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His music is refreshing and not quite what you’d expect to hear in an industry over-saturated with talk of drugs, sex, murder and mayhem. He’s handsome, charismatic and possesses a down-to-earth demeanor that sets him apart from his counterparts. His passion for music and Hip Hop culture illuminates any stage he touches but it is without a doubt that Layne Harper had me at FFAS which stands for Father First Artist Second.
Layne Harper was once signed to Def Jam Records but recently decided to put his entrepreneurial talents to the test and go the independent route. Layne spoke candidly about his departure from the label, “It’s about creative control. I am thankful to everything I learned while working with Def Jam. They are very good at what they do. For me though, as an artist, I have a responsibility to my fans but most importantly to my family to give the world music that is conducive to who I am not just as an artist but as a man of God, a husband and a father.”
Sleeping With The Enemy isn’t just the name of the movie Julia Roberts starred in, in 1991. It just so happens to be the first track off Layne Harper latest effort, Beyond Category 2, and is by far my favorite. The beat is captivating and the story told through his lyrics take many of us to a place that we often only see in the movies. But it is “Look At Me” that stands out as it touches on the racial inequalities that have escalated as a result of the poor policing in urban communities nationwide. Harper lays it out on wax and plain enough of anyone to understand, “No justice, no peace so we in the streets. Saying f**k the police, we not making peace. Tryna gun us down the same way that they did Michael Brown. You heard about it.”
Beyond Category 2 is by far different from anything that you might consider “mainstream” and is for sure worth being played in your speakers or headphones.