Lucki Eck$ music hits you like a soft punch in the heart. His first project, Alternative Trap, released back in July, is another branch on the slowly solidifying tree of Chicago's emerging new music scenes. Merging beautiful melodies over a soundscape that's as much a product of Beach House as it is Lil Durk, it's set the scene for Lucki Eck$ future. Above is the premiere of his new video, "Count On Me", which is something that you should probably watch right now if you want to know why we think that Lucki is someone worth keeping an eye on. Now working on his next release, we caught up with the rapper outside of one of his homeschooling lessons.
Noisey: Hey Lucki Eck$. Is Lucki your real name?
I'm really unlucky lol. What's the luckiest thing that ever happened to you?
Urm, I don’t know. Probably doing this would be one of the things. Urm, I don’t know. Nothing really lucky happens to me.
Awww, are you sure? Your name's lucky. There HAS to be something. How long've you been rapping for?
Like a few years. Like, probably like going to two years now.
Is this your dream come true?
Nah, I used to want to be a football player or something like that. I used to play wide receiver, but I wasn't very good at it.
You're working on your next mixtape. What's that going to be like?
I got really, really better, like for real, for real.
How did you get better? What's the secret?
You know people like I write too slowly… Like I actually looked at the criticisms and just jumped off it. I got really better. My flows and content wise. I’m still rapping about drugs, definitely still rapping about drugs. You know in Chicago, drugs is a big part of the culture and stuff, you feel me. So it’s not just about drug dealing, it’s still drug dealing but there’s a lot more to it you know?
What do you think about people saying Chicago rap is coming into its golden age?
People outside Chicago think that all the rappers support each other. But all the rappers actually hate on each other, you feel me. And especially me, I get a lot of it because a lot of rappers that’s in Chicago they’ve been rapping for a long time. I guess I kinda like, I’m blowing up fast so they don’t like it.
You’ve said you're into Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa before though?
I don’t like Vic Mensa. I used to like him.
Vic Mensa used to be my favourite rapper right. But now I really don't care.
Well, aside from the drama, who are you feeling now in your city?
Monster Mike, Mic Vic, Ran$er, Saba, urm, Jean Deaux. I was just in the studio with her the other day. She's going to feature on my tape. I've only got two features on there, her and somebody else. But I also like a lot of hood music. I love Chief Keef for real. He makes music. I mean, he made "Citgo". "Citgo" is an amazing song. I’m into hood music, I love G beats.
How do you pick the instrumentals you rap on?
Me and my producer Plu2o Nash, he’s like my best friend, you feel me, he’s one of my main producers and we just sit around his pad or my pad, smoke and find a sample. Like I used to listen to a lot of wavy music, like Chromatics and stuff like that. You know the song “Love It”? That’s Chromatics [“Kill For The Love”] or something like that. We just found the samples and he just made it and if I don’t like an instrument I’ll tell him to take it out or something like that.
See I was going to ask you about that, because I've noticed a few of your songs don't have drums on them, was this deliberate?
Yeah, ‘cause Plu2o Nash he used to make… you know King Louie here from Chicago? Plu2o Nash made beats for King Louie, like and you know King Louie raps over drill beats and like trap beats. Plu2o Nash used to only make trap beats for real. ‘Cause we were always friends, but when I started coming out a lot more, we started working on beats for me. You know the song "Interest"? He was working on that sample. We used to sit in his apartment, there was like twenty kids there just playing games, shooting dice and stuff like that, and he was playing with a sample and I was like "this not going to do nothing". I went to sleep and when I woke up the beat was complete. I'm like "What?!", I rapped over it, and since then I was like "dang B, you need to start doing a lot more stuff like that".
That’s crazy. So you guys work together and you have as much input into the production side as the raps?
Yeah and he’s got input in the rap side. When I record over one of his beats I call him to the studio and if he don’t like it he’ll be like “ahh, you tweaking” and I’ll be like alright and I’ll change it.
Genre-wise you're crafting your own lane, somewhere between drill and what Chance is doing. What inspiration do you draw from Chi-town?
What about R.Kelly?
He’s amazing, that’s my biggest Chicago inspiration. My favourite R.Kelly song of all time is probably that song that goes “Baby, baby, baby, baby”