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Viral success in the internet era can easily do more to hinder a young artist than pave their path toward a long and illustrious career, but even in light of the frenzied reaction to his insightful 2017 track “I’m Not Racist”, Joyner Lucas has consistently shown himself to be among rap’s most unique, thoughtful and observant voices. Anyone with an eye on Lucas’s early career will have already been aware of his confidence in addressing the weightiest of topics with the lyrical sensitivity they deserve. His breakthrough 2015 track “Ross Capicchioni”, for instance, a moving factual account of a Detroit teenager who was duped, brutally shot and left for dead by a friend of ten years, highlighted his remarkable talent for storytelling. This forms a continuing thread throughout Lucas’ work, as seen in in 2017’s “I’m Sorry”, a dark, touching piece on self-worth, public image, mental health and suicide which has reached well over 50 million YouTube plays in the space of a few years. “I’m Not Racist”, easily his most popular track, has become a true pop-culture landmark of the Trump era of US race relations, assertively tackling volatile issues like racial stereotyping, the N-word, police brutality, and institutional racism from two opposing perspectives. Accumulating more than 115 million views to date, “I’m Not Racist” has not only proven Lucas’ ability to produce raw, emotionally stirring work inspired by an increasingly troubling social and political landscape, but also earned him collaborations with platinum artists like Chris Brown and Eminem, the latter of which, 2018’s “Lucky You”, brought Lucas his first Top 10 chart appearance. Watch this space. READ MORE
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