If you keep up with all the new hip-hop releases on a week-to-week basis, you’ve surely taken note of the insanely diverse and high-quality music coming out of the hotbed of talent that is Chicago.
Artists like Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Alex Wiley, Chief Keef, Lil Durk and countless more have spent the last few years offering up varied, potent perspectives from their respective areas of the city.
While Saba recently turned the spotlight to Chicago’s West Side with his fantasticBucket List Project, Lud Foe, a 19-year-old emcee also from the West Side, is offering a perspective in stark contrast to Saba’s more Chance-esque brand of hip-hop.
Believe it or not, I was actually introduced to Lud Foe during a recent trip to Chicago by an enthusiastic Uber driver from the South Side. The frenetic energy of his music immediately stood out to me, and when I returned home the name stuck.
My informal introduction to the rapper couldn't have come at a better time, as Lud Foe is fresh off the release of his debut project, a mixtape entitled No Hooks, which is already causing waves in the underground. Lud has recently gained some heavy attention after fellow Chicagoan Lil Durk remixed his track “Cuttin’ Up.” The remix was eventually aired during an episode of OVO Sound Radio, and we all know what that can do to an artist’s profile.
On No Hooks, Lud Foe delivers a unique sound that hasn't yet been showcased on the national scene. Drill elements are present for sure, but Lud’s music carries a high-tempo bounce that seems to have more in common with Meek Mill’s more energetic, early work than his South Side neighbors like Keef and Durk.
As the tape progresses, both the sonic backgrounds and Foe’s lyrics themselves reveal some palpable West Coast influence on top of a clear Chicago foundation. Foe is quick to reference Eazy E throughout the tape, and many of the tracks play out like a coked-out take on early West Coast gangster rap.
Much of Foe’s lyrical content is street-centric and heavily tinged with violence, a raw yet thoughtful representation of his current lifestyle not unlike Durk’s brand of pensive gangsterisms, but with a ferocity that I haven’t heard in some time.
No Hooks has only been out for a week as of today (November 3), but it doesn't take repeat listens to come to the conclusion that Lud Foe is poised to become the next Chicago voice thrust into the spotlight. A Lil Durk cosign and airplay on OVO Sound Radio certainly haven’t hurt his case and on No Hooks, Foe displays a wealth of unvarnished potential that, if fostered properly, could turn into a promising career.
While we wait to see what the game has in store for Lud Foe, this first offering quite strong and if there’s more where this came from, I’m here for it.
By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Instagram