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Laws is doing big things. Since we last, the Florida-based emcee has been steady on his grind, and his hard work is definitely paying off. Yesterday it was announced that Laws was chosen as one of the emcees to participate in the cipher at this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards. We got a chance to chop it up with Laws a while back, check out what he had to say!

Global Grind: Our readers are already familiar with you for the most part, as we featured you as a part of our Global Radar series a while back, but for those that aren’t could you just introduce yourself?

Laws: Sure. My name is Laws, I’m am emcee from Spring Hill, Florida, and I represent Fam 4 and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. That’s who I am.

GG: How did you hook up with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League?
Laws: I came up as a battle emcee in Florida, and through all of the underground stuff I did they had heard about me. We started working together on a project in early 2008, and by May 2009 we put out a record called Your Future Favorite Rapper, it was a mixtape, and we wind up getting signed off of that.

GG:  You say you started off as a battle rapper, who did you look up to in that scene when you were on the come up?
Laws: As far as battlers, I used to look up to, of course, Eminem. I liked Ju-Ice, he was nice. Sage Francis was a really dope battler. Brother Ali is a dope battler. A lot of those Rhymesayers cats from Minnesota, I look up to them a lot as far as a battle. When I first started rapping I looked up to – you know what CD I was listening to a lot at that time? Soundbombing 2. It was a mixtape that Rawkus Records put out that had what I thought was Eminem at his peak. I was into Em, Royce Da 5’9, Jay-Z, Nas, Big Pun. The lyrical cats that could write  a song. Those are my favorites.

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GG: There seems to be a resurgence of very lyrical emcees making big moves – you, K.R.I.T, even J. Cole. A lot of the emcees coming up recently seem to pay a lot more attention to the craft. What do you think about the past few years of hip-hop and what direction do you see it going in?
Laws: I think the direction is good, but what I want people to understand about hip-hop is that there’s always lyrical cats, there’s always commercial cats – different strokes for different folks. You may not feel Gucci Mane if you listen to Non-Fiction, you may not like Drake if you listen to M.O.P. It’s your flavor. There’s always going to be something for everybody, it’s the balance of what’s getting commercialized. In the beginning it was balanced – you could hear every type of music on the radio. Then it got to the point where we just kind of got shut out. I think it’s starting to come back a little bit, and the good thing about it is there are a lot of flag wavers, and they don’t get enough credit. People like Kanye West, people like Drake, those guys – they’re essentially punchline rappers but in a different form.

GG:  It’s funny, because when a lot of people think of ‘punchline rappers’ they think Jadakiss, Fabolous, etc.
Laws: Yeah, but Drake is a punchline rapper too. All he does is punchlines, expcept his punchlines are about the ills of fame, fortune and women. It’s his style, to me he’s a battle rapper, just a different kind of battle rapper.

GG: So,  what is your writing process like? Do you hear a beat and then write to it or do you have a book of rhymes?
Laws: