CROWNTHEM was started to highlight artists that ain’t being recognized by the mainstream and don’t need to be necessarily. It’s really gettin’ to the root of it - you know, people always talk about how there ain’t good Hip Hop and there’s plenty of it.
LOS: I love that for sure and I appreciate you for that.
And it’s even cooler because a lot of the new, fresh Hip Hop is coming out of the South which I know you be talkin’ bout as the “New South” and shit.
LOS: Facts, I mean all the good shit comes from down here. Everything is coming from down here, if you ask me. We comin’ out the mud with it. It’s me and some more guys around my age that’s comin’ up from down here that’s goin’ to shake shit up some more again. I’m pretty excited for that.
That’s real, when I was playin’ your album and shit that’s the energy that I was gettin’ with your use of so many soulful samples and stuff like that. And really, like a classic soul, really out the mud type soul. I was like, “yeah, he representing being out the mud” and really carrying on traditions and shit for real.
LOS: I had to and really it was the Universe that did all that shit to be honest with you. All the sequencing and everything, that’s all the Universe. So, I had to and we’re goin’ to continue to. That’s what matters.
Yeah, yeah… So, tell me a bit about you. Where does your name come from? Where are you and your people from?
LOS: My name was formerly Carlos. Throughout growing up, well, I was named after my pops. His name is Carlos but out in the hood and everything they call him Big Los and growin’ up I was Lil Los. Clearly, it just came from not wanting to be called Carlos, so I was Lil Los then I got a little older and now I’m LOS and I feel like I’m gonna be Big Los soon. It’s on me, really the name came from my pops. And my family, I think everyone in my family is from Mississippi. Definitely goin’ way back, I have Choctaw and Chickasaw family members and ancestors who actually moved from Mobile, Alabama to Mississippi but mainly all of my family is from Mississippi. From Vicksburg, MS, Meridian, Yazoo City, but me and my immediate family and most of my nuclear family is from Jackson. Been in and out of Jackson for most of my life. It’s been years now but I was there for about 12 years then I moved to Chicago but the roots is definitely from the Jack. That’s literally where all my family is from. We the only ones that left when my pops moved to Memphis. All rooted from the city of Soul.
That’s so interesting because like I have indigenous heritage as well down in Mississippi and Arkansas and just hearing your stuff and seeing some of the symbolism and using Geronimo too. I was just like, “is bruh native? He got native blood for sure.” Whether an artist is conscious of what they’re portraying or not, ancestors are still speaking through that shit. Even in your video trailer you got the Blackhawks jersey on.
LOS: True, and that’s just shit that I’m doin’ it’s not even crossin’ my mind but that make a lot of sense for sure. It’s close in the family tree I believe too - my grand aunt looks like she's a full-blooded native and my great-grandma is like full-blooded Choctaw and Chickasaw on both sides. So, it’s pretty close.
Yeah, man that’s beautiful for real.
LOS: Fosho, fosho, I'mma dig into that. I haven’t really dug into it at all so it’s not nothing I don’t embrace but also nothin’ I’ve paid much attention to. We’ll definitely see.
Going off that - the Geronimo symbolism and significance throughout your album. Where did that come from?
LOS: Geronimo. Okay, so I figured I was goin’ to make this project July 2020 and I was just thinkin’, “what’s next?” So, me and my brother that I grew up with since I moved to Chicago (and he never made beats before or nothing like that, Terron Clark.)
LOS: I kid you not this is his first time. I’m like, “nigga, what!” So, I send him the samples that I wanted and I sent him what I wanted looped. That’s what I did for a good portion of this project; send them the sample and tell them the time marks for what I wanted looped and they just killed that shit. The name of the original intro wasn’t “Geronimo!” I don’t think, I think it was “1st Time” or some shit. It was something I made but it gave me the intro feel and what’s funny about that is I actually made the intro as a first track for My Love Is Crack and for the outro it was actually the last song that I recorded. It came together perfectly. As far as “Geronimo!” goes it was just me speakin’ about what was happenin’ around that year. One of my close friends, Mikey, had brain surgery, a tumor and everything. Of course, that 10k grant and shit that everybody was tryin’ to get with, the PPPs. It was just somethin’ I wanted to do real fast and it ended up bein’ the intro so I’m happy that happened.
Yeaaah, but still at the same time of talkin’ indigneous bloodline and shit - Geronimo was one of the last noted native warriors.
