February 15, 2019 was a blessed day for Lucki fans. February 15th brought us Freewave 3, the newest chapter in the evolution of Lucki. The 22-year-old rapper has already attained status as an underground legend and Chicago’s hidden gem, as he has been dropping slept-on classics since 2013.
Lucki has never shied away from trying out a new sound or musical approach; his discography has evolved greatly over the past six years. Lucki’s debut, 2013’s Alternative Trap, saw a young and poetically blunt Chicago lyricist having fun with it. 2019’s Freewave 3 sees the still-youthful underground vet at the peak of his career thus far, preparing to finally blow up while dropping more wisdom and anecdotes than ever. All of his releases between the two are simply displays of his experimentation - all the changes in beat/producer selection, mixing, subject matter, flow, lyricism, vocals. Freewave 3 is by far Lucki at his most confident yet.
Freewave 3 is also Lucki’s music at its most refined yet. I personally have been a Lucki fan since about 2014, back when he was still Lucki Eck$. I have witnessed the evolution of his sound and style firsthand, and I can attest that FW3 is the project that he has been working towards since day one. You can feel the heart and soul put into this project; you can feel how proud Lucki was to release it to the world.
Anyways, enough of the Lucki sales pitch. Let’s get into the review.
My 5 Favorite Tracks:
Track 4: “Of Course You Won’t” (prod. By CHASETHEMONEY)
In this gritty track, Lucki goes ballistic with one of his hardest flows to date. CHASETHEMONEY and Lucki have some dream team potential together; I can only hope that they continue to bless us with collabs. Out of the 4 tracks that they did together on FW3, this one takes the crown. Both of them worked at their fullest potential for this banger and it shows.
Track Rating: 9/10
Track 6: “Geek Monster” (prod. By Art Gallery)
To me, this track seems to pay homage of sorts to Future, who is notably one of Lucki’s favorite artists and a definite inspiration of his. While I’m not sure if it’s really inspired by Future, the title and overall vibe of the song point me in that direction. Either way, this song is one of my favorite Lucki tracks ever.
This track sees Lucki flow in a way like he never has before, or at least in a way that I’ve never heard. The flow on this track comes off as effortless, yet also carefully crafted. The general flow and structure of the track seem to rely on punchlines more than Lucki typically has in the past, and quite honestly, I’m here for that. Half of the lines on this track made me laugh on my first listen.
Track Rating: 9.5/10
Track 8: “Peach Dream” (prod. By Cash Cobain)
Now, this track... This track is something special.
This track is perhaps the most that Lucki has truly experimented stylistically. Ever since X, his third project, he has kept at least some constant in his style. While he has definitely dabbled in different sounds over the years, he has always delivered a similar product - often low-pitched and dark, yet uniquely smooth songs that don’t rely on being solely catchy. However, that is definitely a part of what’s made him a unique artist. Even at its grittiest, Lucki’s music has always been sonically in a league of its own.
“Peach Dream” is a beautiful curveball in Lucki’s mostly dark and dreary discography. I don’t mean “dark and dreary” in a hating way; I mean “dark and dreary” in that most of Lucki’s discography is honestly depressing if you really listen to it. He hasn’t exactly been known for simple bangers; he has never sacrificed his art or integrity for clout. Albeit very respectable, I believe that is why he hasn’t blown up yet. Yet.
Songs like “Peach Dream” will get Lucki onto the charts, as far as I’m concerned. To me, “Peach Dream” is a prototype of Lucki’s next evolution. For the first time I’ve ever heard, Lucki sings confidently throughout “Peach Dream” and even hits some high notes. The bouncy and bright keyboard melody from Cash Cobain perfectly compliments Lucki’s vocals on this track. The subject matter isn’t too different from his usual - mostly about lean, percs, and heartbreak - but he speaks on these topics more lightly than ever. He almost does it comedically, like : “you too good to be true, you like Actavis” and “got my mama googling lean, keep sending me kidney stuff”.
If Lucki keeps making tracks like this, he’ll be a certified star in no time.
Track Rating: 10/10
Track 12: “2 Easy / Give Up” (prod. By BrentRambo)
Lucki and BrentRambo have an unreal chemistry together. They always have, and probably always will. As soon as you hear that ugly, yet memorable, “Ready? Go!” tag on a track, you know it’s about to go dumb. Especially if it’s Lucki or his Chicago counterpart Warhol.ss. To be honest, BrentRambo hasn’t been as relevant lately as he was back around 2014-2016, especially after changing his name to “Noir Brent” for some time. So, having a Lucki x BrentRambo track on FW3 was a wonderful surprise.
Like basically every other track I’ve reviewed so far, the flow on this track is what strikes me. Throughout all of Freewave 3, Lucki does an excellent job of trying out new flows (or enhancing old ones) and tailoring them flawlessly to each beat. I know that sounds just like what a rapper is supposed to do, but Lucki does it in beautiful fashion. This song, among many others on FW3, showcase how much Lucki has grown and improved as a rapper. There’s no mumble on Freewave 3.
Track Rating: 8.5/10
Track 13: “All In” (prod. By Earl Sweatshirt)
Lucki rapping on an Earl Sweatshirt beat.
Do I need to say more? This is one of the most legendary collabs to come out in a minute.
When I first heard that Lucki and Earl had a song together, via Earl’s Twitter, I had no idea what to expect. I was excited as fuck, though. “All In” definitely lived up to the hype that I had for it. The beat, very reminiscent of Earl’s latest project, Some Rap Songs, allows Lucki to poetically glide over it. I hope that Lucki and Earl collab again in the future, hopefully with an Earl verse next time. This track will do for now, though.
Track Rating: 9.5/10
Track 1: “Politics” (prod. By Oxy)
Track 2: “Out My Way” (prod. By 100bandxan)
Track 9: “Glory Boy” (prod. By Mulatto Beats)
Track 11: “2012 Summer” (prod. By Marcusbasquiat)
Track 14: “4 - U - City Girl” (prod. By BrentRambo)
I know this sounds corny (and yes, I’ll admit I’m a Lucki stan), but I honestly don’t think I could come up with my “least favorite” songs from this project. There’s only 5 tracks that I didn’t mention, so obviously it would be narrowed down to those tracks. But, those 5 tracks aren’t even bad - they just aren’t as memorable as the other 10. As a whole, Freewave 3 is still Lucki’s best project to date.
As a 5-year Lucki fan, I couldn’t be more proud of him and this project. We are in for a treat as Lucki continues to evolve and become the star he’s been working to be.
If this article puts you on to Lucki, you’re welcome. You just found one of your new favorite artists.
Evan’s Overall Freewave 3 Rating: 9.5/10