Archivio Agosto 2004

Interview with Lawrence Smith

31 Agosto 2004 3 commenti

By Ciobin

CIOBIN: A little history of Lawrence Smith
LAWRENCE SMITH: As a boy, I’ve always liked funky grooves and baselines. When I first heard the Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight”, I was hooked. But I never really thought of writing seriously until I heard LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad”. Before that, I just rapped for fun, because most of what I heard was just that… rappers messing around, having a good time. But hearing LL made me think that I could do something off the chain.

C: This is your first cd?
LS: No, I was with a group by the name of The 3, a Christian rap group that was started by my brother John about 4 years ago. We put out a 4 song self titled EP and it did very well. We won an Omer award for best rap of the year, with “Holy Ghost Party”. It garnered a lot of attention, and got regular rotations with some the radio stations in Kansas City MO and around the nation. We broke up about a year after we won the award. We just had different ideas about the direction of the group, but all of us remain friends. John is on a track on the EP, and Lee (the other guy) has done
some tracks for my solo album.

C: Tell me something about hip-hop in your city.
LS: I think gospel rap around here is HOT! We have some of the most innovative artists around, and they are far ahead of anything the world has to offer. Topspin, J-Lyric, Wes Parham are guys you should definitely keep an ear out for, especially Topsin. There is another guy named AwestruKc who is deeper than I’ve never known, and AWOL has been getting some decent radio play in our area. We’re like TNT doused in nitrogen sitting next to a fireplace. Ready to blow!!

C: Do you know something about hip-hop in Italy?
LS: I don’t know much about hip-hop in Italy, but from what I’ve heard, it is incredible. I got a sample of a couple of artists there while listening to a couple of websites, and I am impressed with the tight flows that I’m hearing, and I can’t wait to hear more.

C: What do you think about mp3?
LS: Can’t stop technology, although I understand that mp3 you lose a bit of quality, but you can’t tell when you get it through the computer. I love it for personal listening pleasure, and would be quite interested in how it does if an entire album was done in mp3.

C: And about women in hip-hop?
LS: I love it when women are involved in hip-hop. I would go so far as to say that the next wave of top notch rappers will be women. Men tend to emulate what they hear, while women tend to create out of need, and are just more creative sometimes. I love to listen to them and can’t wait to hear what comes out of Europe.

C: Have you performed live?
LS: I’ve performed live many times. I do shows regularly at the Main Street Cafe’ here in KC. I’ve also done a show at the Rock the Light tour when it comes to town. Now that is HUGE! I love doing live shows, because the audience responds so well, and they can vibe with you when you’re doing your songs. It’s a whole other level than studio work.

C: Who is the artist you like most and why?
LS: I artists I like the most is Cross Movement. While the way of hip-hop is to be bragidocious, these guys literally remove themselves from their lyrics to talk about Jesus Christ, and it’s STILL tight!! Right now, those are the cats to look at when you talk about real hip-hop, and real witnesses for the Lord.

C: Do you think that hip-hop videos represent the real hip-hop?
LS: No. I think these hip-hop videos now are a product of corporate America profiting from what they think the culture should be. Hip-hop should be grimy, not about the stuff that you have. Hip-hop is best when you are hungry for it. When you have it all, you lose the hunger, and you no longer have your finger on the pulse of what real hip-hop should be.

C: In which way you live hip-hop?
LS: I stay hungry for the music. For innovation and creativity. I stay in my Bible and keep my relationship with the Lord close. Real hip-hop is just that. Reality. When you play gangsta, thug, or pimp, you are not representing hip-hop. If you haven’t lived it, then you’re a hip-ho, being pimped by corporate America. Rap what you know, and you stay crisp.

C: Tell me something about clubs and radios in your city.
LS: Right now, Main Street Cafe’ is probably the only place where you can hear some real hip-hop. There are plenty of radio stations, but the only one that will really play any (not necessarily good) hip-hop is KPRS, 103.3 on the FM dial.

C: Future projects
LS: I’m coming out with the full blown album, entitled “Fire in my Bones” in a few months. I only have about 5 tracks left before it’s done, so I’m looking at probably a November release date, just in time for Christmas. I’m also involved in a project at my church where we will be releasing a CD featuring some of the talent there. Some of them are featured on my album as well. I’m also producing next album “Family & Friends” which I hope to
be out in late 2005 – early 2006.

C: Thanks and hello to
LS: I would like to say thanks to James Madry, Jr. the main man who had my back since day one. Also to Topspin, for producing some of the HOT tracks on the EP. Isaac, my producer and friend, and most of all, mi lindo chocolate’ chica, Treva Smith, for having my back even when she wasn’t feelin’ it. I love you, Sweetie!! Shout out to Denise Clark and the gang at Main Street, my brothers Jess & John, Calvin (Cal-Dog) Allen, my parents, Jesse & Shirley Frazier, my father Lawrence E Smith Sr (God bless you for such unwavering support!!), “Dad” Gerry Ewell, Paper Chasin’ Jason (watch for him), and my Ebenezer MBC church family.

For contacts:
For booking, call me at 1-816-444-0113 or shoot an email to, or you can contact me through, and shoot me an email there.

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