Saint Louis’ Anthony Lucius Walker won’t break down for you, but he’ll break it down. His tracks barely contain everything on his mind. Politically driven and socially conscious, Lucius runs through his raps like they’re a lifetime piled up into a day. His style is diverse and relentless, and his observations capture the individual’s struggle to keep moving forward when the setting demands steps backward. Lucius is thoughtful resistance. He’s stubborn success. He’s an example of being sharpened by that which doesn’t want you to be sharp, and he’s just getting started.
“Facts,” backed by an old school east coast beat and contemporary ambient guitar, poses the question, “What’s love when you raised to hate,” and continues with facts about inequality and the complications of black identity. “When it’s popular to hate you, they will. When you cool to love, they will. When they need a pawn, they will.” Lucius understands this as the hopeless case for the black individual, but that’s exactly what he rallies against. Being in the crosshairs of hate only strengthens his resolve to spread an informed message of strength, to be an ambassador for those struggling with the disenfranchisement that’s plagued individuals in the United States for centuries.
“Faith” and “Be Ocean, Not Wave,” also bridge old school to new. The flute on “Be Ocean, Not Wave” is a great example of how he freshens up classic vibes for his tracks. Vocally, he’s dynamic and signature at the same time. No two songs sound alike, but they all sound like Lucius, showcasing a truly individual sound that compliments his message. He’s clearly a student of hip-hop who’s fully immersed in the genre, and he’s moving the whole game forward. Keep up.