Massachusetts MC/Producer DJ Lucas is a true anomaly. In a scene built off of dyed hair, face tats and outlandish publicity stunts, DJ Lucas breaks the mold simply by being conventional, he’s unusual in that he is usual. Dyed hair and Gucci belts are swapped out for flannel shirts and a shaved head. Lucas looks like someone you could meet on the street at any given time of day, just going about his business like everyone else, blending into the crowd. It is precisely this element of Lucas’ persona that makes him different, that in order to stand out in a crowd full of standouts, Lucas plays the straight man.
Despite his unassuming exterior, Lucas has managed to garner a cult following of sorts through soundcloud and has risen up the ranks through sheer quality of work. The music video for the Internet hit Ballerina Look Like Jumpman is shot on a cheap camera out in the wilderness in front of what we can assume is Lucas’ actual car (and it sure as hell isn’t a Porsche). It is this song (and a handful of others) off his mixtape “Till Death Do Us Part 1” that got Lucas the following he currently has, and Lucas Mansion III is a damn worthy sequel.
It has always been apparent where Lucas’ skills lie, which is almost everywhere. He produces, raps, sings through a filter of heavy autotune, and often jumps between the three throughout his projects. Lucas produces just over half of the tracks on Lucas mansion III and that is most certainly a good thing. Songs like Got me Fucked Up and What’ll I Do show that Lucas not only has a knack for melody, but also novelty and diversity. What’ll I Do is a somber autotune ballad held together simply by a soothing melody played on an electronic keyboard. As Lucas croons overtop the luscious melodies you get the feeling that this what Stevie Wonder would sound like off of Valium. While nothing else on the tape even comes close to this level of mellow, there is no shortage of singing on the project, and with the assistance of autotune Lucas does damn well over just about every beat, self produced or non. That isn’t to say there aren’t any just straight up hip hop tracks on this tape either, tracks like Pretty Please and Doubt play to Lucas’ other strengths, those being flow and rhyme scheme. Despite being, by all accounts, a “soundcloud rapper”, Lucas can rap and he does it very well. He never strays off beat and has enough internal rhymes in his verse to make Eminem slightly uncomfortable.
There is something to be said about DJ Lucas and his ability to weave together a varied yet consistent project filled with catchy hooks, unique beats, and a classic DIY feel. Lucas Mansion III sounds like you are wandering through a lively, heavily populated carnival lit up only by the attractions and rides contained within. Around every corner lies something new, something fresh to experience, their only shared twine being the element of carefree fun and creativity. Lucas has created a tape that feels lively, varied, exciting and wholly it’s own, with a mood that never gets too heavy but also makes itself clear in it’s sincerity and effort. Lucas is a very talented individual and the industry has taken notice. As his clout continues to grow, we as fans can only hope that he sticks to his roots and gives us the same old charming, enjoyable art we have come to enjoy.