The year was 2004. My career was on the rise, but my soul was at stake. I was in the midst of a blossoming career as a record producer, producing under the moniker “L.Z.” I had crafted the track for the breakout single “Stylin’” for Foxy Brown which ended up on the Billboard Top 100 Singles chart before label politics left her “Fever” album project shelved. Because of the popularity or Stylin’, this work led to various opportunities to produce tracks for other hip-hop stars, including Fabolous, DJ Clue, Rah Digga, and Grafh. Upon receiving my first substantial royalty check, $18,000 to be exact, I quickly relocated from Cincinnati, Ohio to New York City to maximize my opportunities. Slowly but surely, the money had begun rolling in and my pursuit of it led me into the “rockstar lifestyle.” On the brink of breaking into stardom as a record producer, God stepped in and stripped it all away. EVERYTHING. Gone! I couldn’t sell a beat if my life depended on it, and my life depended on it; or so I thought. All I was left with was God.
Born Laban Z. Reeves, II in Harbel, Liberia to an American mother and Liberian father, my family moved to West Palm Beach, Florida at the tender age of five. Throughout my childhood years, I developed a deeply rooted love for hip-hop, and upon hearing the message of salvation, a love for God. At the age of 17, I left Florida to attend Purdue University and never turned back. While studying engineering, I began making beats and recording with local acts in my spare time. Upon graduating from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, I was recruited to work for the consumer products giant, Procter and Gamble (P&G), in Cincinnati, Ohio. Amazingly, a $57,000 per year salary and intercontinental travel on an American Express Corporate Card was not enough to keep me happy. In 2001, after a year and a half stint in corporate America, I took a leap of faith from my day job to pursue a career in the music industry under the mentorship of a then obscure Kanye West. After hearing Stylin’ in regular rotation on Hot 97 in New York, Kanye called me and basically told me that if I didn’t move to New York and let the music industry know that I was responsible for the track that was helping to resurrect Foxy Brown’s career, someone else would end up taking the credit. Needless to say, I eventually packed up and moved to NYC with my four year old son. In 2005, less than a year later, after a brief taste of success, I, as a single father, found myself without money and without a roof over my head. It was at this point that I FULLY surrendered my life to God and died. I died to my selfish pursuit of wealth and stardom, and my life would never be the same. Around the same time, I received a vision of what was to come.
Today I am a Pastor, producer, artist, and motivational speaker. No longer willing to compromise my love of God for the suggestive messages that permeate hip-hop, I am now driven by purpose. I empower youth and young adults to become CHANGE Agents who envision positive change and act boldly to attain it, through preaching, speaking, music, workshops, etc…