Interview by Michael Alexander
Name: G5 Elz (Lawrence Smith)
From: South-East Jamaica Queens, New York
Notable Works: The N.Y Times mixtape (2013) , Bread and Butter N.Y Rules mixtape (2014) , 2nd Coming ep (2014)
Influences: Cam’Ron , Big L , Nas , L.Smith , Just Blaze , Swizz Beats , Biggie Smalls , Jay-Z , Max B , Fabolous , Lloyd Banks , 50 Cent , Run Dmc , Eric B & Rakim , Slick Rick, the list goes on.
What prompted your start for your career path?
A death in the family Febuary 20th, 2011 (my grandmother who raised me, Angie Lillian Smith) started it all. After she passed, I was 16 years old on my own, it was time to be a man and grow up make something of myself but the only problem was money. Once I turned 17, I started making a legit living part-time to fund my music.
Who first recognized your talents and what it meant to you?
I’d say around 2004 when my cousin D-Boogie and I started playing around with beats but really in 2006. Classmates gravitated towards me this one time I rhymed in my 6th grade class in the dance room; I will never forget. Industry wise, the 2012 staff of Global Grind, President Michael S., and music editor Brittney Lewis caught wave of my music. “How To Rhyme” was my first single I put out and it caught fire on the internet! These moments mean everything to me! I found my nitch. Some people are athletic, photogenic, but not me; I can make music.
First problem you have come across?
Being overlooked by press. This game is oversaturated with bloggers and wanna-be-rappers. It’s hard but not hard to break through the clutter if you keep at it. You can be talented but hard work beats talent. That’s what my senior year classmate told me one time we spoke about the subject (shout outs to Phil!).
As an up and coming artist what was it that you’ve seen that you needed to improve on?
Tighten up my flow, delivery, writing skills, pronunciation, discovering new ways to approach a beat, and brush-up on my various instrument skills. Listen more and talk less along with learning the art of music.
How will you make an impact given a chance?
By being myself and taking chances! Simple like that life is like a dice game and I’m a high roller ready to shake this industry up make a mark be in the history books.
Why should people take notice in your work?
People should take notice in my work because it’s like your favorite grandma’s home-cooking. I put my heart and soul into it plus it’s once in a life-time.
What are your Top 5 albums or mixtapes of all time?
Nas-Illmatic, Notorious B.I.G.-Ready To Die, Jay-Z -In My Lifetime Vol.1 , Fabolous-Soul Tape 3 , Run D.M.C (debut album)
Where do you see your career in the next 10 years?
A few solid bodies of work (commercially and artistically), gold and platinum discography, respect from the greats and historians, sneaker endorsement, large audience/following, my immediate family and I financially/emotionally comfortable, putting some hard working friends in great positions to be successful, and still grinding because life isn’t fair and there will be something I am trying to accomplish.
Check out his most recent video for “Young Mitch”: