Alexis “L.E.X Da Rapper” Dean Jr., 20, raps clean lyrics to inspire young people to pursue greatness. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student attempts to motivate his audience each time he gets on stage.
“It’s actual Hip-Hop. Lyrical and delivers a message in every song. But, what makes it different is that it’s clean. So, it has no profanity. That way everyone can enjoy it,” Dean said.
Dean, rapping since he was in eighth grade, wrote poetry and songs to entertain his family members before discovering his true passion in music. Dean, whose first love was basketball, did not consider rap to be more than a fun hobby until he heard Lil’ Wayne.
Dean remembers listening to a song called “Hard Body” by Lil’ Wayne off the “Da Drought 3” mixtape with his cousins in high school. He admired artists’ rhythm and the flow of the lyrics.
“We loved that song so much. The whole mixtape, but that song specifically. When I went home, I told myself I can do this too. So, I made a rap to that beat. It was the first time I actually covered a song, and it went on from that,” he said.
“Lil’ Wayne was the one who made me get serious about it, and with my father who was killed being a rapper I think that helped too,” he said.
Dean lost his father in a shooting when he was 7-years-old. He feels as if he speaks to him through his lyrics. Dean said that knowing his father also rapped made him appreciate his gift more.
Upon his upcoming, Dean had the opportunity to go to the BET Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta but decided to reject the offer and stay in Milwaukee to finish his album, “Dreams Start Young.”
“It was either spend money on something that might not happen, or spend money on studio time etc. for something I want to be perfect. I don’t regret the decision at all, but it was a big decision,” Dean said.
Dean also had his 15 minutes of fame auditioning for X-Factor 2012. After the success of passing three auditions he did not receive another call-back. “Even though I did get sent home without getting a yes from everyone I auditioned for, those judges were pretty tough too. Very stern and seemed to know what they were looking for,” he said.
As an artist, L.E.X finds it rewarding after a performance when the audience shake his hand and tells him what they think of his music. He hopes he will reinforce a positive theme through his music.
“I’m not a thug, and I don’t try to sound like it. I’m not into drugs and talking crazy about women, and people hear that. My message in my music is that dreams can come true if you work hard,” Dean said. “I’m pursuing a dream just like millions of other people, and I want to show people that they should never let up.”
Dean based his album “Dreams Start Young” off this concept. Dean who attempts to revolutionize the music industry himself sees a glimpse of hope in rap for his generation.
“With artists like Big Sean, J. Cole, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, etc. the music business is finally accepting artists with great music,” he said. “If this push for something different and less mediocre music continues, the world would really start getting more quality music. It’ll open more doors for artists like me, who are different.”
Dean has made plans for his life and career including receiving a bachelor’s degree. He also hopes of collaborating with other artists such as Klassik and maybe deliver a track to fans with Eminem on it.
“He’s my favorite rapper and I think we could make something that would make the world freak out,” Dean said.
Dean wants to accomplish a lot in the next five years. The 20-years-old New Orleans Saints fan, teacher for toddlers at the University of Wisconsin-Children’s Center and UW-Milwaukee psychology major could make it to the television screen one day.
You can keep in touch with L.E.X and his music through his;
Twitter & Instagram: @LexDaRapper
L. Malik Anderson and Annabelle Jordan