From: TX, United States

Hip Hop/Rap, Alternative Rap

XL7 or "X-Square" (because he doesn't drink, smoke, or eat animals), is an MC and Producer who's no stranger to the music industry. Having produced beats for Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Sandra St. Victor, N'dambi, Sy Smith, Deborah Jordan, Carmen Rodgers and many others, millions have heard his music due to the popularity of the above mentioned artist.

Joining the Dallas alternative rap group Decadent Dub Team (DDT) in the early 90's, L7 (born Ty Macklin) honed his rhyming skills along side the group's leader Jeff Liles and the group's dee-jay Jason Wolford. "I always gotta give props to my man Jeff, ya know what i'm sayin? They had already had some success at that time because of Dr.Dre remixing their song "Six Gun" which was on the Colors soundtrack and Jeff, being the cool dood he was, allowed me...I think i was around 16 or 17 years old at that join the group. Matter of fact, he let me and my cousin Fatz join," L7 explains. "I remember being in a class called work-program where they would let the students out of school early to go to their jobs. My job was going out on the road with DDT. The teacher didn't like that too much," he saise with a big grin.

After a few years of rhyming with DDT, L7 began to dabble on the production side of things being inspired as well by DDT's Jason Wolford, who was responsible for the majority of DDT's music. "I used to be at Jason's crib and i would be amazed by all the equipment he had with all the lights and buttons. He was using a computer even way back then to sequence samples with. I thought that was the dopest thing ever. Plus he had a cool ferret. I didn't get into ferrets but i did get into producing," he saise. "This was around the time when A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, The Jungle Brothas and Brand Nubians took hold of my spirit culturally and sonically. After that, I wanted to rhymn over soul jazz samples. That's when i started crate diggin. I use to use two tape decks to turn the dope parts of the songs into loops. I think that's why my music sounds like it does to this day, even though i rarely use samples anymore. I try to make alot of my music sound like it came from a 70's soul jazz record."

In pursuit of this new sound, L7 "graduated" from DDT and joined forces with long time friend Bobby May, known also as DJ Bobby D. The two then joined the group Phlomatix fronted by yet another DDT graduate named M.Y.K. Later, L7 and DJ Bobby D would go on to form the group Shabazz 3 whose line up consisted of XL7 on the beats and rhymns, Mr.FATZ on rhymns and DJ Bobby D on the cuts. "It (Shabazz 3) felt good," L7 saise."Maybe because Mr.FATZ is my cousin. Maybe because me and Bobby were such good friends. All I know is that it just felt natural. The three of us all shared the same sense of humor which made doing shows out on the road magical," he explains. Shabazz 3 built a following between Dallas and Austin, TX and before long, they would become the first hip-hop group in Texas to be sponsored by Miller Lite. The group self released their first full length album entitled "Late Nite With Shabazz 3" shortly after.

By this time, L7 and fellow high-school mate Erykah Badu penned the song "Drama" on Badu's 1998 multi-platinum album Baduizm. The two also co-wrote and co-produced the song "Today" on The Red Star Sounds Volume 1 distributed by Epic/Sony. "It was alot happening for us as the group Shabazz 3 and for me as a producer because of Baduizm." recalls L7. "Shabazz 3 was voted Best Hip-Hop Group in 2000 by the Dallas Observer (an alternative weekly newspaper focusing on local arts in Dallas). We were the first hip-hop group to rock at Jazz Under The Stars at the Dallas Museum of Art. Those are some dope things to have happen and I'm real humbled by those accomplishments." In 2010, Shabazz 3 released their second full length album entitled "Where We From" as a digital release. L7 saise, "We wanted to exploit the digital medium. To us, it was like a dream come true. We could finally release music world wide without being on a major label."

In between Shabazz 3 working on a future project, and in between producing tracks for artist, L7 has released his solo hip-hop album entitled "Square" available at all digital downloading stores world-wide. "I'm an MC. I'm a producer. I'm a recording engineer. My path in life is to create music and create music with others for people to hear and hopefully enjoy. I can't really control where the music ends up at once it leaves my spirit and it comes out into the physical world, ya know? That's the Creator calling those shots. I must admit though that I do enjoy when they end up in some one elses spirit be it a fan, or artist. I love it!"