We’ve scoured the nation for Hmong talents that got me jingling to the rhythmic rhymes of one of America’s top folk song by Woody Guthrie, “This land is your land.” So I continued…”Up the rolling hills to the Midwest, to the mountainous bluffs of the west coast, to the precipitous ridges of the east coast, hooking me right back into my hood, the big bad Midwest…” And as soon as the song started, the song ended. My pseudo-prolific ingenuity in putting lyrics together, or as I have heard my homies calling it “spitting rhymes” or “spitting flows” as a rapper has come to an end!
Enough of me, let me introduce you all to a fella who have been in the biz, who has already made a name for himself, and now he’s bringing up a new talent that he’s collaborated with, I introduce you all to LP and his partner TL. We had a recent rendezvous with this master lyricist to pick apart on what’s going on in his noggin. So listen up yo!
Hmoodle: Tell our Hmoodle Viewers, who is LP and TL?
LP: Lp (Lyrical Producer) real name Paul Yang. I’ve been doing this music thing for a while now. Some of you may know me from a while back and some may have just found out about me. Well here is a little bit of history on my background. I was signed to Shaolin ENT.(Label owned by Hmong rap group RARE), produced music featured in the movie Gran Torino, and is currently working with superstar TL. Some of you may not know TL aka Thao Lor but he was in the movie, “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” and will also be seen in the upcoming film “RED DAWN”. When he is not busy acting as an extra in films, he is constantly writing music. He’s been rapping since he was a teen and dropped his first mix tape entitled “Live like this” which caught my attention and resulted in the “On the Map” album. Put us together and you have LP and TL.
Hmoodle: How long have your been rapping as a career?
LP: I’ve been rapping since 2006 as a career.
Hmoodle: At what age, did you realize you wanted to rap? Was there a special person or artist that influenced you?
LP: I realized I wanted to rap at the age of 13. At first it was something I did for fun, free styling with friends and just clowning around. But as I started to actually write, I saw that it was something I enjoyed doing and was passionate about. From there, I just keep going andamstill rapping today. And as to what influenced me? I guess you can say all the rappers from the 90s, when rap music actually had a meaning.
Hmoodle: When you’re not rapping, what type of music do you listen to?
LP: I listen to a variety musicfrom pop to R&B, rap and of course music by Hmong artists!
Hmoodle: Your album is called “On the Map”. In your own words, what is the message that you would like to send?
LP: Our main goal for the album was to showcase all the talent we have in the Hmong community. As for the message, we all have to work together to put us “On the Map”
Hmoodle: How has the music industry trends changed your music?
LP: It has little affect on us because the music we make is what we really feel and what we go through in life and not whatever that is always playing on the radio.
Hmoodle: In the song “Been Grindin”, you rapped about life’s hardships. How has that influenced or shaped your music?
LP: Most of the songs we write are about life experiences so yes, it has a lot of influences on us when it comes to making music.
Hmoodle: You used Hmong Choruses in several of yoursongs, how important was it to integrate your heritage in to your music?
LP: To me, it’s very important. Not just because I am Hmongbut also because I’m “proud” of being Hmong. Some people believe that if you only make music for “Hmong people” then you won’t make far in this industry. I believe it will be harder for you to get out there without the support of your people. And intergrading my heritage into my music is a good way of showing my culture to the world.
Hmoodle: The song “Toast” was amazing. You were able to mix a classic Hmong song with hiphop, how hard was the transition?
LP: At first it was hard for us to find a Hmong song to sample for that concept. But once we did, it pretty much just came together. We were going for a soulful but Hmong feeling and it turned out pretty good.
Hmoodle: Some people view you as a “Leader” or a “Pioneer” for your song “The Movement the remix”. This song consisted of over ten artists from across the country. Tell us about this collaboration.
LP: My main goal for the remix was to feature Hmong artists from around the country. But instead of just putting well-known artists on it, I wanted to show everyone how much potential these new guys have. I see a good future for these guys and see them taking it further then we have.
Hmoodle: What are some short-term goals for you?
LP: Come out with a few more music videos, perform, and make more music.
Hmoodle: What can we hope to see from LP the artist? Maybe concerts, tour, or music videos?
LP: As an artist, I’ll probably be featured in some up coming songs. But as a producer, I am currently working on TL’s solo album, which will be released sometime next year. As for concerts, we are trying to hit up every major city but don’t have anything book as of right now. We will be releasing a few more music videos before the year ends so look for that as well.
Hmoodle: Tell us something that might shock your fans?
LP: I can’t read or play music. I just do it by ear and clicking the mouse in FL Studio.
Hmoodle: Any last words for our Hmoodle fans?
LP: We want to thank all the fans for all the love and support. We are nothing without our fans. And would also like to thank Hmoodle for this interview. Be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe to us on YouTube. There will be more music coming in the future!
Please give photo credits to H-photo
and please give “On the Map” music video credit to Gnomat productions
Shout outs to all my peeps in Michigan! Woot, woot, you all are keeping it alive and keeping us “On the map!” Thanks to LP and TL, especially LP for taking time out of your busy schedule to make room for a little “HMOODLE TIME.” Like the old Hmong saying goes (translations to English), “If a Hmong doesn’t love a Hmong, who will love a Hmong.” Thanks all for reading! If you have any questions or concerns, please hit us up at [email protected]