LOS: Facts, that makes a lot of sense. I was just thinkin’ we was gonna jump into what’s next so I named the song that. I feel like it’s just somethin’ that comes and what does come, comes naturally. Like I said I push the pen but the Universe be writin’ a lot of this shit at the same time. Then other people catch on and I, myself didn’t catch on, even talkin’ about it. It worked out well, fosho.
And that’s what I felt for real. I feel like you’re really being guided bro. The soul of it really feels like you know what you doin’ and you realizing it but I don’t think you understand the depths of who is pushing you, you know? And why they pushin’ you? It’s beautiful.
LOS: Thank you, thank you, we gonna get there. I’mma figure out but if not as long as everything is goin’ how it’s goin’, I’m grateful for everything. I’m grateful for it all.
Super cool, but about them samples. You chose all the samples from all the tracks?
LOS: Not all of them. I chose the samples for out of 14 probably 5. That’s pretty much it.
Because I knew some of them but couldn’t quite catch them so I had a friend listen to it with me and she caught one of them samples on “Good & Well.” Was it “If” by Destiny’s Child?
LOS: Man, yeah, it’s “It” by Destiny’s Child and it fit well because all of those samples are from the 70’s besides that one. One of my close friends, Bri, she’s a designer and everything and she love soul music almost as much as I love soul music. I don’t think anyone loves soul music as much as LOS. We were just talkin’ about music and soul and just the sounds and the ratio to the loop goes and she sent that shit. She sent that song and I was like, “bro, I gotta sample this - there’s no way I’m not.” I originally wrote “Good & Well” to another sample that would’ve fit well too but we couldn’t find that nowhere to get it put on the project. I love that sample… that’s my favorite song on the project right now, fosho.
That’s a good one but I mean all of them are good. It’s cool to learn the samples and know how they play into the actual theme of your project. The waves and the relationships and shit like that.
LOS: Yeah, it’s like a lot of switches in content and reasonin’ and I’m happy that I chose “Good & Well” to go before “Fornever” from “Can’t You'' because obviously goin’ from “Can’t You” to “Good & Well” was some shit right there. So, I had to make it stream well.
Yeah, a lot of arrangements. So, who did you grow up on? What was your music like?
LOS: Definitely Andre, well Outkast, T.I., 50 cent, UGK, 8Ball & MJG. All the Southern greats.
LOS: Basically, besides 50. So, Screw, those were mainly the ones that I knew were my favorite artists. 3K, T.I. 50 and Wayne. Those are my 4,like, big inspirations of my favorite artists growin’ up.
That’s dope, and as far as your soul singers?
LOS: Honestly, to be real with you, my pops he always bumped rap music. He never bumped nothing else but rap music. My mom, she only bumped 90’s music, barely any 80’s music. My grandparents were some gangstas too, they wasn’t really bumpin’ no old shit either. It was really just somethin’ that came unto my soul. I heard some shit and I just fell in love with it. It was actually later on in my life, I would hear the songs at family reunions and everything but I never went deep divin’ to Soul music ‘til I was about 14, truly. So, Marvin, he’s one of my favorite artists of all time. Aretha Franklin, Al Green, The Isley’s, The Moments, I could go all day bout that. That’s the main thing I listen to when it comes to music; 70’s Soul and 70’s Reggae.
Oh yeah, Reggae for sure. I love Dub, I’ll listen to Dub all day.
LOS: Yeah, I gotta have the Sun. The Sun gotta be out for me to listen to Reggae.
Man, sometimes I gotta make the Sun.
LOS: Facts, especially during these winters you definitely got to.
Man, when I moved down here I didn’t think it would ever be this cold in the winter time. It’s so crazy.
LOS: Yeah, people are really surprised by that. At least you don’t gotta deal with no snow 24/7 type shit, the whooooole winter, you feel me? It’s only like a month or two out of the year.
That’s real, that’s hella real. So, where did your inspiration for My Love Is Crack come from?
LOS: I think that the people that paid attention thought that it was gonna be a love project because for some reason I love doing love songs. I’ve released love songs as singles before which I never thought I would do. My love life definitely inspired that a little bit and just my Blackness and findin’ myself through the readin’ and doin’ the knowledge and the wisdom and everything and of course just regular life experiences. Then I realized, when it comes to certain things that I do or I love or loves me it’s not always somethin’ good that comes out it, you know, but you love it so much that you just can’t fully let it go. So, I figure, “My Love” as in the love that I have for women, the love I have for this and that whether it’s being in dangerous environments. Like muthafuckas love that shit and don’t understand why. I feel like it’s addicting in a way. So, I said my whole first project is going to be called, “My Love Is Crack.” I don’t give a damn and that’s what I did. Mainly, I would say life experiences and that’s pretty much it. I can’t say what it would usually be or what I have planned so that’s why it caught me off guard, truly.
