Born in Gary, Indiana, L.A. was the middle of five children. After relocating to live in Minnesota with his mother, he adapted to a new home—not without problems. When his grandmother passed, L.A. says he was a lost cause. Rap was the one glimmer of a life outside of trouble, whether it was TV producers helping him make an early video, or winning over the prison population (including the warden) through daily cell freestyles. Inside the walls, L.A. taught himself to read and write, along with building his faith. No longer with his grandma, the young adult used his rap to speak his truths through verses and chase away the negativity. Like his presence on the mic, L.A. is a man of commanding character. He speaks with heart and authority, pulling from an extraordinary life. It was that trait that drew in the founders of THOR, the nation’s biggest minority-owned construction company. In 2008, shortly after L.A.’s latest prison release, they met—and immediately wanted to empower him in their seven-figure music venture. Just as the ink dried, the housing market crashed. As L.A. finally caught a break, his plans were broken.
Within the fifth wealthiest state in the country, L.A. paused rap to invest. From real estate to clubs, he built and stacked for eight years. Recently, a chance meeting with rapper Momoh led L.A. to rediscover his passion. “After watching him, I started feeling like it was possible again. I started vibing with the youth element, while still keeping my rawness, identity, and authenticity. I feel like that’s what the game had been lacking, ‘cause that’s what we lack in general, as a people.” Momoh joins Suzie Soprano and Harlems Makarel as focal points of Black Bag. With L.A. in the driver’s seat, it represents the journey. “It’s us saying that we’re doing our part, coming from where we come from, presenting opportunities for people around us to save themselves from ending up in black bags,” he says of the name. “At the same time, we’re saying we’re Black, and we’re in our bag.” First single “(Bitch) I Made It” exemplifies that. “I’m trying to market to kids and adults so we can get to a point where we can communicate with each other through music. That generational bridge is being destroyed every day, if you ask me.” Armed with a powerful journey and proven entrepreneurialism, L.A. is back in business and living out his dream.