LYRIQS DA LYRACISS

00:00 June 25, 2013
By: 2Fik

A few years ago, while standing outside of the Dragon's Den, I ran into this teenager carrying a fly backpack and sporting a mean pair of shoes. Introducing himself to me, he quickly followed his name with, "Call me Lyriqs. I'm trying to get everybody to start calling me Lyriqs."


"Oh, so you're a rapper?" I asked. His only reply was shrugged shoulders and a really cheesy grin. One thing's for sure: the kid had confidence. He asked me the same question and I laughed a little, explaining I was a reporter instead. Pleased to hear the news, he casually invited me to upstairs to check out his show.
For those of you who've actually had the pleasure of seeing Lyriqs perform, you probably know this show well. He alludes to it being one of his worst, and it was indeed brutal. While the lyrics of his namesake were already crisp even at his young age, inexperience on stage proved to be his downfall. Needless to say, he wasn't pressuring me to write about it. But he did leave me with a declaration: "Hey, don't give up on me yet. Ima' give you something to write about!"


Fast forward a few years, and I'm pleased to say "the kid Lyriqs" continued to strive, each show growing his experience to par with his lyricism, and soon folks were taking notice. Being featured on MTV2 and Yahoo.com, continuously nominated for NOLA Hip-Hop Awards, opening for Lupe Fiasco, Rakim, Nappy Roots, the Wu Tang Clan, and Mannie Fresh, while boasting a YouTube vid with over 27,000 views definitely isn't bad for a kid still not old enough to drink in venues where he regularly performs.
But Lyriqs carries it all in stride. Boasting a sound and maturity far beyond his years, his songs are reminiscent of backpacking lyricists of the early '90s, and his style continues to grow and be defined each year. Recently, I was able to catch up with him at a Loyola University performance to parlay with him about his recent successes, breaking into the next level, and of course, the future.

Where Y'at: So what have you been up to these last few years?
Lyrics da Lyraciss:
Well, I've dropped my first official album, called The Nobody's Monologues 2, and that did really well on the Internet. The latest video for that album was "Do It For," which was featured on MTV2.com, so that's pretty cool. Since then, I've just been doing as many shows as I possibly can across the country: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Boulder, everywhere, you know what I'm saying.

WY: And what would you say about your musical growth? How do you think your sound has been evolving over the last few years?
LL:
I've gotten way older, you know. It's kinda weird, because back when I was doing the music in 2011, I was more emotionally driven, and nowadays, it's a little more structured. Back in those days, I just did it because it sounded right, felt right to me, no matter what anyone else thought. Nowadays, I understand the opportunities I have and the things that are on the table now. So I can't just do that anymore; I have to put some structure to it. Better mixes, better beats, things of that nature, and I've grown a lot. Lyrically, I've gotten much better. I understand the whole "make a hit," per se, while being myself type of thing. I feel like I've met that medium, and I'm doing really well with it.

WY: Where do you see your sound going?
LL:
A more industry-ready sound, and also a more personal sound. As much as I don't do the emotional stuff anymore, it's still a part of me, and I still do it. I have music that I do where I don't hold anything back. In the future, I think my music is going to sound even more professional, and with the different things I have going on, hopefully it'll be a next-level type of thing. So on a bigger scale, a bigger audience, things of that nature.

WY: Being a New Orleans rapper in the "House that Lil Wayne built," how do you feel like you keep yourself differentiated, or further separate yourself from what people know, while still educating?
LL:
The thing is, I don't try. It really comes natural to me. I try not to have any predetermined thoughts about anything when I'm making music; I literally make music and put it out. I have an audience and a fan base that supports what I do. So I talk to them. I don't necessarily reach out of those boundaries unless given the opportunity to. So when it comes to differentiating myself, I really don't think about it. I've been in my own bubble for the past three years. I pay attention to what I'm doing and my people are doing.

WY: Coming out of the underground New Orleans hip-hop scene, you're really getting to the point where you're breaking out of it. What would you attribute to that success?
LL:
What am I doing? I'm driven. And not to down anyone else, but I'm not a fan of someone who tries to reap the benefits before they do the work: the cats that talk about certain celebratory actions but haven't done anything to get to that level. It's a faking kind of act. And I just do. I perform, I put out music, and I rap. There's no time for all the extra things, so sometimes you may see certain cats, and it's like I passed them up in a sense.

WY: So what is it like getting out of New Orleans?
LL:
It feels real good. It's really cool—I feel like I have a lot to prove. I don't let people know I'm from New Orleans. Of course, the promoter does, and some of my fans know, but some people who come to the show are new and give me an advantage because I'm known, but not all the way known. Because, you know, people kind of have a stigma of the South. So I do my thing, allow them to react, and then they find out where I'm from. It feels good to go to Denver, Mobile, Pensacola, Philadelphia, and have people feel the music.

WY: And what about your collaborations? People in the industry are actually feeling what you're saying now and aligning with you.
LL:
I would like to give a shout-out to my dude Caesar from Crescent Kings Productions. With his beats, I'm able to talk to these next-level people. And word up to my big homie Mickey Factz—we just jumped off tour together. My phone is probably the most valuable thing I have right now. I can pull out some numbers, Nappy Roots, Def Jam and Sony A&Rs, I have Mickey Factz, and different connections with different people. Just saying I'm anywhere close to their level is a blessing. It feels good to say I've earned that.

WY: What is the future of Lyriqs Da Lyraciss?
LL:
I just want to rap, put out music, and perform across the country. Whether opening for someone big or being the headliner, I just want to rap. I do this to perform. Expect a lot of new music, better lyrics, better productions, better everything. The future for me looks bright; I don't want to tap myself on the back just yet, but it looks bright.

WY: Any future collaborations or anything people should keep their eye out for?
LL:
I have new album coming out called D.A.I.Y.L.F. It's an acronym meaning "Dream As If You'll Live Forever". And that album is hosted by my big homie Mickey Factz. I only have two features on the album, with my homie Dappa from PSP Productions, and also my homie Tef Poe from St. Louis, Missouri, who's been killing "106 & Park" lately. I've done a few collaborations with my homie Marcel P. Black as well.

WY: How can people look you up and get in touch with the music?
LL:
Well, my name is Lyriqs Da Lyraciss. You can follow me on Twitter @underdogcentral, and on Instagram at Underdogcentral. I'm just getting on Instagram, and I love it. Also, Facebook.com/underdogcentral, and Underdogcentral.net is the website.

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