For his first project on Guin Records, LB199X has unveiled Color Us, a five-track EP featuring collaborations with Jasi and Ayaana Nash. Now, further supporting and promoting that release, the socially-minded lyricist is introducing a new visual for Color Us’ lead single, “To Live & Die In Amerikkka.”
“The whole time I was making this project, I felt like I was making my Illmatic to be honest with you,” LB199X shares with us. “Illmatic was so raw, it was so organic, and he was talking his shit. I felt the same way. Like I went into this project with a raw approach. I took a different approach. I didn’t pre-write these records. I just found the beats I loved and I liked with these producers and I just sat there and spoke what I felt I needed to get off my chest. It wasn’t even a personal thing. It was more so of a statement for my people who can’t speak for themselves. I wanted to inspire and I felt like what I’m saying is going to inspire young brothers like me or those thinking the way I’m thinking to even do better than me. I wanted to be a messenger. I wanted to be a vessel and I feel like this music is the best representation of that.”
“The concept of Color Us is really a no brainer for me. I felt like it was a point of my my life right now, where I had to speak on things that I see everyday or when I talk to my homies back home,” he adds. “Society paints a picture for us. So now, I’m painting a picture for myself. I really wanted to sit there and express that. I really wanted to talk about these things because I feel like we all look at each other or society does look at a young black brother like me and they think that I’m one way, until they really hear me speak or hear what my mind is about or they hear my talent. I want to defy those odds. For me to really be honest with myself and really think not just about me and more so to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. Or those who are just going through the cycle of living in these situations. Honestly, I got tired of it.” ”
“I got tired of feeling like the victim and I really wanted to be more of a person who sees what’s going on and is just rising above it. Like this book I’ve read called The Original Black Elite. And in that book it was talking about people who were black men and black women and black families who were going through the time of segregation. Going through the time of slavery that lived in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland and they were thriving. They were thriving black families. Black men working at the Library of Congress. It was teaching me things that I didn’t even know about, even in my own city. I felt like, ‘Damn, like this is the knowledge that we are missing.’ I wanted to honestly spread light on these type of things. I understand what society has given us. But you got to search for the real truth. You’ve got to understand the real truth. Got to know who you are. And I feel like that’s what’s wrong with a lot of young brothers out here now. They don’t know who they are because they don’t know where they come from. We all are victims to that. Especially if you come from a neighborhood that you always want to represent or you have generations and generations of shit that’s going on. I feel like it was time for me to really be honest and understand who I am and what I am and what I need to do as a young black man in America. Honestly that book The Original Black Elite, inspired me to really want to write records that were more so about how it’s okay to come from where you come from…but you need to understand where you have to go and where you need to go.”
“You don’t have to play the victim all the time,” LB199X concludes. “I mean, like I understand a cards that was dealt but play the game. I survived the game so you can survive. You just got to use the right knowledge. Knowledge is power.”
You can take a look at LB199X’s new video for “To Live & Die In Amerikkka” above, and check out his Color Us EP below via Guin Records.