LB199X Interview: New Album, Growing up in Maryland, Conscious Rap

A local of Glenarden, Maryland, Terry Goodwin’s family and friends know him as both TJ or Lil Black, two names he takes after his organic father, who he describes as a “actual one” and the kind of dad that “any child would need to have.” However since round 2014, extra individuals have come to know him as LB199X, or LB1990s — the “X” standing in for a whole decade. The 29-year-old rapper was born in 1992, and has garnered comparisons to musicians like Kendrick Lamar and Joey BadA$$ for his deft perspective view on the world. In his music, LB199X constructs vivid and uncompromising vignettes of the Black expertise, which is the rationale some listeners have come to treat him as “a aware rapper.” It’s a title LB199X doesn’t essentially tackle for himself. If something, he says, he considers himself to be an “trustworthy rapper.”

“I see myself as an actual individual, and relating to making music, the music that I make is intentional,” he says. “Black males are killing Black males, and that’s the picture they need us to perpetuate, however no one needs to proceed that cycle.” He describes his newest undertaking, Stigma, as a private testimony of his expertise as a Black man in America experiencing life and love. “I cherished, I lust, I hugged, I rush after which some/Gave my all regardless of my flaws, my revenue,” he raps on his upcoming single, “What About Love.”

Rising up in Prince George’s County, one of many wealthiest Black communities in America, he explains, he’s been made conscious of the pernicious nature of racism; the methods through which cultural stigmas stay ingrained in our tradition. “I’m exhibiting people who I’m defining these stigmas,” he says. “So if I’ve to talk to you in a way of me being ‘gangsta’, then that’s me doing it. If I acquired to talk to you in a way of exhibiting love, that’s [also] me talking to you.”

As a youth, LB199X was recognized to be energetic inside his group. He performed soccer and ran monitor as a teen. By the point he began highschool, LB199X determined that he needed to pursue music and didn’t query the intuition. “I began recording myself within the ninth grade. I downloaded Mixcraft off of the web and I simply went loopy, studying tips on how to report myself and studying what recording was,” he explains. “I used to be simply placing myself within the mode of recording music. That’s all I needed to do.” 


By the point he acquired to his senior yr, LB199X had shaped a rap group, Coast to Coast, alongside considered one of his pals and his cousin. They traveled to Virginia every weekend, spending any cash that they had on music and studio time, which finally led to radio time. After commencement, LB199X enrolled at Full Sail College in Orlando, the place he met Grayson Fisher, who has been a buddy and producer ever since. 

His songs arrive like pictures taken by means of a wide-angle lens, increasing the vary of notion in pursuit of a fuller image. The rapper’s first two initiatives, 2018’s Black Matter and 2019’s Shade Us, define a worldview devoted to resisting cycles of oppression. With greater than 1,000,000 streams on Spotify, his track “To Dwell and Die in Amerikkka,” on Shade Us, finds him rapping over a sultry guitar, laying naked the vulnerabilities that include navigating a rustic that’s in some ways nonetheless sure to deep-seated racist beliefs. “Man fuck a politician/We tryna make a dwelling,” he raps. “However my upbringing totally different/Dwell by the code/We don’t do no snitching.”  

“There’s a goal behind me talking on uplifting the Black group,” LB199X says. “I take pleasure in that. If individuals need to name me aware I’ll take that, however I do know what kind of individual I’m. I’m a pacesetter, and I’m going to do my job as a result of I’ve a goal.” 

Shade Us arrived simply earlier than the pandemic. And with Stigma, LB199X says, he’s digging additional into his personal life to uncover extra of his true self. And whereas his rise might look like a dream come true, LB199X has confronted the challenges of grief and loss that ring all too acquainted in Black communities. It was simply final yr that he misplaced each his mom and stepfather to most cancers. “I used to be in a darkish place,” LB199X confesses. “It made me need to faucet into my actual self. I’m a human being. I acquired vices, I’ve feelings. I do love and I do cry. I simply need to present individuals why I feel the best way I feel.”  

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/lb199x-interview-new-album-1241795/ | LB199X Interview: New Album, Rising up in Maryland, Acutely aware Rap


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