Luh Soldier is the hottest rapper to come out of Birmingham, Alabama — period. Instead of becoming a statistic like the rest of his peers, getting into trouble and going to jail, the 19-year-old found music to be his safe haven. He doesn’t just rap because he loves it, he’s here to turn a negative into a positive and do something better with his life. Read more…
Real name Jamal Swain calls his sound the “trap gospel,” touching on real-life experiences and struggles while providing motivation to the masses. Thinking back to his childhood, he recalls spitting around the house and his mom telling him “boy you blessed.” When it was time to get in the booth, it was a wrap.
You’re from Alabama, how does that play into your life and career?
I’m a real Alabama thoroughbred n*gga. When I put on, I represent. This is really Alabama. The visual: when you think of Alabama, you gon’ think of Luh Soldier. That’s a big part of what I got going on ‘cause I’m from every part of Alabama. It ain’t just one city, I’m everywhere forreal.
And you still live there?
I be there. I stay in Atlanta. Back and forth between Atlanta and Birmingham, they’re 2 hours from each other. Here one day, there the next day.
You fuck with OMB Peezy?
Yeah I fuck with OMB Peezy, that’s my motherfucking dog. Shout out to Mikey Nike, that’s my motherfucking n*gga.
I’m from the Bay.
Oh yeah ya’ll fuck with Peezy, long way. P hard as hell, that’s like a brother.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
I see it now, this my first time being in LA. I’ve been to New York and all that, but never LA. Everything is networking. Every time I go somewhere, every time I bust a right, I’m meeting somebody new. It’s important being out here. I’m letting them hear my sound, introducing and making sure they’re familiar. ‘Cause this shit gon’ be here for your grandkids. We got that Runtz, smoking the best only. [points to weed]
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Man, we really don’t know to be 100. Soldier, Slim, Billy, I done been called everything. I got so many nicknames because I be everywhere. For instance in California, they call you Billy in Los Angeles, then you go to San Diego and people call you Soldier there. People know me by different names in different places, I just put it all together. I said “fuck it Luh Soldier, that shit sound fire.” And ran with it.
What do you parents think of your rap career?
They love my shit. They’re my biggest fans. They know every song, front and back. They luh that shit. They like rap, so they really got a reason to cheer for me. ‘Cause the route we were going on, we were gon’ be convicted felons. [laughs] They love it though. That’s what a parent wants, their child to have an opportunity to be bigger than what you been through.
What was it like creating the title track, “What Happened”?
That was one of the most turnt studio sessions ever. I had the studio session turnt last night, that bitch retarded. I made about 8 songs. “What Happened” was one of them songs when the beat come on, “oh yeah this a hit for sure.” Heard the beat, my partna pulled it up, it was over with from there. We knew it’d be gangster.
What sets you apart from other street rappers?
Just the delivery. The delivery is off the damn charts. Ain’t no n*gga coming like me. That’s why I need to get back to my humble state of mind, I need to call myself down. The delivery and what I’m talking about. There’s a message and a story behind it.
What is your take on the music industry?
Gotta bring that real back, it’s just so much flaw shit. Everything ain’t really what it really is. Even the look on reality ain’t what it is. People out here just saying anything, promoting anything, wearing anything, all types of shit.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
It’s to the point now where people can pick up and really take from it. I’m a real life poet now. I speak for where I come from. It ain’t even about the people that can relate, it’s a story. I can tell another man’s story and bring it to the people’s eye, bring it to what people ain’t hearing. People ain’t catching a glimpse ‘cause people ain’t living it. They ain’t out here or doing what I’m doing. There’s people completely blind to that shit. When they hear that, the delivery I got, you can’t do nothing but comprehend it. It’s something else.
Who’s in your Top 5?
I gotta say my nigga Gucci. On my momma, I fuck with that n*gga!
That Evil Genius was slept on.
I mean yeah, I like all his new shit though. My daddy like all his new shit though — well not my daddy, but my partna’s daddy. But that Gucci Mane when he was in his kitchen? That shit right there! That was that gang shit. N*gga had to wake up every day in school, we getting kicked out of class listening to this shit. When you put in the old people too, you gotta say Tupac and Biggie. You don’t even gotta put them in your Top 5, it’s just automatically up there.
