The Chicago rapper Lucki (formerly Lucki Eck$) is a man who operates within his own lane. Lucki raps in a sort of cracked mutter, talking about his own failures and heartbreaks and addictions over dazed, druggy minimal beats. He doesn’t often work with other rappers, or with producers outside his immediate circle. He’s built an audience for himself, and he puts out a lot of music in short, jagged chunks.
Last year, Lucki released two albums, Days B4 III and the maybe-transcendent Freewave 3. Today, he’s followed them up with a new dark-night-of-the-soul collection called Almost There. On first listen, it’s slightly more upbeat than those last two albums, but that still means that it’s a whole lot less upbeat than practically all other rap music. But Lucki albums aren’t about the first listen. They’re about the moment when those words start to sink in, when you learn to live with them. Once again, Lucki is rapping in a sort of stream-of-consciousness croak, and each song sounds like a two-minutes freestyle about things going badly. Listen to it below.
Almost There is out now on EMPIRE.