Leezythegifted is an independent artist from the Bay Area. His music is based around love, memories, and emotions from the stories that he crafts in his music.
Leezy became a fan of hip hop in middle school, from listening to the likes of 50 Cent, Eminem, Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G., along with several others. He began to write his own raps during his freshman year of high school, jotting them down in a composition book and recording them through his iMac monitor.
In just four years, Leezy’s music has evolved dramatically. He still maintains the brash attitude he showcased early on, but his growth as an overall artist has been impressive. As someone who questioned whether he could write an appealing chorus when he started rapping, Leezy now constructs full songs without much hindrance.
He recently changed his name for the third and, possibly, final time. Call him LeezyTheGifted.
1) Talk to me about the making of your latest single – “No More Games.” What was the inspiration behind it?
The making of the song is kind of a funny story actually. My producer Corey and I wanted to freestyle a little bit so we did just that. He freestyled some core progressions with a drum loop, and I got on the mic. We did a bunch of takes of it and found some lyrics and core progressions that sounded good.
The message of the song is that if you’re really in love with someone, to not play games with them. Make it real! Show them what you know they deserve, and nothing less.
2) With the music industry tanking and record sales falling, how do you currently make money as an independent hip-hop artist?
In all honesty the only money I make with music is through performing. I’m currently building another revenue streams, but it’s not with the music itself.
3) From a business point of view, which artists in the game do you think are really pushing the boundaries and changing it up?
Nipsey Hussle is an artist that I really look up to as a great business man. What he did with Crenshaw the mixtape was genius, and I’m really happy that he was able to use that to take off.
I also really admire Chance The Rapper because he doesn’t sell any of his music, which really pushes the boundaries. Yo Gotti is also an artist that I admire because he bought himself out of his contract so that he could form his own label.
4) What business lessons have you learnt from the music industry so far?
I’ve learned a ton of lessons from the industry so far, but I’ll try to keep it short. I’ve learned that music itself is not the only revenue stream to be considered by artists. There are so many other ways to make money in the music industry as an artist, but you can use the music as a marketing tactic.
I’ve also learned that because the industry is so over saturated, it’s really important to build a good network. It’s true what everyone says, it’s about who you know. Lastly, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you do not need a record label to make it happen. At this point, everyone should know that though.
5) What do you love about hip-hop music?
What I love most about hip hop music is that it’s such a diversified genre. There’s combinations of soul, blues, jazz, EDM, trap, etc. It’s also not just a music genre, but a culture. It’s all about struggle, and story-telling. It’s beautiful.
6) What still surprises you about hip-hop?
The thing that still surprises me about hip-hop is the fact that there’s people who get pissed off with the progression of the genre, and the lack of acceptance.
7) If you had the power to change one thing about the hip-hop industry to help independent artists – what would it be?
If I could change one thing it would be to get rid of all the fake promotions that are out there that just use bots and fake accounts. I think getting rid of that would help artists see what real promotion is about, rather than using these fake numbers as a crutch.
8) Who do you think are top 3 rappers doing it at the moment?
- Tory Lanez
- The Migos
9) So what are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to tour California, the West Coast, The Nation, then the world. I also plan on starting my own clothing brand to have another connection with my core fan base. My ultimate goal is to start my own independent record label, along with other entrepreneurial ventures.