“Will you grow? I’m asking you to think about the truth, and when you finally know the truth are you willing to accept it..” – Zachery Le’on; “The Ugly Truth” from MHOAS
There is nothing more refreshing than hearing an authentic hip-hop sound, spelling out the truth for all ears to take heed to. Zachery Le’on goes above and beyond in his new album “Muddy Hands of a Sinner”, revealing life without a filter or a fairy-tale facade. Over 12 tracks, the self proclaimed “ghetto poet” invites people in to the process of birth, growth, self acknowledgement, and becoming a survivor.
PG: You recently started a show series titled J.U.I.C.E, that features different developing talents that you cross paths with. What sparked this idea?
Le’on: I created J.U.I.C.E. last year mainly putting ideas on paper searching for a solid direction to go and how to create my own platform. Running my shows how I want them with artist of my choice no favoritism, no clout, and no bandwagon shit. I choose who I want and who I see really working toward their career. I also chose artist who have had good business standings with me in the past good relationships are hard to come by now days. When I decided to start doing the J.U.I.C.E. show series I made up my mind to not only create a new platform, but to give new artist a chance to shine. Giving artist stage time and networking opportunities is the top goal.
PG: As an artist yourself, aside from networking how do you benefit from the new platform?
Le’on: I get to meet new eager artist and its pretty dope. I’m currently working on expanding J.U.I.C.E. outside of Indiana which would be a good move for everyone. Also, I’m running the show and that’s a big thing to me as an artist. I’ve seen far too many shows that lack structure in the scene and it was time for a change.
PG: Just a few months back you released an album titled, “Muddy Hands of a Sinner”. What birthed the title?
Le’on: Man life! Muddy Hands of a Sinner is a view from the inside real and raw no Hollywood sh*t. The title itself has so many different meanings pain, hope, good, bad, survivor, victim and that’s only scratching the surface. Writing this album, I knew what I wanted to express to listeners, I knew what direction I wanted to go. The title was birthed from thoughts, feelings, and scattered emotions I had at the time.
PG: In the album you referenced quite a few things about society in this day and age. What did you want your audience to take away from it?
Le’on: Know your worth and know your truth never settle for less man. I’ve witnessed so many creative people fall short because of our environment and the choices we make. I wanted to give them the real, raw, and uncut side of Indianapolis from the perspective of someone dead in the center drowning in the chaotic waters. I’m not a gangster or a hustler but I have been down a dark path and done some pretty f****d up shit I am not proud of. But it made me who I am and shaped me into the artist I am today a ghetto poet. A survivor and a victim.
PG: If it was one song on the album you would want every ear to open up to, which song would that be and why?
Le’on: Man that’s a hard choice because I want ears to open up to them all. But one track that hits deep is “Who’s to Blame” people should definitely check out that track.
PG: Out of the twelve track album, you included three specific parts of the album that were not actual songs but still played a valuable part in delivering the message. How did you develop the idea for “The Rose”, “The Soil”, and “The Ugly Truth”?
Le’on: It’s simple “Understanding, Knowledge, and Wisdom” I wanted people to think after hearing each poem. Like really dig deep inside themselves and wonder “damn I think it’s time for a change” not just with the world but with themselves.
PG: What part did each one play in the flow of this album?
Le’on: I will say the placement of each one played a big role in the album. Introducing us as black people as the rose a creative and beautiful being that sometimes loses our way in the soil. The soil which is our environment, our chaos, and our downfall at times the endless cycle we cannot seem to shake. Finally, the ugly truth about who we are as people and where we are going. If we continue to run these misguided paths we will curse our children for the next 4 or 5 generations on this earth.
PG: I want to touch on “The Ugly Truth” and your specific purpose in making it the last thing a listener takes from the album. What made you decide to choose that placement and message to wrap the album up with?
Le’on: Nobody wants to hear the truth anymore so many people are under the multiple illusions this world offers and they simply just won’t except that “truth”. I figured if you made it to the final track of the album maybe I could give you some clarity on what my truth is and how I found it. Also, real music does still exist and I wanted to highlight that in this album.
PG: What can we expect from you the remainder of the year?
Le’on: Shows and heavy promo for “Muddy Hands of a Sinner” I am always learning and growing as an artist. I’m working on bettering my skill set in multiple areas and marketing is at the top of my list. You can expect a few releases here and there. J.U.I.C.E. has kicked off full force so I will be doing shows monthly throughout the year. Branding, marketing, and building are my focuses for the year.
Zachery Le’on “Muddy Hands of a Sinner” on iTunes, Google Play, and multiple other streaming platforms.