Discover Dreamville’s Lute, A Hidden Gem from North Carolina

Wanna know how I discovered Lute?

A few days ago I retweeted a promo tweet from an artist whom I had no idea, but I figured if I retweeted it, I’d remember to go and actually listen to the track when I had a minute to really listen and appreciate someone’s artistry (anyone else do this?). Well I finally sat down and here are my reactions:

  • *first few seconds of the song* “Okay boom-bap, I see you.”
  • *minute or so in* I’m full out jamming, wondering if this rapper is a carbon-copy of Joey Bada$$
  • “Who the fuck is this guy?” *goes to Google* “Holy shit, Lute is signed to Dreamville? How have I never heard of him?”
  • *Presses repeat and jams three more times*

Story | Sara Loretta

Image | via Dreamville

During my re-listens I got as deep as I could into Google, searching on Soundcloud and scouring YouTube, only to find Luther Nicholson, better known by his stage name Lute, has 44 loyal followers on his channel and has only his latest single uploaded to Spotify.

Juggin’” was released from Dreamville on August 25th and is centered around Lute’s inability to pay bills to which he begins hiding/selling drugs within his walls:

“F*ck the hand I was dealt, my n*gga Huggies ain’t cheap and my momma need a bigger crib; show my daddy showed a n*gga how to jig a hole up out the wall.”

If you had never heard of Lute before, this single track could either turn you into a fan or completely turn you away because of the heavy Boom-Bap influences within his instrumentals and vocabulary articulation. For the fans, take a listen and tell me you could see him on tour with Joey, Cole or even Rakim. “Juggin’” is a single that could easily slide right into your playlist and you wouldn’t even think twice because of Lute’s musical fluidity on the track.

– Related: Watch J. Cole 4 Your Eyez Only Documentary –

Prior to this though, Lute has been featured on Dreamville’s 2015 compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers II with his single “Still Slummin’, and released his mixtape West1996 in 2012. The project is a recreation of Nas’ It Was Written album art and definitely encompasses the year 1996 in terms of sounds.

Each track of the opus is a story about growing up on the westside of Charlotte, North Carolina and the hardships that come with living inner city. But this record is too perfect to be a first mixtape, so I’m curious why Luther “Lute” hasn’t become a top-streaming/selling artist like his mentor, J. Cole. Perhaps Lute is unintentionally becoming like A$AP Twelvvy, a hidden in the shadows gem, who took close to a decade to release an album because he needed the time to develop within the label.

There is no denying that Lute deserves more recognition than he has already, so go support him by following him on Twitter and Instagram. His upcoming project West1996 pt. 2 is scheduled to release in 2017.

Writer & Visual Storyteller | I think mumble rap is like disco, a bad phase.

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