DFW Music News

LeRoyce Doesn't Need Samples. He's Making His Own Timeless Beats.

LeRoyce is back with a new album, and he can be proud of every last bit of production.
LeRoyce is back with a new album, and he can be proud of every last bit of production. Bybxe
As an artist and producer, LeRoyce has always chosen to put the quality of his music above anything else. After co-producing “Is /this Cigarett,” the single from Mick Jenkins' fourth studio album Elephant in the Room, LeRoyce released COPES, his first solo project since his debut, The Sunny Nights Project, in 2017. The acronym for the album title stands for “Can Only Pretend Everything’s Simple.”

“I feel like when somebody copes with things, pretty much all they are doing is just hiding or finding a way to deal with whatever situation they are going through,“ LeRoyce says. “And I think that fits perfectly with ‘Can only pretend everything’s simple,’ because I feel like in an instance, that is what you are doing when you're coping, is just acting like you’re OK or whatever you are going through is OK, but it is really not.”

LeRoyce said the concept for the COPES album crossed his mind shortly after The Sunny Nights Project dropped. The rapper went through years of revisions, scratching songs from the album three times before its release. The highly anticipated solo album from the former Dallas Observer Music Award winner turned out to be well worth the wait. He made hip-hop connoisseurs and “old-heads” proud with this one.

Fans can expect a couple of music videos to roll out that’ll match the album's energy, LeRoyce says, adding that they can also look forward to songs dropping from other artists who are part of the Elevated team, a group of musical and visual artists he formed with friends, such as Samsonyte, Scotty May and T. Gallardo. Some Elevated organized concerts are in the works, too, he says. Along with rapping and singing every hook on the album, LeRoyce self-produced nine of the 17 records on the track list with an elite-level attention to detail. He also mixed and mastered COPES in its entirety. The hooks and bridges are heavily layered with such balance and clarity that no matter what type of speakers are used to play the album, you can hear every single note, instrument and ad-lib.

“I think that is why the album took so long,” he says. “For me to have everything so cohesive, similar vibe yet different song, sometimes it just takes a while to bring that together.”

It was important, LeRoyce says, for every track on the album to feel like it was supposed to be there.

The track “Loading” is one of the most relatable and stand-out songs on the album. It features T. Gallardo, who'd laid a verse on The Sunny Nights Project. An avid listener of LeRoyce's can distinguish his production by the groovy bounce instrumentals.

One of the things that set LeRoyce apart as a beat maker is his conscious decision to avoid samples in his music. It may not seem like a big deal, but it's a way to hone in his talent and ability to produce a memorable beat without relying on an already timeless sample.

“On my real old tracks, a lot of them have samples, but I stopped doing that because I wanted to be able to own my shit 100%,” LeRoyce says. “I spent the last two years really just working on making my own sample-like loops, so on this album all the stuff I produced doesn’t have samples in it. Even the producers that helped produce COPES, there are no samples on that album.”

LeRoyce says he added a couple of songs to COPES, including “Hear Them Now,” two weeks before the official release date as he coped with the death of his aunt.

“I wasn’t planning on making a new track but while I was going through that I was playing music and beats and then a song just came to me right then and there and I laid the song down and said this has to go on the album,” he says. “I just felt like it was another perfect example of coping so I was like, 'It has to go on the album.'”

LeRoyce is easily one of the most talented writers and storytellers in North Texas. His rapping doesn’t leave a lot of air on the beat. His flow pattern rides along with the beat during the entire 16 bars while he stays on subject. On COPES, every verse is a story about how LeRoyce came through difficult life experiences and found a way to keep pushing through.

"I just wanted to get the whole idea of what coping is to me personally and how I do cope personally," he says. "I just wanted people to get more insight on that, so people feel like when they are coping they don’t feel like the odd one out or they are alone in this world and that they are the only one that feels this way. I wanted people to feel like, ‘OK, LeRoyce is somebody I look up to, but he is normal just like all of us.’ We are all different, but not really."
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Malen “Mars” Blackmon has been a contributor to the Observer since 2019. Entrenched in Southern California’s music and culture at an early age, he wrote and recorded music until he realized he wasn’t cut out for the music industry and turned to journalism. He enjoys driving slowly, going to cannabis conventions and thinking he can make sweatpants look good with any outfit.