24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
LBO: What’s good?! My name’s LBO. I’m a rapper, singer, writer, producer, and beatboxer that was born and raised on Long Island, New York. Right now, I live in VIllanova, Pennsylvania and I’m studying at Villanova University’s Business School to major in International Business. You’re reading this interview because I recently released a mixtape titled Old Soul. Many have labeled me an “Old Soul” during my lifetime, just because my perspective of the world is that of someone way beyond my years. Keep reading, you’ll see exactly what I mean.
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history about how you got into it and what inspired you?
LBO: Music has always been a part of my life. I composed my first song, “Michelle’s Dream,” on the piano at the age of ten and won an award through my elementary school. Then about two years later I picked up beatboxing and wouldn’t stop (it annoyed the shit out of my friends haha). I was always writing poetry, but I won awards for my writing at thirteen with a piece I wrote about how I saved my brother from drowning. My brother almost died fifteen years ago but it’s still a very vivid memory; that was one of the scariest moments of my life.
My main inspiration to create music is the pressure and negative emotion both music and writing alleviate. I have some problems up in my head, so I try to put them to good use, as everyone with issues should. You’ll feel it in some of my songs if you listen carefully, and you may see me tweet or post a verse or two just to ease some of the stress I’m feeling at the time.
24: What was the Hip-Hop scene like for you growing up where you’re from?
LBO: Hip-Hop is strictly mainstream where I’m from, unfortunately. As much as some of those artists I listened to are my idols today, there was and will continue to be too much potential in the underground rap scene. That’s why I urge all hip-hop fans to check out sites such as hotnewhiphop.com and datPiff.com. Don’t be afraid of new things. Expand your horizons until you have the whole world in view.
24: What makes you Unique as an artist and different from other rappers out now?
LBO: What differentiates me from other artists is my deep lyricism, and how I don’t really rap about material things. If I do, it’s only to make a symbolic point. Also, being musically versatile has been ever-growing ever since Kanye hit the scene, but that’s also a unique quality that I share with only a handful of artists nowadays. I once thought “you have to know your weaknesses,” but my friend Wilber Polanco of the band MDPC and of BLG Studios in Brooklyn told me in response “No, you just can’t have any weaknesses.” I’ll remember that forever.
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
LBO: Even though I have a lot of school work, I’m always focusing on music. Right now, I’m collaborating with DarkElixer, an awesome producer from the U.K., on an absolute banger. This party track is going to be hot, and it has a little surprise that some true hip-hop fans will love. Definitely be on the lookout for it! I also got a track with samples from Kendrick Lamar’s “Blow My High” in the works.
24: What producers have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
LBO: Besides recording on my own produced tracks, I’ve worked with 5 Star Beatz Inc., Spence Mills, Kewin Cosmos of BLG Studios, DarkElixer, and Mr. Fijiwiji (the track we collaborated on together will be up on iTunes within a month or so along with the rest of his EP). Though if I had the opportunity, I would love to work with prestigious producers like Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Timbaland, No ID, RZA, Just Blaze, araabMUZIK, DJ Premier, Hit-Boy, and B.o.B. (the man’s way too underrated for his producing).
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
LBO: Even before my mixtape, Old Soul, dropped, I had a few songs on YouTube and I received almost nothing but good reviews and comments. I even received awesome feedback on the raw and original version of my song “Hope You Can Hear Me Now” that I recorded a year ago. Now that the mixtape has been released I’ve been receiving even better and reinforcing comments. I’m most happy with the constructive criticism I receive, for everyone can get better. I’m not trying to have any weaknesses, remember?
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to do to make your self a household name?
LBO: In order for anyone to get noticed, one ALWAYS has to think of new ideas. I, personally, am always trying to let my creativity out in new ways. Also, in order to get noticed, you must promote your work and name to nauseum. I’m sure many of my followers on Twitter and people who like my Facebook page are sick of me constantly promoting the same mixtape, but that’s unfortunate. You have to do what you have to do. Lastly, keep making music, but not just to improve. If one of your songs won’t appeal to a particular listener, and you continue to dish out quality tracks, eventually another one will appeal to that listener. There will always be those people that consistently hate, though, so don’t pay them any mind and keep doing you.
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene?
LBO: The Hip-Hop scene is definitely at a better point than it was several years ago. Although I’ve always stuck with the legendary artists such as Eminem, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Nas, I hated turning on the radio and listening to a song that consisted of one sentence that was repeated over and over again. I will also always hate the songs that strictly speak of money, drugs, cars, girls, and meaningless violence. It’s songs like these that give Hip-Hop a bad reputation. Thankfully there’s a load of hot, new, talented artists who share my idea of spitting about what’s real, and, due to this, hip-hop seems to have a brighter future.
24: Outside of the music, what else are you currently working on?
LBO: Besides being a full-time college freshman at Villanova University I’m also in an awesome a cappella group here at Villanova called “Minor Problem.” Everyone in the group is very talented and the a cappella group is basically my second and more musical family. I sing, rap, and beatbox with the group. In fact, during our latest performance I rapped in Arabic, and the crowd loved it. Thus, in short, if I’m not working on my own music, I’m still working on music nonetheless.
24: Where do you see yourself going in 2013 and how do you plan to separate yourself from the other artist out today to get the recognition you feel you deserve?
LBO: In 2013, I see myself receiving more and more notice for my talent at the least. Of course it’s a dream of mine to get scooped by a label and do what I love for a living, but I’m not too sure that’ll happen within the next two months. Anything can happen though, so I stick to the cliche: “Hope for the best, yet expect the worst.”
In order to further distinguish myself as an artist, I’ll take my own advice by letting my creativity loose, making more music, practicing, and promoting my work to the extreme. I’ll also learn from professional and fan-based feedback in response to the mixtape, and learn from experiences on stage with or without my acappella family in order to better myself and gain acknowledgement as an artist.
24: How can fans go about contacting you?
LBO: I’m always open to my fans!
They can hit me up on my email: [email protected]
They can also send me a message through the following sites:
Send a dude a message anytime, even if you wanna say waddup! I’ll always try my best to respond ASAP!
24: Thank you for providing 24HourHipHop with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and future fans?
LBO: Guys, girls, thank you all for your support. For real, I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to link up with the awesome guys at 24hourhiphop if it weren’t for all of you. If you haven’t heard the mixtape already, then enjoy! Get at me with your thoughts, opinions, criticisms and any questions!