Chicago rapper Lucki Ecks and the new trap tag | Bleader

Chicago rapper Lucki Ecks and the new trap tag

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Whats next in alternative trap
  • What's next in alternative trap
One of my favorite music stories of the year is about a tune that didn't make the official cut of an album released at the tail end of 2012—that being Chief Keef's "Citgo," which is one of the three bonus tracks included in the deluxe version of Finally Rich. It would've been easy to miss "Citgo" since its placement on Keef's studio debut makes it look like an afterthought. In reality "Citgo" is one of the most remarkable cuts on Finally Rich thanks to its producer, Young Ravisu; he deconstructed the clamorous drill sound by slowing down its apocalyptic synths until they took on a mellowed and vaguely elegiac state, which is occasionally punctuated by a bare, rattling drum pattern.

"Citgo" is one of the most memorable and unusual songs in Keef's catalog, and the story behind the tune and its producer, which Spin Magazine scribe Brandon Soderberg broke back in January, is also quite fascinating. Young Ravisu (aka Radoslaw Sobieraj) is an 18-year-old aspiring aviation mechanic from southern Poland whom Keef discovered while trying to find beats for Finally Rich—Keef searched for "Finally Rich type beat" and found a short clip of what eventually became "Citgo." Though he was born and raised in eastern Europe, the young producer appears to have something in common with American teens when it comes to music. When asked about his musical influences Ravisu responded with, "I'm all about trap."

And yet one of the most interesting things about "Citgo" is that it doesn't sound a lot like a trap (or drill) song. The way Ravisu spliced trap's DNA on the track gives it a distinct quality reminiscent of trap while existing as something entirely different—call it "alternative trap." At least one person is using that tag: local rapper Lucki Ecks. The teenaged MC is prepping a mixtape called Alternative Trap and recently dropped a hypnotic track reminiscent of "Citgo," the irresistible "Count On Me."

"Count On Me" has the same cavernous and melancholic feel as "Citgo"; teenaged producer Hytman infused the track with lush synths that flow with a serenity that eschews trap's, um, trappings, and it's all speckled with fluttering beats. The instrumental is a great foil for Lucki Ecks, whose drowsy flow coasts with ease throughout the track; the dude's relaxed flow sometimes stands in stark contrast to his sharp wordplay, which can easily take you by surprise if you don't pay close enough attention. "Count On Me" put me in a trance pretty quickly—I replayed it close to half a dozen times within the 12-hour timeframe after I first heard it—and I'm eager and curious to hear Lucki Ecks' next bit of Alternative Trap.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.

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