Lute draws inspiration from the past in debut album “West 1996, Pt. 2”

By Spencer Brown

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Lute raps the lyrics to his song Morning Shift // Taken from

Dreamville has proved itself to be a label with talents extending beyond that of just J. Cole as their latest artist, Lute has dropped a debut album to remember.

With Lute’s latest album West 1996, Pt. 2 he has shown that his style of wearing his heart on his sleeve engages the listener to the fullest.

In the lead-up documentary Lute: Still Slummin’ he told the story of his journey as an artist has been. Born Luther Nicholson, Lute is from West Charlotte, North Carolina.He dropped his first EP, West 1996 in 2012, although it generated attention, it did not establish him as a mainstream rapper.

His newest album was a long time coming as he experienced writer’s block while attempting to come up with new material for the album. But when a friend called advising him to write about his recent experiences, it clicked according to the documentary.

“I had a lot to write about with the birth of my daughter and the past years and my daughter ended up being the one to help my music excel.”

In 2015, on the day when he was supposed to drop this album he received a fateful call from J. Cole asking if he would like to sign form Dreamville record; however, the album was postponed for two years.

On the second track “Still Slummin’” Lute proves he can masterfully create a hook that is not only catchy, but also carries deep meaning.

“I’m still slummin’ while I’m chasing life two steps back just to get it right.” He demonstrates how he has lived a life of struggle and ups and downs but he his here for good.

This track was originally from the Dreamville collaboration project Revenge of the Dreamers II, but he included it on this project as it fits into the overall sound and feel of the album

West 1996, Pt. 2 captures the southern sound of Outkast with mellow, relaxed beats and flow reminiscent of the smooth Andre 3000.The album also blends genres well with jazz and blues background instruments with soft drums for the base.

On the track “Premonition feat. EARTHGANG” and Cam O’bi, Lute raps about the struggle he was going through.

“Young legend in the making, I’m tryna’ be patient/But no time to be waiting, I’m just feeding my baby/Unemployed no diploma, what nigga, this crazy.”   

“Elevator Jay”, “GQ Slaughter”, and “Hi I’m Ry” are also are featured on the album.

“My album is a window into the last five years of my life…the obstacles, the challenges, the changes. It’s also motivation to not let people or circumstances define who you are. I’ve been patient and very appreciative of this platform and now it’s time to show what I’m capable of,”  Lute said in a press release on the Dreamville website.

West 1996 Pt 2 will surely establish Lute as one of the best up and coming rappers as its overall sound and story are well developed, meaningful, and catchy.

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