LLGND is a Black-owned and operated brand with a mission to create widespread change in historically underprivileged oppressed communities, especially Black communities, by affecting change in hip hop culture. The vast majority of mainstream hip hop consists of three primary themes: normalized violence (specifically gun violence), drug use, and misogyny towards women. These themes began as a reflection of the reality that many hip hop artists lived - with widespread drug use, misogyny, and violence a direct result of systemic oppression and racism that much of the Black American community found itself subject to. However, due to the worldwide popularity of hip hop and the heavy-handed financial encouragement of the largely white-owned record labels that dominate the music industry, these themes have become glorified to the point that they significantly affect the mindset and values of children in the communities that listen to hip hop most prevalently. LLGND's theory of change is that by using our platform to create and popularize mainstream, quality hip hop music that is not inherently violent, misogynstic, or glorifying of drug use, we can affect positive change both for the youth who listen to hip hop and embrace its messages and for up-and-coming artists who are encouraged to imitate the themes of mainstream music in order to achieve their own success.
The Man Behind LLGND
Change is a mission statement for the charismatic 24-year-old Grayson Walker, whose high aspirations to change the genre of hip hop and create social change around the world drive his creative inspiration. Originally from Colorado but with roots in Memphis and San Diego, Grayson is the grandson of George Walker, the first Black composer to win the Pulitzer Prize, and son of renowned concert violinist and composer Gregory Walker. Grayson graduated from Rhodes College with a degree in Business (Marketing) and a double minor in Africana Studies and Urban Studies in 2021, where he also played four years of college basketball, and subsequently received a masters degree in Social Innovation from the University of San Diego in 2022. After playing professional basketball in Mexico, Norway, and Ireland, he now works at the University of San Diego Knauss School of Business' Free Enterprise Institute. While still under the radar nationally, Grayson's music, under the brand name LLGND, has become a fan favorite locally and in 120 countries across the world with hits like “Pretty Faces”, “Joker”, and “My Shot” (which peaked at #23 on the U.K. iTunes Hip Hop charts), and continues to expand in popularity and brand image as his unique lyricism, charisma, and social mission become more widely-discovered. #ItsLegendary™