People often talk about the pursuit of the American Dream. They talk about what they’re willing to do; what they’re willing to sacrifice; what it means to them. But that’s all they do—they talk. L. Smith AKA G5 Elz stands at the opposite end of that spectrum—he does.
The Queens rapper retains an unprecedented work ethic necessary to catapult him from underground lyricist into renowned artist. So often in Hip hop, and music at large, talent retains a “too cool for school” mentality and projects a sense of being “put upon” when asked questions. When ZeusWolf sat down with L for his interview, he jumped at the opportunity to share his story; he was present, insightful, curious, and above all else, hungry. It’s genuinely refreshing to work with a kid who is so focused and determined. And it doesn’t hurt that his rhymes are dope.
L Smith was first introduced to the internet thanks to Global Grind. His place in the music world was further solidified thanks to none other than the Funk Master Flex, who tweeted Smith’s “X-Drive” video and featured him in his Indie Spotlight—an endorsement most MCs would kill for. Vindication from these highly credible sources kept the wheels moving on L’s momentum train and he’s been moving with a full head of steam ever since.
I’m not sure if I believe in pre-destination, but if any case proves its validity, it’s the case of L Smith. L is the son of legendary producer, Lawrence “Larry” Smith. Larry Sr. was a pioneer Hip-Hop producer widely known for his work with Run-DMC, Whodini and Kurtis Blow and is revered for his innovative style. Compared to the likes of Rick Rubin, James Brown and Quincy Jones, Hip hop is forever indebted to Larry’s musical flavor that provided the framework for some of the industry’s greats. While L dabbles in production, he channels his father’s musical gift through his pen game and rugged flow. Yes, having a legendary producer for a father definitely helps foster musical career growth, but L is out here making a name for himself outside of his pops.
If you haven’t heard of L Smith yet, you will. His musical background is largely shaped by his membership with group, G5 Army—a collective of L’s contemporaries. Aside from this group, L is affiliated with a crew you might be a little more familiar with: Manolo Rose’s Concrete Rose. Known for hit “Run Ricky Run” and supplying Troy Ave with the skeleton—to put it lightly—for “All About the Money”, Manolo Rose is quickly rising as NYC’s next big thing.
Often using his surrounding Queens scenery to inform his bars, L is a true New York rapper—he lets the streets’ whispers shape his persona, rhymes and messages. He emits a 90s vibe that is peppered by today’s sound, forming his intriguing and appealing identity. Smith is the rhyming equivalent of a Swiss Army knife and uses his multi-functional ability to craft clever, multi-layered songs. These hard-hitting lyrics are brought to life through his three projects, N.Y. Times, Bread and Butter NY Rules and 2nd Coming.
L is currently working on his fourth project, The Northside Punch. This project will take us through the city via Smith’s vantage point and will deepen his NYC loyalty and appreciation. Release date for this project is still TBD. I’m extremely excited to witness his career’s growth and to continue working with the Queens rapper. His palpable work ethic is admirable, inspirational and infectious; spend five-minutes speaking with him and you’ll want to say, “Fuck everything, I’m going to pursue my destiny.” This kid’s got some big dreams. Don’t be sleeping when they’re achieved.
ZeusWolf Choice Picks:
X - Drive