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Getting into the Fast-Paced Workflow of LG (Team Genius)

By Charlie Maybee

There are many musicians in the world who take an enormous of time to write and develop music between big releases (Kendrick Lamar’s recent album comes to mind). Meanwhile, there are other artists like LG (Team Genius) who have constant flow that seems never-ending. The insatiable drive of the Black, queer, Philadelphia-based rapper is undeniable, and she has worked hard to channel that flow into a seamless string of singles, EPs, and albums over the last several years, never failing to put her best foot forward.

In a recent interview, when asked about the fast-paced nature of her releases, she notes that, “I’ve always produced at a high level, but I just didn’t know where to put the music. Once I connected with the sync world, I knew it would be a place I could really dial in and produce. It’s about good music, but there’s also a bit of a numbers game required to perform at a high quality consistently, and I just wanted to make sure I took full advantage.”

As a simultaneous musician and businesswoman, it’s not surprising to hear that the numbers game is important, but the other key to her drive and ongoing success is passion. “For me, it’s not work if I’m having fun. I make a lot of music but I’m also having a great time doing it.”

LG (Team Genuis) - Photo by Anna Azarov
LG (Team Genuis) – Photo by Anna Azarov

With so many moving musical parts developing at the same time, LG finds that the improvisational freedom of freestyling is the creative anchor that grounds each new song with a signature groove or feel. “For me” she says, “the only way to secure a new authentic feel is to be in the zone and let whatever comes to my mind just flow. Once I freestyle a cool line or flow, I take that and build on it.”

She notes that one of the struggles of making so many songs at a time is getting caught up in the details of making each one unique. But, through freestyling, she finds herself able to avoid the pitfall of being repetitive and retain the element of surprise when it comes to her rhythm and lyrics. The results speak for themselves as she rips through a myriad of rhymes with aplomb with each new release that always stems from a place of self-awareness and authenticity, allowing for a natural, driving flow energy to emerge.

This energy seeps through her song catalogue, including the song “PRIDE,” which originally released on her 2020 album Colors. As the highlighted song on her Spotify profile for the past month in celebration and recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, LG is interested in taking the time to reflect on empowerment – a potent and timely theme considering the recent historical overturn of Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court.

 “PRIDE” has been a very special record for me” she points out, “It’s not just a great song to represent Pride Month, but it’s also a great record for empowering all people who may feel like others try to put them down for being themselves.” With civil liberties for women and LGBTQ+ coming under increased scrutiny and attack, LG’s music (and “PRIDE” in particular) paves a way through the vitriol with intentional joy and celebration. “My grandma always told me to ‘Take PRIDE in everything you do!’ It became a mantra of my life, and when I came up with that hook, I knew the song was going to be powerful. Fast forward 2 years, and I am headlining at the Weho in Los Angeles, CA. I was blessed to headline the Women’s Freedom Festival with an hourlong set. It was incredible and a full circle moment for me.”

LG (Team Genius) - Photo by Anna Azarov
LG (Team Genius) – Photo by Anna Azarov

Along with her many incredible accomplishments since releasing “PRIDE,” LG has also found herself writing music that is influencing and interacting with popular culture. “T.R.I.B.E.,” one of the singles off of her latest album Therapy Session, was recently featured in the Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 3 gameplay trailer.

“The Fortnite collaboration with “TRIBE” was for sure a pleasant surprise!” she shared excitedly, “When I created the hook, I knew it had potential to go places. It has such a great ‘feel good’ energy at a time where hip-hop has kind of taken an emo or dark side approach, but also if it’s not dark hip-hop – it’s ratchet – and this is neither.”

“’TRIBE’” takes me back to my younger days, back to when Lupe Fiasco just dropped ‘Kick Push’ or ‘Hip-hop Saved My Life.’ This just happened to be the frequency that Fortnite had in mind – the concept of everyone coming together and vibin’ during gameplay. I’m honored to share this moment with Black Prez and Kid Something who produced it.”

And LG continues to harness her escalating momentum with her most recent EP release titled On the Way up!, which departs from the “stop and reflect” attitude of her last full album, Therapy Session. She describes as her version of a “Datpiff mixtape,” as her musical focus makes a notable shift up and out toward a dazzling horizon.

“It was a few tracks that meant a lot to me, but also came with a whole different vibe than an album – just to remind the fans I haven’t forgotten where I come from. Although I’m on this journey and elevating, I will always pull up my people, and never forget my roots.”

With each song musically soaked in an east coast Philly vibe, it’s a collection of summertime jams that merges R&B with trap in such a way that feels like a gift to her hometown Philly community. A musical ‘thank you’ for helping her arrive at this moment.

“I’ve been taking this opportunity to dive further into my artistry and try out different things,” she says in her concluding thoughts, “I have no boundaries on what I want to try next, so I’ll just say: the next project may be the ‘LG’ you know as a lyricist, but the sound may take a turn for the better and go in a ‘funky’ direction!”

If you want to try and keep up with LG (Team Genius)’s impressive and fast-moving flow, be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify. I would not be surprised if her next single dropped by the end of this sentence.

Charlie Maybee

Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.

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