“I love things that stand out and sparkle.” LeA Robinson is referring to sunglasses here, but she might as well be talking about herself. The singer, songwriter, producer, entrepreneur, and granddaughter of hip hop is shining in a big way. Don’t believe us? See for yourself on Bravo’s First Family of Hip Hop, a reality series that follows the life of the family of Sylvia Robinson, the late founder and CEO of Sugar Hill Records. Or better yet, listen to her newest single: Hey Young Boy. It’s the song you’ve been waiting to add to your summer playlist, the one you want to dance to, and it’s so LeA: Fresh with a nod to the classics.
Hey Young Boy samples the Slick Rick song Hey Young World paired with LeA’s signature “fun and free” musical vibe. She says, “I definitely went into doing the song with that type of energy. It was actually my dad though who loved (the Slick Rick) record and suggested we use that sample.” The breezy sound carries through right over to the video, which is absolute fun and fire! Exactly what you want when you’re young and hanging out with your friends in the summertime. LeA laughingly describes the video as “a process.” Because its evolution was documented on Bravo, LeA felt the pressure of producing it on such a short timeline. But as you can see, “it all came together in the end,” said LeA – and we agree!
Growing up in a family with such a big impact on hip hop is a rare and unique experience. It could easily turn anyone into a spoiled, privileged brat. LeA fortunately is the total opposite. She credits her family with “doing a great job at allowing us to feel as normal as possible. We were never made to feel like we were better than anyone.” In fact, it wasn’t until she was 16 years old that she recognized just how big of a deal her family was. It was through a friend that she learned how pivotal the Robinsons – the people she calls mom, dad, grandma – are. Says LeA of her own perspective growing up:
“My family was always just my family to me. To see it through someone else’s eyes was very different. The older I get, the more people I come across that have known my family. They tell me stories about them which is also really cool.”
Religion also helps keep LeA firmly grounded and humble, as she is committed to always putting God first. LeA says simply about her upbringing, “we were just taught to be good people.”
Growing up within the Robinson family legacy, LeA certainly doesn’t have to work, but her sense of ambition and drive couldn’t be further from the truth. Through her music, she’s focused on creating her own history while acknowledging where she came from. With this in mind, stepping out on her own hasn’t been difficult at all. She’s respectful of their accomplishments but is clear that she’s also in the process of creating her own. One of these is her sunglasses line, People Blockers. It might seem a far cry from recording a hit single, but LeA swears that her business sense works in tandem with her music. She says:
“Everything I do within the entrepreneur field helps everything in my music life. I think ultimately when you’re a good person, everything will work in your favor.”
The cheeky brand name People Blockers carries over into their decadent, stylish shades. With names like Love Luxe Bae and Rich AF, we’re crying over how edgy and lavish the designs are. One look at LeA’s Instagram page and you’ll see her fashion sense is on-point and on fire. From classic denim to tie dye, her style commands attention. Though all eyes may be on LeA, she confesses to being a bit of a creeper herself, which was the inspiration behind the company name.
“I love the reaction when people hear the name of my brand. It truly makes me happy. I people watch daily and pretty much everywhere I go. (Laughs) I truly love it! I feel like you learn a lot when you just sit back and observe.”
With all that LeA’s working on you might wonder how she gets all this energy. It could be credited to her vegan diet, which she started adhering to seriously a few months ago. She began initially on the Daniel Fast with her church and kept it going into full on veganism. She says:
“I realized how good it made me feel. Mentally, spiritually, and physically. I loved my energy levels and for my lifestyle, I need as much energy as possible. It really changed my life for the best.”
In addition to the commonly known benefits of becoming vegan, LeA also saw her eczema clear up as a result, something she’s suffered with for many years. The final ingredient to LeA’s success is inspiration. And this is something she has in abundance. Not that she’s any more “inspired” than the rest of us, but because she’s resourceful in how she gets it. It literally surrounds her. She says, “my friends and my family all inspire me in some way. Usually every person in my life, ends up in my music or in something I create.”
In terms of the future, LeA’s got many things on the horizon. She alludes to big endeavors but stays strategically mum revealing only, “great music, incredible upcoming shows and projects.” She tells us to “stay tuned” and we will for sure! She may create killer sunglasses, but LeA Robinson has a luminosity about her that is impossible to block.