Lightshow is regarded as a hometown hero in Washington DC. Following the Southeast DC rapper on social media, you can see that when he makes an appearance at a local high school or performs at DMV area venues, crowds of young people go crazy, jumping around and screaming his lyrics. Since 2012, he's released a steady flow of mixtapes, most notably his Life Sentence series which showcase his gift for squawky, energetic storytelling. It was also in 2012 that local rap pioneer Wale featured Lightshow on "Georgetown Press," a song from his Folarin album. That guest appearance amplified Lightshow's stock in the DMV.
In the summer of 2016, Lightshow released Life Sentence 3 as an album. The 16-track project featured his storytelling abilities mixed with occasional easygoing tracks to bounce to, including a track with 21 Savage titled "Need a Lighter." One of those easygoing songs is "Now," a feel-good celebration of life produced by Virgina's Chris Beatz. Today, we're premiering the video for "Now," which bounces between scenes of Lightshow having DMV rapper WillThaRapper as a guest at his show at The Howard Theater and kicking back at his detail shop, counting his cash and life's blessings. To learn about the video and song, we spoke to Lightshow in an email conversation. Watch "Now" below.
Noisey: In the beginning of the video, you're performing a show with WillThaRapper. Just a couple years ago it was you, Fat Trel, and Jefe leading the charge as the hottest young rappers out of the D.C. area. What is it like to see your influence spark a new generation?
Lightshow: So the clip you see in the beginning of the video is from my Life Sentence 3 concert at The Howard Theatre. It was a sold out show in the middle of D.C. and it felt like the ENTIRE city came to see it! To go from paying to perform at local open mic's to having your peers pay to come see you perform is a blessing and a result of hard work. But when you can use the platform to invite other talented artists that you've inspired or that inspire you it's even better, it ties it all in. Shout out to the city for coming out and thanks to 86 America, Will, Tate Kobang, Topdolla Sweizy, Noochie and everyone else that pulled up on me and made it a special night! It's a great visual example of the progress that's been made along the way for the area.
What went into the making of the song and video?
It's all about progress and upgrading your life. I was reflecting on how much I've upgraded my life since a few years ago and I owe it all to the music. It's about making lemonade out of life's lemons and drinking that shit everyday. The police still on our line but the business is legit now, we drive stick shift so the cars are faster now, still fighting cases but with paid lawyers now, no more petty crimes and set backs. Just taking care of your family, opening doors and paying it forward.
Judging by the Green Bay Packers' win over the weekend, your "Kick it like Crosby" line proved to be true.
Haha, never forget I was on "Georgetown Press" with Wale so my ability to weave in sports references is now heightened lol. Funny thing is, no one really knew what that line meant until the packers beat the Cowboys this past weekend. I'm glad it came full circle though, things definitely worked out in my favor on that instance!
What should people expect from you for the rest of 2017?
Music to win to! Music to grind to! Motivation music! And LOTS of visuals. I put a lot into my music sonically and in terms of songwriting so now I want to take it to the next level visually, really painting the pictures that can put you in the shoes I was in while writing. That's the next challenge I'm taking on. Bringing the words to life.
Photo: Vacant Imagination. Follow him on Instagram.
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