Nice To Meet You
Lucki Eck$ is 18 years old. Do you remember what you were doing when you were 18? You probably didn't have two fire mixtapes out, as well as a buzzing collaboration with one of the game's wildest artists, but we'll get to all that. He's carved out his own niche in the exploding Chicago rap scene, because he doesn't necessarily fit in with the usually dark and aggressive drill subgenre, yet he also doesn't quite fit in with the introspective, mostly positive Save Money crew, which houses the likes of Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. His 2013 release Alternative Trap really quite accurately described the young artist, as he's created just a slightly different variation on anything we've heard out of the region yet. He raps about the prescription meds he sells and uses, but in the most melodic way possible, leaving his songs sounding like hazy, Xanax fueled trips through his young brain. You can hear and download his entire previous project below.
Lyricism & Flow
Take Chance the Rapper's roller coaster pitch versatility and add in Ricky Hil's drawn-out promethazine and Xanax-laced delivery and melody, together with the story-telling and dark lyricism of Chicago's notorious Drill scene: then you'd begin to understand sort of what Lucki Eck$ sounds like, save for the fact that he changes his style constantly, making him tough to box into one category. You can hear what we mean on Lucki's "Count On Me" series (think Curren$y's Audio Dope series). He takes three Clams Casino-esque beats and deconstructs the drug game over a trilogy of melodic anthems.
"Pull out your wallet, I'll get you where you wanna be / it ain't for the low, but it's worth it you'll see"
Lucki has a way of bragging about his street credentials while making it sound like a love song, which is something you don't come across everyday. In the two subsequent follow-ups, it's more of the same, laid-back melody paired with slick rhymes about his entrepreneurial spirit, if you will.
Lucki does his best work on lofty, dream sequence-type instrumentals, which most of his songs are on. It almost reminds us of early A$AP Rocky, whereas most songs make you feel like you're on a trip right alongside Eck$. He admittedly gets high on his own supply, so the Xanny bars have a huge influence on his music. It'll be interesting to hear how his music, or production choices in general, will evolve if he ever kicks the habit.
He doesn't have a huge stable of producers he uses, but that's probably explained by the super specific sound he's clearly looking for. He's enlisted the help of guys like Hippie Dream and Plu2o Nash fairly consistently, and they work well together in making a cohesive sound that sounds very polished for such a young kid. Danny Brown's touring DJ and in-house producer SKYWLKR has produced a pair of songs for Eck$, the first of which was a trippy tune about robbing a fellow drug dealer called "Finesse" off his new mixtape Body High.
Networking & Collaborations
Though he doesn't work with too many outsiders, he had a song called "Ouch Ouch" that was produced by FKA Twigs, a London-based artist. She not only produced the song, but directed and starred in the video, which was a little out there, yet fit the song perfectly (you'll see).
A recent chance encounter at SXSW this past Spring led to yet another important collaboration for Eck$, as he was on the bill at Red Bull's Sound Select showcase and met Danny Brown. Danny, being no stranger to weird, trippy, unconventional music, agreed to come together for a song with the teenage phenom, and the result was astounding. SKYWLKR helmed the beat, the 2nd such one he's crafted for Lucki, though this one was far faster and more aggressive than what we're used to hearing Eck$ on, but it worked perfectly. Danny Brown played the perfect brash antagonist to Lucki's magic carpet ride flow.
It's really more about right now than what's next for the young kid from the Chi. He just dropped his highly anticipated new set, Body High, to much acclaim. Though stylistically, it's not a huge departure from the music he was making on his previous release, Alternative Trap, you can hear the progression in his sound and lyricism, making it scary what he'll sound like once he's in his twenties. Listening to the whole new project in order, it has a strange calming effect on you, almost as if Lucki slipped you an audio Xanny bar to take while you listen to him. It's Chance's Acid Rap meets Ricky Hil's SYLDD, a sink into your couch and zone out collection of bangers that sound just as good coming out of the speakers in the whip with your windows open. It's a versatile style of music that we can't wait to see evolve and get better with age. The kids may not be alright, but the music sure is great.
On The Come Up gives you a look at a rising rapper in the game, this week we peep Chicago's own Lucki Eck$.
HotNewHipHop's On The Come Up series profiles rising stars in the rap game that show strong promise and the will to succeed. Most of the time, they're new to the site but deserve some shine. We will profile artists and producers ranging from those in the deep underground to artists just about to bubble up into the mainstream that you may have missed. You'll be able to check out some of their best work, and we'll break down what makes them great by category. Throughout the article, you'll find links to hear more from the artist or producer, and you can leave suggestions in the comments letting us know who we should profile in the future.
In this week's edition, we head to Chicago to meet Lucki Eck$, whose Body High project just hit the streets and we honestly can't take it out of rotation. He's the youngest On The Come Up artist so far, at just 18 years old. What he lacks in years, he makes up for in uniqueness, and somehow comes off sounding like a seasoned veteran. We'll break down his whole story for you, plus introduce you to a lot of his dope music.