Joyner Lucas, born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, has grown a formidable fan-base over the last five years for his bold artistry. Known for his punching delivery, self-driven wordsmith and impeccable storytelling, Joyner Lucas has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with. Four mixtapes later, alongside a string of boast-worthy features including Eminem; you may remember the US rapper from his politically driven single “I’m Not Racist” back in 2017, that explored racism between Black and White American’s – which has since gained further traction due to the current global events surrounding George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement.
Earlier this year, the US star released his debut album ‘ADHD’, inspired by his childhood diagnosis with the disorder. Spread across eighteen tracks with features from Logic, Young Thug, Chris Brown, Timbaland, King OSF and Fabolous; not to mention his hit single ‘Will’ alongside the legend that is Will Smith – we have complied a list of five tracks we feel best represent the 2 x Grammy nominated artist Joyner Lucas.
*Disclaimer – These are in no particular order*
Showcasing his exquisite storytelling ability, the 2015 release of “Ross Capicchioni'” details an outside perspective on the shooting of 17-year-old Ross Capicchioni, who survived multiple gun shots by someone who was acting like his friend as a part of a gang initiation, that took place back in 2007. Delivering the story from both opposing sides, the captivating visuals unfold a gripping tail of events leading up to the fatal shooting. Clocking in at just under 8 minutes long, this track has you mesmerized from start to finish, and in turn boast’s Joyner Lucas’ unblemished wordplay and storytelling skill set. Kick starting the track from Ross’s perspective, halfway through, Joyner Lucas begins to pen the shooters side of the story. Painting a brutal and heart-breaking story surrounding gang activity as many may know it, “Ross Capicchioni” left many mind-blown upon its release, only certifying his position in the Rap game. – Elle Evans
Joyner Lucas’ 2017 single “I’m Not Racist,” and the accompanying thought-provoking visual instantly spread like wildfire; addressing America’s divide and the timely concept that aided in the depiction of an uncensored discussion between a Trump supporter and a young black man. The beauty of the song, lie’s not only with in the fact that ‘I’m Not Racist’ is still relevant today, but that it speaks from two opposing perspectives. Lucas, known for his storytelling, begins by penning a whirlwind of angry and impassioned lyrical attacks on the black community pertaining to opinions that are widely shared by Trump supporters, including; a distaste for food stamps, building a wall to cease Mexican immigration, saying the N-word and more. Afterwards, he denies his anti-black stance by using the age-old “I’m not racist, my sister’s boyfriend is black” line to combat his venomous claims. Following, Joyner defends the black community by counteracting each point made as he sets forth a rebuttal rich in vulnerability with a delivery equally as angry as the first; allowing his truths to surge through each word, line and verse. – Rehana Harmony
Joyner saves the best record for last on his latest project, “ADHD”. The MC seamlessly locks his listeners into his raw emotions, spitting over a mellow beat and delivering it all with no hook. Joyner’s sentiments are echoed by the sampled: “And what’s really bad is being broke and stupid” and he uses this to inspire his lyrics. Combining Hip Hop’s three key elements – lyricism, storytelling and flow – the rapper takes us on a journey, detailing his past through to his present. The track’s mood blends retrospection with motivation as he celebrates his come-up; one that started off as being a young man labeled as ‘slow’ for having ADHD to now, building his wealth and success. Sonically, “Broke and Stupid” sits in the class of classic rap, comparable to the likes of J Cole who adopts a similar raw style. Executing rhymes and punchlines throughout, Joyner Lucas signs the project off with a profound message, reassuring listeners that he is one of the best in his field. – Sweeney Gloria
The rap market profits greatly from a collaboration record and Joyner’s “Still Can’t Love” is one that makes sense. The rapper taps into his melodic flow, inviting King OSF and Fabulous to help produce a 3-time wavy track. Initiating the song with, “She got a nice face, she got a nice body. I still can’t love her, still can’t trust her, baby, I’m sorry”, means Joyner is straight up unapologetic about his stance. The sonic compatibility between the artists acts as the glue as they each offer verses that reiterate the song title’s true meaning. This record is carried by a narrative, common to many rappers, in which they express uncertainty toward connecting with a love interest beyond surface level. While this may be an anthem for those with a similar lifestyle, it is still appealing to all listeners by courtesy of a catchy hook, caption-worthy bars and a bouncy beat! – Sweeney Gloria
In 2016, Joyner Lucas shared a poignant record entitled “I’m Sorry,” along side it’s moving supporting video. The track serves a ferociously candid and harrowing portrayal of the cause and effect of suicide, further showcasing his penchant for delivering both sides of every captivating story he tells. In the profoundly personal depiction we hear the emcee tackling this heavy subject matter with grace as he treads across the 80s-esque instrumental that weaves in an compelling vocal sample that hears Lucas’ singing farewell while repeating the tracks title. Starring in the visual accompaniment, Lucas gives an emotional performance, as he assumes the role of a family member who loses his cousin to suicide. – Rehana Harmony