It’s another glorious day for TWIB Meets as we had this rare chance of catching up with L.A.Z. The young man who is also a member of the highly acclaimed Detroit based group Clear Soul Forces, took some time out to talk to us about his new ventures, his background and a typically weird Pharrell Williams story.
Check it out below.
For the benefit of anyone who’s been living in an underground bunker for the past several years…who on earth are you?
What up doe, my name is L.A.Z—imma emcee originally from Colorado Springs, CO, currently residing in Detroit. I’m a part of the Hip-Hop group, Clear Soul Forces. Look us up, we got some fuego.
How did you get started in music, and what drives you to continue?
I got started in music when I was younger. My step father was a deejay, and my mom was, and still is a big Hip-Hop head. That was like the sound for my famil—we didn’t dance to Michael Jackson and all that sh*t. Me and my sister were singing “Wild Wild West” by Kool Moe Dee and “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie. And what drives me at this point is that I just wanna document this time in my life before I’m off doing something else. Music’s like audio pictures to me so I just wanna capture these moments.
Do you remember the first recording/song you ever made?
Yup that shit was called, “It’s the Way,” I laid it at my man Blue Dilla’s crib. It’s prolly floating around somewhere…
If a movie about your life in music was to be made, what interesting/strange moments and stories would you share to make the movie cool?
Sh*t…the time Clear Soul Forces got strip searched at the Canadian border trying to get to NXNE. My ni**a had some herb in his bag, it was real corny.
And I remember we had this sit down meeting from this cat we used to be “signed” to who had a real janky label, to let us know we were getting “dropped.”
Are there any other interesting facts about you that hardly anyone else knows?
I CAN’T HOOP
What is the greatest thing about working in the music industry? And what would you change if you had the opportunity?
Man, I love being able to release new music. it’s a journey, so being able to go thru the process is rewarding as hell. And if there’s anything I could change, I would still like to see physical CDs as the primary source of how music was purchased. The consumption has just changed so much—too much, too quickly.
Looking back, what have been the most important moments in your life so far?
The birth of my daughter Zaria, and moving from Colorado to Detroit in 2006.
What have been the biggest highlights?
Seeing our vinyl on shelves overseas, and just getting to see the world doing this sh*t man, honestly. It makes the world seem smaller, and shrank my view of what was impossible.
What has been your biggest challenge…and how did you overcome it?
Just fighting against myself…fighting to evolve musically, but still living a natural life. I just Said f*ck it and decided to exist, and write as much as possible.
Who are your heroes? Why do they rock your world?
My parents…my family in general. I don’t come from a big ass family of musicians, so I always got a view of how you’re supposed to keep yo sh*t together on a day to day—that’s valuable as an artist to have those principles.
Who have been the coolest, most memorable people you’ve met along the way, and how did they make an impact on your life?
My man Cam who I went to college with always had a fresh ass perspective…just about faith and moving off that. My group members Ilajide, Noveliss and E-Fav we make each other better cause we add balance to each other’s cypher naturally I feel like. And my Phresh Heir Brothaz cuz they remind me of the importance of the bond you create with your peoples. I always dug that.
When you’re sitting on the porch age 97 what would you like to look back on and smile having achieved?
I wanna know I was a wild ass boi at that time, and have my music sound like a playlist. Do Pandora by myself…just all different types of styles and flavors.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Quixotes in Denver a few years back, my mom and my pops was there to see me perform…that was dope. That was one of the most memorable, but honestly, there’s too many man, I don’t even wanna weigh shows against each other…they all special.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
When we were late getting onstage this one time, cause this ni**a Pharrell Williams was walking in slow motion across the backstage area. We had to keep back stage clear until he was gone from back there. Ni**a took like five whole minutes to walk from one side of the room to the other, smh.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Biggie Smalls. Cheese eggs and Welch’s Grape.
What are the greatest songs, albums, books, movies, TV shows, websites you’ve ever come across?
• Tame Impala – “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?”
• Mos Def – “Umi Says”
• Rick Ross (feat. Jay Z) – “Maybach Music”
• Clipse – Lord Willin’
• Every Outkast album
• American History X
• Pootie Tang
TV Shows: Locked Abroad
Name 5 songs (yours excluded) that we would expect to find on your iPod or Music Player
1. All albums by Carlos Santana…that sh*t be the ultimate to just roll up and vibe to
2. Outkast – “Players Ball”
3. Jay Z – “Where’s the Love”
4. Taylor Bennett – “Dancing in the Rain”
5. Freddie Gibbs – “Harolds”
What special-hero type skills are you blessed with?
The gift of foresight and tunnel vision.
Where can everyone reading this interview keep up with your adventures?
Holler at me on social media…all my sh*t the same. Or just shoot me a text, I’m active out here cuh: (313) 263-5301
Any final thoughts?
Yeah peep that No Paperwork EP that just dropped. Shout out to Below System Records who I released this through. Be on the lookout for more sh*t from Clear Soul Forces , and follow my deejay everywhere: @illadope And PayPall me some cheese, f*ck it imma just put it out haha: [email protected]
If you like this, do check out my previous interviews HERE