Luh Soldier is here to become one of the greats in the rap game, and he’s not stopping until he gets there. Hailing from the trenches of Birmingham, Alabama, the rising star prides himself in spitting nothing but the real, with records inspired directly by his upbringing and real-life experiences. With undeniable passion, dedication, and work ethic, the rapper was adamant on not becoming another statistic like his peers.
A few years back, Luh caught the attention of Jonny Shipes who signed him to his Cinematic Music imprint. Since then, he’s been consistently pushing out releases, including last year’s Soldier Mentality 2, the sequel to his critically-acclaimed Soldier Mentality project. Creating his own lane which he calls “trap gospel,” the 21-year-old is excited as ever to be releasing his forthcoming collaborative tape with legendary producer Zaytoven.
Flaunt caught up with Luh Soldier in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his new label, acts he’s signed, how the pandemic affected him, linking with Zaytoven, creating 12 tracks with Zay, collaborating with Blac Youngsta in Atlanta, his new song “Slide,” his drip, and more!
What you been up to since the last time we spoke?
Chillin’, getting to it. Working, multiple projects at one time. Knocking out hella content. I got a label going on now, I got artists signed to me. A&Ring, I got my own artists I’m fully behind. We’re doing all types of shit.
What sets Soldier Life Entertainment apart from the others?
We’re based out of Alabama, we got the Alabama market on lock. We’re showing the youth and the upcoming talent coming out of the state because there’s a lot. We’re showing them what to do and the steps to take, we’re turning them into bosses for real. That’s all we’re doing. I’m already seeing that and it’s the beginning stages. We’re going to definitely keep elevating from there, all the way independent.
Who are some acts in the label?
We’re doing a lot of work with my boy Donway1k, he’s from my city. He got a lot of streams, he’s getting a lot of traction. We built it from the ground up. I got my cousin Quoncho, he got a million something streams on Youtube. We fuck with Big Yavo, we’re going up. We’re going to keep growing. We’re gon’ be real n*ggas, real people getting money man. None of that fake ass industry shit.
What do you look for in signing talent?
Just the work and the grind. I want to get money with the real, you gotta tax everybody. I only want bosses around me. I want people that can always bring something to the table, not anybody that wants to watch the table or sit at the table. Especially where I’m from, they’re scared to surround themselves with people that could bring something to the table or possibly more to that table. Nah, that’s the roots of building an empire. That’s what I’m doing in Alabama, no cap.
How you been holding up with the pandemic and everything?
It slowed traffic down but it didn’t slow me down. Mentally, I kept working in other ways. Finding other ways to make the best out of the situation, that’s all I’ve been doing. Been grinding, I got hella music.
What motivated you through the quarantine?
It was them first two months, everybody sitting down scared of going out. Those first couple days of lockdown, I was writing music like I was locked up. [laughs] I came out going hard over the virus. Over the period, I tapped in with Zay. Since then, we done did 30 songs there.
How did you and Zaytoven tap in initially?
He really tapped in, and I tapped in. He knew who I was and I knew who he was. Shit let’s make a tape and let’s make it make sense. That shit right there is crazy. Zay’s a good guy for sure.
How’s it feel to make a tape with such a legendary producer?
That’s meaningful, very meaningful ‘cause Zay had a big impact where I’m from. He’s definitely a mogul, definitely a GOAT with what he does. Goddess gracious, that man is on sight. Not just in the studio, he’s all around talented. It means a lot.
When did you guys decide to do a whole project together?
Really, I got a beat from me and my boy [Big] Yavo’s Gorilla Warfare tape. He liked that song, so he started sending more beats. We came out making hits so he’s like “man, we need to go and make a tape.” He told me to make 30 to 40 songs and that’s exactly what I did. He said “I’ll just pick my 12 songs.” He really gave me the blueprint on how him and Future work, or how him and other thriving artists work. I’m not doing nothing but getting the game from the OG.
What’s the vibe/energy in the studio? I know Zay doesn’t smoke or drink.
Nah, Zay turnt ‘cause we’re naturally Southern. We connect on that basis, more so Zay’s an all-around genuine person. We relate to each other in that aspect a lot so we clicked head on. I don’t call Zay about rap no more like that, it’s about life questions and he gives me his best opinion.
