In the Phone Booth with Leezy Soprano

By: Gordie Tamayo

In the “Fight Game”, #Champions are forged through years of blood shed and everlasting battle wounds. And although the harsh reality of making the choice to eventually walk away may appear simple, hanging up the gloves from a journey that built one’s identity and unearthed capabilities unknown to most mortals, is like cutting out a piece of the soul. 

We have seen many greats push the inevitable to the brink. Refusing to call it quits and in the midst, become stepping stones for the next generation. On occasion we come across an anomaly. The exception to the rule if we may. One who manages a resurgence just when the public thought they were done; a rebirth of sorts. But let’s be honest, not everyone was molded as Bernard Hopkins. However, the #ChampionWithin any future legend, draws them to push the limits to the brink. Shattering misconceptions or at minimum, creating a conscious awareness that calculated risks are worth the pains.

The same can be said in the #HipHop game. Any seasoned vet can testify to the temptations of the limelight. The rush from stepping on a stage and deliberately controling a raging crowd by their vernacular, can derail even the most humble of artists if they are not careful. Following popular trend and abandoning what made them pursue their artistic inclination from the beginning can be an internal battle all it’s own. But taking the road less traveled can come with rewards that earthly currency cannot compare to…establishing a legacy for one.

We invited hip hop artist Leezy Soprano “In the Phone Booth” for a number of reasons: persistence and maintaining true to his craft to name a few. The Tacoma native has been putting it down for his city for the better part of his career and has embraced the daunting task of illuminating his city as a force to be reckoned with. No one said being a visionary was easy and Leezy appears to know that. He may just see something others cannot and that’s enough to keep him pushing to be “The One“. Knuckle up; it’s time to step “In the Phone Booth“.

@TheTitleFight: Leezy, after dropping your latest project “Never Enough” you are officially six projects in. What’s keeping you on overdrive? Like many, you may be attracted to provision, but there has to be something greater than paper urging you to press forward. Talk to us.

@LeezySoprano: I’m just a huge fan of music. People even complain to me that when I’m writing or listening good music, I space out and its hard to have a conversation with me. I want to be so great and go so far in this game that I know its gonna take more from me. Being that where I’m from the odds are slim.

 

@TheTitleFight: Who are some of your influences inside and outside of #music and what forged you to pursue this route?

@LeezySoprano: My earlier influences were Ghetto Boys, Biggie, 2pac, Jay Z, Nas & Andre 3000 – pretty much all the greats.

 

@TheTitleFight: There are many parallels between ‘the fight game’ and the #music industry. One of those being following a well thought out road-map to reach the proverbial pinnacle of success. What has been your mantra or strategy in developing your brand?

@LeezySoprano: Making sure I stay current, relevant and everything i do is quality from the music to my videos. Also, just having a good online presence because it’s definitely an online game.

 

@TheTitleFight: Speaking of brands. You’ve been rockin’ Y-Lyfe apparel for a minute. Where did that come about and who came up with the concept?

@LeezySoprano: I always knew I needed a clothing line eventually because its good for marketing. Shirts are like walking billboards and are a very important tool in branding, My homie Junpacc is the frontman for the clothing. Him and (3rd Eye Design) teamed up and came up with a lot of the concepts. The KILLA concept came from a word I use often in place of N*gga. The YLODT line is a an abbreviated quote I said in songs meaning Y-Lyfe Or Die Twice.

 

@TheTitleFight: Juggernauts of the music industry are no strangers to diversifying into boxing, but they are strangers to finding a successful formula. 50 Cent has tried only to come up short and now Jay Z and Roc Nation have made headlines by placing their name in the hat. Give us your insight as to why you believe The Roc has jumped in.

@LeezySoprano: Well, I don’t know one hip hop artist who isn’t a fan of boxing. It’s referenced in hip hop songs and boxers even come out with artists. When you’re at that status like a Jay Z or 50Cent, you’re just looking for new ways to invest your money. Boxing makes big money, so I believe that plays a major part.

 

@TheTitleFight: The business of boxing can be a gauntlet of gimmicks and politics around every corner (Roc Nation may have already witnessed their first dose of it) and the #music industry can be a similar battlefield. What do you think is missing in boxing to elevate it to ‘mainstream’ status stateside?

@LeezySoprano: Lack of great heavyweights. Lack of white contenders (as far as corporate people who run everything see it) I’m sure, but the internet kills television anyway so boxing isn’t suffering at all. But, it would be cool to see a boxer glorified on TV like you see athletes; maybe one day.

 

@TheTitleFight: On your track The One you say: “I spit it, they embrace it, success is close I taste it, I’m living with no limits, I’m dodging bullets the matrix“….”Gotta be the one, ain’t a choice for me“. One get’s the sense you are referring to putting your city on the map. Is this what you were referring to and if so, enlighten us as to why you choose “the path less traveled”.

@LeezySoprano: Although I’m striving to make it big, I’m still out here dealing with the circumstances of being from where I’m from. With every good move made, I feel a step closer.

 

@TheTitleFight: Let us give you props for killing it on For the Heads! You mentioned on this track “You don’t gotta like me, but you will respect the fact that I’ve been working“. The message is clear that even listeners who may not agree with your lifestyle or choice of vocabulary, have to acknowledge the fact that you’ve been putting in work towards your craft. How have you managed to persevere so long in an industry that is notorious for breaking down even the most ambitious?

@LeezySoprano: Appreciate the props. It always feels good to hear someone feel where you were coming from when you release a project. My family, my team and my listeners who believe in me keep me going and they all expect me to keep topping my last move and release.

 

@TheTitleFight: We have to drop a few gems in here and test your boxing IQ. Who in boxing are you currently keeping tabs on and why?

@LeezySoprano: Floyd Mayweather. He’s fast and has the best defense in boxing. Adrien Broner is also quick and has a cold right hook.

 

@TheTitleFight: If you were to compare your style, delivery or overall approach to marketing yourself to a current fighter, who would it be?

@LeezySoprano: I’d say Floyd Mayweather because I try to be the best at what I do and I feel like I can’t lose doing that.

 

@TheTitleFight: In boxing, it is rare if not almost impossible for any fighter to independently establish a presence and have a successful career. In music, the independent route is becoming more popular and many are finding lucrative ways to profit from it. What is your opinion on the independent route?

@LeezySoprano: You just have to have free music available and generate a buzz to receive show money. That’s the formula these days.

 

@TheTitleFight: Before Father Time cashes in what do you hope to accomplish?

@LeezySoprano: Become an established artist big enough to make tour money for the rest of my life, like a Rock Band lol. Also, to be remembered as one of the greats.

 

@TheTitleFight: And before we sign off, are there any last thoughts, shout-outs or plugs you want to leave readers with?

@LeezySoprano: People either have to believe you or wanna be you ……….. follow me on twitter @leezysoprano , Instagram @herculeezy , like my Facebook fan page Facebook.com/leezys and log onto www.leezysoprano.com.

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