God Body Bingo has always embodied an insane amount of confidence.
Born Leon Bingham and raised in Houston’s Acres Homes neighborhood, Bingo has worked on music for over five years. However, it wasn’t until he found his village, that he was able to find his way as an artist. The year 2020 ushered in a series of hardships for Bingo, whose life experiences helped to create his debut album, Off The Books.
The 13-track LP features an impressive lineup of collaborators and was initially conceived in 2017. The Northside emcee revisited a few of the songs, made some adjustments, and enlisted a group of friends for help before he decided it was ready for the public.
“I really wanted to show people, and show myself that I was capable of doing it. The last time I put out a project longer than four songs, I had a whole different rap name, and it was a mixtape. I had unoriginal beats, I was rapping whatever I felt like, and the concept was really loose,” Bingo explains. “With Off The Books, I really wanted to focus on a theme and lock in with producers,” he tells Houstonia.
The Northside representative chose to title his official debut Off The Books as a salute to his brother, Ricky Racks, who was previously incarcerated. The project takes listeners on a journey一one that showcases Bingo’s versatility as a rapper.
He opens the project with “H44DRICH,” a gritty track, pays homage to the Northside on “Big 4s,” with longtime collaborator Siddiq, and displays a much softer side to his artistry in “Make You Feel,” featuring Elijah Chalk. Several skits and voicemails from Bingo’s friends and family are set throughout the album, giving it an early 2000s flair.
Spirituality is a key element in Bingo’s music一you’ll hear him shout “Praise!” on multiple occasions throughout Off The Books and throughout his earlier work. He was raised in the Christian church by two God-fearing parents. “I have a personal relationship with God. Calling myself God Body was just me understanding that God is in me, and God is in everybody,” he says.
Off The Books is Bingo’s rite of passage, a tribute to familial ties and an apex for his trials and tribulations.
“I feel like a player that went through a long season," the rapper tells Houstonia. "When you’re playing and have championship aspirations, there's a chance to win the championship. I feel like LeBron in game seven against the Warriors in 2016."
God Body Bingo’s Off The Books album is out now.