I first started out, I was new to this and I was on my own. I’m not from here, and I didn’t know anybody. All I could do was press up my CDs and get my music out. I figured if I handed enough out, word of mouth would get it into the right people’s hand. I just wanted to get my music into as many hands as possible. But sometimes I had to take a break and just work. Crazy thing is, I was actually on a break from music when it ended up in (Party Boy) DJ Mr. Rogers' hands, and then he hit me.
AllHipHop.com: ...which resulted in your first collaborative project with him, Settle For Le$. Do you feel as if that project was a game changer for you?
Le$: Up until then, I had run into Slim maybe 10-15 times and just kept handing him my music. It definitely gained attention and recognition. Even though Rogers works with Boss Hogg as well, they didn’t just let me walk onto the team. They had heard my sh*t and saw me putting in work. When I was finally made a member of Boss Hogg, I used the name and opportunity they gave me to get my buzz up, but I had to pay dues. I got into the studio, and I put in the work. Now Slim is like a brother. He’s looked out for me, and he definitely still looks out for the city.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve opened for artists like J. Cole, as well as worked with rising artists like BIG K.R.I.T. and Curren$y. What are your thoughts on reaching out for features?
Le$: A lot of sh*t I’ve done is people that I was already, and still am cool with. But in general, I believe in earning everything. I’ve never had to pay for a show or a feature. The best way to get someone to work with you...is to earn it.
AllHipHop.com: You’ve become known for successfully incorporating classic beats into your work. Do you feel as if this is your signature style?
Le$: Some of my projects, like Settle 4 Le$ or Beautiful Struggle, were done over completely original music. While others like Le$ is More was over a lot of classic Texas beats, and Menace was done over a lot of West Coast beats. Anybody can rap over 'what’s hot,' but it’s harder to rap over a classic. I don’t like to sound like anybody but myself, and I think that people gravitate towards my music because it’s something different. I’m original. Anytime someone has said, 'Oh you sound like so and so,' I work on it. I don’t want to sound like anyone but my damn self.
AllHipHop.com: There are many who have dubbed you one of the hardest working new artists out of Houston. In addition to kicking off your first official tour in Texas and an upcoming show with Chief Keef, what do you have planned for the future?
Le$: My latest mixtape, More Le$, is out now. Sh*t, I’m just going to keep working. You have to stay relevant. I don’t mind working hard, because in this game, if you stop, you die.
Visit the official Le$ website, and follow him on Twitter (@settle4leS).