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Lute releases “West 1996 Pt. 2”

Hip-hop artist, Lute, dropped his debut studio album “West 1996 Pt. 2” Friday, Sept. 29 under J. Cole’s Dreamville Records.

“West 1996 Pt. 2” is Lute’s second project. He dropped his debut mixtape, “West 1996,” in 2012.

According to Lute in his documentary “Still Slummin,” West 1996 Pt. 2 was originally supposed to be his last project. His daughter was born after his debut release, and Lute thought he would not have the time to raise his daughter and pursue his rap career.

All that changed in 2015. According to the documentary, the day he was supposed to drop “West 1996 Part 2: Still Slummin’’ he got a call from popular hip-hop artist J. Cole, who asked him to hold on to the release of the project and sign Lute to Dreamville Records.

With a polished album, Lute brings listeners a powerful story of a young father trying to provide for his daughter.

There is no braggadocio. Lute does not have the material possessions that many of his successful contemporaries may have. All he has is his daughter, and that’s what shines through in this album.

The album is very relatable because Lute is not rapping for fame, sponsorships, or guest appearances on late night TV shows. The only reason he raps, and his need to do it successfully, is to provide a better life for his daughter.

At only 34 minutes long, “West 1996 Pt. 2 “ is a very easy listen. Lute uses very traditional, non-experimental hip-hop production. His rhyme schemes and fantastic command over the microphone shine over this type of instrumentation.

Lute also used a unique and interesting strategy. Making his hardest hitting songs his shortest songs like “Ambitions,” “Crabs in a Barrel” and “Birds & Bees” is where Lute is most aggressive in the project and none of those tracks go over the two-minute mark.

Lute has an interesting perspective of coming from an environment in which he struggled. He never sold drugs or partook in a life of crime himself, but he does not condemn those who do, and has an extreme understanding for those people.  He uses very clever lyrics to explain this in the track Ambitions.

“I’d much rather have to rap or sell drugs than work two to 12 just to miss the number  12 bus/ Cause I overslept, due to this double I just worked/ Trying to get this work/ Made it out the mud/ Now we in the dirt.”

The potential success of Lute’s project, only adds momentum to J. Cole’s Dreamville roster, which is one of the more talented labels in the hip hop industry.

In just a little over three years, J. Cole has signed a plethora of young talents who have grown since being under J. Cole.

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