At Jet Set last night, celebrating his album's release.
If the above photo doesn't convince you of the energy and emotion Portland native and recent Seattle transplant Luck-One puts into his music, it's hard to imagine what would--that is, except for his latest full-length record True Theory (available today via iTunes). And though fresh off a plane from Austin's SXSW festival and visibly tired, he still took to a chair that doubled as his podium and gave a spirited performance at the Capitol Club last night to celebrate its release.
The story of Hanif Collins is an inspiring one, though maybe one you've heard some iteration of before: At age 17 he was convicted on armed-robbery charges and sentenced to a six-year bid, but emerged from prison seeking a positive future rather than dwelling on his crime-riddled past. And with that background, Luck-One has all the makings of the archetypical conscious rapper--a label more than a few artists have worked to avoid, but "Killa Conscious" fully embraces. True Theory only further proves his striking passion and the force behind his words, and while he might not be the end-all-be-all that swagger-rich song "Prototype" makes him out to be, the cinematically styled record could make you believe it.
Sonically the album is on point; Luck's beat selection is crisp and catchy thanks to contributions from the likes of Dekk and Trox, and his flow is an undeniably impressive alternation between rapid-fire barrage and contemplative musings. But this record's focus, as one could only assume the MC would hope, is on lyrical content.
There's a religious component to his persona that makes itself apparent (see: "Monotheism") and might not appeal to everyone, but it's joined by plenty of social commentary and advocation of self-empowerment. The album's best song, "Sounds of My City," is a perfect example of what Luck can accomplish in what could seem like a limited space. So much more than a hometown anthem, he uses the song to speak on priorities--"$80,000 dollar whip but can't afford an oil change."