When I think of Lucasraps, I feel… conflicted. Not at all by his talent but rather his musical output, and before you proceed to hail slander my way, at least hear me out. 031 To The World is Lucasraps’ debut album, and perhaps I am judging it too harshly, but I was left largely unmoved by it and my feelings remain the same following the release of his Deluxe album.
In an interview with Slikour, Lucasraps eluded that there were voices who were pushing him into a certain creative lane. If I had to speculate from his early releases, I would assume he was being advised or nudged into creating music that is, and I despise using this term, more ‘South African’ in its sonics. In my unwarranted opinion, I think therein lies the heart of the problem. Gifted with the ability to create broadly consumable hits on earlier songs like ‘What It Is’ and ‘Without Me’, he has seemingly made an over concerted effort to completely separate himself from that aspect of himself as if it were a cancer he needed to remove from his body. Songs like “Mud”, “Slide” and, to a lesser extent, “Over Me”, offer glimpses of the artist I was enamoured with when I was first introduced to him. What is largely left following his evolution is a completely different version of Lucasraps, and at times I wonder if I am no longer his audience when I listen to a song like “Project Mode Freestyle” or “Johnny Dang”. Yes, he has always made a hard-hitting brand of Hip Hop, which was evident on his SoundCloud playlist Location Hurting – but something is missing.
I guess what I am saying is that I feel as though we are losing more and more of the aspects that saw us grow an affinity for him. I actually do not mind whether or not he makes a more hard-hitting aggressive brand of Hip Hop or a brand of Hip Hop that feels closer to a ‘South African’ variation of the beloved genre. All I want to hear is a Lucasraps that makes songs that are moving. Either that or I am no longer the target audience. What are your thoughts on the 031 To The World Deluxe?