Regular readers of The Shadow League would expect a column about the Miami Heat to appear on our website, but there’s a whole new type of fire coming from South Florida these days.

Meet Lazare St. James. He lives about ten minutes outside MIA in Miramar, Florida. The distance is important, because Miramar’s city motto is “Beauty and Progress,” which is exactly what Lazare captures in his music.

“The sound is just…progressive,” Lazare told TSL over the phone. “Something forward thinking. It’s definitely not for everyone and that’s OK. But I like the influences in my musical taste to reflect the sound that I have. It’s got a little Caribbean feel, got a little of the boom-bap, some classic hip-hop. It’s got different elements.”

Lazare reps a group of five producers, rappers and graphic designers in their mid-twenties to early thirties that go by the name LMBYG, or Let Music Be Your Guide (which is sometimes flipped to Let Miami Be Your Guide, depending on the circumstances). They’ve been kickin’ it since 2010 and officially formed an LLC a year later.

That’s when the music went from a passion to a lifestyle.

“All we ever wanted to do was music, whether it be writing or producing or even on the graphic design end, it was always centered around music," he said. "So it was just kinda like, don’t worry about anything else, just let what you love guide you. And that’s how we got Let Music Be Your Guide.”

Thus far, it’s taken Lazare in the right direction. He’s put out a few tapes, most of which were compilation tapes with beats that have been around.

The latest project though, Apocrypha, is all original and entirely in-house, and it’s better for it. It took about 8 months for Lazare and his crew to put it all together, in part because he pulls from a wide range of musical influences, and it took a while to narrow down exactly what he wanted for his original debut.

When asked who was among the most-played on his iPod, Lazare named anyone from Mos Def to Dennis Brown to Elton John. That’s a lot of room to work with, but Lazare and co. managed to blend the mix to perfection. He’s got a wicked sample on “Angel” followed by a mellow, slowed down beat on “Cali” in which he gives Twista a run for his money. On the rest of the tape, there are steel drum samples blended throughout that culminate on the tape’s second-to-last track “January Jones.” He saved the most interesting sample for last, throwing one of JFK’s more inspirational quotes about human destiny on the end, leaving his listeners with something to think about.

They won’t have to wait long for more, as Lazare already has a few irons in the fire. His next project, which he already has a couple beats for, will be James Bond themed (“Connery is the fuckin’ man,” said Lazare) and he’s working on EDM tape based on some Crystal Castles remixes.

Yeah, the kid has range. More importantly, the kid has talent. But all he’s trying to do is follow his passion.

“All I can do is make music and I hope that you feel it,” he raps on “Cali.”

Oh yeah…we’re feelin’ it.