When the Chicago native opens his 2019 release, Days B4 III with “Me Myself & I,” his antisocial sense of distancing is similar to scrapes with paranoia and misery rather than any sort of energetic exertion. He describes, “I really can’t, can’t trust nobody, stick to myself I’m the one who got me. Can’t have fun less the gun in the party. Love my city but these niggas be wildin’.” It is this bittersweet delivery that is disguised under a whimsical synth loop lead that aligns next to an 808 that snaps along with tapping hi-hats. Through his repetition that cascades with a drowned out vocal performance, LUCKI is the martyr for drug rap, putting himself as the subject for misfortune but also the double-edged sword of an artist’s lifestyle.
As he transitions into “4 The Betta,” LUCKI feels dynamic in control and almost as if he has a clear destination in mind. He works these incredibly sonic 808s that often overpower tracks, into his continuously-leaned out style that works simple, but charismatic rhymes into the pot. Going all in here, DJ Eway handles the instrumentation as LUCKI illustrates, “Who do it better in sunny weather, I keep my head up. I’m in a Ghost, these niggas haters want me to let up. I’m off this red, it got me dead but they want me deader. Dodgin’ feds, no fairytale, but I wish for better.” His internal rhyme schemes are ingrained to be this dynamic and persistent bounce through an authentic and harsh reality that clashes with cheerful and hopeful production.
Days B4 III is this strange moral ground where LUCKI stands alone staring into the mirror in a dim-lit room, he describes later on the track “TBT,” these moments of regret and empathic cracks into his callous exterior. “Trippin’ on X, no more of that, all my emotions got absorbed with that. My son asked why my water pink, it hurt cause I ain’t mean to show him that,” he explains. Later in the same track, LUKCI flips his remorse into an increased awareness of his changed surroundings, “I’m rich but I still get sorta sad, these lil niggas big quarterbacks. Big in the pocket but avoid the sack. Don’t you get bored of that?” No matter if he is rhyming through an assault or stumbling around his lines, LUCKI almost always has these introspective hints throughout his work.
The final track of Days B4 III is a drug-fueled breakdown of heightened comprehension, he explains, “Too much pride wrapped in my trust. You blamed it all on lean, but I was right about you from the jump. It ain’t no thing, but it wasn’t a thing like us.” When LUCKI comes to these moments where he is distant and broken, he creates this want for a nurturing effect on him, even if his problems through most times are relatable in some way or another. He is a descriptive narrator and the last lines even call out to this empty void explaining, “Shawty I’m speedin’ on codeine, Oxymoron in my gut. I got booked for a lil lean, she say why it still in your cup. I say why you act like you care?”
There is something that is fascinatingly engaging about LUCKI and his shortcomings, while he takes these hooks and verses that are methodical and planned, they appear to come off the cuff as a natural entity. When Days B4 III finally steps into the shadows again, LUCKI stands alone but has a silent audience behind him as an armada to the beauty and beast of dependency