TO ANYONE UNFAMILIAR with the back story of Portland emcee Luck-One, the stage name of one Hanif Collins, it's so perfectly narrative that it almost sounds scripted. Convicted at the age of 17 to six years in prison for an armed robbery charge, Collins reemerged from jail with a new outlook on life and determined to make up for lost time. Collaborating with local beat maestro Dekk, the duo broke through with the debut EP Beautiful Music which was met with wildly positive critical acclaim from the local media and beyond. This, coupled with Luck-One stringing together multiple consecutive victories at Cool Nutz's Northwest Breakout Show, took the Portland hiphop scene by storm. Luckily for us, in the interim, that storm has not settled in the slightest. In fact, it's getting downright torrential.
It's a rare opportunity to witness an artist just on the brink of breakout success, yet this is exactly where we find ourselves anticipating the release of Luck-One's debut full-length, True Theory. Building on previous work, Luck-One continues to work with Dekk while also adding live instrumentation, choruses, bridges in three different languages, as well as outside production from everyone from Tony Ozier to Trox.
In Collins' own words, "It's different from my previous disc in that I not only let my soul bleed, but I also let my ideas unfold. In full. Imagine Les Misérables. The book, not the movie. Now imagine if it was written by Frantz Fanon, and then take that and turn it into a rap CD. The truth, I'm feeling like, if these big name rappers that you're seeing on TV are better than me, then they aren't better by much. This isn't a 'good local rap thing' any more. This is epic."
For his PDX Pop Now! performance, Luck-One promises new material as well as re-workings of older material never previously performed onstage. Regarding his plans for his set, Collins enthuses, "I've always got a few surprises up my sleeves. We are about to wreak carnage, Insha'Allah. Something you've gotta witness to believe."