“I’m shinin’ like a motherfucker,” rapper LG spits in the opening for his Roy Ayers-sampled single “Sunshine.” The song appears on his 2018 autobiographical album, Jahvon, a project which reflects the maturity and joie de vivre that come packaged with new fatherhood and continued success. Fresh from a performance at the BET Experience in Los Angeles this week, the 5th Ward native was in the running for a chance to rock A3C in Atlanta in the Fall and just celebrated his latest album with a show at Gasa Gasa. He has shared the stage with Dr. John at Jazz Fest, performed at the coveted Live at the BBQ stage at Austin’s SXSW and today (June 26), he’s premiering a new music video.
For its visual treatment, “Sunshine” tackles everyday struggles in the lives of young Black men, with vignettes including a child with a turbulent home life and a man whose financial woes make prescription pills an appealing escape. Before the video begins, a motivational message from LG flashes on the screen, setting things in motion, thematically. “I dedicate this piece to everyone experiencing turmoil in everyday life,” he says. In conceptualizing the video, he says he wanted to use the song’s serious lyrics to create scenes which embody its central theme: pushing past the rain to make it to the sunshine. He and the director, Mel, used Bayou St. John, the 5th Ward and locales on Esplanade as backdrops.
The song itself embodies much of what makes Jahvon his most thoughtful work to date. “My stories are more broadened and I have a more mature outlook on my past and my future. I focus more on taking care of myself, maintaining myself,” he tells me. With songs like the Black Metaphor-produced “Sunshine,” he says he wanted to explain why I have the perspective that I do and go into some of my history.” This particular track delves into his current perspective, which he says is mostly that he doesn’t “feed into the sound of ‘now.’ I separate myself from the things that are happening now. Some people just go with the flow, but I’m not really into certain things.”
With his music, LG is determined to lay waste to what he sees is a misconception that New Orleans rap has to be either “shoot ’em up, bang bang” or a primarily jazz-based take on Hip-Hop. Instead, he says he was inspired by Curren$y and the moves he made with his Jet Life camp in formulating a distinctive lane that appealed to both casual Rap fans and devoted Heads. He admittedly feels burdened by the landscape of continuous, constant consumption of music today and says he hopes to build a career that manages to outlast the trend of the day. “One of the things that I’m frustrated about is not having enough content to always be consistent and have something to put out. People consume content so fast, so it feels like you gotta have a stock of things ready all the time.” But with five robust projects under his belt and still in his early 20s, it’s clear LG hasn’t succumbed to self-doubt. His time in the sunshine has just begun.
Below, stream LG’s Jahvon and stay in touch with him on Twitter.