LG Team Genius Is Ready To Provide The Cure
LG Team Genius is Philadelphia to her core. The grittiness and heavy punchline style is a staple of her repertoire, but there’s more to her. She can crossover and make pop-friendly songs brimming with joy, or return to her hometown roots of battle rap and bark on the mic as if it took her livelihood from here. Versatility is vital, and LG knows its importance.
“My versatility as an artist has always been important to me because I grew up listening to all different genres of music.” She said, “I never thought having all different styles was bad. However, over the years, I learned how to merge the different styles to have my own sound and stand apart from other artists.”
For LG Team Genius, her college experience backed up the conviction that carried her there. From doing shows, to kicking freestyles in her hometown and to playing basketball, LG was everywhere, doing everything.
Now, you come across blockbuster movies and TV shows, and you will hear her signature raspy voice over joyous production. The next step is domination. And with her viral hit “YBM” gaining traction on social media, anticipation for her debut album dropping has only risen.
Where did the name LG Team Genius come from, and what does it mean?
My rap name was Lyrical Genius since the age of 12. When I got to college, I started “Team Genius” as a fan group for people who supported my music. While in college, “Team Genius” became a movement filled with my closest friends and core fans who supported my music and events. As I got older, a lot of people started calling me LG for short instead of “Lyrical Genius,” and it just stuck. However, once I graduated, I noticed on social media and music streaming platforms that there were many artists named “LG,” and it was hard for people to find my music or page. So I started going by “LG Team Genius” on everything so that people can know for sure it’s me.
Your mom had a significant impact on your career, especially during your early years. Did she have a musical background?
My mother grew up loving music. Our family has always been big on music and talented artists. When I was four years old, my mom started reciting a rap that she wrote for me. Every day she would sing it to me until I learned it with her. So before I could read or write, I was already rapping, thanks to my mom.
At nine years old, she started taking me to the studio with my cousin Kenny, and that’s where I recorded my first EP. For Christmas, a few years later, she bought me Pro Tools and the recording equipment to learn to record myself right in our basement. The rest was history. I started recording 8-10 songs a day and took my equipment with me to college, where I released two mixtapes, “ESU MIXTAPE” & “What’s That In The Sky.” I recorded both of them in my dorm room.
What was the biggest lesson you learned during your time doing college tours?
My college was only an hour away from New York City, and I ended up doing over 100 shows in New York while playing basketball and maintaining a 3.6 GPA at East Stroudsburg University. It was the best learning experience because it showed me how to have stage presence and how to foster crowd participation.
What Inspired you to make “YBM?”
“YBM” was inspired by the 2020 protests in Philly and LA. Seeing so many young people marching through the streets inspired me to write a song they could march to and feel empowered by!
Did you know how powerful the line “Cell phones caught it but the body camera died” was when you wrote it? Because I made a “stank face” when I first heard it.
HAHA! Yes! The moment I wrote the line “Cell phones caught it but the body cam died,” I knew people would relate to that as an example of how frustrating it is to find justice even when the incidents are caught on camera.
Is there any fear in releasing a song that’s so confrontational?
Of course, there are many fears about these things because you never want to have your message perceived wrongly, especially when it’s meant for good. When I first made the song, I sent it to my mom because if anyone were going to tell me it’s too much, it would be my mom! When she heard it, she loved it, and I asked if it was too much, and she said, “No, it’s not too much, it’s the TRUTH,” and I knew it was time to release it.
Has being exposed to the TV & Film industry affected how you go about creating the type of songs you make and how you structure them?
Making music for TV & Film has made me a better writer and artist altogether. I’ve learned so many things about how to construct a song or come up with a top line, and it has truly been an amazing asset to my artistry.
One of your most impressive attributes is your set ups and how digestible your punches are. Is that something you’ve always focused on?
I grew up listening to punchline rappers and listening for the bars in the lyrics, so once I learned how to make more commercial-style hooks and choruses, I wanted to make sure I kept the punchlines in the verses. I call it “the medicine in the candy.”
The second half of the chorus, “YBM” where you say, “Now bounce that ass quick twerk sum/Ima throw cash quick twerk sum,” feels like a sense of normalcy. Was that the intent?
The intent for the second half of the chorus on “YBM” was to give the new generation and younger kids that fun moment within the seriousness of our times. I believe this generation has made standing for change a part of their daily lifestyle. Still, this generation also embraces the culture without judgment, allowing things like pole dancing or stripping to be normalized as ways people survive and not as something to look down on.
I believe that’s the most important part of our new generation’s fight; they aren’t just fighting for our color but for our culture, and I wanted to make sure everyone and everything that is of our culture was empowered in this song. Strip clubs, twerking, and other forms of dancing are all a part of the acceptance we are asking for. Why not have a moment of embracing that and give people a second to have fun while receiving the message? Because if it’s too serious, no one will listen. It has to be fun, too, like “Medicine in the candy.”
How surprised were you to see such a powerful song have a life of its own on TikTok?
When “YBM” took off on Tiktok, I was so shocked, not at how fast it went viral, but at the type of people who understood and appreciated the message. Seeing people of other races and from other countries all come together to share my song was a moment of true alignment for me. I’ve made other songs like “YBM,” like “burning crosses,” which was also a video that focused on “systematic racism” before it was a popular term. A lot of people suggested I do more fun, gimmicky songs or stick to the trendy styles that were popular at the time. Still, I always felt like I wanted to stay true to myself, even if it would take longer for people to catch on.
With a song on The Space Jam and a viral hit, what is next for LG Team Genius?
After the success I’ve experienced this summer, I am ready to give the world everything I have in the chamber! I’ve waited a long time to release a lot of music because of my vision and how I wanted to release the songs. Now, I am at a point in my career where I have the support of not just the fans but also some amazing people behind me like Lyric House LLC, who has supported every release and idea I’ve had, including “YBM”!
With that being said, I’ll be finally releasing an LP, and I can’t wait for the fans to hear it!