By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
Luh Soldier is here to prove he has what it takes to make it in the rap game, bringing back that raw, real life s##t hip-hop was founded on.
At only 19-years-old, the Alabama native has already caught the attention with Jonny Shipes, who signed to his thriving Cinematic Music roster.
Now, the “Soldier Mentality” spitter touches down for the first time in Los Angeles and caught up with AllHipHop to discuss his sound, his journey, and why the current rap game is weak.
AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is Luh Soldier?
Luh Soldier: I’m a young black male out of Birmingham, Alabama. Grew up in the street life, who’s coming out with this rap s##t and doing something better with himself. Other n##gas going to jail, becoming a statistic — I’m still a statistic but I’m making the best with what I got going on. That’s all I can do to explain Luh Soldier.
AllHipHop: Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
Luh Soldier: I fit in my own lane. Trap gospel, that’s what you can call it. We gonna call it trap gospel.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Luh Soldier: The whole time goddamnit! The whole damn time. When I was spittin’, even when I was just keeping it to myself — I used to let my mom hear that s##t. She’d tell me “oh yeah, boy you blessed.” That s##t wasn’t even in the booth. I took that s##t to the booth and motherf##kers reacting like “bro you telling stories with that s##t.” n##gas can’t wake up without listening to Luh Soldier. It’s real motivation. When motherf##kers telling you that, people reassuring you, you just gotta have the right people in your corner. Everybody around me, we all move and elevate together. That’s one thing about it. As long as you have the right people around you, the top is the only place you can go.
AllHipHop: You just dropped Soldier Mentality. What was the creative process & how long did it take you?
Luh Soldier: That s##t was beautiful, a masterpiece put together. I wanna shout out Cinematic Group for helping me organize it. I really love ‘em, I can’t tell them enough. It was me putting out my past struggles, what’s going on in my life and trying to bring people on. Just to wake people up ‘cause there ain’t nobody rapping like this. Ain’t nobody out here talking that s##t. If you really listen to it, it’s gon’ get you. No matter where you from, you could’ve grown up with Tiger Woods and you gon’ feel it. You gon’ think you from the streets because it’s so real. You can feel the presence. That’s what separates me.
AllHipHop: Talk about your journey with Cinematic.
Luh Soldier: Cinematic was f##king with me when I first started buzzing. I was talking back and forth with Shipes. I knew from the getgo he was a cool ass n##ga. I knew we was gon’ be like that. [crosses fingers]
AllHipHop: He’s the only one I actually haven’t met from Cinematic.
Luh Soldier: I f##k with Shipes.
AllHipHop: How did you guys meet initially?
Luh Soldier: Through texting and calling me.
AllHipHop: He just found your music or what?
Luh Soldier: Yeah, my manager was pushing my music and he caught the ear for it. He was telling me s##t like “I ain’t gotta vibe from you since T.I.” He turned the switch on for me rapping too, made me wanna turn up even more. When I went to jail, he made my bond and wasn’t getting nothing in return — ‘cause I could have signed with somebody else. When he did that, I knew it was real. A real relationship, real established base, a real solid foundation.
He wanted to see me progress in Luh Soldier life too. That felt like the best route, we gon’ keep working together.
AllHipHop: How long were you locked up for?
Luh Soldier: I wasn’t locked up for no time. I got out that b##ch ‘cause they made my bail, so I’m straight. But I been locked up 4 or 5 more damn times before then. I’m a man. I’m down but as long as I progress every day, that’s all that matters.
AllHipHop: What’s the longest you’ve been behind bars?
Luh Soldier: I’ve been sent to bootcamps and s##t, but never over a week. I’m only 19, I’m just blessed to be able to say I done survived. ‘Cause I know plenty of n##gas that… it’s really real where we from. You can’t do s##t. s##t getting shot up, motherf##king police f##king with you. Some people don’t understand, don’t even think about Birmingham what the f##k going on there. It’s crazy as hell, I’m telling you now. I’ma be the one to vouch for it.
AllHipHop: What’s the biggest lesson you learned behind bars?
Luh Soldier: That s##t bring you down to a humble state. Every time I got out of my body, God bring me back down. Out the gate. My grandma used to always tell me. I get on the phone with her, she’ll let me know. She’ll give me that talk every time. It just brings you back to your state of mind. But at the same time, it’s a lot of bulls##t.
AllHipHop: What do you parents think of your rap career?
Luh Soldier: They love my s##t. They’re my biggest fans. They know every song, front and back. They luh that s##t. They like rap, so they really got a reason to cheer for me. ‘Cause the route we were going on, we were gonna be convicted felons. [laughs] They love it though. That’s what a parent wants, their child to have an opportunity to be bigger than what you been through.
AllHipHop: You just dropped the visual for “What Happened.” Talk about that being the title track.
Luh Soldier: “What happened to keepin’ it gangster? What happened to keepin’ it street? These f##k n##gas cappin’ and rappin’ ’bout money, but they can’t even buy the beat.” I had to name it “What Happened” just ‘cause of that. Sum up this rap game, sum up what the f##k going on today. These n##gas out here snitching, telling on each other and s##t. “Look at me getting robbed,” then rapping and s##t.
These n##gas out here are some jokes forreal. The rap game I’m seeing, this s##t a joke! That’s why Birmingham, Alabama is one of the realest cities in America right now. We gon’ bring what we got to the table, change this s##t. Put the ankle down.
AllHipHop: I was watching the video for “45 and a a Glock 9.” Are you concerned at all promoting guns in your music?
Luh Soldier: Uhhh, I don’t give a f##k. Tell Jefferson County they can suck my d##k. [laughs] Let me stop. I f##k with some of the officers, but ya’ll got some dirty mothaf##kas in that offices. That’s all I got to say. I mean, you got the right to bear arms in America. I ain’t promoting guns, I’m just showing you I got that b##ch. When a n##ga run up, I ain’t gon fake it. It’s on from the dome. A n##ga play wrong, he gon’ get chromed.