Raleigh has been home to many great hip hop legends such as 9th Wonder and other members of the Justus League, who have taken their careers to heights that have set the standards for underground rap out of North Carolina. With groundbreaking records, and a willingness to strive, had the League not crumbled within itself, their reign over underground rap would have spread further and wider than the eye can see.
Now, there is a new artist in town out of New York known as L.I.F.E. The Legend who has picked up the torch, and is running with it furiously to the finish line. His hard-hitting lyricism and catchy tunes have caught the attention of people all over the country, as he travels nationwide for interviews, shows, events and special guest appearances. The main objective is to reach as far as he can. While other local artists confine themselves to the comfort of their hometown, rapper L.I.F.E The Legend is not afraid to venture out to different states and cities to spread the word about his music.
“Any time I travel, it’s always work, no matter how big or how small it might be. I always try to make sure I show my face because you never know when you [will] get that opportunity that will really put you in the position where you want to be,” says L.I.F.E.
One contributing factor that has helped propel his career is his willingness to cross-market with other artists such as singer Pooh Bear who features on his tracks “I Got It Cuz I Get It” and “Glass House.” L.I.F.E claims that working with other artists, especially those who work within a different genre, gives him the opportunity to reach out to a different network of people who haven’t heard of his music yet. Those new listeners, with the help of online social media, then promote to other networks of untapped audiences, and L.I.F,E soon finds his name spreading like wildfire in different parts of the globe.
“I want my name to be as big as Shania Twain, or Boys II Men, or Michael Jackson,” said L.I.F.E with excitement in his voice, “to me that’s when you’ve gotten to your best.”
And according to L.I.F.E, he is the best at what he does. With three nominations for the Carolina Music Awards, including the category for Best Male Hip Hop Artist, the release of his video for “Glass House,” and multiple appearances and performances across the country, L.I.F.E is single-handedly raising the bar for underground rap, and doing it with his chest out.
“You have to have that level of confidence in yourself because it’s like a shark smelling blood in the water; people recognize when an artist isn’t fully confident,” said L.I.F.E, “when you go in the booth, or on stage or whatever, you reflect how you feel about yourself.”
While he works out of the love for his music, L.I.F.E is aware that music is a business, and that whether independent or major, to make a career out of it, you have to take the most productive route. At the moment, his mission is to gain as much exposure as possible. His next show will be in New York on July 20th. From there, he will be at a 2-day music conference in Charlotte, and is currently trying to create a line-up down in Atlanta.
“I’m out here; I’m working…you’re not going to get where you want to go just standing in one place.”
Photos Courtesy of Denise Anderson Photography