LUCKI – ‘s*x m*ney dr*gs’

LUCKI’s made quite a living off rapping about three topics: Sex, money and drugs. Fitting as it may be, considering that’s the title of his latest studio album, s*x m*ney dr*gs (July 7), there’s still so much to digest from the former underground king’s ascension to mainstream acclaim in recent years. The crazy part is, we’ve known he was destined to achieve this from the jump.

Whether it’s career-elevating efforts like FLAWLESS LIKE ME, WAKE UP LUCKI and the Cole Bennett-directed “COINCIDENCE” or cult classics in Freewave 2 and Alternative Trap, it’s no secret the Chicago icon has always been a step ahead — keeping his finger on the culture’s pulse with each passing project. The only difference from then to now? More people have caught on to his signature style of atmosperhic, psych-trap, as s*x m*ney dr*gs not only thrives by way of LUCKI’s focused yet woozy performances, but through these five core cuts:

5) “Pop Star”

“I gave you everything, on everything / But I can’t give up on drugs,” is the realest line I’ve heard on an intro to any LUCKI record. While his memorable bars bleed through airy, menacing synths and drums that bang within the middle of your chest (courtesy of Bhristo), “Pop Star” emphasizes LUCKI’s authenticity as an artist, rapping “These n***s really knockoffs” among more ear-catching lines. “You keep stickin’ your nose everywhere, it’s risky,” he warns, as Tune drawls off verses that paint a vivid picture of his addicitons — illustrating the title of his latest LP in its most toxic form.

4) “Wholeworldslatt” (feat. Veeze)

Just as Veeze featured Tune on his debut album GANGER, the pair ran it back one week apart on the SMD’s 12th offering “Wholeworldslatt.” The Detroit rapper’s dazed, half-awake cadence meshes ever-so-effortlessly with LUCKI’s hypnotic yet commanding performance, as their second collaboration couldn’t be more on brand for both emcees. “Damn where the torch at, pass it to me,” Veeze spits on the track’s back-half, adding on to LUCKI’s methodical flows about being “In the LV store, still slitherin’ / You trust me, you got bit again.” Captained by close collaborator BRENT RAMBO, LUCKI and Veeze bring forth a chemistry irreplaceable in rap’s current landscape.

3) “Super Ski”

It seems that anything Internet Money touches turns to gold, and “Super Ski” is another example of the collective’s cultural clutches. After assisting on records by Destroy Lonely, Drake, Rich Amiri and more, Rio Levya and Cxdy’s impact is not to be overlooked. Along with Nick Mira and Taz Taylor, the Rio-Cxdy tandem has been a defiant force for the new wave’s evolution from sizzling rage beats to interesting, iridescent bangers. Knowing this, LUCKI brings the energy on “Super Ski” — crafting a hit fit for any and all functions. Triumphant horns, twinkling FX and bellowing 808s set the tone for LUCKI to seamlessly “Ski” over the track, as Tune turns up by keeping the album’s thematic narratives in check. “I love who I love, X out who I can’t.”

2) “Mubu”

Perhaps the most infectious song on the entire project, “Mubu” moves you. Powered by his sneakily catchy flow, it’s no wonder why LUCKI made this SMD’s second official single — bringing fans back to Tune vibes found during his early mixtape run. “Part of me wants to forget it / Part of me wants to get you out of the way,” he raps over whirly synths and a chopped vocal sample, as the LONEWOLF-directed visual portrays a day in the life of LUCKI: Highlighting the s*x m*ney dr*gs that constantly surround him. Half the battle for him is fending off the temptation, however, it doesn’t seem to matter when “everything’s going my way,” he says.

1) “2021 Vibes”

By far my favorite cut on the LP, NYC’s Cash Cobain ceases to amaze me when it comes to producing fun, carefree beats that feel both otherwordly and of-the-moment. Although “2021 Vibes” is one of the more shorter songs on SMD, its replay value is immense. The “Sexy Drill” pioneer’s captivating production is a perfect fit for LUCKI’s stop-and-go flows. “Pretty girl where you stayin’? / Might as well be with me,” he tears off, touching on every subject that s*x m*ney dr*gs is billed as. It’s all vibes straight from 2021… Sink in and let LUCKI make you float.

FYI: Catch LUCKI as a supporting act on Trippie Redd’s “Take Me Away” tour this Fall.

Listen to ‘SMD’ below!