The post LUCI Announces Debut Album, Shares Origins of “Martyr”: Exclusive appeared first on Consequence.
Origins is a recurring series giving artists a space to break down everything that went into their latest release. Today, LUCI breaks down “Martyr,” taken from her upcoming debut album, They Say They Love You.
LUCI has announced her debut album, They Say They Love You, which is set to drop on February 2nd, 2024, via Don’t Sleep Records. To preview the project, the rapper has released the danceable, hard-hitting single, “Martyr.”
They Say They Love You follows the North Carolina native’s debut EP, Juvenilia, which landed on our list of the top 15 hip-hop albums of 2022. The new batch of songs follows through on the multi-faceted, impassioned approach that made the EP so impressive, this time deriving from deeply personal feelings of love, heartbreak, and anger, as well as inspiration from listening to Future, FKA Twiggs, Duah Saleh, J. Cole, and Drake. What’s more, one of the closest collaborators on the project, William J Sullivan, brought in experience from working with Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and upstart LA duo Paris Texas.
“The whole process, writing and curating They Say They Love You, I saw red – Blood, heartache, fire, desire, love… And sometimes I saw black,” LUCI tells Consequence. “I went through two big breakups last year that tore me apart for a bit, but set me free in so many ways, including parting ways with my first manager and leaving my relationship of five years to live in a small corner of Pennsylvania called Ambridge for a while.”
She continued, “The title actually came from a song of a previous cut of the album. It’s about everybody — lovers, friends, family, the labels, business partners, fans, strangers in the club. They all say the same thing — ‘I love you.’ We wonder if they really do. But the real question is do we love ourselves and carry compassion for the world? It’s all far more relatable than you think when you have empathy.”
Pre-save They Say They Love You here, and check out the artwork and tracklist below the jump.
“Martyr” immediately showcases intense emotion. From the ominous, ever-evolving beat to her idiosyncratic vocal stylings, the track establishes an off-kilter vibe over which LUCI raps about the experience of being Black in the music industry.
“[The track is] inspired by what it means to be a Black artist. When I hear that drum, bass, and hi-hats, I feel fire. But in all honesty, I feel looked over, so I just wanted to say, ‘It’s all the way up!’” she explains. “It’s about how artists, but especially Black American folks, are the blueprint for modern/urban culture. It’s about how it all started — bars, beats, and originality. We got it out the mud and continue to shake the globe generations later.”
Check out the Brighton Kilgore-directed video for “Martyr” below, followed by LUCI’s full breakdown of the song’s Origins.
They Say They Love You Artwork:
They Say They Love You Tracklist:
05. Thunder Calling
08. Stay Steady
09. Call Jane
11. Morning Wine
“Martyr” is inspired by what it means to be a Black artist. When I hear that drum, bass, and hi-hats, I feel fire. But in all honesty, I feel looked over, so I just wanted to say, “It’s all the way up!”
The lyrics in the outro are what the song is about, as it was originally the chorus before [Glass Animals member] Ed [Irwinsinger] popped in the studio and rearranged the bridge to be the hook and the hook to be the outro: “Fuck wrong witchu? We take all the loot/ We do this for fun — we break all the rules/ Uhuh, martyr too — we make all the rules/ Hallelujah, paid and full — we take all the loot.”
It’s about how artists, but especially Black American folks, are the blueprint for modern/urban culture. It’s about how it all started — bars, beats, and originality. We got it out the mud and continue to shake the globe generations later.
The recordings of my grandmother at the beginning and end are very special to me. I always hit record when I get on the phone with her. We smoke a joint in the morning and get to rollin — laughing and ranting. We remind ourselves of each other. Different versions of the same person born at different points in the timeline. But even herself, at times, has a hard time “getting into” me and my artistic styles and methods. It’s moments like these where I catch her vulnerable, honest, and reflective that our bond and understanding grows stronger. I always said if she was born in a different time she’d be a rapper or poet.
And I had to shoot a one-off video with my boy Brighton Kilgore. I love a crazy video with all kinds of concepts and ideas. But also love a classic hip-hop video and what it feels like to truly be DIY. I didn’t have a production budget. I’m just a person being a person: out in the world… walkin and talkin. Goofing off. I feel you all haven’t gotten to see me without the polish. So I made something without burnishing to match the grit and honesty of the track.