Leon The Professional
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Leon The Professional


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"Dallas Hip Hop | Leon the Professional X AYAN - BEAST Reborn"

Joining the growing community of new school hip hop in Dallas, Texas, Leon the Professional is making his own mark with a unique style that combines progressive Eastern European production (handled by AYAN) with the east coast meets the south lyricism. Although, Leon the Professional fits well within the musical landscape painted by artists such as Dustin Cavazos, A.Dd+, and the Sore Losers, his style is in a gallery of its own.

BEAST Reborn, is a reinterpretation of LTP's 2012 (B)east Mixtape, which the Dallas Observer named the top mixtape of that year. Although (B)east, showcased LTP's verbal dexterity over throwback east coast production, the highlight of BEAST Reborn is the sometimes atmospheric and eclectic and sometimes progressive east coast production of Kazakhstan native, Ayan. The pairing of a southern rapper and an Eastern European producer may seem strange, but it is exactly for that reason that BEAST Reborn is able to create a new canvas to paint its own mural. - WhatUpWally.com

"Five Local Rappers to Watch in 2013"

The winner of the Dallas Observer music award for Best Mixtape has really been working hard this year, and is starting to make quite a name for himself with his true-school style and B-boy roots. His 2012 project, (B)EAST, is a personal and introspective look at an artist over classic hip-hop instrumentation, with slick delivery. The mixtape has ended up on pretty much every local best-of list, in addition to the DOMA honor, so if you're still sleepin' on Leon, you're running out of excuses. Catch him at the We Are Dallas party this Saturday at Overground Skatepark. - DC9 At Night

"The 15 Best North Texas Releases of 2012"

Certainly, plenty of Dallas rappers are putting their own spin on overtly Southern influences, taking aesthetic cues from hip-hop schools of thought cultivated largely in Atlanta and Houston. Dallas' Leon the Professional trades that for something far more East Coast. He's spent 2012 carving a successful niche for himself, his (B)east winning the 2012 DOMA for Best Mixtape. "But are you a different animal and the same beast?" we're asked in one of the interludes. Keep an eye out for the next evolution, made all the more interesting coming from an artist clearly rooted in the history of his medium, but still subverting expectation all the same. - DC9 At Night

"The Top 50 Local Songs Of 2012"

As we sit on the precipice of yet another new year, we can't help but get a little nostalgic for the year that was.

This is especially true after pouring over dozens of year-end trend pieces and reminiscing about the year of swag, Doritios locos tacos, #YOLO, zombies, bath salts, Honey Boo Boo and all sriracha everything.

Locally, of course, 2012 will be the year Dallas started enjoying the great outdoors. Really: Between the opening of Klyde Warren Park, the addition of ping pong tables outside the AT&T Performing Arts Center, all those bike lanes, the opening of Belo Garden Park, the opening of "Beach Ellum" and the increased number of outdoor music festivals this year, our city looks to be turning a corner in that regard.

Of course, the influx of great local music in 2012 might have had something to do with surplus of local festivals at least.

Seriously: In the course of looking back at our favorite local releases of the year, we realized that so many of the bands that are killing it right now didn't even exist a year ago.

That being said, we can't wait to see what is in store for 2013.

You may remember earlier this month when we released both our national and local albums of the year lists. Today, on this last day of 2012, we'd like to add our ranking of the year's 50 best local songs, too.

Because, honestly, these songs deserve it.

