By Quentin Zimbalist
At the beginning of most Lucki songs, a beat plays and the 23-year-old West Side Chicago native throws out a sprinkling of half-hearted, syncopated ‘ayys’ and ‘woahs.’ Listening to him feel out the beat allows you to become completely immersed into the sonic backdrop before Lucki begins to recite his often poetic, always deep lyrics.
The opening track on Freewave 3 (2019), “Politics,” starts this way. Lucki ad-libs over a euphoric beat produced by “Oxy,” then dives right into the album’s themes. He indirectly discusses his current perception of life throughout this song, which serves as a loose thesis for the whole project. His paradoxical dream world is void of everyday bullshit and comprises a powerful yet delicate balance between addiction and love.
In the first half of the 15-song album, Lucki makes clear the struggles he is having with opiates, but he also entertains the idea that love might be a stronger drug than Codeine or Percocet. In an interview with Pitchfork, the artist explained how that part of the project was recorded when he was in love, while the second part was recorded after heartbreak. Through some attentive listening to the lyrics, this becomes abundantly clear. The way he feels love is disturbingly powerful.
Profound one-liners in the first half of the album give an insight into how robust an emotion love is to him. Though he never stops talking about his drug addiction, he also dances around the idea that the girl he loves might be how he beats those addictions. In the same monotone delivery he uses throughout the whole album, Lucki slips bars into the first half like:
She want me off them Percs, she said she sick of us
For life, that’s my baby, don’t need my sippy cup (on “Of Course you Won’t”), and
She gets mad when I pour, I think she good for this (on “Politics”).
Tracks 8 and 9, “Peach Dream” and “Glory Boy” are two beautiful ballads lamenting love lost. This marks the point in the album where Lucki loses his identity as a lovestruck hopeful and falls back into trying to hide his pains with fast cars, money, and of course, opiates. He remembers scenes from his romance and uses them as justification for getting high. In Glory Boy, he exclaims,
She must want me dead
told her I can’t live without her.
Perc 30 slur my speech
I’m itching it got me poutin’.
On the tenth track, “Lets See,” he alludes to being tired of falling in and out of love, instead choosing to drink codeine.
I’m out of love, unless it’s free
never out of syrup, that’s what I need.
On the final song, “3D outro,” produced by Wiardon, Lucki gives something of a recap of his world as it stands when he records the end of the album. His lyrics suggest he is tired of love, and the lies that come with it. He is a speed demon drug addict, and he is happy with that life. The lies and politics aren’t for him. He is moving forward with his close circle of friends, too deep in addiction to turn around.