Freshman rapper releases faith-inspired music


Rapper and Loyola first-year Lloyd Jefferson stands in front of Holy Name of Jesus church. Jefferson uses his faith as the central message of his music. Photo credit: Michael Bauer

Valerie Cronenbold

For Lloyd Joshua Jefferson IV, rap isn’t just about a well-made beat and fast-paced lyrics — it’s about God.

Jefferson, a faith-based rapper, said he has made progress in his creative career since starting his studies at Loyola. At age 18, the subject of his religion in every song differentiates him from other rappers his age.

Currently, his music is out on Apple Music and Spotify under his artist name LJ4. A new song will be released on Friday, March 26 on YouTube. Seventeen songs of his repertoire exist on YouTube, while only five songs having been released on the aforementioned streaming platforms.

Jefferson said his arrival at Loyola has helped him deepen the knowledge of his craft and that faith is his greatest step toward inspiration.

“I rap about my life in general, but I always bring that back to God and my faith. I feel that really, everything revolves around that and having a good message for the song. I try to make it relatable to people no matter who they are,” he said.

While his message may be tailored toward the faithful, it looks to reach those who are not deep into religion as well, although his projects often involve like-minded artists.

“I’ve collaborated with a thousand people. Recently, I hooked up with OVerses, who is experienced in Facebook marketing. I am making a couple of songs with him,” he said, excited about the prospects that will forward his career.

After graduating from Destrehan High School, he arrived at Loyola ready to jumpstart what he already learned. He believes Loyola has helped him maximize his potential.

“My whole life I’ve lived in a small town in Louisiana. I kind of always went to church my whole life, but I was never really connected to God.”

“In seventh grade, I had an experience which really connected me to God and eventually after that I started listening to rap. Before that, I actually hated listening to rap but someone actually introduced me,” said Jefferson.

This is where his connection to the genre began. He started out small and built confidence through positive reception to his work.

“Eventually, I started making beats of my own around sophomore year of high school. After that, I was just making beats just for fun. I never really thought I would start rapping. Then I made my own songs and everyone I listened to had a really good palette or writing music. I was and am still surprised at that reception, because I hated writing lyrics and it turned out I was really good at it. And I love the music,” Jefferson said.

Ultimately, his goal is to remind people of what he feels matters most to his art form— faith.

“I think that its also just love for people, wanting to help people and spread my gift. I want to be able to use that, help people with motivation,” Jefferson said.