50: Daniel Markham -- "Hexagons"
49: My Name is Moses -- "Summertime"
48: Satans of Soft Rock -- "Satanic Verses"
47: Doom Ghost -- "These Old Shoes"
46: Hate Your Friends -- "Bringing Down The Center House (Ft. Queen Latifah)"
45: Savage and the Big Beat -- "Pretend I'm Someone Else"
44: War Party -- "Different Definition of Love"
43: The Roomsounds -- "Barn Burner"
42: Sealion -- "Vails"
41: Birds of Night -- "Bite"
40: Bad Design -- "Stained Glass"
39: Bethan -- "Vague"
38: Oil Boom -- "The Great American Shakedown"
37: Spookeasy -- "We Don't Sleep in the Night"
36: Nervous Curtains -- "Wired to Make Waves"
35: -topic -- "150 Exp(Smart Shit)"
34: The Longshots -- "Me or California"
33: Pageantry -- "Friends of the Year"
32: Danny Rush and the Designated Drivers -- "Brakeman"
31: Daniel Hart -- "Van Gogh Sher Gil"
30: Will Johnson -- "Scorpion"
29: Blake Panter -- "2x4"
28: Son of Stan -- "Corsica"
27: Leon the Professional -- "Hit 'em in the Head"
26: Neo Safari -- "Coastal Cruise"
25: Ronnie Heart -- "Tasty Destination"
24: Team Tomb -- "Skin and Teeth"
23: Somebody's Darling -- "Cold Hands"
22: Quaker City Night Hawks -- "Lavanderia"
21: Snow tha Product -- "Hola"
20: Cozy Hawks -- "Water Wings"
19: Pinkish Black -- "Tell Her I'm Dead"
18: The Colurs -- "Where We Belong"
17: Sarah Jaffe -- "Talk"
16: John Singer Sergeant w/ Sir Earl Toon -- "Dizzy Joy"
15: Toadies w/ The Honeybears -- "Rattler's Revenge"
14: Blackstone Rangers -- "Sheen Machine"
13: A.Dd+ - "Suitcases"
12: RTB2 -- "Wire to the Walls"
11: Sundress -- "California Dames"
10: Ynfynyt Scroll -- "Butch Queen"
9: Warren Jackson Hearne and Le Leek Electrique -- "Death You're So Cold"
8: Sarah Jaffe -- "Glorified High"
7: Crussia -- "White Gurls"
6: A.Dd+ - "Shit Got Crazy"
5: Analog Rebellion -- "Nothing is Wrong"
4: Skeleton Coast -- "Young"
3: Brain Gang Blue -- "Party On Remix"
2: Mind Spiders -- "Wait For Us"
1: The Colurs -- "Easy to Love" - Central Track

"The Winners of the 2012 Dallas Observer Music Awards Are..."

Best Mixtape

Leon the Professional, B(EAST) - The Dallas Observer


Leon has put together several mixtapes that will provide you with a great perspective of his diverse talents. You can identify the growth within each project. Looking forward through 2013, Leon plans to release his several new sounds with producer, Ayan. Here listed are three releases that are available through BandCamp:


BEAST Reborn (2013)
(B)EAST (2012)
Breakfast (2011)



“I’ve strived to elevate my music career through hard work, in an effort to become a respected artist within the independent hiphop music genre. From my roots as a bboy and hiphop lover, I’ve made an organic transition to the mic. Hiphop has been my in my life since I was born, so it’s been a natural process making music. Due to this work ethic I’ve made a pretty solid imprint in Dallas' hiphop scene. I can say that I’ve manifested my talents of performing and songwriting by studying the great lyricists and rappers within the genre. You don’t even wanna get me started on how deep that list is. But, through being creative and consistent I ended up receiving acclaim for my 2012 mixtape "(B)EAST", which identifies many of my inner-thoughts of hiphop and self-doubt through what I would describe as ‘timeless’ hiphop beats. Being a recognized cat in the bboy and hiphop community has really allowed me to build relationships, connect with other artists, and continue to ascend with my music.

Dallas is definitely a fertile environment for music acts, but to exist in a climate where my brand of hiphop music is not leading the soundscape I’ve focused on carving a niche and flushing out my following. With (B)EAST making the impact that it did, it has allowed me to continue to grow my presence. I’ve even earned ‘Best Mixtape' honors at The 2012 Dallas Observer Music Awards – kind of a surprise, but a big accomplishment. And, I don’t know if it’s due to this hard work, or divinity, but connecting with one of eastern-Europe’s finest young producers, Ayan has added an expansive new level of sound to my whole format. A new world of creativity and motivation has helped lead me to start my own clothing brands and forge my way into some new sonic territory. It’s great. My whole focus has been to be a solid representation of hiphop and build my own sound – and now it’s happening.”