King Leez first came to my attention when he released the Jarv Dee assisted song “Black Rose.” I knew of the name before that, but that was the first time I was introduced to his music. After hearing that song I decided he was one to watch.

We got a chance to talk about various topics and I was especially juiced to hear details about the album, Supreme Being which is expected soon. I’d like to send a big thank you to King Leez for this conversation. The future for him and his Black Umbrella cohorts looks very bright.

Why Black Umbrella?

Me and Raz [Simone] linked up on, “That Ain’t Love,” a song featuring Pusha T and produced by Mario Luciano and Jake Crocker. The success of the song opened some doors for me and Raz. We set a up meeting to discuss teaming up and everything sounded good to me. I personally believe that you make more noise as a team VS as an individual.

What are your thoughts on the Northwest music scene and Hip-Hop in general?

I like certain artists, industry wise. I’m a big fan of the 90s but yes I do listen to certain trap music as well. As far as the local scene, same thing, I like certain artists, we have to support each other more and push each other. We tend to have that ‘every man/woman for themselves’ mentality.

Leez Jarv

What topics are you addressing on Supreme Being?

I’m speaking about politics, inner city issues, United States issues, and women.

What producers are you working with on Supreme Being?

Mario Luciano for most of it but also DJ Semaj and Young Veterans.  

You have a great ear for music, how do you choose beats? What is your process?

I sometimes have an idea of what I want the beat to sound like and I share it to one of my producers, but other times I hand pick what I like based off how it makes me feel when I hear it.

What is your thought process when you’re writing? I mean, how do you decide what goes and what stays?

Based on my delivery, how it flows and fits. I like to ride the beat and I like for what I say to be meaningful and make sense.

When is the best time/place to write? And record?

Lately I’ve been writing in a media room with surround sound and a projector screen, but [I also like to write] when I’m on the road driving.

Why did you choose rap to express yourself?

Because I rap better than I speak, I could probably tell you my inner thoughts and feelings in song form better than just saying it.

Leez Toon

How is Tacoma different from Seattle? How is it similar?

Tacoma is the smaller city.  [There are] no major corporations or mainstream companies here but [Seattle is] similar with the inner city issues.

What is your first memory of rapping or deciding that you want to rap?

My cousin’s karaoke machine and us rapping loud over full songs (no instrumentals). I was better than every one of my friends so [that’s when] I discovered my talents.

Who are some artists that inspire you?

The artists that inspired me are dead or don’t rap anymore.

Will there be any features on Supreme Being? If so, who? 

Definitely a few features on it… of course my guy Raz and a few surprise guests as well.

Do you have a release date?

Late December, late January. We want to make sure we get the most out of this release.

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What was the most enjoyable part about making this album? What was the most challenging?

It was slightly challenging rapping over a couple beats because it’s not your typical “King Leez” sound. I loved the beats so it was a must that I create. That was both fun and challenging.

Can we expect to hear any new music with you and other Black Umbrella artists?

 It’s in the works as we speak.

What’s next?

Traveling, spreading my brand and message and getting paid doing what I love.

Cover image courtesy of BlackUmbrellaMusic.com