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He's ascended pretty quickly. Pitchfork has covered one of the rapper's few released tracks ("No Troubles") and Fake Shore Drive founder Andrew Barber has written about industry folks seeking out the young rapper. It's impressive considering Lucki only started recording less than a year ago, and his career started with a bit of a fluke; back in the fall Lucki recorded a song called "Masterplan," which a friend uploaded to the Internet without his knowledge. "My friend released it when I went to sleep," Lucki says. The MC wasn't too pleased at first ("I was mad as hell," he says), but the response to "Masterplan" changed things. "I got feedback and was like, 'Damn, I'm gonna start doing this a lot,'" Lucki says. "I just started going back to the studio a lot."
Lucki's age and experience belie his talents, and on Alternative Trap he spits with a drowsy flow and delivers riddle-filled raps with an easygoing confidence. Part of that carefree attitude could be attributed to the fact that some of Lucki's creative collaborations happen as he's hanging out with the friends in his collective, Outsiders Clique. "We go to [producer] Plu2o Nash's crib and we like, 'Let's make a beat while we're playing a video game,'" Lucki says. "And he make a beat and I'm gonna start playing the video game and do whatever."
Lucki says he doesn't do much outside of playing video games, hanging out, rapping, and going to school—he's about to enter his senior year at Proviso East in Chicago's west suburbs, which is where his dad lives. (He splits his time with his dad in the suburbs and his mom, who lives in the city.) Lucki's dad has had quite a bit of influence on the young MC's rapping. "[My dad]'s one of the big reasons I use a lot of metaphors and similes," Lucki says. "He used to teach me about that."
Those lessons are all over Lucki's songs—it's one of the many things that struck me about the lush "Count On Me," where he references everything from gas stations to former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith to detail the grind of one hell of a reliable dealer. Considering the MC packs so much into a single song it's going to take several listens to pick up on some of the dude's more subtle lines on Alternative Trap, and the often moody beats and Lucki's charisma are more than enough to keep this mixtape on repeat. Lucki officially drops Alternative Trap tomorrow, but head to the listening party tonight to hear the whole thing a little early; it's at New Era at 207 S. State and it all kicks off at 7 PM.