That’s who you were bumping growing up?
I ain’t, but my momma listened to it. I got an old soul but at the same time, I’m a young n*gga. A young n*gga got young n*gga ways.
You got two more.
You gotta say Luh Soldier, then you gotta say Big Soldier ‘cause I got two personalities. Then you got Billy too, can’t forget about Billy. I ain’t even gon’ say that, talking about no personalities. N*gga be sounding crazy, like what’s that boy’s name?
YNW Melly. Do you know him?
Nah, I heard a song from him last night. That shit hard.
What do you think about the murder charges though?
I don’t know, I wasn’t there. I know plenty motherfuckers who’ve been put in the wrong situations. I can’t speak on the situation. I just pray for him. I pray for the people that was affected.
What did you so with your first advance?
Ohh, blew it.
Trap. I blew that shit. Spent, ran it back, and I’m gaining and maintaining from now on. We getting money out the gate. I’m talking all types of shit. I’m buying bitches, cars, I can’t stop. I got me a little house. Maserati, Hellcat, etc. My shit going crazy.
How important is social media for your career?
I’m learning this shit is very important. I was never no social media, never gave a fuck about what n*ggas thought about me growing up. That shit was never on my mind. Coming from Birmingham, you really gotta focus on that shit because there ain’t no links or nothin’. Complex ain’t down the street. Down the street is the damn Jefferson County jail. Ain’t no damn studios. We only got one studio in that bitch, 40 minutes away from where I stay. I’d run to that bitch every damn day. We record in the closet, going retarded.
How’s your fanbase back home compared to here?
It’s so much love in my city, I can’t go nowhere. I love my city, on God. Of course there’s a couple n*ggas hating me. I probably robbed them, fucked their old lady, something like that. Other than that, it ain’t been no unnecessary hate. Everybody love a young n*gga and I love them. It’s genuine love. As long as I’m progressing, I want my city progressing. We doing big things. Mayor Woodfin in that motherfucker. Shout out Mayor Woofin, I fuck with him.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
It ain’t no fucking telling ‘cause before music, I was in a lot of shit. I’d probably be in jail right now to be 100. I’d done have some business that I knew I would have sat my ass in county for. I’d be in that motherfucker right now, awaiting trial.
What’s a normal day in the life. Walk us through.
I wake up, smoke a blunt, write a song, make a song. Now that I’m a rapper, I don’t do nothing but chill. If you wanna get back to that gangsta shit, we could get real.
You’re not trapping at all?
I aint trapping right now. Matter of fact, I ain’t trapping at all. Fuck that. We gon’ keep this shit executive because I’m done trapping.
3 things you need in the studio?
I need weed, alcohol, and bitches.
We getting booked like a motherfucker, I can’t even cap. If we wasn’t getting booked, I wouldn’t be taking this shit serious. I got my first show in my city. I done did little pop-ups in my city, but never did my own show. My first show gon’ be March 8th. We gon’ rock that bitch, that bitch gon’ go viral. Ain’t nobody ever did this shit in Birmingham. Ain’t nobody brought this motherfucking crowd like that, we finna go crazy.
What’s your favorite song to perform in the set?
Everything. “What Happened” gon’ make those motherfuckers throw a bottle in that bitch. “Fresh Out The County” gon’ make people turn up too. I like all my songs man.
Do you listen to any LA rappers?
What that boy say? “Yeah aite!
[laughs] I can’t even do that shit, that lil dance.
I would get a verse with Tupac. That shit be lit in there.
Alive, so we can make it happen.
A song with me and Drake, that would go retarded. Oh and Meek. Meek political too, so we could get on that political shit. I could show how smart I am on the beat. Getting that Evil Genius, I feel like Gucci Mane.
Is there anything else you wanna let us know?
Free the real and fuck the fake. Everyone get money and never separate. 2019, it’s our year. Soldier life.