Leslie Jones, better known as Less-On is a talented lyricist, performer and rapper from Chicago who has always had a passion and love for making music, which was instilled in him at an early age:
“When I was about fourteen, a friend of mine named Kyle Rooney showed me lyrics he was writing. I thought ‘hey I want to try that.’ I just fell in love with it, and I love to write, and put my feelings down. So I’d take a song that was already done like a Wu Tang Clan song and write my own lyrics to it. So I kept doing it and doing it. At that time we moved from Minnesota to Florida, where I didn’t really know anyone so I had a lot of time to write rhymes. I wrote for like six or seven years straight and filled up about six or so notebooks worth of lyrics. As I got older I decided that I wanted to record something because I had never gotten to do that in the studio before. So I went in with another artist and was featured on one of his songs. I burned a few copies and passed them out to my friends, and they all loved it. They started comparing it to other successful artists like Ludacris and Tupac. After that I just started recording myself on the computer with recording software, which got better progressively. I knew this was meant for me, everything just led up to another to where I am today; that’s how I know and it’s a beautiful thing.
My artistic views came from my older sister. She always played music around me like NWA, Busta Rhymes, and A Tribe Called Quest. She was into Hip Hop big time. When I told her I was rapping she introduced me to Canibus, and he was an artist I learned a lot from. I also listened to a lot of DMX, Talib Kwali, Mos Def, Wu Tang too. I gained a lot of different styles from that, and just turned it into something of my own.”
One thing I think is that the more you learn the more you put out there. I don’t think there’s such a thing as writers block. If I can’t write I just sit there and stare and draw on the top or the paper until I can. There’s always something to draw from. If someone asked me to explain myself I could do it better in a song because that’s how I express myself best. When I get stressed out or angry, I rap, because it will all come out in it and it’s a good distraction.”
He also talked about the messages that are being portrayed by some of today’s biggest artists in the genre and why he thinks it is not always positive:
“I feel like everybody has a talent and they should use that to better the world. Some artists nowadays, you don’t know what the mission is. There are artists that show disrespect towards women and there’s no meaning to it. It’s just all about them being rich, living the life and having women. Then there are artists that talk about real s*** in their life, and that’s what I want to hear you know; about how life changes as you’re coming up and getting big. The media should pay more attention to them and play their videos more. You really only see a lot of negative but not a lot of positive on TV and radio these days. The economy is bad and we’re all broke, but they sing about being rich all the time. Make a song that says ‘I’m still like you, being rich isn’t everything.’
One of those type artists I looked up to was Lupe Fiasco. He opened my eyes up and helped me to find my purpose in doing music. He started rapping about the streets and what was wrong with it and how the focus should be on those things. When it’s like that, people can sit back and hear a story and feel what you’re saying.”
That being said, Less-On’s new EP Nick Groff Presents: Less-On: Drinks On Me is just the kind of prescription that the game needs. As Eminem put it in The Real Slim Shady ‘Will Smith don’t gotta cuss in his rap to sell records.’ In this case it means you don’t have to sacrifice substance for style; this has plenty of both. The disc is a well written, well produced six song amalgam of positivity, creativity and beats that will make you want to move. A
Drinks On Me – The title track, and also the first on the EP, it will immediately draw you in and get you hooked on its swaggering beat and catchy chorus. Producer Nick Groff also lent his talents to helping write this track.
Bottle Poppin – This could easily be the next big club anthem. You just can’t help but put your hands up to it; get ready to hit replay on this one.
Bounce – While it’s a little slower of a tempo than the previous two, the beat is just as tight and it has a great melodic background to it. As Less-On put it “That’s me when I’m having a good time.”
Count – Count is a song that will have you singing along to its infectious hooks in no time. The most noticeable and fun thing about it is the money counting machine effect. Less-On described this one best: “Nick Groff and I were in the studio listening to some beats and I just started free-styling over it. I just started saying ‘get that money’ and Nick said ‘oh man you should do that!’ I wouldn’t have made it if he didn’t say anything.”
So Close – This track has a bit of a different vibe, and has more of that personal feeling through the lyrics which makes it really relatable.
Have Nots – If there had to be one song to highlight off of the record, this would be the one. It is extremely personal and powerful, and you can really see Less-On’s talents as a rapper and a lyricist come through. There is also some great piano work featured by Danny Bedrosian. Less-On said of the track “That was real feelings right there and that’s what it’s all about. It was also right when I had my first child. It was me feeling like ‘my dream is right there and it’s so close. I want to just do shows and make money.’ It actually came out of a conversation with a friend. I said ‘so close but so far’ and he said ‘that’s the song right there’.”
The EP officially drops on November 11th from Nick Groff Entertainment and BOZFONK.