Author: Anthony Ward
WEST 1996, PT. 2.
North Carolina keeps raising up.
In addition to J.Cole, Little Brother, and a host of others, Lute keeps the Tar Heel’s state of Hip Hop going.
Hailing from Charlotte, Lute is the newest signee to Dreamville, and J.Cole was smart in signing him.
Still Underground, Lute rhymes like a professional.
Lute, whose real name is Luther Nicholson, began rapping as a member of the collective Forever FC and soon released his debut mixtape, WEST1996, which received appraise from Hip Hop Royalty, including producer Pete Rock.
In 2015, he signed to Dreamville and was featured on the song Still Slamming, which was on Revenge Of The Dreamers II.
The second version of the song, Still Slummin, is one my favorite tracks off West1996Pt.2
A mix of 90s Boom Bap and Smooth Jazz, Lute gives us a perspective of his thoughts through raw emotion.
Track 3, Home, is another of my favorite. On here Lute questions himself, his goals, and the state of Black America.
Track 7, Ford’s Player, is the song that really stands out to me. Lute gets very deep, talking about his daughter, stating the condition of his city, asking” Lord please take the cuffs on me/ I wanna cry sometimes”.
Not only does he bring up his goals, but he puts his emotions on here, which is normal for conscious rappers but Lute mixes his passion along with his emotions and thoughts.
Track 8, Crabs In A Barrel is self-explanatory. Lute questions the mentality of self-hate that keeps Black America down. “I see the shade but I never fade/I’m allergic to selfish had to learn to be selfless”.
The last song, Livin Life, ends his album perfectly. Lute tells everyone how he will accomplish his dreams no matter what, and this album is the perfect example.
Lute is easily one of my favorite rappers out right now, and he is the right fit for Dreamville.
But most importantly, he is the right fit for Hip Hop. In a rap game dominated by excess lyrics, we need more consciousness more than ever, and Lute is very well needed.
Please come back, Lute. The game needs you.