L – Just Rap [Mixtape]
Toronto, ON – This marks L‘s second mixtape of the year (The Last 12 Months) and I have to give him props. I met this young man two Christmas’ ago while I was doing a street promo campaign for It Lives In The North outside Toronto’s Eaton Centre. Beatboxer Scott Jackson was challenging anyone passing by to drop a rap on his man-made beats and L stepped up without hesitation and ripped it. The assembled crowd grew as his crisp delivery and poetic lyrics burst out of the speaker.
Back then I didn’t know who he was, but he impressed me with his confidence. Since then, I’ve continued to run into him all over the city (Stylus Afterparty, Forgiveness Project, etc) and he’s always been in the midst of musical creation. He’s always approached me with great respect and humility. Sometimes it takes people seeing/hearing you a few times to give you a shot and L is a great example of how to conduct yourself as an artist trying to get noticed.
So, from my perspective it’s ironic that this mixtape is called Just Rap, because on one hand simply rapping consistently enough to continue to put out material is what put him in a position to keep popping into my peripheral. On the other hand, it was everything around the rapping (his professionalism, his respectful approach, his undeniable drive) that allowed him to truly gain my attention as Central Region Editor of HipHopCanada. Download after the jump.
A message from L:
“At the outset of 2011, I didn’t have any intentions of releasing two mixtapes! I came into the new year with my mind set on putting an album together. As January and February came and went, the months that followed proved it wasn’t the right time to immerse myself into making such a complex project. However, shortly after the release of The Last 12 Months, I got into a creative space that was conducive to making music at a tremendous pace. Like most great ideas and inventions, you usually stumble upon them or they happen by complete accident! The same can be said for the concept of “Just Rap.” While brainstorming, myself and my inner circle were trying to best appraise what I do, and what I bring to the game. Unfortunately, what ended up being said were more of the things that I don’t do (i.e. sing, dance, act or formally play any instruments!) The only ‘action’ phrase left was ‘just rap’.This project was made with the soul intention of breaking down every stereotype that exists in hip-hop music today, especially for a new artist. Not everyone was made to play, sing or dance. Though, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that if you do it, but there is a problem with it if we are all doing the same thing.
With Just Rap, I wanted to show that you can make quality records – commercially viable records, and even heartfelt emotional records whilst staying within the traditional sounds intended for a hip-hop audience. I’m thrilled to comeback and give y’all Just Rap! I’m always preparing the listener for what’s coming next; whereas The last 12 Months was about being heard, Just Rap is about listening conscientiously, and taking in this music.
Next, we’ll listen to what we hear…”
To check out more from L visit his bandcamp page.