Da L.E.S, born Leslie Jonathan Mampe Jr, is a versatile South African-American artist known for his roles as a rapper, singer, vocalist, record producer, entertainer, actor, and socialite. His stage name, Da L.E.S, cleverly stands for Les Equals Success, and he is affectionately referred to as North God by fans worldwide. Discovered at a young age, he gained widespread recognition with the release of his solo album, "Fresh 2 Def," marking a significant milestone in his music career.

Da L.E.S attributes his success to a combination of a nurturing parental upbringing and innate talent. His impressive biography includes early achievements with his band, Jozi. Notably, he is recognized for his solo single "Heaven," released in 2013, featuring AKA and Maggz.

A luminary in the South African music scene, Da L.E.S has garnered numerous accolades and awards for his contributions to the industry. His prowess in rap has endeared him to a large audience of hip-hop fans who appreciate his musical talents and versatility.

Early Life

Leslie J. Mampe, Jr., popularly known as Da L.E.S, was born on July 26, 1985, in Washington DC, USA, to his South African parents, Leslie Jonathan Mampe senior and Priscilla Mampe. The Mampe family moved in 1993, relocating to South Africa when Da L.E.S was eight years old. Despite his early years of formal schooling in Texas, USA, he continued his education and attended the University of Johannesburg. This period laid the foundation for Da L.E.S's journey as a South African artist with a unique blend of American influence.


Da L.E.S's journey into the world of music began organically, with his father, an information technology specialist at IBM, recognizing his innate talent during their time in the United States. His father, a music enthusiast who hosted lively parties, exposed Da L.E.S to a variety of music LPs, setting the stage for his early discovery of musical aptitude.

Da L.E.S became a trendsetter in the rap scene, introducing a fresh era characterized by a cool and college swag aesthetic. His influence extended beyond music, contributing significantly to the popularity of the Ama Kip Kip brand, showcased in his music videos. This era marked a cultural shift, with many South Africans adopting the AKK fashion and dance trend.

Recognized as the only African rapper to impact all three major aspects of hip hop – music, clothing, and lifestyle – Da L.E.S earned the title of the most influential African rapper of all time by Creative-HipHop's editor in chief, Paperman. In 2014, he ventured into television, starring in the South African series "The Real Jozi A-Listers," where he played a fictionalized version of himself alongside Maps Maponyane.

Personal Life

Da L.E.S and AKA share a close and friendly relationship, often described as one of the biggest bromances in South Africa. They not only attend events together but have been known to wear matching outfits, showcasing their camaraderie.

The bond between them goes beyond friendship, as Da L.E.S welcomed the birth of his daughter, with AKA serving as the godfather. In turn, Da L.E.S holds the role of godfather to AKA's daughter. Their connection extends beyond the music industry, reflecting a deep personal connection and friendship.


Studio Albums

Fresh 2 Def (2008)

Mandel Money (2014)

North god (2015)

Diamond in Africa (2016)

High level (2017)

F2D Presents: Hall of Fame (2017)

Caution to the Wild (2020)

313 (2023)


Tippy Toes (2008)

We On Fire (2008)

Heaven (featuring AKA and Maggz) (2013)

Fire (2013)

Dice (2014)

P.A.I.D (featuring AKA and Burna Boy) (2015)

Bank Roll (DJ Milkshake featuring Da L.E.S and Kid X) (2015)

Summer Time (featuring Riky Rick) (2015)

6 AM (featuring Ma-E and Moozlie) (2016)

Real Stuff (featuring AKA and Maggz) (2016)

Up to Something (2016)

Lifestyle (featuring Gemini Major) (2016)

Popular Demand (2017)