BY DEV GILLESPIE
La the Darkman aka L.A.D has been shinning a lot of light on Hip Hop for years despite his name. La the Darkman has worn many different hats in the music game and from jump he decided that he was going to be a contributor to Hip Hop in more than one way. Starting his career off with Wu Tang Clan, La the Darkman has always delivered raw Hip Hop to the streets. Being the CEO of Embassy Entertainment – a manager, executive producer, and an artist him self – La the Darkman has never been known to half-step! Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan La the Darkman later relocated to the five boroughs and spent countless hours in the streets of Brooklyn and Staten Island as a teenager along with his mentors and producers Devon and Tyree (Wu Tang), finding out what it was the streets wanted to hear in the early 90’s.
“When Wu Tang evolved I just happened to be one of the lil’ homies. They were like my uncles so when the music started poppin’ I was always there. I always did music so it was like a natural progression. I was like a family member,” explained La the Darkman how he got involved in such a powerful music movement. Beginning in the music industry by writing a couple hooks and helping produce beats for Wu Tang along with helping design the Wu Tang clothing line and logo at a young age was what separated him from the average hustler. Not only was he able to hustle, but he also had a business mind frame that allowed him to take his hustle more places than he imagined. La the Darkman then got the ball rolling on his own as an individual act. “I always was a solo artist amongst the group though. It was always LAD. I had my own label back then, Embassy Entertainment. I dropped an independent album called Heist of the Century in November of 1999 and I sold over 400,000 records and back then I was getting seven dollars a record independently back then.”
As La the Darkman continued to move units he started drawing attention to himself with the success of his label and he was able to branch out further within his career. La the Darkman became the president of Aphillates Management, while still maintaining Embassy Entertainment. He then opened the door for his younger brother Willie the Kid and began acting as a manager to him as well. “I have a couple of different brands,” La the Darkman says. “I’m the executive producer of the “Gangsta Grills: Volume 1” that went gold and also “Gangsta Grills: Volume 2”- that sold over 250,000. I put all of those songs together from an A&R’s prospective. I make sure all the paper work is signed. I make sure all of the artist contracts are right. I pick a lot of beats. I pick who raps on a lot of the beats.”
A hit that was put together by La the Darkman was “Love For Money” with Gucci, Trey Songz, Willie the Kid, Bun B, Flo Rida, and of course La the Darkman. “I’ll start with a blank sheet and put the painting on it,” he explains. He’s also responsible for “Day Dreamin” with Akon which reached as high as the number eighteen on Billboard. La the Darkman’s latest hype is “You” featuring Bobby Valentino and Willie the Kid which the video for was just released. It’s aired on MTV Jams and MTV-2 for the last month, and is scheduled to air on BET is just a few weeks and featured Toya from Tiny&Toya, Khandi from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Diamond former member of Crime Mob in the video.
Along with everything that La the Darkman has been doing here in the states he still has time to go kick it with his over seas fans. When asked if the vibe is different between his fans in the states and his fans overseas, he replied, “It’s kind of the same for me. I get a lot of love over seas. I get a lot of love in America, but over seas it is defiantly a lot more intense. It’s a little more up close and personal, but I get a lot of love through the states also.”
Currently he’s working on another solo album and plans on dropping a self -titled album through Embassy Entertainment in the Fall of this year. There are also a lot of projects in the works with the Aphillates which include work currently being done with The-Dream, Trey Songz, and DJ Head Debiase. Also be on the look out for Willie the Kids next project Never A Dull Moment scheduled to drop July 27th,2010. La the Darkman has a sharp ear for real music and I suggest that you expect nothing, but the best to come from him! FULL BLAST honors music in every aspect and we honor the great producers that bring us the music we love hearing on FULL BLAST.