Almost Woke – [Lucki]

A lot of people who aren’t familiar with Chicago’s very own Lucki might hear people describe his music as conscious rap and automatically group him in a lane with artists like J. Cole or Kendrick, yet he is in a lane of his own, and listeners wouldn’t understand that until tuning in for themselves. He is just so ethereal that his songs seem to naturally ooze out of him as his deepest and darkest thoughts come to life through his nonchalant, almost sleepy delivery that caught me off guard almost a decade ago and kept me coming back for more with every new release he put out.

Late last night, he decided to surprise listeners once again with a brand-new two-track EP that came out of nowhere, yet I couldn’t be more thankful. The first song is called “LifestyleBrazy” and features production from one of my all-time favorite producers Brent Rambo. Here, Brent uses some almost worrisome, momentous piano keys underneath some sinister and piercing hats, poignant synths, and minimalistic drums that provide the perfect underworld sound for Lucki to absolutely demolish. As I’ve grown familiar with Lucki, I’ve learned to love his stylistic choice of starting sentences in a raspy, noncommittal fashion where he seems to just laugh off the idea before finishing the full thought a few attempts later, and he does this perfectly once again to start this record before quickening and slowing his delivery in a manner that always keeps you guessing his next move.

For the second record of this double-decker, he gifted us a song called “No Joke”, this time recruiting his friend and frequent collaborator Plu20 Nash as well as ADIO to tag-team the instrumental. The duo decides to change the pace from the first track, incorporating some thought-provoking synths that sound as if you’re floating either in space or underwater as the percussion just rattles and slithers around like a snake being completely tied together with deep, resounding 808s that truly paint the picture in its entirety. In this record, Lucki seems to be on the attack wasting no time to almost target your eardrums with some aggressive and insistent bars that take you by surprise and mesmerize you the entire time.

While it’s hard to truly decide which of the two songs are my favorite, I think I’m leaning towards the latter despite the fact that both tracks are undeniable hits. Lucki just has this way of transporting you to an entirely different universe, and I find myself almost zoning out of real life and zoning back into the world that he creates with his words. It seems like he only keeps getting stronger and more unbelievable as he continues to level up in his already extensive career and I can’t begin to predict what’s next, although usually, these small, quick projects allude to a longer, more in-depth album somewhere down the line. Almost Woke is a short, must-listen project that you need to check out at some point soon, and when you’re done, make sure you check out the Lonewolf-directed visual for the project’s first song “LifestyleBrazy” as well, which you can find here.