One must be completely deaf if they can not notice a growth throughout Lucki’s career. Seven years have passed since Lucki’s Son of Sam EP, and there is nothing like it even within his own discography. Going from the more contemporary rap style he came on the scene with for Alternative Trap, slowly switching it to Son of Sam‘s dark & slurry delivery, and now finding new ground with Flawless Like Me‘s more nasally & upbeat delivery; there has been anything but dull moments throughout his discography.
Not only had he been on constant evolution vocally & stylistically, it came lyrically too. While his lyrics always had a depressive aura around them, they took all types of twists throughout the catalog. Alternative Trap recounted stories of dealing drugs & seeing how that affected others, while Body High saw him falling into addiction himself. There was slow progression throughout, where now we see him in a more accepting & positive state even if everything isn’t perfect through Flawless Like Me. Yet, Son of Sam is clearly the low point emotionally.
In Son of Sam, we see him in a state of complete recklessness & disregard for others. You get glimpses of that on the album X, where he finds himself doing whatever he can for a high chilling with other lowlifes, but Son of Sam cranks it up a notch. Take a track like “Double Check,” where his drug usage takes him across the country constantly with a new identity. Verse 2 of the song is just a couple lines, but an incredibly dour look at the life he leads:
This the only hoe I trust
She don’t even care
Put Xan in my molly cap
I wasn’t even scared
Man that’s a different n*gga I wasn’t even there
Babe you should leave now this is me real
Lucki – Double Check
Even beyond the lyrics, there is the obvious looming title hanging over it all. Son of Sam refers to the David Berkowitz murders, someone whose identity had gone unknown for multiple months as the police struggled to track him down. The cover doesn’t shy from this either, as some versions of the album even uses art inspired by the first of the Son of Sam letters to the police.
David Berkowitz claimed to having listened to a demon that was in the form of a dog belonging to his neighbor “Sam,” and Lucki found inspiration in this motif. Equating his drug usage & other vices to the demons Berkowitz had found, his victims in this case as become influence on the listeners.
As usual, Lucki is a master of beat selection. Each of his albums feel carefully curated, with there only being four producers here among the seven tracks. Everyone here taps into the dark style perfectly, sounding not even like their usual wheelhouse. Kenny Beats production (Double Check, His Only…) has usually an industrial feel to them, and that comes through slightly, but here he leans completely into the aesthetic. Plu2o Nash (NUN2ME, FRZE UP) since the beginning delivers the perfect production to match, and here is no exception. Grimm Doza (SELFUL, JIGGA 98) has proven year over year to be an even more competent producer, but here he played to his earlier strengths of darker soundscapes.
Lucki: The Lyrical Lemonade Interview (2016)
So much of this project feels nearly structure-less. “Jigga 98” barely feels like it starts, as Da$h’s verse just seems to just abruptly start, then a Lucki verse happens, then it ends. “FRZE UP” starts with literal mumbling with a singular verse, and nothing else. This brief approach to the tracks only seem to add to the overall vibe of each track, with each feeling more like a fever dream trying to recount all the quickly passing moments.
While the majority of the tracklist is indulgent, there are a couple rare moments of clarity. “Syrup Talk” doesn’t exactly look to fix his issues, but recognize the flaws. “Selful” also seems to catch him in the peak of high, with druggily delivered thanks to uber drivers & using Lil Wayne’s Dedication 2 as a bible. Its another track that doesn’t seek to fix issues, but does recognize when he’s lying to himself.
Lyin’ to myself saying I’m not into this no more
There’ll never be another project in his catalog like this again. With each project, there’s a clear pivot forward, rarely looking back. This project seemed to perfectly have captured a particular moment in time, something that can’t be replicated again. That magic he brought here will last forever through its recording.