We had the good fortune of connecting with Lelo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lelo, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Listening is a key factor in becoming successful within an industry where it’s main purpose is to be heard. Typically, rappers believe they know it all going into this industry because of what they see on social media and knowing what’s trending or popping. This isn’t the case because the music industry isn’t only about the music, the music industry has layers that you will never know about it until you listen. Whether it be listening to your favorite artist’s interviews, watching hip hop documentaries, or chopping it up with someone that is on the same path of you. There are always gems dropping that could be a resource within your career, but you will never know if you aren’t listening. The most successful people in this world are great listeners, because you can’t tell a fool nothing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What makes my art different from others is simply me being me. I am unapologetically myself. I don’t try to conform to anybody’s standards as I am only concerned with the standards I hold for myself. I feel like a lot of times, people lose themselves in this industry because they want to be like someone who is currently popping or they would like to keep up with trends. This is a toxic cycle that is not only unhealthy but unrealistic. The current standards of being a female rapper is having a certain look, rapping about certain topics, and I’m just unphased by all of this because I don’t need to be up to society’s standards when I set myself to be my own standard. I don’t keep up with trends, I make trends. I’m not checking for anybody, I’m checking for myself. I don’t stay in anybody’s business but my own and I like to keep it that way. My biggest accomplishment within my musical career was coming out as a rapper. This was an accomplishment to me because a lot of people boxed me in and had their own expectations of me and my career. Being a rapper was not one of them. I showed myself that you can literally do whatever you want, whenever you want, and it really doesn’t matter what people have to say because I have the last say.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles has literally changed my palette. I have tried things that I thought I would never eat in life and have become truly addicted to. Some of my fav spots are Annie’s Soul Delicious – one of the best soul food restaurants in LA. Definitely top 2 and it’s not 2. I love Maestro’s Ocean Club – twin lobster tails are a must! Honey Kettle – black-owned with the best chicken! Also, a must-try would be Lettuce Feast – a black-owned food truck with THEE BEST vegan chicken sandwiches, please quote me on that! Oh and BOA steakhouse is chef’s kiss!! If you haven’t tried I would also recommend getting a Poke bowl. I get 3 toppings of salmon and tuna and all my delicious toppings drenched in ponzu sauce! I am literally addicted to Poke, it’s insane! Also, I loved Hampton’s 818 and BlaqHous Noho but they have been shut down, I am crying on the inside and outside.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shout-out to my mom for always being my number #1 supporter, holding me down through all the trials I’ve experienced during life, and sending love no matter how far we are physically. I want to also thank my friends and family for not only being there for the good times but protecting me and my spirit through the bad. My tribe always empowers me to do better and be better. My support system is crazy, because they make you feel like you can’t do no wrong because they’ll never let you do bad. They challenge me and keep me on my toes. I don’t keep any yes men around me, we just uplift each other and cover each other with love.
Makeup artist: @popthatprinsy/@prinsynet Photographer/videographer: @firstname.lastname@example.org/@ferrari_xavi Hair Stylist: @kenyaonhair