By Dan O
Update for those who fell in love with Lukah in the flurry of 2021. Listening to When The Black Hand Touches You taught us that the flow was otherworldly. Hitting play again and again on Why Look Up, God’s In The Mirror instructed us that Lukah didn’t need rich soul samples, remaining perfectly captivating on the cold steely thump Walz provided. Raw Extractions just dropped on 09/16 and it feels like the level of a video game you worked hard to get to feeling like you have the skills to take on properly. First point of interest: Lukah is antagonistic and the more peer pressure industry standards put in the air the more he will strike out against it. This album is fifty five minutes and forty seven seconds long with no hooks. Song eleven (Balaclava) is six minutes and fourteen seconds with no guests and no hook. It’s not the longest song on the album.
The most important thing about Raw Extractions is that it is highly intelligent. If you remember 50 Cent laughing at Gza for being scientifical and no one wanting that…this album provides the counter argument. Lukah uses phraseology that is specifically not conversational to better grasp the microphone as omniscient narrator. “My mind sees beyond the designs of the exterior (Dead Horses).” While conversational delivery can create a direct bond with your audience Lukah chooses the larger-than-life route. “This gravitation let me provide you aspiration. If you ever get lost let my lyrics be navigation (Fractures).” That choice alone is interesting but Lukah has visions of a better future for his community that shine throughout. All of the voice interludes are direct intellectual challenges that lead into what he is doing. The song Dead Horses I quoted earlier is the clearest about this “They can’t separate us but we’re our own separators. F_ chasing their paper let’s build and become innovators. Groundbreakers of our own sh_t no more pulling capers. So when the power goes out we’ll have our own generators.”
My favorite song is Thoughts Made Divine because it showcases his gameplan to rise above the fray and the terrible skill set he’ll never shake. He goes from “I exist amongst the intangible. Eat with the higher ranking them others die with the minimal,” to “Instincts of an animal. Catch my meal and eat through the skull.” The hardcore rap people might only hear the threats but you can hear all of it if you open up and soak in bar after bar. A lot of us that love Lukah have been over the moon for Black Belt Jones and how the Cities Aviv beat pushes our narrator to new places and for a moment shines the light in. A moment where we feel like this could be fun. Walz made seven of the fifteen beats and the chill of empowered focus is undeniable between the two of them. No one in 2022 does a better job of reclaiming the scholarly battle rap feeling of Canibus in his own way. Not only does Lukah not sound like anyone else he doesn’t sound like he’s in the same genre with anyone but Cities Aviv. Raw Extractions will be a bracing listen for you each time you greet it. The album will never really be your friend but you have friends and now you need something else.
Purchase Raw Extractions below: