With a spaced-out, subdued flow that sometimes sits at the edge of mumble rap, Chicago rapper Lucki set himself apart from the herd with inventive production choices and exceptionally vulnerable lyrical narratives. The charismatic young talent addressed troubles with addiction and mental health in his songs, and collaborated with artists like Danny Brown and FKA Twigs in addition to releasing multiple innovative mixtapes like 2015's Freewave.
Lucki was born Lucki Camel in 1996 and grew up on Chicago's west side. He began rapping in high school and dropped out to pursue a career, first under the moniker Lucki Eck$. His first mixtape, Alternative Trap, was released in 2013 and lived up to its name with uncommonly orchestral beats and outside-the-box production. Still just a teenager, Lucki began making a name for himself with collaborative tracks with King Krule, Danny Brown, FKA Twigs, and Chance the Rapper. As he was battling some personal demons, his struggles were reflected in the increasingly dark and druggy sound he presented on mixtapes that arrived once or twice a year. In particular, the freestyle-centered 2015 mixtape Freewave was unnervingly troubled. For a brief time in 2016, Lucki stopped working on music completely to get his head together, returning in 2017 with Watch My Back. His music continued to delve into personal issues, with early 2019 bringing the emotionally upheaving Freewave 3 and the more hopeful Days B4 III arriving before the year was up. Another album, Almost There, appeared in 2020, setting Lucki's typically heavy subjects against a slightly more upbeat backdrop. ~ Fred Thomas