What is it about Zay’s beats?
Man, it sounds outrageous. Zay’s been in the game strong. When he heard my sound, he said “you got that young n*gga bounce.” We clicked head on, I’m rejuvenated. We done revamped, Zay got new sounds. We went and cooked up something for this lil project we got together, this shit hard.
Is there a name yet for the project?
Right now, we’re working with Chosen One. We’re trying to combine our names and pop out with something new. We haven’t submitted yet, but it’ll definitely be some flavor.
When’s the first single coming?
Shit, we got 4 videos in the smash. All motherfucking hits, hard solid videos. We got Blac Youngsta, we don’t know what we want to attack first. We got 30 on it.
How was it working in Blac Youngsta? Where was that at?
That was out in Atlanta. I fuck with CMG, they’re family. Youngsta had a session, we went from there man. [laughs] Youngsta goddam, he went there and went crazy.
Hilarious man. Youngsta’s a real entertainer, I got a lot of game from him. He heard the beat man, he looked at me and said “that’s an automatic hit.” We went from there.
How was it recording with him?
Both of us was freestyling, we end up going crazy. At first, I wanted him on the hook. He told me “nah man, I hear you coming off it.” I went in, I said something. He went off me and did exactly that, it came right off me. It bounced off of me perfectly, that shit was magic. [laughs] We got a song like that for sure.
How is it recording in Los Angeles versus back home?
Man LA, this my first time not really. This not being a weed trip, see I used to always be on my business. Usually, I’d be having so much weed to smoke. [laughs] I love LA. LA vibe, I’m learning how to go to a city and sink in it. That’s how you got to do it, I ain’t really sunk into LA like that. Not like New York where I can really grind. I want to feel that LA grind. I want to move out here eventually.
Are you going to?!
Hell yeah, probably in a year. It’s between New York and LA. I ain’t leaning towards New York, it’s too fucking cold out there. [laughs]
Is it cold in Alabama?
Hell nah, hot as well. We got Florida weather, just no water. It’s not humid.
Bring us back to when you recorded “Slide.”
I got a producer from back home I want to get on my label, nothing official yet. He’s hard as fuck, we made it about 4 or 5 months ago. I’m in grind mode, going hard. I made 4 hits that night, that one’s the hardest song to come out of the session so we ran with it from there.
Where was the video shot?
I shot it down in Tampa on the Super Bowl weekend. We were lit the whole weekend, he didn’t even catch all of it. He’s only with us for 3 hours, that was a movie. That shit hard, turning up for the Super Bowl. I lost my money.
How much you lose?!
A couple thousand, ain’t nothing though.
How’s it been with Cinematic?
Cinematic going up man, I got the Smoker’s Club shit poppin’. [shows hoodie] Cinematic is going up, they’re good people man. Real good people, you don’t find too many in the industry. I’m not saying that ‘cause I’m with them, they’re really good people.
How would you describe your drip?
I like Fendi. I’m not too necessarily on to what’s poppin’, but I got my own shit. I got the Heron Preston and shit like that I fuck with. I be catching drip sometimes. I be up to date in my own way though, I don’t really bite too much the norm. I’m a big steppa fasho when it comes to the drip.
What’s the biggest bag you dropped?
Shit really out here in LA man. I came here and shopped for the first time this trip. I spent like goddamn 9 racks, one fucking store. I didn’t even get to hit all the stores I wanted to, that shit crazy. Y’all got the drip out here.
Where do you?
Saks, y’all got Off-White drip,. Y’all got Off-White like it’s nothing. They must be based out here or something, there’s so much Off-White.
One thing you want fans to get from Soldier Mentality 2?
It’s a deeper version of me, the second version of that tape. The first tape I gave them the version of me when I was young. Now I’m more solidified and situated in the game to where I know how to deliver even more of my life to these folks. They’re getting a different piece of me every time, that’s every tape.
I’m very excited about that Chosen One that’s finna come out, me and Zay. We got hits after hits after hits, a lot of power-packed songs. I’m going to do a second version of Trench Baby. The Trench Baby series, come back with Trench Baby 2. I got so many hits with producers all over, man that shit crazy. Now Zaytoven, shit I’m excited. Next couple years, this shit’s finna be fun.