LERRAD and The Slow Walk

Los Angeles MC LERRAD is doing his best to be more than a passing fad 

Everything in life must eventually come full circle, so it was only natural after that LERRAD eventually found himself in front of a mic at age 28, almost a decade after he had first tried putting his voice into permanence. As a kid growing up in the midst of hip-hops first commercial explosion, LERRAD was indoctrinated into the world of West Coast Gangsta rap through his family. NWA, Pac, Snoop Dogg, and Death Row played constantly through his headphones as he bopped his way to and from school, remaining true to the old school sound right up until around 2006-2007. That’s when LERRAD began falling down the rabbit hole of hip-hop himself ripping through the Dedication series from Weezy, early offerings from Wiz and Curren$y, and of course Compton’s own, Kendrick Lamar.

There is not a student of the game that can’t remember where they were the first time they heard Section.80 (Myself? Mowing the backyard in-between captains practice for basketball and soccer). Yet, despite his deep love for the music, being surrounded by it constantly and being friends with plenty of dudes who were on their own similar path into music, Lerrad only made one attempt in high school to record his own music. After finding his feet through the lunchtime cyphers that are a staple of any American public school lunch room, Lerrad heard that a couple of his close homies were taking it  to the next level; they had been hitting studios to see what they could really do. Collecting his courage, he asked him if he could slide through one time with them, just to see what was up and in a genuine desire to try his own hand at recording. However, watching them in the professional space, punching in and out,  sucked out whatever wind those lunchtime cyphers had put into Lerrad’s sails. He felt as though his presence was in the way, that his dedication level to the craft wasn’t yet there. Seeing just how serious his friends were taking the venture, Lerrad felt almost in the way, and tucked his aspirations back for a couple years until he had finished up high school. 

Just free of the bonds of high school, LERRAD found himself quickly on a school campus once again. He was attending Cal State North Ridge and was enrolled in a pre-freshman year program that saw him spending numerous weekends in his last post high-school summer on Cal State’s campus. He spent his time prepping himself for the rigors that college was about to drop on his head. To pass time alone, LERRAD started fucking around with Audacity on his laptop, experimenting with different voice tones and pitches. After gaining some baseline confidence in his abilities, LERRAD decided to avenge himself and remake the “So Special” track that he had worked on with the homies way back when. He showed it to one of his friends, and being a damn good friend they forced LERRAD to pull it up in front of one of their classes. Nervous as hell, and still not convinced that anyone would fuck with it, LERRAD was pleasantly surprised when not only his class, but other classes and students around campus started telling him that they were rocking with the music.

Despite the support that was forthcoming all around, LERRAD let the momentum stall and falter, deciding to step back from the mic again. He wasn’t sure if it was his path or not, and he felt the need to continue exploring his routes, as well as continuing to work on his mental health; making sure he was getting his grades and setting himself up for his next steps in life.

It wasn’t until a couple years after graduating that LERRAD once again found himself with an instrumental loop in his ears, propelling his mouth to spew forth into the mic in front of him. This time though, something was different, as if someone had called “extra super sticky glue” before tossing the microphone towards LERRAD as he snagged it mid-air. There wouldn’t be a quick resurgence to fall-off, LERRAD was in it for the long haul this time. He found a community of artists through LUM, the music streaming platform, allowing him to expand his circle of potential collaborators as well as keen-eared critics. It was on LUM that LERRAD first connected with Traffic Willis, a producer out of Chicago. 

Sparking a connection that has thus far spawned a beautifully put together single, “Not For Sale”, the backstory of which is on display more in-depth right here (link article). The two began as a producer and an artist trying to get more work under their belts.their working relationship quickly evolved into a real friendship going levels beyond the business.

 LERRAD’s schedule is pretty booked up now-a-days with taking care of his aging parents, as well as making sure his own family is straight. That being said, the rest of his time is equally split between creating music and meditation. Ensuring his ability to keep a clear mind and stepping away from the day to day drama is crucial for LERRAD, especially given the heavy responsibility of being there for those who raised him and taught him how to be a man. When the storm clouds are billowing large in his mind’s eye, the wind beginning to whip up the dirt beneath his feet, one can find LERRAD posted with something fierce rolled up. In a spot on the beach all alone he allows the waves to soothe his cerebellum. It’s in those moments that LERRAD knows it’s all a part of the journey, and that his journey is going to end successfully. Easily speaking it into existence he says “I know I’m gonna make it, and that’s gonna be the sweetest moment in the world.”.

He has one full length project currently released, after the positive feedback he and Traffic received from “Not For Sale” it seems inevitable that the two of them will be back with more tracks. It is simply a matter of time until he releases his next full-length project, so make sure to follow him on social media and all the streaming platforms so you’re tuned in when the time comes!

Instagram @lerrad1

Jake Zinda

24 years old, from Wisconsin Hip-Hop Journalist @CMAG N.S.C.T.D.

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