Louie Tha Profit Sticks To What’s Real
Written by Vocalo Radio on July 1, 2022
Louie tha Profit wants to shift the music industry’s focus back to the art…
If you listen closely in Queens, New York, you might just hear some freestyles echoing through the streets. With a thriving hip-hop scene, you don’t have to go far… but if you’re lucky, it could be Louie tha Profit sharing his art with the world.
From his solo work to his collaboration with Wxlfman in the duo Wild Prxfits, the Far Rockaway artist offers buttery-smooth rhymes and masterful lyricism. The natural-born storyteller takes pride in his authenticity, his independent artistry, connection to the music and refusal to sell out. He feels becoming a father has only increased his motivations to stay authentic.
“Becoming a father has made me even more hungry and purposeful,” Louie explained. “Every word is intentional. I’m not just saying things to say it.”
“I started off studying my favorite artists. At first it was about having the best punchlines and rhyme schemes. Now I focus on how the music feels. Does this connect with someone? Will this change someone’s perspective? Is this healing?”Louie tha Profit
Louie’s latest single “Back to the Streets,” featured in Vocalo’s on-air rotation for June, recounts a relatable story of one of life’s most sacred moments: finding the special person who brings you down to earth. Backed by nostalgic instrumentals and a chill beat, the track guides listeners through Louie’s experience of finding his girl.
“The process of creating this song [‘Back to the Streets’] was like breathing air, it came so easy to me,” Louie recalled.
We heard from Louie on his new single, catharsis through music and the shape of the music industry.
How has Queens shaped you as an artist and a person? What is the hip-hop scene in Queens like?
Growing up in Far Rockaway, Queens really forces you to be creative. As a kid we had to find ways to have fun as there were not a lot of things to do outside of playing sports. It’s very much a small town vibe in Far Rock, I always felt like I was different in terms of my interest[s] and the way I went about doing things. I feel like I’ve had a strong sense of self since I was younger, along the way I gained the confidence to do things my way.
As far as the rap scene in my city goes, I feel a shift happening. We have had a bad rep for hating each other or not working together. Two of our biggest artists passed away in the city, the late great Stack Bundles and the young king Chinx were two pivotal artists that inspired a lot of people where I’m from. I see a lot of us supporting one other and working together more so now than ever.
“Just ‘being’ inspires me.”– Louie tha Profit
New York City has a huge music scene. Do you find it’s more competitive or collaborative these days?
It’s definitely more competitive in New York City than anything else. With so many artists hungry for the spotlight, it’s natural for this to be the case. I do see more collaborative efforts being made. Despite what anyone tells you, no one can do it alone. With the type of music I make, it’s a longer route than following the trend at the moment, but I feel my peers respect what I bring to the table.
How have you seen the scene change since releasing your first LP, Escape Route, in 2015?
When I first dropped it was really tough to thrive as an independent artist. I see artists taking their careers into their own hands now. We are getting smarter and the information is becoming more accessible. There is a lot of great art being made despite what some people may think of today’s art. You can thrive without being a mainstream artist these days.
In the past, you’ve written lyrics about the normalization of industry-induced PTSD. What are collective steps you feel the music industry could or should take to prevent these mental health struggles?
From my experience, people aren’t straight-forward on this and will try to sell you a pipe dream. If the industry can get back to what matters, which is the art, I see a great shift happening. Nowadays, A&Rs only care about numbers, there is no actual artist development happening. I know that their main focus is to get a great return on their investment. I feel they will have a better chance at this by collaborating with passionate hard working individuals, not just someone who got lucky with a song on TikTok. You see an artist get on with one song and they’re gone in a year. You can’t cheat the grind or the work ethic. The ones who love it can create magic again and again, not just for the moment.
“I choose to be happy. I choose gratitude. I choose love.”– Louie tha Profit
You’re one half of the duo Wild Prxfits. How does your independent music differ from your work with Wxlfman?
My independent music is more introspective and soul touching. The music I make with my brother Wxlf is more upbeat and fun. My solo art really reflects my upbringing and where I’m at. It really is my catharsis and I can be free on record. I always feel when it’s coming from a real place people can feel that shit.
Has becoming a father changed the way you approach writing music? How do you balance parenthood with your music career?
Becoming a father has made me even more hungry and purposeful. Every word is intentional. I’m not just saying things to say it. I feel there’s a certain potency in my music that my daughter has given me. I literally work from home: I write and record music with her present. While she naps, I write. Sometimes you can hear her in the background in more recent songs I’ve recorded. Her mom helps me a lot, too. When I have to do shows or go to the studio, she has been nothing but supportive. Love you, E!
Can you talk a little bit about the track “Back to the Streets,” which is featured on Vocalo’s “In Rotation” playlist for June? What’s the story behind it?
The story really is a reflection of my life prior to meeting my lady. I was out here in these streets at the brunches and functions. I am a young handsome male, and I didn’t realize the peace and calm I needed in my life until I got with E. Even though I’m saying, “She ain’t going back to the streets,” it still resonates with me as to say I found my one, now I’m locked in and focused.
You previously mentioned, “The process of creating this song [‘Back to the Streets’] was like breathing air, it came so easy to me.” What do you do when the songwriting process doesn’t come easily? How do you combat creative blocks?
When the song doesn’t just come, I tend to either meditate, read or I just need to live more. Just “being” inspires me. I’ve written under pressure enough where I can just push a verse out, but it’s always better when it’s channeled and I’m the vessel.
There’s a lot of love in “Back to the Streets,” as well as many of your other tracks, like “Amaya.” Does rapping about love come easier to you than other topics?
I feel like anything that I’m currently feeling comes easy to me. Being expressive through music has always come easy to me. Whether it’s love for my environment or something I am struggling with mentally, I can express it through song.
Overall, you come across as a radiantly positive person through your music. How do you stay positive? Can you give some words of encouragement to others who want to be more positive in their everyday lives?
Truthfully at some point you had to be negative to know what it takes to radiate positivity. I just choose to not let things I can not control bother me anymore. When I am overwhelmed I meditate, write music, work out or read. I recently started taking therapy, which has been a great release for me as well. You just have to wake up every day and give it your best. I choose to be happy. I choose gratitude. I choose love.
You take a lot of pride in your lyricism, and your rhymes certainly live up to the hype. Is this a skill that comes naturally to you? What advice would you give to artists who want to improve their writing skills?
I started off studying my favorite artists. At first it was about having the best punchlines and rhyme schemes. Now I focus on how the music feels. Does this connect with someone? Will this change someone’s perspective? Is this healing? I have challenged myself to really dig deep and try new sounds and different pockets that feel true to me. If I had any advice, it would be to do what feels real.
What’s next for Louie tha Profit?
I have a lot of music and visuals on the way. I am currently working on an amazing body of work produced exclusively by Optiks and Mean Joe Scheme. Be on the lookout for that and more singles being released in the coming months. More show dates and a possible tour will soon be announced. My EP Born to Win is out now, and is all recorded and engineered by me. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m out here and I’m just getting started.
Interview and introduction by Makenzie Creden
Interview edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca
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