The year took only twelve days for the release of the first great local hip-hop album in 2016. From the Illinois side of the river comes Anthony Lucius and his debut album Please Do Not Feed The Rappers, and boy, what an album it is. Bucking the Internet and street trends of the rap world, Anthony Lucius deeply layers samples, instrumentation, and lyrics to develop a personal and emotional style that is a welcome change in a climate dominated by iteration.

Having known the heartbreaking effects of homelessness in his own life, the Illinois artist avoids prototypical rap clichés and image-driven content, preferring to throw slight jabs at those (as evidenced in the album’s title) more concerned with external appearance as opposed to internal experience. The success of the album depends on that experience, as well as Anthony’s superb maestro-like skill in blending different elements of jazz, funk, and soul together poignantly.

The tracks play out as a universal story that speaks to black modernity in America, weaving in beautiful features from fellow collaborators Ike Zero, Armani Sway’ze, and Najii Person, who performs a powerful eulogy-esque outro. The result is a lasting and tragic impression of an oppressive system that is known all too well to communities of color, driving Anthony Lucius to dwell on the why and how of a majority world that has either forgotten or lacks the compassion to care about helping those lacking fortune, privilege, opportunity.
Yet, in spit of the tragedy, the reach for hope is tangible, and the sadness associated with oppression drives the search for success in conquering the system, and I hope for Anthony’s sake that he finds that success because he has created something truly special.
Please Do Not Feed The Rappers is available as a free stream via Anthony Lucius’ SoundCloud profile:

Follow him on Instagram @anthonylucius and learn more from his website

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