Hailing from Compton, California — Liife stands as an artistic lyricist who paints real-life experiences plated over perfectly picked production; which he consistently delivers to his listeners via a front seat window. Surrounded by music in his early life, Liife began fully exploring his natural talent during adolescence, rapping with friends at school and in his neighborhood. By his late teens, he crossed paths with West Coast rapper The Game and began his fast-paced journey in the industry.
Becoming a part of Game’s Black Wall Street team, Liife, then-known-as Young Life or Lifestyle, made an appearance on Game’s Documentary DVD, and cut one of his first studio tracks (simultaneously landing his first feature) on Game’s “Ambitionz Az A Ridah.” In 2006, Liife released his debut project Compton Life, which showcased his lyrical ability and generated even more buzz; building a name and identity around him as an artist. Realizing that he’d become a local phenomenon, Liife quickly built a team and began dropping projects.
Beginning with 2009’s, Hard Knock Life, featuring Lil Wayne, Tyga, Paul Wall, The Game, and production from Scott Storch and more, Liife followed with 2010’s Perfect Time’n, presented by DJ Skee and featuring Kobe, Ray J, and Game’s “Street Riders (Remix)” with Nas and Diddy. In 2011, he dropped The Transition, presented by DJ Ill Will, featuring, Ray J, Kyle Christopher and more, and in 2012, he shared Crown Me King, and would work alongside Drake on Game’s “Come Up (prod. by Boi 1-Da);” then in 2014, he dropped Hard Knock Life 2, featuring, Game, Nipsey Hussle, Clyde Carson and more.
In 2018, he started flooding the ‘net with a wave of hard-hitting freestyles. Taking to social media, Liife unloaded bars weekly for three months, then jumped back in the studio to begin recording full records with Mozzy, Lucci and more. In June 2019, Liife signed a deal with Rostrum Records and began work on his upcoming debut project and new singles including his WorldStarHipHop premiere “Lifestyle,” with over 1.3M views, and No Jumper premiere “Meet The Parents.”
Via his new label, Liife is putting together his debut project, What Your Life Like, where he intends to use each track as a small movie to depict and highlight different events in his life, like growing up in Compton with a mother who worked two jobs to provide, turning to the streets for guidance, losing friends to violence, and detailing how he made it out to follow his dream. On November 21, he’s set to release a first-look track “Friends & Enemies.”
While Liife isn’t your typical rapper, but rather a great story-teller with his streetwise lyricism, he does share a commonality as a musician in ensuring listeners that, “No matter what you go through, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.” He reminds them, “Set your goals. You can accomplish them. Keep going, you’re going to get there. It’s inevitable.”
THE FOLLOWING INTERVIEW HAS BEEN MODIFIED FOR EASIER READING.
Where did you get that name from? Liife?
Man, I got my name because I would freestyle and my homies said I would go on for an eternity. I would just be freestyling forever. The homie had CD with like 2 hours of instrumentals and I remember rapping the entire 2 hours. So the homies starting saying I could rap for a lifetime so I took that and ran with it.
What does liife stand for?
For me, Liife is an acronym for Living In A Foul Environment. You know the urban cities like Compton, watts, Long beach where was the most was real wicked.
You mentioned you used to freestyle in HS, was that your first taste of creating music?
It was in junior high. The homie used to make beats on the table and the other homie used to beatbox, so I used to just freestyle, you know doing that every day repetitively I got good at it.
Fast forward to my big bro who was touching a little dough at the time. He had a crib with a studio. That’s really where I learned how to record. Around that time I was adamant about perfecting the art of recording.
So what is your creative process kind of look like when you’re in the studio? Do you write or is it all off the top?
I just want more elevation.
It’s all off the pinnacle man, its all off the chin strap. Sometimes I might write, sometimes I might just freestyle it. I use different techniques it just depends on what the song needs.
You said that every song that you create comes from a real place like there’s nothing fabricated. To prove that you have a process where you create some sort of a mini-documentary along with each song can you talk about that you
When I Rap I don’t want to just be like the average rapper, just pullings*** out the air. Everything I rap about is Real. I Wholeheartedly speak from a place of authenticity. With that being said. I figured to even just like connect the dots I shoot a documentary series for every song. I take you to the locations and the people. To help show that these are real stories
One thing you said previously that I like. You said that your kind of like the bridge for your community. (Compton) Why you?
I’m going, to be honest with you. It ain’t even like a responsibility. I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s natural for me to be who I am. So, I’m just doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
I don’t want to just be like the average rapper, just pullings*** out the air.
Talk to me about the new single friends & enemies
I feel like in every video and every song there has to be a different perspective from when you see the video.
I did not come with that come up with the concept of the video me, brother and the director put it together. I can’t take all the credit. I told that story though because its an everyday thing. I feel like that’s something you can experience every day and that why I spoke on it, Its real.
What does Liife value the most?
I value the family the most. Friends and family. Everything else is just materialist s**** that just comes and goes.
We’re going into the new decade. What are some of your focuses going into 2020
My goals are the same as in 2019. I just want more elevation. Other than that I just want to keep putting out high-quality music and building my fanbase fan by fan. Just keeping what I do, cause that’s the fun part. Just understanding how your material affects the world.
2020 you can expect greatness. I’m trying to make my imprint on the game.