This is so interesting because from a listener’s perspective and readin’ the interview that WavezMovement did and I experienced it in so many ways. I would say that it does feel like a love project. It just feel reflective, like a reflective love project. Because you’re talkin’ and you’re vulnerable with how you’re talkin’ about the relationships and how different things have gone with different women. You also reference family and friends in too and when you talk about shit like that, that’s natural love.
LOS: That’s somethin’... facts, you’re definitely right. I get it, I just didn’t want people to think it was like a romantic love project. Like a romance. Damn, I’m happy you caught that because that was really what was on my mind throughout the pandemic and everything and while writing this album as well.
I can imagine, so interesting because, “My Love Is Crack,” it’s like you’re almost talkin’ about vices or how things become vices.
LOS: Yeah, for sure. When we talk about vices it did get pretty deep talkin’ bout vices. I had a lot of throwaways that was like, “shit…” when I was really speakin’ on the vices. I’m definitely speakin’ a lot about it and it’s a lot of narcissistic views that I really didn’t realize was in it. Which wasn’t on purpose but it was just an over-loving myself in certain ways is what creates tracks like, “Pick One, Get One” and “Can’t You” and pretty much the whole beginning of the project. The way I wanted to flow out from LOS to LOS Kemet it was definitely the vice part, “Can’t You” and “Pick One, Get One” fosho.
Why do you say that?
LOS: “Can’t you tell we love these hoes,” is just a vice in itself because niggas feel that way and women feel that way as well. And it can be a vice because not everything is good for you. Really the whole project coud reflect on the vices whether it’s someone who has dealt with me or me dealin’ with somebody else or dealin’ with a situation, anything like that. That would be a very good way to describe the project, fosho.
Yeah, ‘cause you do got that little clip of Rick James too on “Pick One, Get One.”
LOS: Exactly, so if I could say there was a sideseat to the project it would be the vices portion in my eyes.
And you do mention too, “self-aware narcissist” within the project. Where did that come from?
LOS: A few of my past relationships they would say certain things and lately (as of before 2020,) I would get that title but I didn’t realize that’s what it actually was until I started going to therapy - it flows into “We All,” so that’s the main thing. It’s not really just me callin’ it out because I felt that way about myself it took time, it took talkin’ to people and talkin’ to my therapist to know, “you are this and you’re workin’ on it and the best thing about all this is that you’re self-aware.” Self-aware enough to even talk to a therapist.
Facts. That’s real, that’s hella real. That’s also another theme, it very much was about Black mental health and taking care of yourself in that way too.
LOS: I had to throw those in there with the soulful samples to try and pay some type of homage to these samples. I wanted to put pieces of stuff that they would speak on so it was only right for me to do that. And, listenin’ to shit like “Dear Mama” and “Dear Mama” was a big inspiration on “We All.” Just listenin’ to certain artists and especially 70’s artists, like that’s my secret formula. I don’t really want people to know that but my secret formula is studying. That is the best formula you could have in this industry, studying.
Mhm, student of everything.
LOS: Fosho, gotta be, you gotta pay the homage all the time.
Man, for real. I’ve realized also that you go by LOS Kemet sometimes. What’s up with that?
LOS: First off, I am not Kemetic as far as the knowledge goes but as far as the original meaning of Kemet goes I have plans with that. Like, for a new Kemet to build. My name is LOS Kemet and my actual government name is turning into LOS Kemet and that’s really where I got it from was the original meanin’ and studying the knowledge but I’m not the guy that’s a Kemetic knowledge man. You know how the people be, you know, East Coast and Philly and all that, that’s not me. I wanna build a newer version of everything, that’s where it came from.
“Build your own pyramids / write your own hieroglyphs”
LOS: Exactly, instead of arguing over it. Who did this first and who did that first. I’m not one of those.
Because there’s just some shit that you know that other people don’t. You can’t even, there ain’t no conversation to be had.
LOS: Exactly, because you’re really just wasting your time. Like when it comes to some of the consciousness it’s really a lot of arguing and shit and I have no time for that. When we could all just create ideas amongst each other and build shit from there. Because who the hell is buildin’ pyramids today? Ain’t no nigga buildin’ a pyramid today. Niggas just wanna talk bout who built them first. We don’t got time for that shit. That was my whole reason, I was like I’mma go to the cout and change my name to LOS Kemet.
I love that, that’s so cool.
EVERYTHING LOS: https://linktr.ee/los601
PHOTOGRAPHY: CLUB GALLERIA