Ghetto Prophet: Water of Life
In a society where originality and independence are praised and taught but seldom followed, rapper (emcee) Laelo Hood managed to overcome the odds. This St. Louis, native migrated to the Chocolate City in 2000, with a unique style and sound. This emcee made his name in DC with numerous performances at local underground Hip Hop clubs. Laelo Hood became most recognized for his performances at The Showcase put on by Rooftop Entertainment. After establishing a local fan base Laelo dropped his first mixtape, Ear to the Streets, in 2003. The mixtape sold over a 1000 copies in the first month. As the Chocolate City awaited the next project, Laelo went back to work on his debut album entitled Ghetto Prophet: Water of Life. Brought up in a single parent household on the South Side of St. Louis, Laelo Hood was forced to father his two younger siblings. His mother worked two jobs and continued to instill the importance of hard work and education on the young emcee. Even at a young age Laelo had a knack for music. He was the feature artist in a five man group called Ace of Spades. After graduating high school in 1998 with music still in his heart, Laelo took his mother's advice and enrolled in college. He attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. He majored in broadcast journalism but couldn't leave the comfort of the streets and got kicked out in 1999 for assault and weapon and drug possession on a school campus. Now forced to get on track Laelo Hood focused on developing his lyrical intelligence and own unique style. Inspired by a rainbow palate of artist such as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, the O'Jays, the Stylistics, Tina Turner, Patti Labelle, 2pac, Nas, Krs-One, Rakim, Scarface, Ugk, Too Short, and Outkast, even artist from other genres of music like Nirvana and Alanis Morisette inspired his unique style. With his eclectic taste for artists whom spoke the truth, Laelo Hood quickly found his own distinctive swagger. His upcoming debut album, Ghetto Prophet: Water of Life, is based on the trials and tribulations in the artist life. His favorite song "A Man will be a Man" tells of his struggle to be the man he wanted to become versus the man society expected him to be. He says the title track of the album Water of Life is a very significant song to him also. "I think it has the strongest message on the album and that wasn't by accident." With captivating lyrics like "I'm a man first hustler second/ in the streets connected/ respected not because I carry my weapon/ but cause I'm a young black male motivated with intelligence/ plus I make music 100% relevant", it is easy to see this artist is comfortable in his own skin. And of course there are songs dedicated to ladies such as Creep, an erotic tale of Laelo's infidelities, is guaranteed to be a hit with ladies and fellas alike. Intimate friends is just a graphic description of a friends with benefits relationship with lines like "Lift ya up lay ya down on ya back/ push ya legs way back/ i'm going downtown ill be right back." will surely bring some attention his way from the ladies. With his mind focused on music and the quality of it, Laelo Hood intends on inspiring change in the music community. "Hip hop is something we created and nurtured into the most powerful form of communication between cultures and we don't even own it any more. I feel the reason the black communities can't grow is because we as entertainers are forced to poison our people in order to enjoy personal success. That's why you see and hear the same shit over and over on radio and television. We're scared to stand up for hip hop and what we believe in. And as the saying goes "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." His debut album is due out April 25, 2006. His second upcoming mixtape, Let My People Know volume 1 is available now with a follow-up to come soon after the album is released. This driven emcee is definitely prepared to leave his mark on not just the music industry but the world.