G.L.C. was born Leonard Harris.
G.L.C. (Gangsta L. Crisis) captured the attention of listeners looking for honesty and integrity in Hip Hop music with one heart-felt guest appearance. Just as much as it was his flow, it was the power in the words he rapped on "Spaceship" that gained GLC an audience and fan base. Now more than three years removed from his entrance to Hip Hop's mainstream, G.L.C. is preparing for the release of his debut album, and the flight of his own solo career.
One must wonder how a rapper without any full-length album, and little radio play can manage to pick up two Grammys as well as the respect and admiration of Hip Hoppers across the board? G.L.C.'s formula for doing so is a combination of Life, Love, and Loyalty. G.L.C. is able to connect to listeners both in the streets, as well as professional walks of life by being himself in and out of the booth. He says, "When I go into the booth, I don't have a rap voice, or a rap character that I become. I'm the same dude at all times. I'm that man with an interesting life off 87th street. I speak for the common folk, as well as the hustlers and the street entrepreneurs, people trying to better themselves."
G.L.C. has continually bettered himself and his music through hard work and dedication. He found poetry and Hip Hop at an early age, and used both to cope with the passing of his parents. While dealing with the pain, a growing talent presented itself. For years G.L.C. seemed to be caught between two worlds. He worked in clothing stores, while continually hustling in the streets. Throughout this time he also harbored dreams of being a Hip Hop artist, and infused his songs with lyrics that spoke to his people grinding in the streets of Chicago, as well as those working a 9-5. Eventually he decided that music was the best way to accomplish his dreams and he would not let any roadblocks stop his journey towards success.
"As long as you're talking about the negativity, you're only attracting more negativity into your life. Stay positive. I was dead broke. I was living in my sister's basement. All I had was a VS-880 (8-track recorder) but I did 2-3 songs a day," G.L.C. recalls.
"The way the music was back then, the skill level I've acquired over the years, it wasn't that back then. But it took that to get to where I am now. It took that hard work. It took that perseverance, it took the dedication, discipline, and determination. I wasn't sitting around complaining about what I didn't have. I focused on getting what I didn't have. So, as long as you focus on bettering yourself, that's what's going to happen. If you sit around letting your problems get the best of you, you're not going to make it in nothing. That's negative. Negativity is not the way. You got to eliminate negative people out of your life."
That positive attitude is what has led him to become one of the most respected and sought after artists in a city known for its cold temperatures and colder shoulders. A full believer in Karma, G.L.C. chooses to collaborate with artists even if the short-term benefit is small. He reasons, "God has really blessed me to make it this far, and to almost be done with my album. As long as God has blessed me, it's only right for me to spread those blessings. So that's why I get in the studio with somebody and they can put 'featuring G.L.C.' on the cover of their thing. This might help push what they're doing, and I don't see nothing in return. My blessing's going to come."
It is only natural for G.L.C. to have that mindset. After all, his blessings started when childhood friend, Hip Hop icon Kanye West, offered G.L.C. a guest appearance on his debut album, The College Dropout. G.L.C. took advantage and delivered a verse that will resonate with listeners for years to come. He followed it up with another stellar performance on "Drive Slow," from Kanye's sophomore LP, Late Registration. Since then, G.L.C. has released mixtapes with DJ A-Trak (Drive Slow), DJ Geno (I Ain't Even On Yet), as well as Sean Mac (Honor Me). All the projects show that he is more than a one-verse wonder. In fact, he welcomes the doubters as they only propel him. "I thank God for the haters. I look at it like this, if everybody doens't like you, then you're doing something wrong. If everybody says they love you, you got to question that because someone might be being phony."
Beyond the haters, G.L.C. is fueled by his own motivations for greatness, and his honor as a man. He says, "I could have been like, 'yeah. I made it on a Grammy award-winning album,' and quit. Or, 'now I'm on two Grammy award-winning albums,' and quit. I performed all over the world, Staples Center, United Center, Madison Square Garden, I did all that. Abbey Road where the Beatles recorded, I did that. I did so much that I can tell these stories to my grand kids and be like, 'this was my life and I'm cool.' But there's so much more. I want to leave a legacy. I don't just want to leave memories when I'm gone. I want to live forever. You live through your legacy. I want people to say, 'you see that building right there? That's the G.L.C. Foundation.' When people see my grandkids they say, 'that's G.L.C.'s grandkids.' That means something. That means that I'm still alive because I'm still in your head when I'm dead and gone."
G.L.C. presents a refreshing alternative in an industry that is quick to stab someone in the back, as well as forget a name. After introducing himself to the world via Kanye West, G.L.C. is ready to take flight on his own accord. And he's got plenty of room to take his audience with him.
"My album is going to take you to a place, It's not going to be a listening experience-it's going to take you to my world. So, whenever you feel like you're in a certain mood and you want to escape all your problems, although you're still going to have to face that reality at the end of the day, whenever you need a simple escape, that's when you put my CD in. My album will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it make you feel unstoppable! You will be inspired to get it, being what ever you desire!"