GEOGRAPHY LOOMS LARGE in the history of hiphop, and the narratives are already evident to most—the South Bronx versus Queensbridge; East Coast versus West Coast; regional explosions from the South and the Midwest; your favorite local rapper vowing to "put this city on my back." Portland emcee Luck-One is no stranger to this: A recent mixtape was titled King of the Northwest, in part due to a short stint in Seattle last summer. On his latest project Luck reunites with producer Dekk to create Beautiful Music Part 2, and this time the grind is decidedly global.
References to Egypt, pre-colonial Africa, and a Panamanian grandfather who became a published author, poet, and playwright all appear alongside the recurring refrain, "Please put your devices on airplane mode." This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone following Luck-One's career, as his November single "Farewell" let the world know he is planning on putting down the microphone in order to travel and expand his horizons. "Adios y'all," Luck infamously spit. "BM2, Critical Mass, plus the project I did with 5th [Sequence] and I'm ghost y'all." Not content to fade away quietly, the focus of his self-imposed deadline is seeing him hustle harder than ever. "I almost wish I hadn't released 'Farewell' so soon, because I'm sitting on so much music that I feel has to be released," Luck explains. "I'm hoping to get it all out by year's end. Critical Mass is entering the mixing stages as we speak."
Due to the recent critical success of Beautiful Music Part 2 and his enviable place atop the local hiphop pyramid, a lot of listeners are second-guessing Luck's stated plan of bowing out so soon. His response? "I'm a bit too old to keep throwing money down a drain and living like a pauper for a dream that isn't getting any closer to manifesting itself. There are a lot of people in this industry that operate with a very low level of integrity, and when you couple that with all the negative energy I seem to be getting from other rappers—I've just begun to feel that the whole effort is becoming a fruitless one, and any further exploration into the game is really just a shallow attempt to validate my ego. I'd rather rein that sucker in than feed it protein shakes. Ha ha!"