Why Joyner Lucas is hip-hop’s next star
Content is king, and as an artist, the subject matter of your music is your content. A song’s subject matter could be about partying, making it out the mud, and so on. But, whatever it is, it has to resonate with the listeners. And because Joyner’s music does that tenfold, I believe that Joyner Lucas is hip-hop’s next star.
The content in Joyner Lucas’ music tends to be heavy, as he raps about suicide, discusses his regrets, and more. But, while this is nothing new, there is a special way that Joyner executes this in his music, especially with his storytelling.
Storytelling will always be prevalent in hip-hop. It’s 1) arguably one of the most impressive things to execute, and 2) people love a great story. Hip-hop stars like Hov, Kendrick Lamar, and Nas, just to name a few, are amazing storytellers, too, and hip-hop loves them for it. Soon, hip-hop is going to love Joyner Lucas for it.
Very rarely can a record display the imagery as clearly as he did in Keep It 100.
The first time I heard of Joyner Lucas was when Joe Budden, co-host of Complex’s web series Everyday Struggle, shouted him out on an episode.
Now, it’s definitely no secret that Joe is.. well, passionate. But when it comes to artists he doesn’t care about, he straight up says it: “Kodak Black? I don’t ever wanna talk about Kodak Black.” or “Lil Yachty? I don’t ever wanna talk about Lil Yachty.”.
But, when he spoke about Joyner, he cheered him on and even yelled at the camera “DON’T FUCK THIS UP, SHA.”, referring to Joyner Lucas’ manager. So to see Joe be that hyped about an up-and-coming artist got me thinking…
Joyner Lucas – Keep It 100
After finishing the episode, I immediately fired up Spotify and searched for Joyner. When I got to his page, I saw his record Keep It 100, which criminally has only about 800,000 plays at the moment.
But, Joyner’s style isn’t just centered around storytelling. He can get pretty hype, too.
Keep It 100 is a story about the journey of a $100 bill, as it travels from owner to owner. Man, I was shook when I went through this. Very rarely can a record display the imagery as clearly as he did. So much so, that the imagery in my head deadass ended up matching the music video.
Immediately Joyner’s position in my mind started to align with Nas, as his storytelling skills are A1, too. If you don’t know about Nas, then just go listen to Rewind. You’re welcome.
Joyner Lucas – Ross Capicchioni
Next, I went to Ross Capicchioni, which is a story about a man that was betrayed by a “friend” in Detroit. You might have heard about this, as the story went viral. The song, along with the video, which is shot in first-person from both perspectives, just reaffirmed my stance on Joyner’s elite storytelling skills.
Joyner Lucas – I’m Sorry
And then, I hit I’m Sorry, which is probably one of the most emotionally impactful records I’ve ever heard, next to Kanye West’s Family Business. As someone that’s very sensitive to suicide or just death in general, Joyner’s record about a friend of his that committed suicide easily had me feeling some type of way.
The way he executed this story was just crazy. He tells it from the perspective of his friend and how his friend felt through all of it, all the way to his decision to end it. Then he tells it from his perspective after his friend had ended it. I remember the whole song hitting me like a truck, thinking about how I’d feel if any of my close friends ever chose to go out like that.
On a side note, if you’re reading this and you’ve ever felt that way, please reach out to someone close to you. It really hurts them to know that you chose not to reach out.
Joyner Lucas – Ultrasound
But, Joyner’s style isn’t just centered around heavy-hearted content and storytelling. He can get pretty hype, too. In Ultrasound, Joyner flexes and double-times to call out the fakes. You can definitely blast this in the whip with the windows down.
Joyner Lucas – Say Hello To Adele
Ok, last one! This one’s also one of my personal favorites from Joyner, and it’s really just straight baaaars, man.
So as you see.. or hear, actually, it’s looking like Joyner Lucas is hip-hop’s next star. He’s got the content, the skill, and the support from not only his fans but tastemakers, too. He’s also signed to Atlantic Records, which just helped Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow hit #1 in the country. So yeah, he’s definitely in the right position, also being label mates with Gucci Mane and Meek Mill.
While I do believe he’ll be a star, I also believe it will take some time. His path to greatness will probably be a long one, but I bet he will have longevity. Because typically, artists that build up their fanbase slowly and organically have a tendency to have long, impactful careers. Especially when the music has the type of content to keep loyal fans.
Stream Joyner’s latest project
What do you think? Listen to his music and let us know!
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