HipHopLEAD: Today we are kicking it with a new up and coming rapper named Luz. For starts where did the name come from?
Luz: Well my nickname is Lu-Lu, my family called me that the day I took my first breathe, so Luz is plural for that. And it just so happens “Luz” is Spanish for light, to me light equals knowledge, knowledge is power. So yea, I’m sticking with that.
HipHopLEAD: Where are you reppin?
Luz: My stumping ground is Brooklyn, Chinatown. Keeping it familiar.
HipHopLEAD: Do you feel that you have extra obstacles to conquer being an Asian emcee?
Luz: Well, Asian rappers in the game aren’t a needle in a hay stack anymore. Everyday there are more and more of us. Staying consistent in the scene for us are people like Jin, Far East Movement, Illuminaires, Chan, and then we got people in the Majors like Chad from the Neptunes, Chops from the Mountain Brothers, Teriyaki Boyz from Japan that does work with American artists. So that obstacle of respect is no longer there because we get it now. The obstacle now is more personal, you know. It’s now about me conquering the game.
HipHopLEAD: Do you feel there should be more Asian rappers in the game?
Luz: Yea, one more, me. Haha. Well, not just Asian rappers. We need more rappers in the game that got what it takes to be on that next level. But not to worry, I’ma be the answer to that one real soon.
HipHopLEAD: Were you happy with what Jin did in the game a few years ago?
Luz: Man, no matter how much he hates it. He was like our Eminem. The community that was supporting him was massive even though it didn’t show in sales. But what he did was showing the world that we could do a lot more than just math homework, and to show the world that we could do the rap thing just as good, if not better than our math homework. haha
HipHopLEAD: What made you pick up a mic and get busy?
Luz: To be honest, I can’t really pinpoint. A lot of people have crazy stories like, “yea, I was born with a mic in my hand,” and what not. Me? It was just fun. It takes you away from the bull that you deal with everyday.
HipHopLEAD: Who were your influences to get into music?
Luz: Well my first love for music was when they first came out with the soundtrack for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I just loved it, I don’t even know what kind of music it was but that made me appreciate music. Then comes B.I.G (RIP), 2Pac and they had this presence and authority in their music that made you want to be where they at. Coming down the line everybody and their mother was influenced by Eminem. Royce Da 5’9 was one of my favorites and still is.
HipHopLEAD: Are you on a label?
Luz: If so let us know….. Currently I am not, looking to change that soon.
HipHopLEAD: Any new projects coming out? Any features?
Luz: I just came off my first mixtape called “Instant Success.” My next will be dropping this summer, I still have not named it yet and the project is almost complete. Looking into a couple of DJ’s to cosign, White Owl is somebody I respect right now along with some others. Features so far I got Illuminaires, looking to get couple of more artists. What would be great is Royce being available.
HipHopLEAD: Are you disappointed in Hip-Hop now days or impressed with it?
Luz: Hip hop definitely grown up. Even though a lot of cats are saying it’s dead, but in my eyes it’s been resurrected. Hip hop is now crossing boundaries with other genres. Like Lil Wayne doing a rock album and one of his features is Madonna. That’s crazy, that’s hip hop.
HipHopLEAD: Name a Golden year in hip-hop in your opinion?
Luz: Haha, you got to party like it’s 1999. Nobody would of known that “2001” would be the only album Dr.Dre drops for the next decade, and still buzzing! And of course the Slim Shady LP, Method Man & Red, That was a good year. Drinking and smoking that year was a joy.
HipHopLEAD: Are you happy with the response you got being on Ballerstatus.com’s mixtapes series with Tha Advocate, “Digital Dynasty” and HipHoplead.com’s, “Unsigned On The Grind” ?
Luz: Hell yea, I’m grateful for being on every single one of those mixtapes, you know. It’s dope how I’m kind of proving myself, like I deserve to be here, I deserve to be next to these artists. So shout out to Ballerstatus and a definite big ups to HipHopLead.com.
HipHopLEAD: How would you describe your style of hip-hop?
Luz: I try to do different styles every time, like kung fu. But people have been saying my style is somewhere between Fab and Lupe. Again, this was not my doing just people that heard my stuff. I would say it’s like having rap and pop put together, more towards the rap. haha
HipHopLEAD: What’s your goal for the hip-hop game?
Luz: My closest goal is to get signed and just have a big name backing you. My long term goal is to make a billion dollars. Haha. See, to me it’s always good to set obtainable goals and unobtainable goals. It keep you in check.
HipHopLEAD: Does your agenda include trying to change what’s going on nowadays?
Luz: The only thing I want to change is my lifestyle and those around me. Anything beyond that is on my future agendas.
HipHopLEAD: Does it frustrate you that to get major spins or radio play you have to “party like a rock star”?
Luz: I can’t be frustrated by that, because that’s what the people wants. Once you ignore what the people want, then you are going to get lost and I’m sure the people won’t be coming to look for you. At the end of the day, people want to feel good more than anything else. Your providing a product, and for that product to sell, the people must like it.
HipHopLEAD: Does Luz have any cross over tracks?
Luz: I got tracks that cater to people of all genres. If you hit up my Myspace (myspace.com/thenameisluz) and peep those tracks, you would know what I mean. I can take you on a rollercoaster or a Sunday drive to the church? What you need?
HipHopLEAD: We know you have done a lot of shows in the past .. anything new coming up you want to plug?
Luz: Well currently I’m concentrating on my second mixtape, perfecting it to sound like an album. So I’m slipping on the open mic scenes and showcases. But look for me to be back promoting my second mixtape. It’s going to be fun.
HipHopLEAD: If you had to compare yourself to any 2 rappers dead or alive ..who would they be?
Luz: Jay-z and Eminem. I was always told, when you compete you should always compete with the best.
HipHopLEAD: Are you more concerned with global warming or the state of hiphop?
Luz: Global warming, I’m not a fan of winters. Global warming can help stretch the spring months.
HipHopLEAD: And speaking of album sales … is the internet really the reason that music is failing?
Luz: Definitely not, it’s the lack of talent that takes away from album sales. It’s not the gun, it’s always the shooter.
HipHopLEAD: Who would win in a battle …LL Cool J in his prime or Jay Z in his hayday?
Luz: Fist fight or verbal? Haha. That would be a huge difference. But I give it to LL for the scrapping and Jay-Z on the verbal.
Back To The Norm…
HipHopLEAD: Name 1 song you’ve done that will have the HipHoplead.com viewers hooked!?
Luz: It’s hard to choose but I have to say…A Little Bit, it was one of my more heart felt songs. Plus that track was on BallerStatus Digital Dynaty 11.
HipHopLEAD: Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shoutouts…F.U.’S or whatevers clever?
Luz: First off to HipHopLead for having me, Gee for having my back, Eleven for the help on my first mixtape along with Lex Lutha, Sinima, VA Dave for helping me with the second. I know I’m leaving people out so shoutout to those who talks to me on the regular.